As we’ve worked to select approximately 500 political cartoons as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Historic Images, New Technologies project, we’ve come across several clever cartoons by Joseph Keppler. Keppler (1838-1894) was a cartoonist and publisher for the humor magazine Puck.
In “Let us have Peace, Now a President's Elected," Keppler created a puzzle by hiding the faces of approximately twelve politicians in the lake, rocks, hills and trees. Can you spot the outline of President James A. Garfield’s face in the rocks of the large hill, or the upside down image of Ulysses S. Grant near the trunk of the tree behind Lady Democrat?
Let us have Peace, Now a President's Elected, 1880, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures
Keppler satirizes greed, corruption, and bribery in “The Deadly Upas Tree of Wall Street." Bribes for Congress, editors, and the lawyers hang from the branches of the large tree. At the trunk of the large tree lie the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant, Whitelaw Reed, and several stockholders. Look closely at the space created by the two limbs of the tree. Can you see the image of Jay Gould?
The Deadly Upas Tree of Wall Street, 1882, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures
During the 1884 Presidential nominating conventions, both Republicans and Democrats had a long list of candidates from which to select their nominees. In “An Unpleasant Ride through the Presidential Haunted Forest” Keppler hid the faces of a number of candidates including Chester Arthur and James Blaine. We found twenty-one faces hidden in the landscape. How many faces can you spot?
An Unpleasant Ride through the Presidential Haunted Forest, 1884, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures
As you can see, there’s more to Keppler’s cartoons than meets the eye! As we continue researching the 500 political cartoons, we hope to identify more of Keppler's hidden faces.