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LETTERING • LOGOS • LETTERFORMS • ALPHABETS • TYPOGRAPHY • CALLIGRAPHY • ETC
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    Joseph Walter “Joe” Rosen was born in New York City on December 25, 1920. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index, and the birthplace and full name were determined from census records.

    Samuel “Sam” H. Rosen was born in New York City on April 4, 1922. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and the birthplace was determined from census records. When Sam enlisted in the army he had a middle initial, H. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Sam had a pen name, Sam Harold. Presumably, Sam’s middle name was Harold.


    In the 1920 census, which was enumerated in January, Joe and Sam’s parents resided in the Bronx at 586 Prospect Avenue. It’s possible Joe and Sam were born in the Bronx. At some point the family moved to Brooklyn.


    1930 U.S. Federal Census

    Home: 2861 West 33rd Street, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
    Name / Age / Occupation
    David Rosen, 45, proprietor/produce
    Esther Rosen, 40, none
    Morton Rosen, 13, student
    Walter Rosen, 9, student [Was Walter the first name or middle name for Joe?]
    Samuel Rosen, 8, student
    Theodore Rosen, 6, student
    Emanuel Rosen, 2, none
    Son[?] Zinkowetsky, 80, (David’s mother-in-law), none
    Harry Rosen, 50 (David’s brother), proprietor/produce

    1940 U.S. Federal Census
    Home: 3625 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
    Name / Age / Occupation
    David Rosen, 57, blank
    Esther Rosen, 52, housewife
    Morton Rosen, 23 (cripple), blank
    Joseph Rosen, 19 (one year of college), blank
    Samuel Rosen, 18 (two years of college), student
    Jacob Rosen, 16, student
    Emanuel Rosen, 12, student
    (enumerator’s note: “This family on Relief, $90 a month; $15 N.Y.A.”)
    Harry Rosen, 63 (David’s brother), pillow factory

    The 1940 census was enumerated in April.

    In Comics Interview #7, January 1984, David Anthony Kraft interviewed Joe who explained how he and Sam got into comics.

    My father had a fruit store in Coney Island. In 1940, one of the customers he was well acquainted with mentioned that her son was an artist for Timely—the company that’s now Marvel Comics. The son, George Mandel, is now a novelist. This was during the Depression. My father asked her if her son could maybe do something for Sam. So Mandel introduced Sam to the big letterer of the time, Howard Ferguson, who was working for both Timely and Fox. Fox and Ferguson’s lesser account, and soon he gave it to Sam. Sam got me my first lettering job, at Fox, doing The Blue Beetle.
    According to the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, Joe enlisted August 21, 1942 and was discharged August 28, 1945. He served in the Army Air Corps.

    Sam enlisted February 20, 1943 in New York City. Before Sam left, there was a party for him.


    The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
    Joan Schenkar
    Macmillan, 2009
    page 214: 
    Elizabeth Hardwick wasn’t the only prominent writer to work for a publishing company which also produce comic books. When Sam Rosen, a letterer for many comics companies, went into the army, his fellow artist Pierce Rice says, “there was a little going away luncheon for him…The participants were: Miss Highsmith, then a comics writer, one of the [comics] editors, the guest of honor, and myself.”

    The editor at that going-away luncheon was Stanley Kaufman, later a theater critic for The New York Times and then, for twenty-five years, the film and theater critic for The New Republic magazine….
    In the interview Joe explained what he did after the war.
    Yeah, I was away in the service for three years, then I came back after the war and went to National—I don’t recall if it was called National or Detective Comics back then. I’d done some work for them before the war. I did one comic for them called The Shining Knight….I worked up at National when Julie Schwartz was an assistant editor. Let’s see…I worked with Mort Weisinger, Jack Schiff….I went to Harvey in 1950 and worked there until the 1970s, when I went to Marvel.
    After military service, Sam worked for Will Eisner.

    Will Eisner: Conversations
    Will Eisner, M. Thomas Inge
    University Press of Mississippi, 2011
    page 145: Alex Kotsky
    “…I was there with Chuck Cuidera, Tex Blaisdell, Sam Rosen was the letterer, Bob Powell did Mr. Mystic, and Nick Viscardi did Lady Luck.”
    page 167: Jules Feiffer
    “The odd arrangement was that Will sat where the receptionist ordinarily would, in the outer office where he had his drawing table, a rather dark, windowless room, and inside, a larger room than where Will lived, were his staff: letterer Sam Rosen, John Spranger who did some penciling and some inking (he had a wonderful pencil technique, drawing large, clunky, blocky characters….Dave Berg, and I forget who else was around at the time. Later on he hired Jerry Grandenetti.”
    In Joe’s interview he talked about lettering at a smaller size.
    …Harvey used the big pages from the old times. The first I ever heard of the change to smaller pages for original art was when my brother Sam was complaining about these new, smaller pages they were instituting up at Marvel. He didn’t like it, ’cause he had to letter smaller and it was a strain on his eyes. But I didn’t find that they made that much of a difference.

