Cartoons/Humour

Just as it says on the packet, some of the cartoons and yarns that made the pioneers chuckle, or maybe wince.Also unearthed are some illustrations that have more to do with whimsy than humour. In any case, like the poems, they offer an insight into those early days on the road. You’ll also find some rather fine postcards. Enjoy.

CRASHREPCARTOON
SPEEDTRAPCARTOON
SILENCERTORQUE
YOKELCARTOON
SNOWJOKE CARTOON 06DC09

When riders were on tour they wanted to send postcards home, particularly if the postcards had bikes on.

POSTCARD1
POSTCARD2
POSTCARD3
POSTCARD4
8HP UNI
This whimsy of 1910 was captioned: “The 8hp Uni with wheel steering and free engine”.
7CYLINDER
Another whimsical bike, circa 1909. The period caption ran: “What speed could it attain with this seven-cylinder rotary engine?”
TRANSMISSIONCARTOON
MEGAMONOWHEEL
FLYBIKE
Ride the bike, fly the bike…
POST OFFICE
So crazy it might just work dept: “The Post Office are setting a lead in the commercial use of the motor-bicycle, and motorcycling postal services are proving very efficient. Knowing the great speed capacity of the modern machine, may we not one day see a motor-bicycle non-stop postal service? Our artist’s suggestion provides for taking up petrol and post without stopping.”
SCORCHER
This rub tickler dates from 1909: “I hear poor Scorcher ran into a wall and broke his jaw. How’s he getting on?” “Oh! he cannot complain.” Go on, laugh.
JOY
As the caption writer put it in 1910: The joy of the open road! What can compare with the pleasure of the motor cyclist when weather is fine and engine runs well.
PUNCH
RECORD PLAYER
PIXBY
“Pixby, after earnest entreaty from Mrs P, has purchased a twin two-speed machine with sidecar at the show (instead of the high-power single-cylinder solo he had in view) and wonders whether the placard is applicable.” Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, innit?
LANDOWNER
LIVES
1910 caption…She: “Do motor cyclists of ten lose their lives?” He: “Not more than once.” Yes, this joke is THAT old.
DIVINGHELMETCARTOONGU09
HORSE1
HORSE2
1910 SIDECAR JOKE
Here’s the politically incorrect caption… Mick: “Goodness, Pat, and phwat is that?” Pat: “Shure now, and the wicked motor cyclist must have run over a perambulator and can’t get disentangled at all, at all.”
1910 CARTOON EDMCC
1910 EGYPTIAN CARTOON
1910 LADYRIDER A:W
1910 LANDYACHTRACE A:W
1910 LOADED TOURER
1910 MOONLIT RIDE A:W
1911 BROOKLANDS COSSIES AW
Inspired by Brooklands circa 1908…
1913 COMBOCARTOONS
Inspired by Brooklands circa 1913: “The racing sidecar becomes more an object of interest every day: our artist who attended the last Brooklands meeting has put on paper his impressions of existing conditions, and ideas of possible future developments in racing sidecar design.”
1912 PILLION CARTOON
From the Christmas 1911 edition of the Blue ‘Un.
CARTOONS 1913
Trials were getting tougher by the year; this whimsy dates from 1913.
CARTOONS 1914 FOOLPROOF AW
From 1914, and rather charming…

Here’s a charming trio of postcards from La Belle France. The caption they each carry tells the story: “We often need someone smaller than ourselves”

PROVERB 2
PROVERB 3
WW1 FRENCH KISS
The sentiment on this card, depicting a French DR and his best girl, will strike a chord with many of us whose first romance was sparked by our first motor cycle: “And to see this gaze that bewitched me sooner, I’ll burn along the road.”
1900s RACE POSTCARD
1900s FRENCH CARD
1900s FRENCH CARTOON
1900s US AD CARTOON
1910 GEORGES MOUTON
This one (and the illustration that follows it) are by Georges Mouton who was a highly regarded French illustrator. They appear here courtesy of my chum Francois. Merci, mon ami.
1910 GEORGES MOUTON CRASH

Judging by the next two images, bulls were a recurring nightmare for French motorists…

FRENCH RAMPANT BULL
RAMPAGING BULL

As shown by the following series of six illustrations, the Italians have a style all their own:

ITALIAN
ITALIAN2
ITALIAN 3
ITALIAN 4
ITALIAN5
ITALIAN6

And now for a couple that are clearly English.

K JOHN
LASSOED!
CARTOON 1910 CRASH
French artists had a style all their own.