progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

The Mulligan Guard Lies, But—Surrenders

by Joseph Keppler (1884)

mulligan guard lies but surrenders, the (1884)

The LOC says:

Illustration shows an explosion at the "Claim Agency, Formerly Republican Head Quarters" with William M. Evarts peeking through the opening in the tent to survey the damage; several small kiosks labeled "Machine Republicans Meet Here, County Democracy Blaine Exchange, Tribune Blaine Organ, [and] Friends of Tammany Meet Here" have been blown over and damaged, also knocked to the ground by the blast were "Keifer, [Blaine holding a paper that states "I Claim Everything"], Logan, W. Reid, Butler, Dana, Burchard [labeled "R.R.R."], Robeson, Elkins, Dorsey," and an unidentified man lying on the ground next to bags of "Soap". On horseback, in the upper left corner, is Grover Cleveland holding a scroll labeled "Reform", and a Puck character carrying a standard labeled "Independents", among the ranks are Carl Schurz, George W. Curtis, and Henry Ward Beecher. Strewn on the ground are papers that state "I.O.U. If we win. J.G., I.O.U. Conditional on Success, C.W.F., [and] I.O.U. If you get there, J. Roach"; and several of the downed "Mulligan Guard" hold papers that state "We Still Claim", whereas Dana's paper states "I Give Up".

Lazy Curator™ sez: Bless you, Library of Congress, for enabling my laziness. I’ve had to shoulder most of the burden of research for what seems like months now.

Having said that, allow me to nit-pick their research.

The unidentified man looks like Jay Gould. I was leaning against him, on account of the I.O.U. from J.G. which suggested he was absent, and racked my brain to come up with other, prominent long-bearded men of the period it might represent. W. W. Belknap? William Mahone? Then I remembered the bags of “soap” and made the connection. Oh, that wacky 19th century slang!

I noticed that John Kelly and Hubert O. Thompson couldn’t even be bothered to show up in person. Pity, especially in the latter case, as I know how popular he is with the Weekly Puck’s readership.

Stevie Elkins is in a precarious position. I mean, it can’t compare with this image from [another publication], but it’s amusing just the same.

The eagle-eyed who were good at playing Classic Concentration™ will notice that I’m running out of order, both in the Mulligan Guards series (there’s more than just the two I posted) and in my usual Weekly Puck running order. In both cases it’s to get in a visual tribute (however backhanded—what do you want? It’s Puck!) to John Alexander Logan, what with his life’s legacy (i.e.: Memorial Day) coming up.

UPDATE: Re-scanned this classic image, probably the best we’ve had so far from the Google Books archive, or are ever likely to get. I hear you ask, “Mike, why are you dedicating so much time and effort in the pursuit of finding the perfect scan of this particular image? Hmmm? Trying to tell us something, are you?”, look! It’s Hubert O. Thompson!

progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Political Personals

by Frederick Opper (1886)

political personals (1886)

Lazy Curator™ sez: I could transcribe all that text, but do you really expect me to spend the time to do so? I could identify all the depicted parties, but I’m going to make you do the work. Check the tags for hints if you must. How’s that for laziness?

On the other hand, I already have next week’s entry uploaded and ready to go. But I’m going to make you wait for it. SUFFER! [villainous laughter]
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Puck’s Pyrotechnics

Fourth-of-July Fireworks Free to All

by “Opper & Co.” (1882)

puck's pyrotechnics (1882)

The LOC says:

Print shows a fireworks display with Puck bowing on a stage in front of a "Fan Light" featuring the likenesses of William H. Vanderbilt, Russell Sage, Cyrus W. Field, and Jay Gould; on stage with Puck is a hand holding a smoldering torch which may represent Bartholdi's hand and torch from the Statue of Liberty. On the left is a pagoda labeled "Puck Office" and on the right is a building labeled "Tammany Hall". Among the fireworks are many faces of politicians and other prominent figures of the day, some labeled by type of firework, such as "Chicago Shower", Arthur, Grant, Conkling, Logan and Cameron; "Tumbler", Tilden; "Twister", Schurz; "The Falling Tammany Star", Kelly; "Bomb", Davis; "Junk Whizzler", Robeson; "Polar Rocket", Bennett; "Buster", Butler; and "Star Route Staggerer", Dorsey. Others shown are James G. Blaine, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Tilton(?), Thomas De Witt Talmage, and Theodore Tilton.