    …Sam was working for Marvel. He had too much work and I didn’t have enough, so I did a story for him. It was Sgt. Fury. And I thought: There’s only one way I’m going to get all this copy in—by making it as small as it was possible to letter it and still make it clear. I actually was not too sure it would be all right. I’m still not sure. But I’ve never had any complaints about it.
    Marvelmania Monthly Magazine
    #1, April 1970
    page 5: Letters to the Editor

    Dear Fans,
    The pens I use are either B-6 or A-5 speedballs, bit are modified by guiding down and shaping on carborundum stone. Guide-lines are about 3/16 of an inch apart, separated about 1/16 from from another. For heavy lettering, I use A-6 of B-5, once again ground down until it feels right to me. As for the ink, I generally use Higgins black.
    ––Sam Rosen

















    Public records at Ancestry.com have these addresses for Joe.

    25 Henry Avenue, West Gilgo Beach, New York, 11702
    179 Brendan Avenue Massapequa Park, New York, 11762
    3219 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11224
    1530 West 27th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11224

    Sam passed away April 8, 1992. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was Brentwood, New York. An obituary has not been found.

    Joe passed away October 10, 2009. A death notice appeared in the Washington Post, October 12.

    On Saturday, October 10, 2009 of Chevy Chase, MD. Son of the late David and Esther Rosen; brother of Emanuel Rosen. Shiva at the late residence for the full week. Memorial contributions may be made to Ezras Israel Congregation, 803 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, 202-541-1001. Call for graveside service time at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, Clarksburg, MD.

    Further Reading
    The Comics Reporter

    Grand Comics Database
    Sam Rosen
    Joe Rosen

    Todd’s Blog

    Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
    Sam Rosen
    Joe Rosen

    Wikipedia
    Sam Rosen
    Joe Rosen


    Related Posts


    (Next post on Monday: Variety)

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  • 09/25/17--05:00: Anatomy of a Logo: Variety

  • The Variety logo was designed by Edgar Melville Miller, a sign painter and Mason. The magazine was created by Simon J. “Sime” Silverman and debuted December 16, 1905 (below). At the time, Variety was located in the Knickerbocker Theatre Building at 1402 Broadway. It’s not known when or how Silverman met Miller.






    Miller also designed and illustrated the cover format. He signed his name, “Edgar M. Miller N.Y.” under the pillar on the right; other times it would say “E.M. Miller N.Y.” in the bottom middle. Miller’s name appeared on the covers from the beginning to July 27, 1917.


    The first three issues of Variety also had advertisements for Miller’s services.












    A revised Variety logo first appeared on the October 5, 1907 issue (below).



    Miller was born in Milton, Pennsylvania on September 2, 1869 according to his Social Security application (at Ancesty.com) and a profile in Masonic Standard, February 28, 1903.

    Bro. Miller was born in Milton, Pa., Sept. 2, 1869. He received his education in the schools of his native place. He learned his trade, that of sign and scenic painter, in Kansas City. Mo. He came to New York in May, 1898, and has since been connected with Keith’s Theatre.




    In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Miller was the youngest of two children born to shoemaker Harry and Emma. They lived in Milton, Pennsylvania.

    According to the 1880 census, the Millers resided in Ridgeway, Kansas. Apparently Miller’s older sister had died since her name was missing in the census. Miller was the oldest of four brothers whose father was a mine foreman.

    The 1895 Kansas state census recorded Miller, his parents and brother William as residents of Topeka. Miller’s occupation was painter.

    The Ohio county marriages, at Ancestry.com, recorded Miller’s marriage to Fannie E. Smith on March 18, 1896 in Hamilton. A Social Security application by one of the daughters had her mother’s name as Francis Schmidt.

    In May 1898 Miller moved to New York City. He has not yet been found in the 1900 census.

    The Masonic Standard detailed Miller’s rise in its ranks. 

    Zetland Chapter No. 141, Royal Arch Masons, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last night by a special convocation and reception in the Commandery room, Masonic Hall. This interesting event comes too late for this issue, but will be fully described in these columns next week. The High Priest of Zetland Chapter, Comp. Edgar M. Miller, is also Master of Worth Lodge No. 210, and is necessarily a very busy man, Masonically….

    …Bro. Miller was raised in Worth Lodge No. 210 May 25, 1900, and went actively to work. In December 1900, seven months after he was raised, he was elected Junior Warden, and served faithfully and with ability in 1901. The next year he was Senior Warden, and in December last was elected Master.

