They say every dog has his day. For Ponto, today is that day.
Ponto is the last, but certainly not the least, in our 50 Objects project.
Ponto appeared daily in the lower left hand corner of the front page of the Daily Independent for decades. It was a “must “ read everyday. It was the first thing many folks looked at when they picked up their newspaper. Often daily conversation would include, “ Did you read Ponto this morning?”
Although his origins and background may be a little murky, shall we say, here is what we could "did up" on our canine mascot.
James “Ponto” Purdon was owner and publisher of The Daily Independent. Everyone called him “Ponto.”
In the 1920s a salesman came through with readymade images for hot type presses. There were all sorts of illustrations that could be used in ads or along with stories.
So Ponto Purdon purchased the image of the little dog and started putting it on the front page of The Daily Independent along with a wise saying or an inside joke. The image was also reproduced on two decals affixed to the front doors of The Daily Independent office building on West Second Street. When the The Daily Independent and The Public Ledger merged, Ponto came along for the ride.
Those images were found in 2004 as The Ledger Independent moved into its new building. One was given to Martha Comer at her retirement and the other hangs in The Ledger Independent building on Limestone Street.
Ponto was discontinued in the 1990s for about a decade, but was returned to the front page about five years ago.