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Sunday, 19 January 2014


In the late 17th century the word ‘cartoon’ was applied to any drawing on stout paper or card.

Benjamin Franklin was America's first political cartoonist. His "Join Or Die" was the first American newspaper cartoon. A drawing of a snake divided into eight parts, it was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.  Its intention was to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule,

Britain’s first newspaper cartoon was printed in Bell’s Weekly Messenger on January 8, 1832. It depicted the House of Lords shocked by the Reform Bill’s plan to create 50 new peers.

In 1843, the magazine Punch became the first to apply the word 'cartoon' to humorous drawings.

The first color cartoon in an American newspaper is thought to have been an April 2, 1893, George Turner cartoon in the New York Recorder.
"The Possibilities of the Broadway Cable Car" (1893), one of the first color cartoons in American newspapers

When Pennsylvania legislators pushed a bill banning caricatures of politicians as animals, cartoonist Walt McDougall (1858 – 1938) drew them as a tree, a beer mug, and assorted vegetables.

The teddy bear’s history began when President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt, went on a hunt and refused to shoot an injured black bear. The story became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. The cartoon of the event prompted a sweet shop owner, Morris Michtom, to put a couple of stuffed toys in his window, calling them ‘Teddy’s bears’. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.

The 1902 political cartoon in The Washington Post that spawned the teddy bear name.
The phrase 'Back to the drawing board,' meaning to start again on a new plan after the failure of an earlier one, originated as the caption to a cartoon produced by Peter Arno for the New Yorker magazine on March 1, 1941. It showed various military men and ground crew racing towards a crashed plane, and a designer, with a roll of plans under his arm, walking away saying: "Well, back to the old drawing board."

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