Lazy Curator™ sez: Only a couple of days late on this. “Twinkler” seems to be N. Y. Mayor W. R. Grace. I’m guessing “Opper & Co.” means that a bunch of the Puck staff got in on the fun with this one.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The Great Rival Advertising Shows to “Boom Up” Stocks

by Bernhard Gillam (1883)

great rival advertising shows to boom up stocks, the (1883)

The LOC says:

Print shows three "advertising" sideshows, on the left, the "Great Northern Pacific R.R. Show Patronized by the European Aristocracy" with Henry Villard as the barker and Carl Schurz playing a drum; includes portraits hanging on the side of the tent showing a "Famous German Painter engaged at a cost of $15,000!!!", a "Celebrated German Author, A Live German Baron!!, British Interests Member of Parliament, A Genuine English Lord, the real article, Bavarian General, [and] English Aristocrat". On the right is the "Great Yellowstone Park Show" with "Uncle Rufus Hatch" as barker and Charles A. Dana playing the trombone; includes portraits hanging on the side of the tent showing a "Scout, Arthur's Cabinet [Robert Todd Lincoln], Little "Phil" Sheridan, Great American General, [and] President Arthur" fishing. At center, in the background, is the "Western Union Show" with Jay Gould sitting in front of a tent labeled "Happy Family Inside". Between the sideshows are several well-dressed, serious-minded men, one labeled "Investor", considering the merits of each show before investing.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Valentines Social and Political

by Frederick Opper (1888)

valentines social and political (1888)

If You Don’t See What You Want, Ask for It.

Lazy Curator™ sez: Did I say the one I posted last year was the last of these? That’ll teach me to make such ridiculous pronouncements!

Not transcribing these, not out of laziness but because of the incompleteness caused by the scanning. I’m sure these bound editions seemed like a good idea at the time, but they don’t make the latter-day librarian’s job very easy, especially when it comes to scanning these elaborate gatefold images. To prove I’m not totally lazy, I’ll even identify some of the personages depicted: William Chandler, W. T. Sherman, James G. Blaine, Carl Schurz, David Hill, Charles A. Dana, Joseph Pulitzer, Henry George, Whitelaw Reid (as a dairy maid!), Jay Gould, John J. Ingalls, Benjamin Butler and William Evarts (as a giraffe).
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

To the Chicago Convention

by Joseph Keppler (1880)

to the chicago convention (1880)

A steam engine named Imperator bears the cigar-smoking head of Ulysses S. Grant on its smokestack. Roscoe Conkling is the engineer, Donald Cameron the conductor, and John A. Logan the fireman, stoking the fires with Solid South Coal.

Lots of other details here. I won’t go into everything but there’s an “Orpheus C Car” bringing up the rear, bearing George Robeson (definitely) and (possibly) W. W. Belknap, James Garfield and George Henry Williams. “G.W.C.,” Carl Schurz and Puck are seen mourning the death of a woman wearing a “Republican Party” sash (apparently having collided with the train). In the background, William T. Sherman and James G. Blaine can be seen on horseback.

UPDATE: Fixed the “wonky scan” problem in this satirical image of President Harrison’s cabinet.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Midsummer Night’s Dream

by Joseph Keppler (1880)

midsummer night's dream (1880)

Lazy Curator™ is flying this one solo. Among those depicted in this image: Roscoe Conkling (riding a broomstick backwards!), Puck (holding a donkey-head mask), James Garfield, Uncle Sam, Winfield Hancock, Henry Ward Beecher, Samuel Tilden, John Kelly, Columbia, Benjamin Butler (as a frog), Carl Schurz (as a stick-insect), Cornelius Vanderbilt (in a lacy night-dress!), Chester A. Arthur (as a beetle), Jay Gould and Cyrus Field.

Conkling in women’s clothes tally = 5. And has it really been three years since I last updated that? I’m way overdue! Also: wonky scan strikes again!

EDIT: Not to be confused with this image
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Puck’s Fourth-of-July Picnic, 1881

by Joseph Keppler (1881)

puck's fourth-of-july picnic, 1881

Another delightfully dense image from Keppler, similar to this summer-themed one. Some of the featured picnickers include (more or less left-to-right, top-to-bottom):

  • Ulysses S. Grant (upper left, leaning on tree)

  • Carl Schurz (playing toy piano)

  • John Kelly (falling from “Try Your Weight” contraption)

  • Samuel Tilden (using “Lung Tester”)

  • David Davis (the “giant” on “Giant and Dwarf” poster)

  • William Russell Grace (pushing woman on swing)

  • Rutherford B. Hayes (in background between trees, carrying suitcases)

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt (running towards a basket marked “Free Lunch”)

  • Peter Cooper (the rightmost of the two running figures at the upper right)

  • Henry Ward Beecher (blindfolded and surrounded by women, lower left)

  • Thomas DeWitt Talmage (leftmost of the two figures leading Puck by the hand)

  • Charles A. Dana (at the page break, with sailor’s hat and cane)

  • Whitelaw Reid (to Dana’s immediate right, with flowered hat, umbrella and cigarette)

