Old Indiana in Transition

This editorial cartoon appeared on the front page of the Indianapolis News on July 7, 1909.
The illustration was presented with little explanation. I see it as one of those instances in time where people operating in the context of the era "got it," whereas decades later all those memories have passed with those who held them and subsequent generations are baffled. I believe this commentary concerns the transition many Americans faced as the general economy evolved from being primarily based on agrarian endeavors to the manufacturing forces of the industrial age. Indianapolis and Indiana, particularly with their automobile industry, was a hotbed of the then-new economy.
The dilemma for Hoosier farmers this editorial illustration speaks to is not a decision to change careers, but where to practice farming. States further west were appealing to experienced farmers to move within their boundaries and contribute to those communities. Consider that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an excellent example of change expanding the influence of urban centers as the facility's founders purchased 320 acres of farmland to build a venue that directly reflected the advance of the automobile industry. Obviously, the sentiment expressed on this occasion was an encourament to Hoosier farmers to remain home.

OldIndianaNews070709 2.jpg459.98 KB