Little Codfish Cabot at Harvard – Art Deco Illustrations

A lovely little book published in 1924 Little Codfish Cabot at Harvard has a some nice Art Deco period illustrations:


The text is written by Samuel H Orwday, Jr. (Harvard ’21) and the illustrations were done by F Wenderoth Saunders (Harvard ’24). The book tells the story of “Little Codfish Cabot who was born into the precincts of Harvard Yard. His father was a Cabot and his mother was a Cod. The Fish Part is Generic.”


The book tells the story from Cabot’s early childhood until he graduates from Harvard:


The above picture includes the caption, “While still very young he was sent to a New England Church School; but not before he had been soaked with atmosphere – which left him a little foggy because he was so young.”



The above pictures includes the caption, “He persuaded his father to give him an automobile in which he took chippies riding on the river bank; and, when he grew tired of that, to Revere Beach.” Chippies are  promiscuous young women.  Ordway would also write several other books besides the Little Codfish, they include An Elegant History of New York Society for Young Persons of Quality (1927), An Elegant History of Political Parties (1928) and The Intellect is a Brute (1929).


The book is laced with Harvard tidbits including the mention of many clubs, “Because he also made the Phoenix, and the Stylus, and the Signet, and the Hasty Pudding, and the Liberal Club — the last to show he was democratic and an independent thinker,–his father had to double his allowance to pay dues.”

The illustrator, Francis Saunders, began his art training at what is now called the Massachusetts School of Art. He received an A.B. in 1924, an A.M. in 1926 and an Ed.M. in 1934 in Fine Arts from Harvard. In 1925, he received a fellowship from Harvard and spent the year traveling and drawing in Europe. In addition, he studied painting for two summers with Professor Allen Philbrick at the Chicago Art Institute.

Visit our website where we have a nice selection of vintage Harvard memorabilia:




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