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Edgar F. Schilder Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: RT
Date: 1968

Biographical History

Edgar F. "Steve" Schilder (1888-1963) was an American cartoonist who worked for the Syracuse Post-Standard for over 40 years.

Edgar Francis "Steve" Schilder was born in Chillicothe, Ohio on August 31, 1888. A self-taught artist, Schilder completed courses through the Evans Correspondence School of Cartooning in Columbus, Ohio and his early cartoons were done on chalk plates. His first journalism job was with the Chillicothe newspaper, where he worked for several months without pay in order to gain experience. Schilder then held a string of newspaper positions around the United States.

Schilder worked at the Columbus Citizen, the Portsmouth Blade and in Lima, Ohio. Schilder then went to the Denver Post, the St. Joseph Missouri News Press and the Indianapolis Star. During his tenure in Indianapolis, Schilder picked up his pen name "Steve" which was derived from the black cat that appeared in many of his cartoons. Leaving Indianapolis, Schilder spent a year and a half with the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana before taking a job in Baltimore with the International Syndicate.

In 1914 Schilder worked in St. Louis, in 1915 in Atlanta, and in 1916 he worked at the New Orleans Times Picayune until in 1917, Schilder took a job with the Syracuse Post-Standard and became editor of the newspaper's Sunday magazine. As editor, Schilder's decision to publish historic photos in the magazine proved popular with readers and he ran the newspaper’s photography contests. Schilder also worked as the editorial cartoonist. The New York Herald Tribune, New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post also published Schilder's cartoons.

The United States Treasury Department recognized him with an award in 1940 for his war bond cartoons, and his cartoons of prominent World War II figures were exhibited at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts in 1943. The demands of the Post-Standard's Sunday magazine led Schilder to spend less time on cartooning during his final years with the newspaper. Schilder retired from the Post-Standard on July 1, 1962.

Edgar F. Schilder died on August 25, 1963 after falling in his home and suffering a skull fracture.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edgar F. Schilder Papers are divided into six series: original artwork, biographical material, printed material, clippings, proofs and photographs.

Original Artwork (1918-1950) contains original pieces drawn by Schilder and other cartoonists. Schilder's items include primarily both editorial and general interest cartoons.

Schilder’s work reflects the interests of his Syracuse and Central New York readership. His numerous cartoons related to fishing often referenced Oneida Lake. Winter is a prominent topic as well as a backdrop for his cartoons while those depicted go about their daily lives, such as Schilder's recurring character, Might Marty, a balding, bespeckled man who is no more than a head on a stick figure body. Local college sports teams and the Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball team are also mentioned. Many of Schilder's cartoons called for the conservation of natural resources.

Of particular interest are Schilder’s cartoons drawn during World War II. Schilder’s depiction of the war and its effects went beyond the political as he often focused on home front activities and hardships including scrap metal drives, victory gardens and the rationing of food and other materials, while calling for "Patriotism before pleasure" as one title encouraged. Schilder also produced a handful of cartoons that cautioned against being overly optimistic in predictions for a quick victory. He frequently referred to Axis leaders by nicknames including Herr Hitler, Herr Ohito (Hirohito) and the Herrless One (Mussolini).

Schilder's original art is dated only with years (there are also some undated cartoons). Several dated pieces are mounted. Undated work has been arranged in alphabetical order by caption. Items vary in size but the majority are between approximately 11" x 14" and 14" x 16". The cartoons were drawn primarily in ink on illustration board. Some feature light crayon shading.

In addition to editorial and general interest cartoons, there are also 32 original drawings of World War II leaders. These portraits generally measure 8 1/4" x 11 1/4" and several are mounted. Also included are fourteen original Cinder comic strips featuring Schilder's signature black cat, Steve.

There are also 26 original drawings by other artists, many of which were presented as gifts to Schilder. See the inventory for a listing.

Biographical material (1909-1950) contains a few pieces of personal correspondence, articles on Schilder and his work, two photographs of Schilder and a small folder of miscellaneous items.

Printed material (1921-1945) offers examples of Schilder's work as it appeared in various non-newspaper formats particularly trade and industry publications, particulary from Traveler's Insurance. Several folders are related to Syracuse and the upstate New York region including material on the American Legion, Mohawk Carpet Mills, and various other businesses and organizations. Some local material is related to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Schilder was an avid clipper of items from magazines and newspapers. Clippings (1912-1950) is generally comprised of two types of material: material clipped from newspapers and magazines (work not drawn by Schilder) and cartoons (particularly editorial cartoons). Included are Schilder’s editorial cartoons from the Syracuse Post-Standard as well as clippings of cartoons by other cartoonists (such as Carey Orr, Herb Roth, J.N. Ding Darling, H.T. Webster, Warren King, Gasoline Alley and the Gumps). Included is a Ding drawing done exclusively for the Syracuse Post-Standard. Schilder also clipped a plethora of illustrations, advertisements and imagery from publications, ranging from small scraps to full pages about animals, transportation, illustrations of people, and furniture. Many clippings contain spot color and are from New York newspapers. Also of interest in this series is a scrapbook containing clippings, photos and portraits of other cartoonists.

Proofs (1915-1944) includes several proofs of cartoons including editorial cartoons and The Moneybacks comic strip. However, the majority of the proofs are caricatures appearing to be of prominent businessmen. They may be from the work, Club Men of Indianapolis in Caricature or a similar publication. Many of these caricature portraits have the name of other artists.

Photographs contains 27 undated photographs kept by Schilder. They depict animals, children and sports (boxing, horse racing, Gene Tunney). Of particular interest is a photo of the Ku Klux Klan and a movie still from Flaming Frontier.

Arrangement of the Collection

Dated cartoons are arranged chronologically by year. Oversized mounted cartoons are arranged separately. Undated cartoons are arranged alphabetically by letter. Undated cartoons without titles are located at the end of the Schilder section of the original artwork series.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

One printed item pertaining to the Wizard of Oz (with no specific connection to Schilder) has been transferred to the L. Frank Baum Papers.

The following have been sent to Rare Books.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 1901-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Mussolini, Benito, 1883-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Schilder, Edgar F.
Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Post-standard (Syracuse, N.Y.)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Editorial cartoons -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Fishing -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Inflation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Liberty bonds -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nature conservation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Rationing -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sports -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vacations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Victory gardens -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Winter -- Caricatures and Cartoons.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Social aspects -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1900-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


Oneida Lake (N.Y.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Onondaga County (N.Y.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1901-1953 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Comic strips.
Editorial cartoons.
Proofs (printed matter)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edgar F. Schilder Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of James F. and Dorothea Wright (Schilder's son-in-law and daughter), 1968, 1970.

Table of Contents

Artwork, original

Biographical material



Printed material


Index to cartoons


Index to cartoons

The following is a list of notable people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.

B= Box, F= Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.