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The old partners in the new navy job / Gillam.

The old partners in the new navy job / Gillam.



Illustration shows John Roach and George M. Robeson dressed as 16th century soldiers, doing a song and dance routine on a stage; Roach is holding a paper that states "Contract for new U.S. Cruisers $2,440,000 and 'Extras!' Awarded to John Roach".
Title from item.
Caption: When of corruptionthe public is weary, And the papers have found us out, / Our future then looks dark and dreary, And our profits are involved in doubt / That is the time for disappearing; Just take a header, down you go / But appropriations new are nearing Bob up serenely from below! "Olivette" amended.
Illus. from Puck, v. 13, no. 331, (1883 July 11), cover.
Copyright 1883 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.

Puck was founded by Austrian-born cartoonist Joseph Keppler and his partners as a German-language publication in 1876. Puck’s first English-language edition in 1877. The magazine name came from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream: “What fools these mortals be!” Puck used lithography instead of wood engraving and offered three cartoons vs. one of competitors. The cartoons were initially printed in black and white, but soon it changed into full, eye-catching color. Within a few years, Judge supplanted Puck as the leading humor magazine.

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


Library of Congress

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