01 NOV 1904 March, New York American, R.Edgren (?) and a cartoon persuading the citizens to take the legitimate forms of protest against the Trusts - Ballot not Strike. This image is a celebration of the capacity of the artist to right on every object big enough to carry the letters.

To write STRIKE on one boulder may be forgivable,

to write it on several is disappointing,

to write it on every boulder is amazing.


The word LABOR is on the gun, the worker's hat and on what appears to be a vacuum flask. I warmed to the cartoon at the dollar signs on every bag and the famously drawn figure of the louche fat oaf in teetering topper.


Don't you just love it when the Flag is hoisted and it says "SURRENDER". Thank you Edgren.

02 1904 ST PAUL PRESS, anon, a cartoon against the Steel Trust's production of steel for the domestic market at $28.00 per ton, and $20.00 a ton for the Foreigners. At this very outrage, Old Fat Oaf Steel winks beguilingly at us. He is notable for his outlandish check trousers, a change from the Evening Attire sported elsewhere. A choice has been made to write on the rails. To set the text alongside would, I suppose, make it a diagram. Problem here writing towards and away from the viewer. There is a chance of losing sight of the price of the letters that run away from us. A moot point well made in an effective visual way.

03 1904 MINNEAPLOIS JOURNAL , not exactly a distinguished image in itself, but useful in incorporating the Trusts and Roosevelt in the same image. Any eccentrically behaved politician can be thus dignified if the issue merits it - here Teddy striking statesman-like poses in fine rhetorical mode against the bulbous impertinence of the Trusts, registered as a Standard Oil barrel with fist and teetering topper. Here we see the conventional visual signage to depict one force challenging another (be it foreign of domestic) - the Flinging Down of the Gauntlet. BART has had to underline the aggressive intent of the President by writing WAR on the gauntlet. Don't blame him too much (underscored by the caption). Without the word WAR, any discarded glove might also signify in a cartoon, a sexual come-one.

Now that would be a fine thing.

President and Standard Oil Barrel locked in coital embrace.

04 1904 JUDGE , (? Victor Gueam) here is an ambitious and carefully calculated image of transition as is often encountered in JUDGE. The carefully relaxed and informal scattering of family pictures shows Uncle Sam nurturing the infant Trusts who gradually acquire bulk and malice in equal measure. The visual story ends with the corpulent Fellow seizing Sam and then force feeding the Mannikin with TRUST PRODUCTS. This is neat and efficient in making the point, allowing reference and cross reference in a way that fixed panels of narrative cannot achieve easily.


05 AUG 11 1904 New York American, and another fine Opper.Morgan puffs happily on his Cigar with Dollar Bills crammed into back pocket, little suspecting the last shreds of independence will disappear of the Trust Serpent closes in on him. Only the Common People realise and leg it.


Such a fine idea, to show the machinations of the Trusts and their steely Rockefeller Jaws, in a sequence of arrowed bulges from the Tree of Standard Oil - showing the lumps of Oil Lands priveleges through to the absorbtion of Wall Street operators, all individual forces slowly gorged and swallowed into the growing body of Slithering Evil, with Golf Clubs. A strong influemce here of the Funnies, and the Morgan figure would not have been out of place in a Krazy Kat strip.


06 1904 KLADDERADATSCH (anon) Germany

Interesting to have a German perspective of the activities of Pierpoint Morgan the Banker as a circus routine (hence the tights) watched by an arena of spectators representing all types of American Society. The balancing act is a tower of ships of ever decreasing size and gives a good idea of the difficulty of the act (financing the Fleet ?) but how the instability will accelerate. Odd the compositional detail of the foreground figure - perhaps a spectator with a watch - in the place where the ringmaster usually is in paintings of this time.


The verticality of the composition is an interesting achievement but may also reflect the space available on the page. PUNCH very rarely varied the proportions of the panel with a cartoon, where it is a design feature of European periodicals that the whole structure of the page could vary with decorative panels, cartouches, thin horizontal panels and images that curled around the text, unconfined by the conventional panel.

07 1904 LIFE, Uncle Sam as bandit in the service of the Trusts at the point of entry into the country and implicating the US Custom House. A fine still-life of discarded objects in the foreground, and well drawn responses ranging from defiance to embarassment. The fob watch will be filched and the jewellery, although the artist (anon.) cannot resist a note of prurience in the fondling of the Lady.

08 1903 Lustige Blatter, (F.Juttner) an excellent piece providing caricatures with attributes of the senior business folk associated in the popular mind with the Trusts.

1. Andrew Carnegie, Steel King

2. Pierpoint Morgan, Trust King

3. William Rockefeller, Oil King

4. William Clark, Copper King

5. Henry Harlinger, Sugar King

6. William Vanderbilt, Railway King


The convention used was popular in medieval times, of the individuals constructed from the artifacts associated with them.Whereas the Vanderbilt portrait is a bit lacklustre, there is much imagination in the Sugar King, with his air of white papered piety. The compositional rhythm is well judged - the flanking Carnegie, and the alternating black and white squares- almost a chess board with the Kings as pieces.Far too cultivated an image to be an American piece, lots of Old World cultural attack. Strong influence of Bocklin.