Since its inception in 2016 by the New York Academy of Medicine, archives, libraries, and museums around the world have participated in #ColorOurCollections on social media in early February each year. These institutions find interesting images from their vast collections and present them as coloring pages—to the delight of adults and children alike! Since the pages of our historic newspapers in Chronicling America* provide some wonderful coloring opportunities, we couldn’t miss the chance the jump in.
If you have read any of our previous blog posts about puzzles, you will already know that newspapers in the early 1900s printed a number of original types of puzzles. Among them were puzzles meant to be colored. These coloring challenges took many forms, so take a look at some of them below.
Cubism was the newest form of art in 1913, started five years earlier in Paris, and it had taken hold of the popular imagination. The popular children’s “Fun” section, syndicated across many newspapers of the time, introduced kids to Cubism with their Cubist coloring puzzles. The goal is to fill in the correct triangles to form a shape such a person or animal.
Color the Dots
Newspapers used a number of variations on this one. There are shapes and some of them have dots. After coloring the shapes with dots, you will see some type of image appear.
In a combination of coloring and logic, these puzzles sound very simple as you are supposed to help “Grandma” with a quilt, but they are actually quite difficult. Try a couple and see if you can figure out how to correctly color the pattern.
Color by Number
Finally, the ever popular color-by-number, a type of coloring puzzle that most of us are familiar with, appeared in newspapers as well.
For more coloring fun, don’t miss out on the Library of Congress’ Coloring Books on Pinterest, where you can find whole coloring pages.
*The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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