Anniversary Post: Republican Elephant

Republican ElephantOn this day in 1874, Thomas Nast created the first major representation of the Republican Party as a elephant. He is also remembered for popularizing the donkey as the symbol of the Democratic Party. So if you’ve ever wondered about the use of these curious animals as the symbols of our two big political parties, you can blame or credit Nast.

Thomas Nast was a really important political cartoonist of the second half of the 19th century. And his work is really good. This is no doubt thanks to the improved ability of newspapers to render graphics. I’m still amazed that people of that period got anything done. In general, the work was done on blocks of wood. It was then engraved and printed based upon that. And I think PhotoShop is hard.

3 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Republican Elephant

  1. I would say Photoshop is difficult. It requires a great many more steps to remember. But not as hard as trying to engrave something.

  2. “Stop them damn pictures. I don’t care what the papers write about me. My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see the pictures.”

    -Boss Tweed

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