August 14, 2014

Shipyards, newsletters, and kittens

Contributed by Lincoln Cushing, Archivist and Historian

"No 'struggle' for existence." Fore 'n' Aft 6/18/1942

With the advent of social media, it’s become a joke with some truth that any video featuring a dancing kitten will go viral. Media savant Ben Huh of the Cheezburger Network described the universal appeal of cats and kittens in a recent interview: “We have created weapons of mass cuteness…”

But these critters were used as media bling long before the Internet was invented. Back when “viral” meant measles, the World War II Kaiser Richmond shipyards produced the vibrant weekly magazine Fore ‘n’ Aft. As you can see from these clippings, kitties held their own along with welding production tips and ship launching news.

Kaiser Permanente — creating cutting-edge media since 1941.

cats lying on typewriters
"Kitten on the keys," Fore 'n' Aft 6/29/1945
black and white magazine clipping of a small cat with one paw on a typewriter key
"Kittens on the keys," Fore 'n' Aft, 7/30/1942