This sketch, called “The Train,” by Heinrich Kley was probably etched in about 1910 to judge by the auto, by the fashionable attire of the alligator, or by the era in which Kley was publishing his more curious work. The sketch was sent to me by a reader, SkitzoidLloyd, in reply to a post in which I related my travails in locating a copy of it. Thank you, Lloyd.
By the way, I had originally summoned up a set of Kley sketches related to transit issues as they were perceived in the early part of the last century. Rob Steuteville, editor of CNU’s Public Square blog, has begun a series featuring illustrations pertaining to transit and pedestrian issues. His recent “Got a Minute?” of Apple’s Cupertino campus superimposed on Manhattan suggests that Kley wasn’t quite what he had in mind for that series. But it is quite what I have in mind, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Check out the expression on the alligator’s face as she realizes that her “train” – the lagging indicator of ladies’ dresses back then – has been cut off by one of those newfangled locomotive devices. Did she get the license number? (“466”)
Kley spent his earlier career doing professional sketches of industrial buildings for clients, eventually started drawing cities – mainly of his native Germany – and then graduated to drawing social commentary of the most ascerbic kind. I am waiting for a couple of volumes of Kley’s work to arrive from Joseph V. Procopio’s online lost-art-0f books.
Here is Rob’s latest “Got a Minute?” illustration, designed to highlight the absurdity of Apple’s claim that its campus is “green” in the sense of sustainability.