Friday 20 August 2010

The first Victorian superhero?

Ok, I confess, not quite. But where does this come from? I'll give you the full information later today ... but I don't have all the facts ... does anyone happen to have access to a copy of The Daily Chronicle (of London, I guess) from February 15, 1886? If so, please get in touch ...


As you may have guessed, this is a supremely well-armed policeman - from Punch of 1886 (below, click to read caption). What I don't know if what inspired this comical vision. Debates about policeman's use of weaponry, uniform etc were commonplace (and, the remarkable thing is, to my mind, how much this does resemble a modern policeman's miniature arsenal of gadgets) but the cartoon references The Daily Chronicle, as mentioned above ... if anyone ever comes across that letter, I'd be interested to know what it says.

1 comment:

  1. The rattles on the helmets suggest that these figures are intended to be police officers.

    Maybe this is someone's idea of how officers need to be equipped to deal with riots and violent gangs or perhaps it is a sarcastic response to plans to increase police weaponry.

    Either way, it's hard to believe it is anything other than a joke (the notion that the wearer might sound the rattle by means of head movements is farcical) but your further elucidation may explain.