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Warren Fahey

Australian Concertina Cartoons

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Here's three Australian concertina images from my files.

 

I particularly like the concertina player with the 'agitator' sash - circa 1890s

the sailor cartoon was part of a series - published Queensland circa 1935 - cute.

 

I have quite a few more.....

 

have fun.

 

Warren

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Warren,

 

Any information about the "agitator?" I get the feeling that this is not a generic figure but someone specific.

 

Mike

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Excellent stuff warren, and I think the agitator might be a cartoon of someone specific too

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here is the full 'agitator' cartoon from the 1890s.

 

as you can see - the concertina player is accompanying the real troublemaker - the unionist!

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Very interesting. The concertina player appears seated on a cotton bale, and are those dock yard cranes in the background? Do these have a bearing on the context to the cartoon? Perhaps a view of the wealth of Australia going back to the mother land, or perhaps sa more complex or specific labour dispute...

 

All the cartoons seem to target anglo players by association - drawn by EC/duet cartoonists with an unkind streak (surely not)?!

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Having seen that I don't think it is a caricature of a specific person, just a clever cartoon. Isn't the cartoonist saying that the agitator is the real villain? The working man has allowed himself to be shackled by the agitator's ideas while behind him, much better dressed, well nourished, seated in comfort and smiling is the very chap, watching his creation with satisfaction. He plays the tune the union man dances to.

 

Are you supposed to think of the organ grinder and his monkey too, I wonder?

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Yes I agree with Dirge.

The laborer is shackled to unionism and the antagonist could either be the unionist or the spokesman of industry. The q1890s in Australia were very turbulent especially in the wool, rail and coal industries. Major strikes and, of course, this was the time various socialist thoughts and organisations were emerging - some of them considered manipulative.

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It appears to be a Right Wing ('reactionary') comment that the duped worker is shackled and having the tune called by the professional agitator of the left . Maybe a 'Wobbly' or a Communist. Ironically agitators originated in the regiments of the rRoundhead Parliamentarians of the English Civil War a bit like Political Commisars in later peoples' armies

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