George Sisk was the Kansas City agent for three electric interurban lines in Chicago. For at least 22 years, he gave his customers monthly blotters featuring a calendar, a map of the lines he represented, and a pin-up girl. The January, 1940 blotter features a blonde painted by Earl Moran, whose painting career stretched from about 1931 to 1982.
These blotters are all from the Dale Hastin collection. While Sisk must have distributed more than 500 blotters, I only scanned 27 in Dale’s collection, which is a reasonable sample of what these blotters were like.
The November, 1940 pin-up painting is by Howard Connolly, who lived from 1903 to 1990.
The June, 1942 blotter painting was by Gil Elvgren, one of the nation’s most famous commercial & pin-up artists. Like many of the artists, he sold his work to a publisher named Brown & Bigalow, who in turn sold it to advertisers like George Sisk.
The August and September, 1942 blotter paintings were also by Gil Elvgren. Elvgren was born and grew up in St. Paul, studied art in Chicago, and began painting pin-ups in 1937. He sold his early works, shown here, to St. Paul publisher Louis F. Dow. Like most pin-up artists, he hired and photographed models and based his paintings on the photographs.