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Pa Pitt

* Pa Pitt
meaning in various incarnations, the cartoon embodiment of the city of Pittsburgh; also known as "Father Pitt;" with origins in the 1890s at the Pittsburg Leader; the idea for Pa Pitt is variously attributed to Arthur Gordon Burgoyne, Sr. or to Fred Johnston; Pa Pitt is most familiar as the portly old gentleman in Colonial garb drawn by Cy Hungerford for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
as in


and "whatever the exterior under which various artists represent Father Pitt," wrote Raymond Gros in 1906, "he invariably appears to us with a roguish look, somewhat veiled by eye-glasses, a sarcastic smile, an energetic gesture and an imposing presence."

In his 1911 retirement speech from the Chronicle-Telegraph, Arthur Burgoyne claimed responsibility for the idea of Pa Pitt. "On November 5, 1895," Burgoyne explained, "Father Pitt was born. He was my offspring. Previously the only figure used to represent our city pictorially was that of a classic young female known as Miss Pittsburgh. This namby-pamby creature palled on me and I introduced my new creation, Father Pitt, to the world. Pa Pitt instantly leaped into popularity and he has since become so familiar a figure that many people fancy he must have existed from the beginning of things in our city; but as I tell you, he is only 16 years old and he owes his paternity to me. I am his father and consequently I have a sort of title, young as I am, to consider myself the grandfather of the community."


Gros, Raymond. "Father Pitt in Cartoons." The Index, 6 October 1906, 11.
"Worthy Tribute to 'Town Poet.' Splendid Audience Fills Carnegie Music Hall To Hear Arthur Burgoyne. Local History is Reviewed. Musical Program Enlivens the Evening." Gazette Times, 8 April 1911.
Who Is Pa Pitt? -- Pennsylvania Department Website

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