John T. McCutcheon Cartoons

Dates: 1901-1940s
Size: 3 linear feet in 2 boxes, includes 79 cartoons
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe-c00033
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Mrs. John T. McCutcheon donated 65 of the cartoons prior to 1974. An additional 14 cartoons were simultaneously accessioned, but no additional information was recorded. It is unknown if these were already part of the library’s collections.
Conditions Governing Access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Preferred Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: John T. McCutcheon Cartoons, [Accession #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Finding Aid Author: Michelle McCoy, March 2016. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021.


John T. McCutcheon worked as a political and satirical cartoonist on the staff of several Chicago newspapers between 1889 and 1946. He spent the bulk of his career at the Chicago Tribune where his cartoons offered commentary on a range of topics spanning economics, politics, social change and international affairs. The majority of the cartoons in this collection come from his time at the Tribune.


John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949) worked as a political and satirical cartoonist on the staff of several Chicago newspapers. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1889 from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, McCutcheon took his first job at the Chicago Record, later named the Chicago Record-Herald. The bulk of his career, however, was spent at the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to 1946. His cartoons offered commentary on a range of topics spanning economics, politics, social change and international affairs. Although McCutcheon is best known for his illustration work, he also served as a Chicago Tribune correspondent for the Spanish American War, the Philippine insurrection, the South African (Boer) War and World War I, from both the German and Allied fronts. Additionally, he collaborated as an illustrator with his longtime friend from Indiana and Purdue University, the humorist George Ade, on several publications including the popular “fables” books. In 1931, McCutcheon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the cartoon “A Wise Economist Asks a Question.”

McCutcheon married Evelyn Shaw in 1917. After his death in 1949, Mrs. McCutcheon distributed his original drawings to several institutions in the Midwest, and also helped to publish his autobiography, Drawn from Memory. In addition to the publications authored by McCutcheon, there are several titles that he illustrated. A selection of these may be found by searching the library’s catalog.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 79 original pen and ink cartoons on illustration board dating from 1901 through the early 1940s. The bulk of these were created during his time with the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to 1946. The subjects of the cartoons range from local to international events and issues regarding culture, economics and politics. Both World Wars and the Great Depression make up the bulk of the illustrations in this collection, but automobiles, family relations, journalism, recreational activities and women’s suffrage are other recurring topics.


The cartoons are listed chronologically with undated cartoons alphabetized by title at the end.

Subject Headings

  • American Wit and Humor, Pictorial—History--20th Century--Sources
  • Caricatures and Cartoons--History--20th Century--Sources
  • Depressions--1929 -- Caricatures and Cartoons
  • McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney), 1870-1949
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Caricatures and Cartoons
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Caricatures and Cartoons

