Cartoons with Phonograph Connections
Dennis the Menace
Bob Thaves, 2002
"Mary had a little
lamb..." were the first words reported spoken by Edison into
his tinfoil phonograph on December 6, 1877 at Menlo Park, NJ.
April 6, 1878
In 1871, Mary Potts of Ottumwa, Iowa, revolutionized
the industry by patenting an iron with a detachable handle. This newspaper
woodcut is from 1878.
Yellow Kid and His New Phonograph
R. F. Outcault, 1896
The Yellow Kid has been
called America's first popular newspaper-cartoon character. In this
early cartoon, the Yellow Kid's creator, R. F. Outcault, created a
multiple panel cartoon featuring the "New Phonograph."
Mail and Breeze, ca. 1897
- Cartoon by Albert Reid
Courtesy of the Kansas
Historical Society: "In this humorous cartoon, Reid depicts
the cultural icon Santa Claus as he is about to fill a stocking
with gifts. Santa is shocked and alarmed when the newfangled phonograph
blurts out a recording of the child's Christmas wish list."
Frederick Burr Opper, 1900
1900, Frederick Burr Opper created the always-in-trouble Happy Hooligan,
a comic strip character who was known for his tiny tin-can hat. This
cartoon (above) is panel number 1 from the June 21, 1903, a comic
strip entitled, "Happy Hooligan Takes His Little Nephews to the
Photographer," published by William Randolph Hearst newspapers.
Lil Mose - The New York Herald
R. F. Outcault, 1901
In 1908, for
the first time in history, Americans could listen to the recorded
voices of the presidential candidates, Republican William Howard Taft
and Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
In this cartoon, Bryan
reacts in horror to his own statements for "government ownership,"
"initiative and referendum," and "any old ism"; his criticisms of
previous Democratic nominees, President Grover Cleveland and Alton
Parker; and his contradictory comments for and against imperialism.
Bryan bellows to his vice-presidential
running mate, John Kern, who is turning the gramophone, to stop the
infernal racket. Between them the dog of "hard times" wails, while
on the shelf (upper-left) a bust of Andrew Jackson, on a base inscribed
"Thomas Jefferson," casts a distressed glance at the party's current
(Source: Harpweek.com cartoons)
Phonograph Monthly, August 1908
William Jennings Bryan,
in his Presidential bid of 1908 recorded a series of cylinder phonograph
records for the Edison Phonograph Company. In this cartoon, Taft is
seen complaining that he has missed out on this innovative campaigning.
The Edison Phonograph Monthly in September 1908, however, announced
the release of 12 Edison Records by William H. Taft made at Virginia
Hot Springs, after Mr. Taft delivered his speech of acceptance at
Cincinnati. The EPM called this an announcement of great importance,
noting that "no matter how the November election may result we
shall have Records by the next President. This makes new history.
It indicates progress."
Making the Taft Records
The morning papers were
filled with accounts of Taft's 'canned speeches.' Everybody ... was
discussing them as well as the report that Mr. Bryan said the opposition
had stolen his campaign thunder. They all seemed greatly interested
in the part that the Edison is playing in the Presidential campaign.
...both Messrs. Bryan and
Taft gave the Edison first choice for introducing their personal views
into American homes. Was ever such a compliment paid a talking machine?
As reported by The Edison
Phonograph Monthly, September 1908
"Ad" for a Graphophone Company
Artist: Life Magazine,
Why go the
Metropolitan Opera House when you can sleep so much more comfortably
Louis Post-Dispatch, August 20, 1913
This 1913 cartoon is one of six panels from a comic
strip of predictions by Robert Donald, managing editor of the London
Chronicle, about the future of newspapers. It was reprinted by the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1913 and posted in a blog by Stephen
Roth in 2018.
Life Magazine, 1917
Carl Anderson, 1935
tradecard shows Henry spinning upside down on a turntable. Henry
was a popular cartoon character first appearing in the comic strip
by the same name in 1932.
Dean Young & Denis Lebrun, 7-1-2001
Features Syndicate, 6-25-2012
and Hobbes, September 2014
Artist: Stereo Review,
Record - Second Opinion
Artist: Stereo Review,
Used Tape Recorders
Buckets - LPs vs. CDs
Greg Cravens, October
Attraction of Vinyl
Bill Amend, 1998
Goose and Grimm
Mike Peters, 2018
Wayno & Piraro, 2018