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Picturing a World


Blog post alert: I've been reading a diary from 1909. Its author's sister had a baby, which the diarist described as "looking like Billiken." Okay, I Googled and was delighted to find that the artist who invented this odd little good-luck figure was a woman, an art teacher, Florence Pretz, and the year was my magic 1908. The best account of the phenomenon is 1908: Behold The Amazing Billiken—worth a detour if you are interested in how an oddball invention became St. Louis University mascot and a god in Japan.

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