07

August

2010

1

Sea Serpent Day Redux

by Smithsonian Digital Library

Last year the Libraries featured Konrad Gesner from its rare book collections at the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History for Sea Serpent Day. So what to feature this year?

Libraries collections feature a plethora of fabulous snake images, but none that truly qualify as a friend of Nessie.

The closest I could come to a dragon was this wonderful botanical image, The Dragon Arum, from New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Linnaeus . . ., 1807, by Robert John Thornton.

After some browsing on Galaxy of Images I finally tried searching for "monsters" and found what I was looking for: "In the Clutches of the Monster," by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, A Selection of Cartoons from Puck by Joseph Keppler, 1893.

Published in "Puck" May 28, 1890. The Louisiana lottery was among the most corrupt public lotteries in the United States, drawing much criticism and prosecution. This cartoon appeared at a time when Louisiana was attempting to recover from this disgrace, an attempt that was only partially successful. While the original agent of the lottery was dead, his successors' advertisements could still be found in print promoting the scheme for everyone to read, with the exception of the United States District Attorney.

Joseph Ferdinand Keppler A Selection of Cartoons from Puck by Joseph Keppler, 1893

Next year, maybe Jules Verne?

Happy Sea Monster Day!

Elizabeth Periale

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