Working the Points

Working the Points

Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910)

Wood engraving

Punch (4 May 1878): 194

Railway locomotives labelled “Russia” and “Britannia” appear heading at full steam toward a collision as a trackside railway signal warns of danger. Next to the signal stands a uniformed man with his finger on the lever “diplomacy” than can move the points — that is, the turnout or switches — to prevent a collision. This figure has cross on his military uniform, and is likely to be Bismarck, whom Sambourne always drew with this kind of moustache.

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Image capture and text by George P. Landow, with thanks to Shirley Nicholson for helping to identify the figure.

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