  • James Garfield (on the left side of teeter-totter)

  • Roscoe Conkling (being catapulted from the right end of the teeter-totter)

  • Jay Gould (rightmost of the two figures playing cards, wearing black top hat)

  • Benjamin Butler (lower right, flirting with woman)
  • progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The Parade of the Pigmies

    by Udo J. Keppler (1899)

    parade of the pigmies, the (1899, cropped)

    The LOC says:

    Print shows Uncle Sam and Columbia observing from a viewing stand on the right and a group of American military officers observing from a viewing stand on the left, a small group of elderly men parading with a banner showing a portrait of Emilio Aguinaldo labeled "Aguinaldo Our Hero".

    Lazy Curator sez: Oh! Making me do my homework, eh? Who’s lazy now? Very well, it seems the viewing stand on the left is populated by:

    Front row: George Dewey, Winfield Scott Schley, William Sampson (?), William Rufus Shafter
    Second row: Henry Lawton (?), Theodore Roosevelt, Joseph Wheeler
    Third row: J. Franklin Bell, Arthur MacArthur, E. Stephen Otis, [Unknown, possibly Henry Clark Corbin?]
    and bringing up the rear, Nelson Miles.

    The tall, thin “pigmy” hoisting the banner seems to be Carl Schurz.

    EDIT: Compare this image
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    Cleveland’s Entry Into Washington—March 4th, 1885.

    by Joseph Keppler (1885)

    cleveland's entry into washington march 4th 1885

    The LOC says:

    Illustration shows Grover Cleveland riding the Democratic donkey past the "Republican R.R.R. Hotel" on the way to his inauguration; he is surrounded by a host of characters that includes many political figures and newspaper editors, including Joseph F. Keppler with his diminutive character Puck. Among those depicted are: Roscoe Conkling, George Edmunds, Augustus Garland, "Hampton", "William H. Barnum", L.Q.C. Lamar, "Grace", "Jones", Joseph Pulitzer, James G. Bennett, Henry B. Ward, Samuel J. Randall, Thomas Hendricks, Abram S. Hewitt, U.S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, "McDonas", Daniel Manning, George W. Curtis, Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel J. Tilden, Thomas F. Bayard (carrying a flag that states "Public Office is a Public Trust. G. Cleveland"), Joseph Medill, William C. Endicott, John Logan, James G. Blaine, Carl Schurz, William F. Vilas, Cox, Winfield Scott Hancock, Benjamin Harrison, Henry Watterson, and Hermann "Raster". Also shown is Puck's Independent Party and papers labeled "Compliments of C.A. Dana".

    Lazy Curator™ says: I could swear I also see Murat Halstead (who, oddly, looks like Joseph Keppler here, only older and fatter)* and Whitelaw Reid in the crowd, too. And I so wanted to add this to my “Conkling in women’s clothes” tally, but I can’t. Because, strangely, it appears to be Carl Schurz in the dress. Go figure.

    Of course, I could just type “General Grant in his undies” here and my usual readership would see nothing else. Perverts.

    EDIT: The source of the spoof, for comparison.

    EDIT×2: My mistake, that’s Henry Watterson and not Murat Halstead.

    EDIT×3: And how did I forget Bernhard Gillam behind Keppler and Puck there?
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The Political Courtney

    by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

    political courtney, the (1884)

    LOGAN.—“Come, Jim, show some nerve, or nobody won’t believe you’re in the race! Ain’t you never gonna be Aggressive?”

    Another ribbing at the expense of James Blaine and his presidential campaign of 1884. His running mate John Logan tries in vain to get him in the boat race, as (among others) W. W. Phelps, George Robeson, Whitelaw Reid (bearing a “Tribune Sponge”), Jay Gould and Stephen Elkins attend to him. Behind him, Stephen Dorsey bears oars marked “Soap” and “★ Router.” Meanwhile in the background, Grover Cleveland is off and running, alone (with Carl Schurz standing at the dock of the Independent Boat House).

    Blaine has great “comedy” eyes in this image. Note also Ben Butler as a duck, lower right. And another sighting of Blaine’s tattoos.
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    A Moment of Anxiety

    Who Is Going to Get Left?

    by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

    moment of anxiety, a (1884)

    Grover “Santa Claus” Cleveland, his toy sack filled with cabinet positions, enters a nursery filled with Democratic politicians. Note the sign reading “Christmas Comes Once Every 20 Years” and Tammany’s John Kelly as a cat.

