Super I.T.C.H » Blog Archive » The Dollar or the Man # 3: Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends …
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Dollar or the Man # 3: Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends …

In 1900, New York Journal political cartoonist Homer Davenport published a collection of his work titled The Dollar or the Man? The Issue of To Day. The cartoons focused on themes of government corruption and the threat that corporate power posed to America. These themes are with us today and will influence many of the votes cast in next week’s mid-term elections.

Homer Davenport

Davenport’s cartoons mark the beginning of the Progressive Era, a time when many believed that corporations sought to overthrow the government.

Mark, wouldn't it be great for the Standard Oil dinner bell ! by Homer Davenport

Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends.
Don’t you see how happy they’ve made you?
by Homer Davenport
Plate XLIII from The Dollar or the Man, the Issue of To Day, 1900
Originally published in the New York Journal newspaper
7 1/2 "w x 10 1/4 "h

In the cartoon above, Davenport shows Republican operative Mark Hanna as the protector of the trusts. He pontificates on their altruistic benevolence as one of the trusts crouches in hiding, club in hand..

Detail of Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They're your only true friends. Don't you see how happy they've made you? by Homer Davenport

Detail of
Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends.
Don’t you see how happy they’ve made you?
by Homer Davenport

The screen is decorated with a cornucopia, a traditional symbol of prosperity, but in place of the customary fruit, flowers and grain, coins spill out. In folklore, the cornucopia was filled with whatever the owner desired. In this cartoon, it is placed on a device of concealment shared by Hanna and the Trust.

Detail of Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They're your only true friends. Don't you see how happy they've made you? by Homer Davenport

Detail of
Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends.
Don’t you see how happy they’ve made you?
by Homer Davenport

The overweight Hanna addresses an emaciated crowd with threadbare clothes as a vision of death hovers above them.

Click here for the previous post in this series  |  Click here to read the next post in this series


David Donihue, GreatCaricatures.com

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2 Responses to “The Dollar or the Man # 3: Ladies and gentlemen: Stick to the trusts. They’re your only true friends …”

  1. Super I.T.C.H » Blog Archive » The Dollar or the Man # 2: The Threat Before the Fight. The Forces of the Opposition Says:

    [...] here for the previous post in this series  |  Click here to read the next post in this series — David Donihue, [...]

  2. Super I.T.C.H » Blog Archive » The Dollar or the Man # 4: Mark, Wouldn’t it be Great for the Standard Oil Dinner Bell ! Says:

    [...] Click here to read the previous post in this series — David Donihue, GreatCaricatures.com [...]

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