The Waiter – Copyright 1906

There are some staples of humor that have endured for more than a century.

One of these subjects for caricature is the snobbish or condescending waiter.

The waiter in this drawing is dressed formally, but looks haughty and disinterested.

He seems to be inattentive to the tray he is carrying.

In 1906, the postcard was copyrighted and published by the Rotograph Company of New York.

This comic illustration was drawn by Katharine Gassaway.

It is difficult to find biographical information about this prolific postcard artist.

This blurb is from the website, “Vintage Valentine Museum”:

“Katharine Gassaway is another mysterious artist. Her work on valentines date (generally considered to be from around 1906-1909 but I believe may extend into the 1910s) to the same period of that of Ellen Clapsaddle and the early careers of Frances Brundage and Grace Drayton. It is a very short window for what is quite a number of creations to be produced. The earliest book illustration credit I found for her is from 1898.”

The Newberry Research Center has digitalized a number of Gassaway postcards, but provides only the barest biographical information:

“Katherine, or Katharine, Gassaway created illustrations of children for a number of prominent postcard firms from 1906 to 1909.”

The postcard was not mailed; we may assume that the print was collected by someone who was amused by the illustration.


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