[Young Pennsylvania German Girl’s c.1938–1940 Cartoon Drawing and Story Book with Text and Dialog in Pennsylfawnish Dialect].
The use of automobiles suggest the author/artist was an Old Order Mennonite
Pennsylvania German girl’s cartoon drawing book capturing daily life and humorous childhood foibles in and around Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
The folk art manuscript was drawn and captioned by Catherine M. Weaver with mixed text in English and “Pennsylfawnish,” a Pennsylvania-German dialect also known as Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch. The use of automobiles as well as horse drawn buggies by some of the Pennsylfawnish speakers in the cartoons suggests that Weaver may have been a member of the Old Order Mennonites, a large minority of whom used cars, but with the chrome bumpers overpainted in black so as to be unostentatious.
Weaver’s drawings of herself and her friends show them playing games, working in a wheat field, disturbing a bees nest, trying to catch a rooster, breaking a wishbone, sleigh riding, playing a victrola, ironing clothes, at a soda fountain, and even fighting. She sometimes refers to her drawings as “snapshots” and often mentions that some events depicted, at which she was not present, are how she imagined them having happened. For example she draws a two-panel scene of her friend Katie being asked out on a date by a car-driving boy: “I read his thought and your thoughts. This is how I imagined it look on Sunday eve.”
Sometimes Weaver simply captions a scene “this happened.” In one humorous drawing Weaver shows herself helping her mother, “Mommie,” prepare some meat in the kitchen. She draws her mother speaking Pennsylfawnish while she herself speaks both English (“OK”) and Pennsylfawnish. After being instructed by her mother, Weaver picks up the meat with a fork, but it drops to the floor! The caption reads: “Please excuse my paper. This happened on Sun. eve. I tried to make as plain as possible. If you don’t know what it shall represent I’ll have to tell you.”
The cartoon drawing book bears scattered dates 1938 to 1940; one laid in drawing is from 1946. The drawing book bears a notation indicating that the drawings may have been assembled by Florence Z. Weaver (her sister or cousin?), to whom the drawings were given over time. In all, the folk art drawings are like a “snapshot diary” of a young Pennsylvania German girl.
Description: [Young Pennsylvania German Girl’s c.1938–1940 Cartoon Drawing and Story Book with Text and Dialog in Pennsylfawnish Dialect].
[Ephrata, Pennsylvania, c.1938–1940, 1946].  leaves. Writing Tablet. 10 x 8 inches. 90 Pencil illustrations on paper (85 tipped in and 5 laid in), several hand-colored. Some wear to extremities of string-tied tablet cover and to pulp paper leaves; overall, very good.