This cartoon depicts a number of Republican members of Pennsylvania's 1905-1906 House of Representatives. They stand around a woman labeled 'Ehrhardt' who sits on the Speaker's chair with a crown on her head. The House members are toasting the woman, though the bottles and glasses in the cartoon have been painted over and removed from the illustration. This cartoon may be referencing the fact that in 1906 a new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg was dedicated and subsequently became the focus of a political graft scandal.
The House of Representatives members represented:
Source: Wilkes University. "Pennsylvania House of Representatives -1905-1906." Retrieved from: [PDF] < http://staffweb.wilkes.edu/harold.cox/legis/116H.pdf >
This cartoon depicts a chaotic scene revolving around the Pennsylvania State Capitol at Harrisburg. Figures representing various political reforms are chasing their counterparts around the capitol building while one figure exclaims "In the name of humanity, let's have harmony!" These characters represent the struggles against election fraud, trusts, and political patronage, as well as the effort to have U.S. senators directly elected by the people. The illustration shows a "Ballot Crook" being chased by the "Honest Ballot Champion," the "Real Utility Commision" chasing after "Coal Trust," and "Progressive Majority" trying to catch the "Boss" of political bossism. Also shown is a creature representing "Popular Senatorial Election" chasing "U.S. Senator.
This cartoon depicts James E. Roderick shaking the “Official Plum Tree” and sending plums to his male relatives below. A classic image of corruption, the shaking of plum trees referred to unethically sharing the spoils of political office. Roderick, the Chief of the Department of Mines in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 1916, is accused in the illustration of engaging in an act of nepotism. He shakes the “Official Plum Tree” to send fruit to his nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
Illustration depicts United States Senator Boies Penrose (1860-1921) smiling and holding an opened letter. The message contained forms an acrostic thats spells STANDARD OIL. The cartoon references an alleged $25,000 bribe given to the Senator to protect the interests of the oil monopoly.
[ TRANSCRIPTION OF LETTER ] Sweet Boies, know that thou art the one / That Holds my most undying love / And our hearts beat in unison. / Now let my cer-ti-fi-cate of / Deposit shine forth as the sign / And symbol of our love and joys; / Remain thou mine and I am thine, / Dear Boies, My own dear faithful Boies, / Oh, that my offering would do, / Indeed, to preserve one so true, / Loyal, useful as thou, my Boies.
This illustration depicts two Pennsylvania State Senators, Charles W. Sones (1859-1944) and William E. Crow (1870-1922), wearing sandwich board signs, ringing bells and clamoring in competition for attention. Sones, a Democrat, and Crow, a Republican, were both up for re-election in 1914 when this cartoon was published and their signs implore the viewer to view their Democratic and Republican State Senate records.
The illustration depicts United States Senator Boies Penrose (1860-1921) dressed as a cook alongside a satirical recipe. The recipe refers to numerous points on which the Pennsylvania senator was accused of corruption. Among other things, the cartoon accuses Penrose of using empty political speak, accepting financial contributions from the organized liquor interests, as well as receiving a bribe from Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company.
This illustration shows the Pennsylvanian Republican Senator David Aiken Reed (1880-1953) riding a "candidacy statement" projectile over a field labeled Pennsylvania politics. Reed was appointed to the United States Senate in August of 1922 to fill a vacancy. On November 7, 1922 he was elected to the position and an additional six-year term.
Quote from the Evening Public Ledger, March 23, 1922, Night Extra Page 13, concerning his candidacy:
"Major David A. Reed, who announced his candidacy for the senatorship, is openly regarded here as the Grundy choice. He has the backing of the Olivers, the Mellons, the United States Steel Company, Bell Telephone interests, Baldwin Locomotive Works and every big banking, manufacturing, transportation and financial interest in Western Pennsylvania and some in the East."
Source: "Reed is Grundy Choice." (1922, March 23). Evening Public Ledger, p. 13. Library of Congress. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Retrieved from: < chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1922-03-23/ed-1/seq-13/ >
The cartoon depicts an ill-fated investigation of Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board. A figure representing the investigation is shown falling head first into a barrel of presumably alcohol, representing the affairs of the Liquor Control Board.
"The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board was created in November 1933, in anticipation of the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Board was directed to set up and operate a system of state-operated stores to be the only outlets for the sale of wine and spirits in their original packages. It was also given authority to license hotels, restaurants and clubs for the sale of wine and liquor by the drink. The Board was also charged with the enforcement of laws and regulations governing the entire traffic of alcoholic beverages throughout the Commonwealth."
 Pennsylvania State Archives: Records of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Retrieved from: < http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/rg32.htm >