“Datenkrake: A German term to describe companies or institutions that gather or rather rake in massive amounts of private data, like an octopus (Krake) with its many arms. " (via Cornelius Bartke, Sept 2007) I just thought this was kind of cool.

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Standard Oil

One of the earliest references to the Standard Oil as an “octopus” was in an article that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, in March 1881. ‘The Story of A Great Monopoly‘: “So closely had the Standard octopus gripped itself about Mr. Vanderbilt [railroads] that even at the outside rates its competitors could not get transportation […]

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1880 which criticising ‘the pollution of New York’s air by the Standard Oil plant in the Bronx. The company is depicted as “A HORRIBLE MONSTER, WHOSE TENTACLES SPREAD POVERTY, DISEASE AND DEATH”.’ and was published July 19th, 1880. Image source: Kovarik, W. ”Industrial Revolution: 1810 – 1890″ Environmental History Timeline

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In 1904 Puck published an iconic cartoon “Next!”. It shows an oil tank/octopus hybrid with the name “Standard Oil” on the Tank. The octopus has arms “wrapped around the steel, copper, and shipping industries, as well as a state house, the U.S. Capitol, and one tentacle reaching for the White House.” Keppler, Udo J. (1904), […]

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In 1910 the Standard Oil Company published a pamphlet with a design that suggested an octopus: Standard Oil Company, Roycroft Cover (1910) The following is from Jackson, P., ‘Dard Hunter Stylized Octopus‘ (Accessed: 1st June 2009). In 1910, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company was battling efforts by the government to break up the huge […]

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The following post aims to show links between Victor Hugo’s The Toilers of the Sea and some of the earlier octopus political cartoons from the books publication in 1866 to 1910 when obvious references to Hugo’s pieuvre disappeared. Page numbers and quotes come from the following edition (English translation): Hugo, Victor. The Toilers of the Sea. […]

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“Locataires ne vous laissez plus etouffer. Oui a la loi contre la speculation fonciere.” A 2000 poster urging tenants “to vote for a law against property speculation.” From an article on the use (and abuse) of animals in political poster campaigns (“Exploiting the animals we love to hate“, 6th Feb 2009, swissinfo.ch). Related to late 1800s/early […]

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Who you gonna call?

Just wanted to point you in the direction of this blog post by Rob MacDougall (Old is the New New).   Norris, Lovecraft, Ghostbusters, the Book of Enoch, Octopuses and Bldgblog. “But The Octopus, and the whole Gilded Age octopus thing, predate Lovecraft by a few decades. Maybe the influence went the other way. Could Lovecraft’s octopoid monstrosities be […]

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Jason // Made on July 6, 2009 at old VA website. Hi Michelle, I recently found your blog (thanks to Jason over at Cephalopodcast), and I wanted to say hi to another cephalopod blogger! I also have an Octopop submission. I don’t know if you’ve every seen the Adam West Batman movie (Called “Batman: the […]

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Vampire Octopus Returns

Brief post. Another (contemporary) reference to blood sucking octopuses (or in this case the inverse of “multitentacled vampire“): Political parties appeared and disappeared like the thick grounds at the bottom of Turkish coffee cups. Gipsies read fortunes and played addictive violin music that made one lascivious and light-headed. All this frivolity rested like a multitentacled […]

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