: This image is a black-and-white reproduction of "The Crown Prince," a political cartoon that graced the cover of "Puck" magazine (v. 60, no. 1535, August 1, 1906). The original illustration, in vibrant color, shows President Theodore Roosevelt (1831-1878) garbed in royal robes and holding on his left shoulder a chubby, pint-sized William Howard Taft (1857-1930) of Ohio, his political "heir apparent." Taft wears a tiny crown and a medallion emblazoned with his last name. According to the Library of Congress, the “throng in the background includes Charles W. Fairbanks, Leslie M. Shaw, Thomas C. Platt, and Joseph G. Cannon.”
The artist, Udo J. Keppler (1872-1956), was the son of Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (1838-1894), an Austrian-born cartoonist who emigrated to the United States in 1867. The elder Keppler and a partner, Adolph Schwarzmann, founded “Puck Magazine” in 1871 as a German-language weekly published in St. Louis, Missouri. The magazine soon failed, but in 1876 Keppler and Schwarzmann resurrected “Puck” in New York City as a German-language weekly. A year later they began publishing an English-language edition, whose circulation slowly increased until it reached 80,000 copies per week by the 1880s.
Udo Keppler, also a talented cartoonist, joined the staff of “Puck” in 1891, three years before his father died. In honor of his father, the son changed his name to Joseph Keppler, Jr.
The biting caricatures in “Puck” skewered many politicians, institutions, and social movements. Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, James Blaine, Joseph Pulitzer, Pope Leo XIII and the Catholic Church, Tammany Hall, and woman suffrage were just a few of its targets.
Udo Keppler became interested in Native American causes and remained an activist until his death. In 1899 the Seneca tribe made him an honorary chief.
William Randolph Heart purchased “Puck” in 1917, but his efforts to increase circulation failed. It ceased publication in 1918.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL05830 Subjects
: Cartoons (Commentary)--1900-1910; Political cartoons; Periodical illustration; Cartoonists; Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956; Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930; Magazine covers; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1831-1878; Ohio History--Presidents and Politics Places
: William Howard Taft