Collection Inventory

Box 2 74.172 Doggone It, I Can’t Find No Italic Quad, 1901
Box 1 74.118 Some Interviews on Judge Saudis’ [Judge Augustus O. Stanley?] Decision, [Theodore Roosevelt’s testimony before the Stanley Committee on antitrust decisions], 1911 August 5
Box 2 74.154 Do We Get Home Rule, 1913 January 13
Box 2 74.155 Polly’s Goat (includes handwritten “lesson” with poem), 1913 May 31
Box 2 74.162 King George May Visit the U.S. Next Year. Of Course, Uncle Sam Will Show Him All the Objects of Interest, 1913 August 23
Box 2 74.168 The Colonel’s Mistake, 1913 September
Box 2 74.174 If Mediation Fails. The Importance of Showing the Mexican Warring Factions that They’re Whipped Before the Fighting Begins, 1914 May 12
Box 2 74.164 The Trouble Breeders [Uncle Sam and John Bull], 1915 July 3
Box 2 74.173 How the Japanese War Scare is Affecting Folks, circa 1915
Box 1 74.115 The San Francisco Exposition is Open, 1915
Box 2 74.166 Somewhere in France, 1917 July
Box 1 74.108 Drawing for the New Army Will Be Made Next Week. Only Picked Men Will Be Drawn, 1917 July
Box 2 74.175 The Oldest Empire and the Newest Republic [China, Soviet Union], 1917 July
Box 1 74.126 The Stricken Comrade, 1917 December
Box 1 74.106 When Doctors Disagree, 1917 December
Box 1 74.130 Cartoons of the Day: 1. Mustered Out—Out of a Job; 2. What Did Roosevelt Say to Taft? “Dee-lighted?” Or Your Face Is Familiar? Or I Didn’t Catch Your Name? 3. The Encircling Moment, Will MacKensen Catch the Romanians or Will the Romanians Catch MacKensen? 1917
Box 1 74.104 Feed the Fighters First, 1918 January 31
Box 1 74.107 As the Tide of Battle Turns Against Him, 1918 July 25
Box 1 74.129 His Hour of Great Decisions, 1919 July 11
Box 2 74.149 Have You a Backbone? If So, Register Today, circa 1919
Box 1 74.117 If They Really Want Peace, They Know the Necessary Steps to Take, circa 1919
Box 1 74.111 A Bumper Corn Crop Doesn’t Seem To Be an Unmixed Blessing, 1925
Box 2 74.145 [The World] She’s Delighted, 1925
Box 1 74.113 High Time for Some Springfield House Cleaning, 1926
Box 2 74.153 It Is Rumored That the Citizens of St. Louis Are Much Interested in the Present Baseball Series, 1926
Box 2 74.152 See Tomorrow’s Paper, 1926
Box 2 74.148 The Season’s Football Excursions, 1926
Box 2 74.151 The Thirteenth Juror, 1926
Box 2 74.161 Cartoons of the Day: 1. In a Non-stop Race the Plane Can Beat Anything but the Steamship; 2. When Woman’s Suffrage is Extended in England; 3. A Thrilling Daily Serial Six Weeks Long, 1927
Box 1 74.116 In the Fight Tomorrow, We Predict Daylight Savings Time Will Be Knocked Out for the Count of Six Months, 1927
Box 2 74.146 When the American Legion Revisits France, 1927
Box 1 74.131 Cartoons of the Day: 1. A King High Straight; 2. The Kid Seems To Be Coming Back; 3. A Precarious Position, 1928
Box 1 74.132 The Inquiring Reporter, 1928
Box 1 74.109 Mr. Hoover Answers the Description, 1928
Box 1 74.110 The Voice of the Tempter, 1928
Box 2 74.163 The Haunted House, 1929 May
Box 1 74.122 All for the Love of a Lady, 1929
Box 1 74.123 Prepare to Meet the Smaller and Shorter Dollar, 1929
Box 1 74.124 Public Grafters, 1929
Box 1 74.133 Another Professional German Who Should Have his Shooting License Cancelled, 1930
Box 1 74.136 The Judge, the Jury, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court Are Now in Conference with Themselves, 1930
Box 1 74.120 An Action that Will Do a Lot Toward Restoring Business Confidence, 1931
Box 1 74.114 Beware of the World’s Greatest Man!, 1931
Box 1 74.127 Conferring with the Enemy, 1931
Box 2 74.142 Getting Out the Hoarded Dollars, 1931
Box 1 74.119 The Flyers Will get the World’s Spotlight When They Land in [sic] Home, 1931
Box 2 74.177 A New Boss on the Job, 1931
Box 1 74.103 We Hope Business Comes Through and Lands on His Feet, 1931
Box 1 74.134 Cartoons of the Day: 1. Where It’s Hard to Know Where to Place Your Sympathies; 2. The Tragedy of Low Production and High Prices; 3. When the Feurher [sic] Gets Some Consolation by Looking at a Picture of Max Schmeling, 1936
Box 2 74.171 Cartoons of the Day: 1. Japan is Treacherously Attacked When Caught in a Neighbor’s House Trying in a Most Friendly Manner to Kidnap the Neighbor’s Little Son, Hopei [China]; 2. The Last Chance for America [Earhart]; 3. Soviet Russia Goes over the Top in the Pole Vaulting Championship, 1937
Box 2 74.178 Flood, Strike and Gold Control [auto strike], 1937
Box 1 74.135 If We Want to Keep Out of the Next European War, We’ll Have to Muzzle Our Ambassadors, 1937
Box 1 74.128 More Worlds to Conquer, 1938
Box 2 74.170 Thoughts While Getting Back to a Steady Routine After the Holidays, 1938
Box 1 74.102 Congress Should Establish, Once and For All, a “Washington Doctrine” to March Shoulder to Shoulder with the Monroe Doctrine, 1939
Box 2 74.169 The Shock-proof Public: 1. If This Extra Had Appeared Ten Years Ago, the Excitement Would Have Been Terrific; 2. But the Same News Today Causes Hardly a Ripple of Excitement [Germany invades Silesia (Poland)], 1939
Box 2 74.143 A -----maker [illegible] New York Wedding, undated
Box 2 74.165 Bringing the Children Back to School, undated
Box 1 74.125 Congress Is Taking a Vacation to See How Folks Back Home Like the Way He’s Doing the Job, undated
Box 2 74.179 Cupid, “My Goodness, it’s a Good Thing I Got the Hoch [Johann Otto Hoch] Case Off My Desk Before the Valentine’s Day Rush,” undated
Box 2 74.147 The Human Sacrifice, undated
Box 2 74.167 The Man Who Never Did Know and Could Not Understand [Sir Philip], undated
Box 1 74.101 The Open Door Referendum, undated
Box 1 74.112 Preparing for the Horse Show, undated
Box 2 74.176 The Problem is Justice [driving], undated
Box 2 74.141 [Report of speech], undated
Box 2 74.144 A Sociological Discussion, undated
Box 1 74.121 Some Arguments in Favor of Fire Prevention, undated
Box 2 74.160 Sunday on the Overcrowded Motor Highways, undated
Box 2 74.150 They Are Establishing a Hospital Exclusively for the Rich, undated
Box 1 74.105 [To the links], undated
Box 2 74.159 Untitled [banking], undated
Box 1 74.137 Untitled [domestic scene], undated
Box 1 74.139 Untitled [domestic scene], undated
Box 1 74.140 Untitled [domestic scene], undated
Box 2 74.156 Untitled [Kaiser Wilhelm II with 2 wooden legs], undated
Box 1 74.138 Untitled [possibly Kaiser Wilhelm II], undated
Box 2 74.158 Untitled [spending and tariffs], undated
Box 2 74.157 Untitled [U.S. Steel preferred stock bandwagon], undated
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