Sepia Saturday: For Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving comes to the US on November 25th so I'm departing from the suggested prompt (see below)  to share illustrations of Thanksgiving. Above there's a political cartoon which 

shows Uncle Sam, Columbia, and Puck sitting at a table, ready to enjoy a Thanksgiving turkey dinner in a gallery with paintings on the wall in the background; Uncle Sam is gesturing toward these paintings, which show Irish uprisings and unrest in England, volcanoes in Java, earthquakes in Italy, "Cholera" as the grim reaper in Egypt, French colonialism, anarchy in Spain, German militarism, and Alexander III, Emperor of Russia, standing on the body of a peasant in a painting titled "Russian Reform". On the far right, at a dock labeled "U.S. Navy", a ship in disrepair leans to one side. A bulldog gnaws on a bone labeled "New York" beneath a bench on the left.

Keppler, Joseph Ferdinand, Artist. Thanksgiving / J. Keppler. , 1883. N.Y.: Published by Keppler & Schwarzmann. Photograph.

The Library of Congress explains this "Thanksgiving Toast" as follows:

Puck [is[] standing on a chair at the head of a large dinner table, offering a Thanksgiving toast to those seated around the table, including "England, France, Germany, [Japan?], Russia, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Uncle Sam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Brazil, [and] Mexico". Most of the European countries, as well as Mexico and Brazil, are glaring at their neighbors, with the exception of Russia where Nicholas II attempts to look pious. Turkey appears to be trying to stifle laughter. Uncle Sam seems to be the only one enjoying the toast. Puerto Rico, holding an American flag, and Hawaii are expressionless.

Keppler, Udo J., Artist. A Thanksgiving toast / Keppler. , 1898. N.Y.: Published by Keppler & Schwarzmann. Photograph.

Glackens, L. M. , Artist. Puck Thanksgiving/ L.M. Glackens. , 1903. N.Y.: J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg. Photograph.

I'll let you interpret the one above.

Glackens, L. M. , Artist. Puck Thanksgiving/ L.M. Glackens. , 1907. N.Y.: J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg. Photograph.

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  1. An interesting set of cartoon images for this holiday week. I'm surprised at how happy the children look in the 1903 one with the poor, throttled turkey dangling from the table. My favorite is the last one, which captures an autumnal spirit.

  2. An interesting collection of Thanksgivng postcards. That third one from 1903 is a little gross though with the poor dead turkey hanging there. But then kids back then probably weren't so sheltered from that sort of sight. In fact I never saw a dead bird - turkey or whatever - without it being completely beheaded and plucked until I was married and had to deal with the dead ducks, geese, and pheasant my husband hunted. Ugh - but they were good eatin'. :)

  3. All are so interesting. Those political cartoons had too much for me to ponder today and then the dead turkeys ... so the last one was a delightful comfort. :)

  4. A great mix! Maybe it's just me, but I like seeing a turkey as political metaphor. The second one, though, is peculiar, as it looks a little under-cooked. I also like the border around the TR cover. The pilgrim hunter reminds me of an Elmer Fudd cartoon.

  5. My eyes weren't good enough to read the captions on the Puck graphics. Your descriptions enhanced to viewing experience.


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