Gratuitous kitten photos didn’t start with the internet.
This image is from an August 20, 1942 advertisement and the photographer is famous enough to be mentioned in the copy.
Ylla (pronunced “eela” was the nom de plume of Camilla Koffler. The Hungarian born photographer immigrated to America when World War II engulfed Europe.
Her speciality was animals and after the war she made photographic safaris to Africa and India. Ylla’s work was highly regarded by galleries and publishers.
She died doing what she loved. She suffered fatal injuries, falling from a jeep while photographing a bullock cart race in India in 1955 at the age of 44.
The temperance founders of the Telegram no doubt were aggrieved that a kitten was selling alcohol in the Telegram-Tribune.
In the time since the temperance sheet was founded in 1905 they had sold the foundering enterprise but had won the electoral battle to pass prohibition. The roughly decade long social experiment was repealed in 1933 and the ownership of John P. Scripps newspapers had no moral qualms with accepting hard liquor ads.