Icon Feb 13, 2010

The Puzzled Citizen (Bradley, 1909)

“Before the Trojan horse is admitted the puzzled citizen will have to be shown a little more fully” by Luther Daniels Bradley, along with “Hunting the Octopus”, is a personal favourite. It is a play on the Trojan Horse, obviously, with the octopus contorting itself into the shape of a horse. Published in the Chicago Daily News, 3 February 1909.

The cartoon relates to the State of Missouri suing Standard Oil for operating as a monopoly in violation of state laws1 in 1905. This cartoon appeared in 1909, after Standard Oil proposed that the State of Missouri form a partnership with them to administers its subsidiaries in Missouri2.


  1. More information on Standard Oil and Antitrust
  2. “the image of the OCTOPUS: six cartoons, 1882-1909″, http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/gilded/power/text1/octopusimages.pdf (Accessed: 19th Jan 2009).