A ‘Cartoon Caption Contest’ Contest

It started with Michael Gerber of The American Bystander asking a question. Michael Maslin‘s Ink Spill passed the question to others. It came down to us filtered through the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog (simply because we clicked on Mike’s site before clicking on Michael’s site, both are regular and recommended stops while surfing the internet). The question?

When was the first cartoon caption contest?

Michael (the first mentioned above) came up with a 1921 (1918? but that’s another question) entry:

All the Michaels above (and now we too) want to know,
“So…does anyone know of an earlier cartoon caption contest (magazine, newspaper)?”
We took up the challenge and found the following in The Wisconsin State Journal of January 1913.

On January 6, 1913 The Wisconsin State Journal asks readers for a caption, with a reward for the best.


On January 12, 1913 The Wisconsin State Journal revealed the winner:

along with runners-up:

So, January 1913 is our entry into the competition.
Can you find an earlier example? (If so you won’t even win a no-prize.)

By the way, later that same month (January 22, 1913) the State Journal featured a rejiggered cartoon and used the words: cartoon, caption, contest; though the words are jumbled from the current usage:

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