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Our robber barons / Gillam.

Our robber barons / Gillam.



Print shows several rogues, Jay Gould labeled "R. Road Monopolist", William H. Vanderbilt labeled "Corporations", Cyrus W. Field labeled "Telegraph Monopoly", Russell Sage(?) labeled "Stock Jobbing", and George M. Robeson labeled "Congress", robbing a "Tax Payer" of his "Income" (Robeson/Congress strangling him with "Unjust Tax"); in the right foreground, the tools and "Cloth" the "Tax Payer" needs are "Taxed", as others help themselves to his "Products of Honest Labor", with Vanderbilt directing some carrying bags labeled "Plunder" and "Gains" up steps labeled "Tax Steals, Land Grants, Friendly Judges, Lobbyism, [and] Public Apathy" that lead to a large building labeled "Castle Monopoly" atop a mountain. In the background, on the right, are buildings labeled "Manufactory Closed [and] Foundry Closed" and other industrial buildings "Closed"; a chain labeled "Protection" blocks the harbor, preventing ships with products for export from departing.
Title from item.
Illus. from Puck, v. 11, no. 275, (1882 June 14), centerfold.
Copyright 1882 by Keppler & Schwarzmann.

It wasn't really until the 1700s that caricature truly blossomed as a form of political criticism. In the late 1750s, a man named Thomas Townshend began using the techniques employed by earlier engravers and applying them towards a political model. This gave Thompson's cartoons a much greater feeling of propaganda than previous artistic critiques of the time. The intense political climate of the period, and often accusatory nature of most political cartoons forced many artists to use pseudonyms in order to avoid accusations of libel. Other artists took it a step farther, and left their cartoons completely unsigned, foregoing any credit they may have received. Political higher-ups were notoriously touchy about their reputations and were not afraid to make examples of offenders. Puck was the first successful humor magazine in the United States of colorful cartoons, caricatures and political satire of the issues of the day. It was published from 1871 until 1918.

Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, introduced the subject of colored lithography in 1818. Printers in other countries, such as France and England, were also started producing color prints. The first American chromolithograph—a portrait of Reverend F. W. P. Greenwood—was created by William Sharp in 1840. Chromolithographs became so popular in American culture that the era has been labeled as "chromo civilization". During the Victorian times, chromolithographs populated children's and fine arts publications, as well as advertising art, in trade cards, labels, and posters. They were also used for advertisements, popular prints, and medical or scientific books.





Gillam, Bernhard, 1856-1896, artist


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