There were no big national or citywide contests on November 5, 1907. Teddy Roosevelt had been reelected president in 1904, and mayor George McClellan was safely ensconced in his second term.
So who were these New Yorkers, depicted by John Sloan in “Election Night 1907,” so boisterous and excited?
Sloan, who lived in Greenwich Village, later described the scene he encountered in Herald Square:
“Took a walk in the afternoon and saw boys in droves, foraging for fuel for their election fires this evening. . . . after dinner . . . out again and saw the noisy trumpet blowers, confetti throwers and the “ticklers” in use—a small feather duster on a stick which is pushed in the face of each girl by the men, and in the face of men by the girls. A good humorous crowd, so dense in places that it is impossible to control one’s movement.”