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

The Reform Express



The “Practical Politicians” Are Left by the Roadside



by Udo J. Keppler (1893)

reform express, the (1893)


Lazy Curator™ sez: A steam train named the Reform Express is helmed by Grover Cleveland and Walter Gresham (Sec’y of State). Shaking their fists at the train from ground level are David B. Hill, “Murphy,” “McLaughlin,” “Sheehan,” Henry Watterson, Charles A. Dana (bearing a knife marked “Spite”) and Richard Croker.

This image was featured on this Japanese steam engine site, erroneously credited as being from Judge.

The poor junior Keppler had clearly yet to step out of the shadow of his illustrious father. I suppose he had to wait for Dear Old Dad to kick the bucket before he could exert his own will and develop his own style. Isn’t that always the way?
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

Where Did the Shoe Pinch?



by C. J. Taylor (1891)

where did the shoe pinch (1891)


D. B. Hill.—How dare you address to me such an insulting and impertinent communication?
Henry Watterson.—“I can not help thinking that the same words might be with propriety addressed to any Democratic aspirant by the humblest Democrat in the land.”


Lazy Curator™ sez: Here we have New York governor David B. Hill, irately confronting Henry Watterson with an issue of the New York Times dated Nov. 2, 1890 bearing the headline, “Watterson’s Letter to Gov. Hill.”

Honestly, some days I think every entry (or at least every other entry) ought to be accompanied by the sentence, “Now, let the slash fiction begin!”

The search for the fabled Joseph Keppler rendering of Hill continues...
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

Fire Protection Wanted



by Udo J. Keppler (1901)

fire protection wanted (1901)


The Democratic Phoenix: If they'd just keep that Bryan boy from playing around me with matches I wouldn't have to do this stunt every four years.


The LOC says:

Illustration shows the Democratic Party platform in flames with a donkey labeled "Democratic Party" rising from the flames as the mythological phoenix; eleven Democratic Party members have gathered around the fire to supplicate the supernatural being.


Lazy Curator™ sez: The deeper I dive into the Puck rabbit hole, the more I realize that some of my early perceptions were wrong. By the turn of the century, Udo Keppler was coming into his own, earning a style distinct from his father’s. It’s helpful to compare his illustrating style by looking at figures both men have depicted, such as David B. Hill (foreground left) and Henry Watterson (far right).

“Bryan” is a reference to perpetual Democratic presidential candidate and “free silver” advocate William Jennings Bryan (not pictured).

EDIT: You know, I might just be wrong about the elder Keppler depicting Hill. At least a recent audit hasn’t turned up anything in the Weekly Puck archive. If he did do him (get your minds out of the gutter), I haven’t come across it yet. Oh well, at least it gave me a chance to update the tags of past entries. More on that next time...
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

In Sight of the Promised Land



by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

in sight of the promised land (1882)


Lazy Curator™ sez: First of all, let me apologize for the clunky seam on this one. This was the only full-sized image where both sides were in color that I could find. Image shows Grover Cleveland leading pilgrims to the Capitol, marked 1884. Some of those pictured: Charles A. Dana and Henry Watterson (blowing horns), L. Q. C. Lamar (crawling on the rock), Samuel Tilden (riding piggy-back), Allen Thurman, Thomas Bayard, John Kelly (leopard-skin is a good look for him!) and Benjamin Butler.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Building the Ark



by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

building the ark (1884)

The Republican Scoffers Heedless of Their Only Hope of Salvation



Lazy Curator™ sez: I apologize, but this is another Post-and-Run! Maybe I’ll come back and fill in the info to this one (in the meantime, check the tags).
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Blundering Again



by Bernhard Gillam (1883)

blundering again (1883)


The LOC says:

Print shows a group of Democrats on a log raft that is breaking up within sight of land, with two logs labeled "New Jersey [and] New York" coming loose and drifting away; there is a small sail labeled "Democra[...] Record". Some are fighting amongst themselves, Allen G. Thurman is about to hit George Hoadly who is holding a paper labeled "Dem. Nomination for Gov. Ohio Hoadly", John Kelly is fighting with Hubert O. Thompson who is holding a knife labeled "County Dem", behind them is Alexander V. Davidson labeled "Irving Hall" and holding a knife, others seem on the brink of despair, including Abram S. Hewitt gnawing on a bone labeled "Tariff", Charles A. Dana defiant of fate, Thomas F. Bayard sitting with his elbows on his knees, Winfield Scott Hancock who appears to have succombed, Thomas Hendricks chewing on his fingers, an unidentified man searching the horizon, Henry Watterson, and Samuel J. Tilden, only Benjamin F. Butler shows any sign of hope as he points toward shore and the U.S. Capitol labeled "1884".


Lazy Curator™ sez: The “unidentified man” could be L. Q. C. Lamar, but don’t quote me on that.

Haven’t had a cartoon featuring Breakout Superstar H. O. T. in a while, so I figured I owed you one. Here’s as close to an actual photograph of the man I’ve yet found:

Behind the cut to save BW )

EDIT: Updated the scan already! Pity the sorrows of poor C. A. Dana, forever cursed to reside in the center seam of gatefold images.
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.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

A Moment of Anxiety



Who Is Going to Get Left?



by Bernard Gilliam (1884)

A Moment of Anxiety (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), Carl Schurz (in cradle marked “Independence”) and Henry Watterson (far right, in front of the clock).

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: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Another Restorer of Antiquities à la Cesnola



by Bernard Gilliam (1882)




The caption reads:

C. A. DANA (having excavated an Old Fossil):—“I guess I can palm him off on the people for their Museum in 1884!”

Charles A. Dana ought to be a familiar name to journalism students. Here he’s shown excavating an ancient statue that looks like Samuel J. Tilden. Dana received lots of mockery from Puck for continuing to support Tilden long after he was discredited by virtually everyone else. Going on to endorse perpetual Puck whipping boy Ben Butler for the 1888 Democratic nomination in favour of eventual winner Grover Cleveland did little to soften their opinion of him. Henry Watterson is shown glaring over his shoulder as John Kelly angrily shakes his fist.

This is the first bit of Bernard Gilliam’s art to be featured here. Of the assistant artists hired by Joseph Keppler to lighten his workload, Gilliam was one of the most technically talented, if a bit slavish to Keppler’s style. Ironically, he was later lured away from Puck by their Republican rival, Judge.

Original here, which I recommend you at least take a peek at, as the level of detailed symbolism in this one image is quite staggering.

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