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Biographical/Historical Information

Pat and Patachon are characters from the silent film era in Europe. They are tramps or vagabonds, with Pat being the tall one (always wearing a rope as a belt) and Patachon being the short one. Internationally the characters are known by many names: In America they were known as Ole and Axel while in their native Denmark they were known as "Lighthouse and Sidecar." In England they were named "Long and Short." From 1921 until 1940 they appeared in over fifty silent comedy films and were the major entertainment coming out of Denmark. Movies were made of their shenanigans across Europe. Pat and Patachon were instrumental in the development of American versions of the same duo, for example, Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello.

Louis Oppenheim (1879-1936) was a German graphic artist, painter and type designer. Born in Coburg, Oppenheim studied in London from 1899 to 1906. He moved to Berlin and started his work as a graphic artist in 1910, signing his work with his initials, "LO" and working for clients such as AES, the Reichsbahn, Persil and Adrema. His posters are considered a significant product of the 'Berlin poster style'. Oppenheim worked for the type foundry Berthold and created a handful of significant and widespread typefaces, all of which share modernist characteristics, such as Lo-Type and Fanfare which are still in wide use today. He also designed the first coin of the Weimar Republic in 1919.

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Oppenheim, Louis: Pat & Patachon poster, Leo Baeck Institute, 2019.39.