Elmer Bjornstad Cartoons

By Marvin Bjornstad

In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others. Caricatures can be insulting or complimentary and can serve a political purpose or be drawn solely for entertainment.

Elmer Bjornstad was an active sketcher since his boyhood. When he started at the Canadian Salt Plant in 1955 he had just finished a bout of rheumatic fever. After a few years of work at the plant and getting accoustomed to all his fellow employees and his neighbours, he started to let his subtle sense of humor help him to portray the irony he saw in the everyday life around him. He was studying for his second and later his first class steam certificate in the late 1950s and early 1960s and had some time to grow bored and this came out in his caricatures of those around him. Sometimes you did have to know the events around the plant to enjoy the cartoon but often even without knowing the person of interest the humor came through. Many cartoons were a simple character study of someone on the job; others detailed off the job activities in the Lindbergh area. Some were about specific events like a car crash on the way to work and others simply found humor in the Company's focus on safety while at times downplaying some accident. The cartoons are here organised in these simple groupings. 

The cartoons got less used as Elmer became the Chief Engineer.