Thursday 29 December 2022

The Boy's Own Art of Diving

Here's a selection of covers from The Boy's Own Paper to finish off the year. (Click for larger images).

1951. Art by Robert Hodgson.

Robert Hodgson's design sketch for this issue was up for sale in 2021.

There doesn't seem to be a wealth of information available about Robert Hodgson but Steve Holland has some over on his Bear Alley Blog. Scroll down to see comments from his grandson and others who knew him.

1955. Art by George Bowe.

The "Underwater Thrills" mentioned on the cover refers to an article on the making of Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Despite there being nothing about it in the magazine, the artwork looks to me like it's illustrating the incident where Jacques Cousteau fought off a shark with his camera, something which has appeared numerous times on this blog.

George Bowe is another mystery man but, again, Steve Holland has some information. Other publications he worked for include Eagle, Lion and Boy's World.


I don't know the artist for this last cover but, like many others on this blog, he seems to not really understand how regulators work. This diver's hose appears to be connected directly to the manifold, without a regulator to reduce the pressure. Good luck with that!

The Boy's Own Paper was first published in 1879. It was originated by the Religious Tracts Society and later taken over by the Lutterworth Press, Purnell and Sons Ltd, and BPC Publishing Ltd. Originally published weekly, it became a monthly in 1913 and finally ceased publication in 1967.

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