Grandfather says nowadays, illustrations in printed publications are mostly done with photo-processors. In the 1940s, they were done by commercial artists.
In his teens, Grandfather studied to become one, at Cass Technical High School in Detroit.
Here are two of the charcoal studies he did when he was 18 (along with a cityscape in oil):
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family