Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist with the "Chicago Tribune" (1903-45). Item #18044
Signed ink drawing, 14¼" X 18½", n.p., n.y. Very good. Slightest bit of edgewear. A cryptic untitled cartoon consisting of five panels: two across the top, one across the middle and two across the bottom. The upper left of the top two panels shows traces of a title underneath, pencilled in McCutcheon's hand but erased for some unknown reason, that reads: "The Invention as applied to the Automobile." This drawing shows a crazy-looking automobile (apparently coal-powered, for it bears two large smokestacks) bearing a fashionable couple zipping along, one of them marveling, "A marvelous invention! It cheers the heart, sweetens the breath and prevents bagging at the knees." To the right of this the next panel depicts a biplane aloft (also apparently coal-powered, showing one large smokestack) cruising above the earth, a voice from within asking, "Hey, down there, is this the right road to Singapore?" From the earth far below appears a voice bubble containing Chinese characters. (A pencilled caption in McCutcheon's hand below this has likewise been erased, a couple words decipherable but not enough to make sense of it.) The large, wide middle panel shows a gargantuan metal ship -- a sailing ship and steamboat appear small as ants in the foreground -- chugging along (also apparently coal-powered, with several humongous smokestacks). The lower left panel depicts a strange propeller-driven rocket of some sort (again apparently coal-powered, showing a smokestack) -- possibly a missile? -- zipping from west to east far above the earth; a pair of tiny figures on North America seem to cheer it along, and its destination in Europe is a tiny city outcropping labeled "Potsd--." Finally at lower right, the last panel shows two tiny figures in what might be a junkyard. In the foreground is a pile labeled "Coal 5 Cents a Ton," but filling the background left to right are three massive oil storage containers marked "Standard Oil Co." with a sign poking out reading "For Sale Cheap to Right Party," next to this a building with smokestacks and a sign reading "Power Plant for Sale," next to this a huge structure and a sign reading "Gas Plant for Sale or Rent Will Subdivide to Suit Tenant" and lastly several enormous metal tubes and a sign reading "Bargains in Old Boilers." Signed simply "McCutcheon" at lower right, as usual. Presumably McCutcheon is commenting on depressed prices of various fuel sources at this time and the continued availability of coal?