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)

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)

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)

A Dangerous Flirtation

With a Very Naughty Man

by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

dangerous flirtation, a (1882)

John Kelly eyes the girls at “Cornell Institute (Morals, High-Toned Deportment)” with wicked intent. He is smoking a cigar and walking a bizarre dog/bottle hybrid marked “Tammany Spirits.” The young damsels bear fans and hankies marked “Republicans Alliance.”

It seems the New Year means posting things I’ve just had lying around the place. This one’s been sitting on the old hard drive since last February, so I guess it’s about time I posted it. I don’t seem to have as many of these “orphans” this year as I did a year ago.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

In der Schule

by Joseph Keppler (1876)

in der schule (1876)

Kerlychen: Drei von Eins kann ich nicht, borg’ ich mir Zehn und BEHALTE Acht.
Lehrer: Brav, mein Junge!

“Boss” Tweed teaches math to student John Kelly.

As promised, the second of two this week, and the first ever panel from before 1877, before Puck’s debut as an English-language publication. Note Tweed’s “dollar-sign” print vest, the “Tammany’s Old Rule” switch, the “Addition, Division and Silence” textbook and Kelly’s “Comptroller’s Slate.” Not to mention the prison bars and Puck himself peering through the window.
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 Political Sutler

    by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

    political sutler, the (1882)

    Lazy Curator sez: I apologize. I’m posting this image out of order. It was originally depicted in this later cartoon, which I posted before this one. Also sorry at the monochrome; this was originally published in full, glorious chromolithographic colour (as seen in various eBay auctions).

    Still have yet to track down the Donald Cameron cartoon referenced in that one. It’ll turn up eventually, no doubt.

    EDIT: And now it has!
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The Presidential Recruiting Office

    by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

    presidential recruiting office, the (1884)

    The LOC says:

    Illustration shows the interior of a recruiting office for the presidency with Uncle Sam and Puck examining potential recruits against a height chart labeled, from low to high, "Notoriety, Popularity, Capability, Honesty, [and at the top] Statesmanship"; a number of men, in various states of undress, have been rejected for a variety of reasons, "Evarts Too Long-Winded, [U.S. Grant] Retired, [Conkling] Too Pigeon-Breasted, [Thomas C. Platt] Me Too Little, Mahone Must be Readjusted, J.B. Rejected Too Crooked, Dana Rejected - Too Shortsighted, [Logan] Grammar Feeble, [Arthur] Rejected No Backbone, [Davis] Short Winded, Sherman Bloody Shirt Mania, [Kelly] Pig-Headed, Payne Oil on the Brain, Randall Protection Madness, Bayard Unstable, [Tilden] Rejected Cipher Catarrh, [and] B[utler] Can't See Straight". Five tall men, "Admitted to the Competition", standing on the right, are "Hewitt, Carlisle, Morrison, Lincoln [and] Edmunds O.K."

    Lazy Curator sez: From before Grover Cleveland threw his hat into the ring? Also: “must be readjusted”? Ha ha! I get it! Incidentally, Lincoln does indeed refer to Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Honest Abe.

    I owe you two again this week. I’ll try to work on the next one tomorrow.
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    King or Clown, Which?

    by Joseph Keppler (1879)

     photo kingorclownwhich1879_zps4c0c9adc.jpg

    Some of Mr. John Kelly’s political pronuncamientos and the dead failure thereof

    More character assassination of John Kelly, “Boss” Tweed’s successor as head of Tammany Hall.

    Lazy Curator is feeling extra lazy today, and won’t be transcribing all the tiny text. Click through if you wanna see it bigger (it’s another sideways image; sorry about that).
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The City’s New Guardian

    by Frederick Graetz (1882)

     photo thecitysnewguardian1882_zpsfd6533ff.jpg

    “Walk right in, gentlemen, and make yourselves at home!”

    Mayor Franklin Edson, with a bar marked “Independence,” guards the door at a castle marked “NY City Treasury.,” He holds the door open for a procession led by John Kelly (#1, with a spike-mace marked “Tammany”) and Weekly Puck Breakout Superstar Hubert O. Thompson (#2).

    I should probably feature more Frederick Graetz artwork; he was only with Puck for a brief time, but was very prolific in his short tenure. And his stuff always looks really weird!
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    Notice to the World of Politicians

    by Bernard Gilliam (1882)

     photo noticetotheworldofpoliticians1882_zps1741d7d6.jpg

    Bosses who will soon be out of work are respectfully notified that

    Puck will give them a job

    Roscoe Conkling, Donald Cameron, John Kelly and Thomas Platt are shown wearing sandwich boards displaying past Puck cartoons depicting themselves. The cartoon on the boards Conkling and Platt are wearing has been featured previously, of course. It’s interesting to see Gilliam’s interpretation of Keppler’s work.

