UB Yesterday: 1913-41

The Bison magazine

The cover of the March 1928 issue.

The lovely “Miss Erma Homeyer, Winner of the U.B. Beauty Contest” was immortalized on the cover of the March 1928 issue by prominent art deco painter and illustrator Alexander O. Levy (1881-1947), who lived and worked in Buffalo from 1909 until his death.

Back in the day, the Bison was UB’s student-produced humor magazine. “We strive to tease as well as please”—a line from an October 1927 editorial—might as well have been its motto. The wildly popular monthly included news, poetry and stories that poked fun at social norms. Student and professional artists designed the front covers, which announced prominent campus events at the time, including the annual freshman, junior and Christmas proms.

Earlier issues were officially called the University Bison, but after publication was suspended for a year because of alleged “slanderous” material, the magazine returned as The New Bison in 1934. They may be out of print now, but you can view 61 of the Bison’s vintage covers online at the University Libraries’ Digital Collection. Color posters and prints can be purchased from the Library Store at ublibraries.smugmug.com.