The Underground Railways.

The Underground Railways. Punch 24 (1853): 124.

Stoker. “Wery sorry to Disturb yer at Supper, Ladies, but could yer oblige me with a Scuttle o' Coals for our Engine, as We've run short of 'em this Journey!”

In this cartoon that anticipates a kind Heath Robinson humor, the stoker (or fireman in American usage) of an early steam-driven locomotive on what later became the London underground here raises a hatch in the servant's kitchen to ask for some coal. The butler or footman in knee britches and tailcoat identifies the scene as the servant's kitchen. Unlike many Punch cartoons, this one taks a whuimsical, rather than a satiric, approach to this new technology.

Image from Internet Archive. Text and formatting by George P. Landow [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose without prior permission as long as you credit this site, the Internet Archive, and the University of Toronto library.]


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Last modified 15 February 2011