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Garfield: 1906

Garfield: 1906

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. "Garfield statue." Our 20th president, cut down by an assassin's bullet and put up on a pedestal. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.



If you look at photos of our pre-dry cleaning and pre-air conditioning presidents, you'll see they're often creased. They weren't as vain and coiffed as our politicians today. They'd go town to town to town and give speeches, traveling long distances by train. And there were no synthetic fibers. Hard to imagine just how different it was 130 years ago, but it was.

Sorry just isn't enough

He should be pirouetting with a plate of lasagna!


There is a James A. Garfield connection to the comic strip. Jim Davis patterned the cat's personality after his grandfather, James A. Garfield Davis, and chose his middle name for the character.

It's probably a good connection, 'cause Garfield was one of the most brilliant and righteous presidents we've had -- albeit for a short period of time. Anything that gets folks to dig into the string of forgotten, bearded presidents in the Gilded Age is all right by me.


The statue wasn't moved too far as it was in the middle of Eighth and Race Streets and in this photograph is facing Piatt Park/Garfield Place. It now faces its former location situated at the head of the park.

Notice the hazy sky

Notice the hazy sky permeating the town going up the road. Perhaps excessive methane gas pollution from horse droppings?

[The "haze" is coal soot. - Dave]

Took this in Cleveland

Things have changed slightly in Garfield Place

Hazy Day

The air is so thick it's a wonder they can breathe! Really brings home the effects of all the incinerators and smokestacks. Ah, the industrial age.


I wonder if our 20th president was really such a messy dresser (looks like he used his coat as a pillow every night) or if the artist was just showing off his mastery of stone wrinkles.

[Or bronze wrinkles. -Dave]

Nice rack!

Just spotted these off to the side.

Perchance the automobile repair shop pried an elk from a grille?

Nice rack!

Just spotted these off to the side.


Couldn't help myself.

Auto repair shop on the right

Given the year was 1906, I can't imagine they have been in business long.

A Short Report

We were all required to do a report on a president in 4th grade. Somehow I got Garfield, and I remember being a bit disappointed when I realized there wasn't a whole lot to go on. My best friend got Franklin Pierce. At least he had crazy hair.

Brought down

I prefer the "new" pedestal. It brings him down to the viewer's level, at least a bit. The other one looked like one of those "topsy turvy" cakes we see these days. It made him look like he was doing a pirouette.

Still Standing

Charles Niehaus' 1887 statue of President James Garfield still graces Cincinnati, but it's been moved to a much less majestic pedestal in Piatt Park.

Sadly, Garfield's name has since been besmirched by a cartoon cat!

What a drag

When my pants cuffs drag the ground like that, I usually get them shortened by an inch or so.

From the makers of the OK Brush --

... the Alright Gate.


Is this a lasagne I see before me?


Everyone knows Garfield has orange fur and a tail.

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