19th-century opium den caricature

19th-century opium den caricature

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opium den caricature, published 1878. The caricature shows Chinese labourers (left) eating rats in an opium den. This is contrasted with a normal American family (right), with a man arriving home from work to his wife and children, with a "God Bless Our Home" sign above the door. Opium is an addictive narcotic drug, similar to heroin. In the 19th century and the early 20th century, opium smoking was common worldwide, especially in Asia, which was one of the sources of the opium poppy. The caption for the caricature suggests that immigrant Chinese labourers need less money than American workers. This caricature, by Joseph Keppler, was published in the 21 August 1878 issue of Puck, the US satirical magazine founded by Keppler in the 1870s.

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