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12/28/1913 by Frederick T. Richards (1864-1921)

Drawn at the end of 1913, this cartoon presents a number of developments that the cartoonist hoped the new year would bring.

The top-left and right cartoons reference the Federal Reserve Act (also known as the Glass-Owen Currency Act) that was enacted on December 23, 1913 and called for the creation of a central banking system in the United States. The new system created a number of private regional Federal Reserve banks and a publicly appointed Federal Reserve Board to oversee them. [1] Critics of the legislation voiced concern over the power the new system put into the hands of private banking interests. The cartoonist also calls attention to the fact that Philadelphia was not initially chosen to be a home of a regional Federal Reserve bank, though through lobbying efforts the Third District Federal Reserve Bank would eventually be located there.

The bottom-left image refers to the widespread dislike of the piggeries that were located in the southern sections of Philadelphia. The Municipal Journal of 1913 described legal actions taking place to ensure their removal and argued that their presence "retarded the growth of the southern section of the city and are now obstructing gigantic plans for development of the Philadelphia shipyard."[2]

The bottom-center image references the widely acknowledged corruption that existed within Philadelphia's government, especially regarding the administering of city contracts. The cartoonist expresses here a wish that all parties would pledge to end the unethical administration of the city.[3]

Finally, the bottom-right image refers to the status of the Philadelphia Navy Yard on League Island. It was not considered a first-class naval base at the time and contained no ship-building facilities. The cartoonist hoped the newly appointed Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) would reconsider the significance of the base and allocate additional funds for its development. [4]

Sources:

[1] Federal Reserve Board. (2003). The Structure of the Federal Reserve System. Retrieved from:<http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/frseries/frseri.htm >

[2] "War Against Philadelphia's Piggeries." (1913). Municipal Journal Vol. XXXV. New York, NY: Municipal Journal & Engineer. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=TJwfAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA474&ots=q5hSBZeYCS&dq=south%20philadelphia%20and%20piggeries&pg=PA474#v=onepage&q=south%20philadelphia%20and%20piggeries&f=false

[3] Disbrow, D. W. (1960). Reform in Philadelphia under Mayor Blankenburg, 1912-1916. Pennsylvania History, 27(4), 379-396.

[4] Dorwart, J., & Wolf, J. (2001). The Philadelphia Navy Yard: From the Birth of the U.S. Navy to the Nuclear Age. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania. (pg. 118-120).

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