For reasons known only to my legions of Facebook friends, today's post is devoted to the cartoons your great-grandfather might have read when he opened the newspaper 100 years ago tomorrow.
|"All in Readiness for the Home-coming" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, August 1, 1921|
|"The Handwriting on the Wall" by Rollin Kirby in New York Evening World, August 1, 1921|
I have a couple examples here of complaints against profiteering landlords. Leo Bushnell's, and some of the other cartoons here today, appeared by syndication to the newspapers where I found them, and thus may have originally appeared in their home newspapers in July.
|"Mr. Prof. I. Teer and Family Have Closed Their Town House..." by Leo Bushnell for Central Press Assn., ca. August 1, 1921|
|"Revising Our Tax Schedule" by J.N. "Ding" Darling in New York Tribune, August 1, 1925|
Leaping to the defense of the rich, we have Jay "Ding" Darling. For a whole month, his cartoons in Collier's had been crusading against the Excess Profits Tax. The Excess Profits tax had been created to help pay for the Great War; so now that the world was safe for democracy, Ding's reasoning was that the tax had become an unnecessary burden.
|"Snoozing Won't Ripen This Crop" by Winsor McCay for Star Company, ca. August 1, 1921|
|"The Relief of Disabled Veterans" by John McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, ca. August 1, 1921|
For one thing, there was the matter of how the nation should repay its debt to disabled servicemembers who had done their part to ensure democracy's safety. In June, the House passed the Sweet Bill — named for Rep. Thaddeus Sweet (R-NY) and not to be confused with the Sugary Drinks Tax Act of 1921, also known (I kid you not) as the SWEET Act — mentioned in John McCutcheon's above cartoon. The Sweet Bill created a veterans insurance bureau out of discrete agencies already in existence, to handle veterans' claims for compensation.
Since McCutcheon's cut lines are difficult to read, here they are: "The
noble performance of Congressman Flapdoodle during the war. / The
performance of Congressman Flapdoodle nearly three years after the war." Flapdoodle's soaring patriotic wartime oratory is succeeded by a decision to procrastinate "till the weather is cooler."
The Senate must not have yet passed the Sweet Bill when McCutcheon drew this cartoon; I guess he didn't have a Senator character who would have been a more appropriate replacement for his Congressman Flapdoodle.
President Harding signed the bill into law in August.
|"Here's Your Summons..." by C. Boughton in Life magazine, August 4, 1921|
I had almost used this Life cartoon last month in my post about men's summer fashions, but I've let it wait until today instead. I've never seen Father Time drawn with only his beard to maintain his modesty —often it's hard to distinguish him from Diogenes or Mr. Death — but apparently the summer of 1921 was too hot for the wearing of a black robe.
|"Man the Master" by Alfred G. "Zere" Ablitzere in New York Post, August 1, 1921|
|"And Right There Is Where I Made My Big Mistake" by Harold Webster in New York Herald, August 1, 1921|
|"How to Hold a Husband" by T.E. Powers for Star Company, ca. August 1, 1921|
And where would the comics be without such fellows?