True Stuff: Voting cartoons from 1911

In my new irregular series “True Stuff from Old Books”, I present unaltered excerpts from some of the books I’ve collected to use as Wondermark source material. In particular, I thought the cartoons below were apropos to the election season.

All three are from the 1911 collection Caricature: The Wit and Humor of a Nation in Picture, Song and Story, an anthology of sorts that’s a really wonderful peek into the psyche of the nation nearly a hundred years ago.

Click the images to enlarge!

STRANGER — “Is this an intelligent community?”
NATIVE — “Wa-al, lawyers say so when addressin’ a jury, an’ politicians when drummin’ up votes ; but I calc’late they are mostly lyin’ fer to win their p’int.”

Lady — “I give it up. I cannot fix on which of those two hats I like the better.”
Attendant — “Ah, then how is madam ever going to vote?”

(The above takes on an especially rueful tone when you consider it was written at the height of the suffragette movement, and the [male] cartoonist was probably not sympathetic to that movement’s aims. Likewise, see below.)

“Ha, ha, ha! What do you think of the old suffragette trying to crow!”

17 thoughts on “True Stuff: Voting cartoons from 1911”

  1. James, really? Women who want to vote want to be men? Is that what you think? Dude, it’s 2008, not 1908. Get a clue.

    It’s not funny and it’s not true.

  2. Well maybe you should check your humor gauge.

    Look, it’s not ironic. It’s not removed enough to to funny. Just a few years ago people were actually saying these things, and whether you’re aware of it or not people still are. So what may seem funny and even passe to you is something that real women are living with every day.

    It’s good that these pictures are being posted; it reminds us of how far we’ve come and we get to laugh and get a little sigh of relief that things are better. But we can’t get any more comfortable than that because things like this still happen.

  3. The first one is just too funny for words – or would be if it were not so true, still. Nothing much has changed. As for the second one, I’m wondering if it’s a jab at women or at society airheads. After all, it’s the female attendant who makes the comment about deciding who to vote for. Let’s face it, we still have plenty of airheads around (and they aren’t all female either…)

  4. Oh man, I thought the second one was hilarious until I realized it was terrible and sexist, which never would have occured to me without the parenthetical explanation below it. Amazing what a century of changing context can do.

  5. The second one, removed from the context of women’s suffrage, is an interesting comment on political campaigns and candidates (all style, no substance), and that’s how I originally took it before reading the parenthetical.

    I love seeing these old bits of media, things that show us how much things have changed and how much they’ve stayed the same.

    I’ve got a collection of old “banned” cartoons, full of political propaganda and racist messages. It almost takes your breath away the way these things fully and unapologetically ridicule and demonize a group of people just for being different.

  6. Requesting with fervor and curiosity a link to more such ye old timely comicks, whilst resisting impulse to comment that men are scum.
    I realize of course that as many as a dozen members of the unfairer sex in this world may indeed be tollerably unscumful.

    (lol j/k)

  7. Women are scum.

    ho ho ho wengrow. Maybe 12 women are not scummy. Ha ha ha.
    You’re aboput as witty as Andrew dice clay.

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