    EDIT: You can see (or buy a copy of) the John Kelly image here.

    EDIT #2: The John Kelly and Donald Cameron images have now been posted!
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The New York Democrats United at Last—The “Swag” Amicably Divided

    by Joseph Keppler (1883)

     photo thenewyorkdemocratsunitedatlast1883_zps5eea533d.jpg

    New York Democratic Party faction leaders from the County Democracy (Hubert O. Thompson), Irving Hall and Tammany (John Kelly) tote around stuffed mannequins bearing deeds reading “Supreme Court Judge” and “City Court Judge.”

    Read more about this here
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    The Mayor and His Masters

    Artist Unknown (1883)

     photo themayorandhismasters1883_zpsba12da4c.jpg

    Putting the Pup Through His Paces

    It’s been far too long since we checked in on the exploits of our old friends Hubert and John. What have they been up to? Pet shows, apparently.

    That’s the face of NYC Mayor Franklin Edson on the dog.
    progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

    Barred Out From the Promised Land

    by Bernard Gilliam (1885)

    Barred Out From the Promised Land (1885)

    Disappointed Democratic Moses: “Was It Worth Going Through So Much to Get So Little?”

    Clearly a satire of the breakdown of the spoils system, the broken tablet reading, “Old Commandments: Thou Shalt Divide Up the Spoils,” is a dead giveaway (and the Roman numerals are a nice touch). The star, as usual, of this image is Tammany’s John Kelly (second from right in the foreground, with arms folded), fronting a host of other disappointed parties on a hill above the Cleveland White House. One could think of it as a sequel to this image. Also of note in this image: journalist Charles A. Dana (top center, to the right of the page break) and Weekly Puck Breakout Superstar Hubert O. Thompson (front row, to the left of the page break).

    I like how even lesser Gilliam, like this, is still something most artists would kill to have something so high-quality just once in their career. Mind-boggling, as usual.
    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 (Pride goeth before destruction)

    The Old Democracy in Peril

    The Rival Bootblacks

    by Bernard Gilliam (1883)


    Another commentary on the fractured New York Democratic party circa 1883, with John Kelly and Hubert O. Thompson as rival shoeshine boys yanking on the legs of an old man bearing a tag reading “Democracy.”

    I knew folks would eventually begin asking when I’d post another image featuring Thompson, so here’s your answer.
    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

    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: Major-General Progbear (Default)

    The Return of the “Prodigal Father” to the “Puck” Office

    Drawn by Himself

    by Joseph Keppler (1883)

    The Prodigal Father Returns to the Puck Office (1883)

    Another very “meta” self-portrait of Keppler, here re-entering the Puck office and greeting his co-workers bearing souvenirs (sheet music [?] from Austria, cheese from Neuchâtel, sausages from Frankfurt, champagne from Paris, a tote bag from Vienna and an umbrella from London) from his travels. He is greeted by Puck, his creation, as a child greeting his father. Lots of detail to appreciate here. Fellow Puck artists Frederick Opper, Bernard Gilliam, Frederick Graetz and, behind them, an impossibly young* Eugene Zimmerman emerge from the Artists Department. Henry C. Bunner (Dynamite Editor) leads the charge at the Editorial Department.

    Also present, a couple more recurring Puck characters: V. Hugo Dusenbury and F. Fitznoodle. An easel to their left displays a crude sketch of John Kelly. To the right of the easel, a mannequin with a sculpture of Roscoe Conkling’s head on top. A display case bearing the legend “Models From A to Z” displays busts of (among others) J. Gordon Bennett, Chester A. Arthur, Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas DeWitt Talmage, Winfield Scott Hancock, Benjamin Butler, George Robeson, L. Q. C. Lamar (?), James Blaine, Allen G. Thurman, Samuel Tilden and Carl Schurz.

    This vacation was almost certainly very much needed, considering Keppler basically overworked himself into an early grave. That knowledge adds a bittersweet tang to the above image.

    *All right, perhaps not impossibly young. Zimmerman was still in his twenties when he worked at Puck
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

    The Bunco Man and His Little Game

    by Bernard Gilliam (1883)


    Another Count(r)y Man Roped In

    Essentially, the same subject as this work from several weeks before; i.e.: commentary on the internal divisions in the Democratic party of New York circa 1883. Tammany boss John Kelly lures “country rube” Hubert O. Thompson (head of the “County Democracy” and NYC’s Public Works Commissioner) into a shop marked “Harmony Shades.” He’s already lead Sheriff Alexander V. Davidson (with a scroll marked Irving Hall in his back pocket) inside.

    Thompson seems to quickly be becoming a sort of mascot of this feature.

    Bunco” is a slang term I was unfamiliar with prior to starting this feature. If it has any currency at all anymore, it must be very localized.

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