Where would we be without cartoons? Would we look at pictures poking fun at political leaders the same way? Would the idea of slipping on a banana still be funny?
Throughout history, illustrations have communicated ideas with wit. For instance, political cartoons printed in early periodicals satirized people and issues, providing both a good laugh and food for thought.
With the rise of illustration and animation, cartoons carried a more familiar meaning to TV viewers. Mickey Mouse and company charmed their way into our hearts, doing things too ridiculous to happen offscreen. Superheroes inspired comic readers and viewers to courageously pursue justice, even though their animated worlds were chock-full of fiction (and flying protagonists in spandex).
In addition to entertaining or advancing ideas, TV cartoons have also carved out a large market for commercial advertisers targeting younger demographics [source: Butler]. In recent years, animated shows such as "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "South Park" have gained die-hard adult fans, too.
Interested in learning more about these knee-slapping inventions? Find out more below.
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- Bortner, David. "Pittsburgh Freezers." Penn State University Libraries. 2010. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Frozen.html
- Butler, Jeremy. "Cartoons." The Museum of Broadcast Communications." (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=cartoons
- "Condom." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/131570/condom
- Carter, Bill. "Tired of Reality TV, But Still Tuning In." The New York Times. Sept. 13, 2010. (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/business/media/13reality.html
- Duck Brand Website. "History of Duck Tape." (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.duckbrand.com/Duck%20Tape%20Club/history-of-duck-tape.aspx
- Duron, Alexandra. "History of the Bra." Women's Health Magazine. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/bra-history
- Gooday, G. "'I Never Will Have the Electric Light in My House': Alice Gordon and the Gendered Periodical Representation of Contentious New Technology." In L. Henson, G. Cantor, G. Dawson, R. Noakes, S. Shuttleworth, & J. Topham (eds.), "Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media." Ashgate Publishing Company. 2004.
- The Library of Congress. "Political Cartoons in U.S. History." Teacher's Guide Primary Source Set. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/political-cartoons/pdf/teacher_guide.pdf
- The Library of Congress. "Who Invented the TV Dinner?" Everyday Mysteries. Aug. 23, 2010. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/tvdinner.html
- McGovern, Patrick, Zhang, Juzhong, Tang, Jigen, Zhang, Zhiqing, Hall, Gretchen, Moreau, Robert, Nunez, Alberto, Butrym, Eric, Richards, Michael, Wang, Chen-shan, Cheng, Guansheng, Zhao, Zhijun, & Wang, Changsui. "Fermented beverages of pre- and proto- historic China." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 101, no. 51. 2004. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.pnas.org/content/101/51/17593.short
- "Menander." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/374651/Menander
- MIT. "Mary Phelps Jacob: Brassiere." Inventor of the Week. November 2001. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/jacob.html
- National Park Service. "Brewing in the Seventeenth Century." Nov. 26, 2007. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/brewing-in-the-seventeenth-century.htm
- Nyberg, Tim and Jim Berg. "Duct Tape 101." The Duct Tape Guys Website. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://octanecreative.com/ducttape/DT101/index.html
- Plumbing World Website. "Thomas Crapper: Myth & Reality." (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.theplumber.com/crapper.html
- Poundstone, William. "The Man Who Invented Sitcom." Los Angeles County Museum on Fire. Oct. 10, 2010. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://blogs.artinfo.com/lacmonfire/2010/10/10/the-man-who-invented-the-sitcom/
- Preuss, Paul. "Sealing HVAC Ducts: Use Anything But Duct Tape." Lawrence Berkeley Lab Research News. Aug. 17, 1998. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/duct-tape-HVAC.html
- Public Broadcasting Service. "An American Family." (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.pbs.org/lanceloud/american/
- Retrobrick.com. "Motorola DynaTAC 8000x." (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.retrobrick.com/moto8000.html
- Rudolph, Michael, McGovern, Patrick, & Badler, Virginia. "The first wine and beer: chemical detection of ancient fermented beverages." Analytical Chemistry. Vol. 65, 8. 1993. (Dec. 27, 2011). http://www.penn.museum/sites/biomoleculararchaeology/wp-content/uploads/firstwinebeeranalytchem.pdf
- "Sir John Harington." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/255314/Sir-John-Harington
- Slocum, John. "The Real History of Reality TV Or, How Alan Funt Won the Cold War." Writers' Guild of America, West. (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.wga.org/organizesub.aspx?id=1099
- Tucker, Abigail. "The Beer Archaeologist." Smithsonian Magazine. August, 2011. (Dec. 27, 2011) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Beer-Archaeologist.html?c=y&page=1
- Usborne, Simon. "101 gadgets that changed the world." The Independent. Nov. 3, 2007 (Jan. 5, 2011) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/101-gadgets-that-changed-the-world-398535.html
- World Health Organization (WHO). "Effectiveness of male latex condoms in protecting against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections." Media Centre Fact Sheet No. 243.
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