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Harold Talburt Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MD
Date: 23 Oct 2008

Biographical History

Harold M. Talburt (1895-1966) was an American editorial cartoonist who won a Pulitzer Prize.

Harold Talburt was born in Toledo, Ohio on February 19, 1895. Before becoming a cartoonist, Talburt worked as the high school correspondent for the Toledo Times and in 1916 was a reporter at the Toledo News-Bee. In 1921, Talburt was hired by Negley Cochran as the cartoonist for the newly opened Scripps-Howard news bureau in Washington and was later named Chief Washington Cartoonist for Scripps-Howard and the Washington Daily News. In his New York Times obituary, Talburt is noted as having enjoyed drawing Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt the most out of the presidents he covered during his career.

Talburt was a member of the National Press Club and the White House Correspondents Association. He was president of the Gridiron Club in 1947. The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Talburt for his 1933 Washington Daily News cartoon, "The Light of Asia". Talburt’s work was published in two books: Talburt (1943) and Cartoons: Largely Political (circa 1943).

Harold M. Talburt retired in 1963. He died of cancer at his home in Kenwood, Maryland on October 22, 1966.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Harold Talburt Cartoons contain 858 original editorial cartoons from the years 1949-1952 and 1962.

Talburt primarily depicted domestic politics especially issues related to taxes and government spending. His portrayals of President Harry Truman often include Truman with a shirt with the words “tax" and "spend" on it. Talburt also devoted many cartoons to Truman’s scandals with a recurring visual motif labeled “the mess". Other recurring characters include Fiddle and Faddle, a pair of nearly identical figures with grinning faces and two prominent front teeth.

Also of interest is Talburt’s work depicting communism in Hawaii, reorganization of the government under Truman, mobilization for the Korean War and cartoons relating to the imprisonment of journalist William Oatis in Czechoslovakia.

Artwork varies in size, although most cartoons are generally 12"x 14" to 14 ½" x 17". The earlier cartoons in this collection were drawn exclusively in crayon and pencil on illustration board while later cartoons show his addition of ink. Captions appear at the top and dates are noted in pencil.

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged in chronological order.


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

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

Subject Headings


Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Oatis, William Nathan, 1914-1997 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Talburt, Harold M., 1895-1966.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
E.W. Scripps Company.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Washington daily news publishing company.


Agriculture and state -- Caricatures and cartoons.
American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Communism -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Expenditures, Public -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Pulitzer Prizes.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1955-1965 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Harold Talburt Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gene Basset, 1971.

Table of Contents


Index to cartoons


Index to cartoons

The following is a list of predominant 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.