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Licensed wreckers - in the hands of the receivers / J. Keppler.

Licensed wreckers - in the hands of the receivers / J. Keppler.



Print shows a ship labeled "Wrecked Corporation" and "Insurance Co. Bankrupt" that has wrecked on rocks with a darkened lighthouse labeled "Trust" and "Justice" nearby; its light has been snuffed by "Judge" and "Corruption". Victims of the wreck, some clinging to the ship, others in the water, are labeled "Policy Holder" and "Pillaged Policy Holder". A rope from the ship to shore is held by a "Receiver", a "Lawyer", and a "Shore Shark", and is coiled around a money bag labeled "Fee". Another "Lawyer", using a gaff, reaches for a barrel labeled "Fees" that bobs in the water near the ship. Standing near the lighthouse is a man labeled "Referee" who is holding a pan labeled "False Beacon" that spews illuminated smoke labeled "By Order of the Court"; he burns papers labeled "Waste, Outrageous Extravagance, Extortion, [and] Cost".
Title from item.
Illus. from Puck, v. 11, no. 262, (1882 March 15), 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.





Keppler, Joseph Ferdinand, 1838-1894, artist


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