    Two of Cleveland’s actual eventual (first-term) cabinet members are depicted here: L. Q. C. Lamar (bearded man in the background, far left, wearing a nightcap) and Thomas Bayard (foreground left, in bed with knees up to his chin). Also readily identifiable by Lazy Curator™: Samuel Tilden (sleeping peacefully in the bed next to the doorway), Samuel S. Cox (bearded man facing forwards in second bed from foreground) Carl Schurz (in cradle marked “Independence”), Allen Thurman (wearing red nightcap in front of clock), Henry Watterson (far right, in front of the clock) and Abram S. Hewitt (in front of Thurman and Watterson).

    I suppose I should consider myself grateful for the delay in updating this feature, as this image is far more relevant this week than it would have been two weeks ago! Think of it as a companion image to this one.
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    Puck’s Picnic

    Puck and His Contributors by the Sea

    by Joseph Keppler (1879)

    puck's picnic (1879)

    A week too soon for summer? Perhaps. But it’s never too soon for fun in the sun, if the weather’s right!

    Wish I had a better scan of this one but this is another fun, complex image with tons of detail from our beloved elder Keppler. See how many you can identify (HINT: if you zoom in to the Google Books image, you can read some of the name tags). I definitely see the following in the above image: Samuel J. Tilden, Rutherford B. Hayes, Ben Butler, Carl Schurz, James Blaine, William Evarts, Thomas De Witt Talmage, Roscoe Conkling, John Kelly, Henry Ward Beecher, Ulysses S. Grant, Peter Cooper, William Henry Vanderbilt, David Davis and Jay Gould.

    In other words, quite a party. Who’s up for a weenie roast?

    EDIT: Updated the image, now in glorious chromolithograph colour!
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)
    Yikes! A bit late this week but no worries...

    Declined With Thanks

    by J. S. Pughe (1900)


    The caption (and I’m shocked that I can’t find a better quality scan of this image) reads:

    THE ANTIS — Here, take a dose of this anti-fat and get thin again!
    UNCLE SAM — No, Sonny! I never did take any that stuff, and I’m too old to begin!

    Another very famous image you’re likely to have seen before. An enormously fat Uncle Sam, bursting out of his clothes, is fitted for a new suit by then-president William McKinley. A group of anti-expansionists led by Carl Schurz offer an “anti-fat” antidote, which he refuses. Very frequently turns up in anthologies and history books.

    This is the first time I’m featuring the artwork of J. S. Pughe (who worked with Puck from roughly the 1890s to his death in 1909), whose work frequently leaned towards the grotesque, this image is no exception.

    Also interesting to see the failed attempt at Anglicization “Porto [sic] Rico.” As we all know, that didn’t stick.
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)
    The astute and clever among you will have seen this coming after reading this post:

    Phyrne Before the Chicago Tribunal

    by Bernhard Gillam (1884)


    The caption reads:

    Ardent Advocate.:—“Now, Gentlemen, don’t make any mistake in your decision! Here’s Purity and Magnetism for you—can’t be beat!”

    Wow. Lots to talk about here, so let’s begin. For years I thought Joseph Keppler was responsible for this image, so I’m a bit surprised to learn it was actually Bernhard Gillam who’s actually the creator of this iconic artwork. One of the most (in)famous cartoons found in Puck’s pages.

    Essentially, a stylized image of Whitelaw Reid stripping James Blaine at the 1884 Repubican National Convention, only to reveal tattoos of all the scandals he was allegedly involved in. It’s also a parody of this image. The “magnetic pad” is a reference to Blaine’s nickname: “The Magnetic Man,” suggesting that his supposed magnetism was artificial.

    Needless to say, Blaine was not pleased by this image. Reportedly he tried to sue Puck for “obscenity,” but the suit was thrown out almost immediately. Puck’s edict in response: more tattooed man images, and it became a meme.

    In fact, I can imagine the conversation that went on around this time:

    Chauncey: Hallo, Edgar! Where are you off to?
    Edgar: Good morning, Chauncey. I’m headed to the town square. Haven’t you heard? Blaine’s giving a speech.
    Chauncey: Oh really? Do you think he’ll take his clothes off?
    Edgar: [startled] Whatever for?
    Chauncey: You know, to show off his tattoos?
    Edgar: Tattoos? I don’t think he has any. He’s not exactly a navy man. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Robeson?
    Chauncey: No, no. I’m certain I saw a picture of him somewhere where he had tattoos all over his body.
    Edgar: Oh...I think I see.
    Chauncey: I like the one that says “Mulligan Letters” the best.
    Edgar: Chauncey, you do realize that’s just a cartoon?
    Chauncey: No, I’m sure it was real! I saw several of them and they wouldn’t print something that wasn’t true now, would they?
    Edgar: Very funny. Now if you’ll excuse me...
    Chauncey: Say, you think Boss Conkling will show up in his exploding waistcoat?
    Edgar: [sigh] Good-bye, Chauncey!

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