HarpWeek Home | About HarpWeek | Contact | Discussion

1700's | 1800-1809 | 1810-1819 | 1820-1829 | 1830-1835 | 1836-1839 | 1840-1843 | 1844-1845 | 1846-1849 | 1850-1855
1856-1859 | 1860 | 1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865 | 1866-1870 | 1871-1876
<See a full text list of these Prints>

Current Print >> 28 of 60:  1844

<Back | Political Prints Home | Next>


Patent Democratic Republican STEAM SHAVING SHOP.

Click for image enlargement
A cryptic satire possibly dealing with some facet of the 1844 presidential campaign. The print features two unsuccessful aspirants for the Democratic presidential nomination: Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson.

In an interior a bearded man wearing a plaid vest attends a steam boiler (left), watching as several others are lathered and shaved by various steam-powered apparatuses. Around a large bowl of shaving lather sit (left to right) Van Buren, an unidentified young man, New York "Herald" editor James Gordon Bennett, and Richard M. Johnson. Over Johnson's head is a plaque advertising "Patent Tetragmenon formosum for turning grey hair black . . . ," perhaps a swipe at the ages of the veteran candidates (Johnson was sixty-three, Van Buren sixty-two). Another plaque, at left, reads "Rowlands Essence of Steam. For Promoting the Growth of Whiskers. Sold here."

In the foreground sit a gentleman and a seaman, both being shaved by machines that they operate by foot pedals. The mariner's hat hangs from a peg on the wall above his head. On the floor near the gentleman are his hat and cane, and a muzzled dog.

The cartoon has resisted interpretation. Murrell and Weitenkampf both suggest a date in the 1830s, but Davison's tentative 1844 is more convincing in terms of subject and on stylistic grounds.

Click for image enlargement


1700's | 1800-1809 | 1810-1819 | 1820-1829 | 1830-1835 | 1836-1839 | 1840-1843 | 1844-1845 | 1846-1849 | 1850-1855
1856-1859 | 1860 | 1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865 | 1866-1870 | 1871-1876
<See a full text list of these Prints>

Current Print >> 28 of 60:  1844

<Back | Political Prints Home | Next>


Website design 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com