Strobridge maps the Election of 1904

Strobridge Litho Co., ELECTORAL VOTES [:] TOTAL NUMBER 483 NECESSARY TO CHOICE 242. Cincinnati: Strobridge, 1908.
Lithograph printed in blue and red, 28 ½”h x 19”w at neat line plus margins. Minor soiling, some wear along folds and at edges, irregular tear from lower edge into lower border. Still appealing and eminently displayable.

A most appealing and unrecorded poster mapping the results of the presidential election of 1904 and the electors allocated to each state for the upcoming 1908 election.

The poster features a large thematic map of the United States, colored to differentiate states that went for incumbent Republican President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 (blue) from those that backed Democrat Alton B. Parker (red). The election was a landslide, with Roosevelt winning 60% of the popular vote and 336 of 476 electoral votes. Parker in fact dominated in the Southeast, where the Democrats had a chokehold on post-Reconstruction politics, but Roosevelt won every other state. Below the map a table of state-by-state popular vote makes clear just how strong this this dynamic was: Parker won for example a jaw-dropping 95% of the popular vote in Mississippi and South Carolina.

The map also shows the numbers of electoral votes controlled by each state in the upcoming election of 1908. The size of the Electoral College had increased from 476 to 483 due to the admission to the Union of Oklahoma with its seven votes, but otherwise the allocation remained unchanged from the election of 1904. The Territories of Arizona and New Mexico, which would only be admitted to the Union in 1912, are shown with no votes.

The poster is eminently displayable, its appeal enhanced by the good size, vibrant two-color lithography, the eagle and shield surmounting the map, and the decorative border with a repeating design of blue stars alternating with panels bearing the names of previous Presidents and Vice Presidents.

The poster was issued in 1908, probably as a promotional item, by the long-lived Cincinnati firm of Strobridge Lithographing Company. The firm had its roots in the partnership of Middleton & Wallace, which was established in 1849 and joined in 1854 by local bookseller Hines Strobridge (1823-1909). The firm made its name in the 1860s with its “oil portraits”, vivid chromolithographic reproductions of oil paintings, suitable for framing and targeted to the popular market. After the Civil War Middleton and Wallace stepped away from the business—possibly following a catastrophic fire—and the firm took the Strobridge name in 1867. Starting in the 1880s Strobridge turned to poster printing and today is best remembered for its exuberant chromolithographic posters produced for Ringling and other outfits. Strobridge endured until 1960, when it was purchased by the equally ancient H.S. Crocker, which had been founded in Sacramento in 1856.

Not in OCLC.