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Tommy Edison Builds Secretary Knox a Robot (1909)

The only thing I might love more than robots of the 1920s and 30s are robots from before the word "robot" was coined in 1922.

Now, I won't pretend to understand what's going on in this illustration. Like most editorial cartoons that I stumble upon while searching newspaper archives, I have no idea what's happening here with Secretary Knox and his mechanical, moustachioed man of political obfuscation. Though, on its surface, we might call this "same as it ever was."

Source: October 22, 1909 San Antonio Light and Gazette (San Antonio, TX)


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Reader Comments (4)

It's not strictly germane to your raison d'etre here, but in case you were curious, the reference is to President Taft's nomination of Philander Knox to be Secretary of State in 1909. The Taft administration was rather surprised to find that Knox was likely to be Constitutionally ineligible for the position, and the cartoon is almost certainly a reference to the legislative maneuvering needed to confirm his nomination to the cabinet. Wikipedia has a decent write-up on Knox and the Congressional games back then:

Philander C. Knox

The "Saxbe Fix"

Like you said, same as it ever was :)

April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSenator B

The Saxbe fix actually came up in the news recently, when President Obama appointed Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt McIrvin

Great little illustration!

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

What? Corrupt politicians inthe good old days? Never!

They were supposed to be all gone by The Year 2000.

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHiyram

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