    His fervency and zeal were equally marked in Zetland Chapter No. 141, in which he was exalted Nov. 15, 1900. He was appointed Principal Sojourner in December, 1900, was elected King in December, 1901, and High Priest in December 1902.

    He received the grades in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, up to and including the Thirty-second Degree, in October, 1900, and the Order of Nobility in Mecca Temple, Nobles of Mystic Shrine, Oct. 30, 1900.
    Miller was in the center of a group photograph published in the Masonic Standard, March 7, 1903.

    In Variety, December 23, 1905, Miller’s advertisement said his studio address as “782 Eighth Avenue, New York City, Near 49th Street”. He may have been involved with the signage on the front of the building. It’s not known how long Miller’s studio was there. In June 1909 the building had the notorious reputation as the site of Elsie Sigel’s murder.In the 1910 census, Miller made his home in the Bronx at 413 East 145th Street. The sign painter had three sons and a daughter; all born in New York except the youngest, a seven-month-old son whose birth was in Kentucky. 


    Variety, March 19, 1910, reported Miller’s new job, “Edgar M. Miller, the well known sign painter of Broadway, who had been responsible for all of the showiest “boards” for the past years, has been engaged by the Plaza permanently.”

    Miller’s “The Great White Plague. vs. The Great White Way” was published in the June 10, 1911 issue of Variety. The same issue had an outline version of the logo (below).





    At some point Miller changed careers and residence.


    Miller’s home was Jersey City, New Jersey at 16 Lembeck Avenue in the 1920 census. The traveling salesman had a second child, a daughter, born in Kentucky.


    Back in New York, the Variety logo was condensed and bolder on the April 16, 1920 issue (below). It’s not known who did this version.






    The logo on Variety, July 11, 1928, returned, to some degree, to the original design. Again, it’s not known who did this version.




    The entire Miller family was counted at the same address in the 1930 census. Miller was medical salesman.

    The Jersey Journal, February 26, 1931, published a death notice for Miller’s wife.

    Miller—On Tuesday, February 24, 1931, at her residence, 16 Lembeck Avenue, Jersey City, Frances E. Miller, beloved wife of Edgar M. Miller. Remains reposing at the Funeral Home of Lewis W. Baumuller, 23 East 33rd Street, Bayonne, N.J. Funeral services will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, Pearsall and Ocean Avenues, on Friday, February 27, 1931, at 2 p.m. Interment Bay View Cemetery.
    Miller and his youngest son continued to live at the same house in Jersey City as recorded in the 1940 census. Miller was retired. On July 23, 1941, he filed his Social Security application.

    Miller’s death was noted in the New York Times, April 3, 1955.

    Jersey City, April 2—Edgar M. Miller, a retired drug salesman, active for many years in New York Masonic organizations, died late yesterday in the Jersey City Medical Center. His age was 86. He resided here at 16 Lembeck Avenue.
    Death notices appeared in the Times the following day.
    Miller—On Friday, April 1, 1955, Edgar M., beloved father of John, Richard, Earl, Mrs. Ruth McGrath and Mrs. Thelma Vogel. Masonic Services will be held at the Baumuller Funeral Home, 23 East 33d Sy., Bayonne, N.J., on Monday, April 4, at 8:30 P.M. Interment New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City.

    Miller—Edgar M. Worth Lodge, No. 210, F. and A.M., sorrowfully announces the death of its believed Past Master, Worshipful Edgar M. Miller. Masonic Service will be held at the Baumuller Funeral Home, 23 East 33d Sy., Bayonne, N.J., on Monday, April 4, 8:30 P.M.
    Carl T. Johnson, Master.
    A.A. Ogilvie, Secretary
    On April 5, 1955, the Jersey Journal published Miller’s obituary.
    Edgar M. Miller, 86, of 16 Lembeck Ave., Jersey City, died Sunday [sic] at the Jersey City Medical Center. He was a retired drug salesman for a New York concern.

    Mr. Miller was a member of the Zetland Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New York, of Morton Commandery Number 4 of the Knights Templar of New York, and of Mecca Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of New Jersey.

    He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

    Funeral was held today from Lewis W. Baumuller Funeral Home in Bayonne.
    The current Variety logo can be viewed here.


    (Next post on Monday: THE)

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  • 10/02/17--05:00: Typography: THE

  • In a Balcony
    Robert Browning
    Blue Sky Press, 1902
    …”The Queen”…
    Design and lettering by F.W. Goudy



























    Journeys to Bagdad
    Charles S. Brooks
    Illustrated by Allen Lewis
    Yale University Press, 1915
    Fourth Printing, 1920
    “Through the Scuttle”...
    Lettering by Allen Lewis


































    How to Paint Signs and Sho’ Cards
    Eric Christian Matthews
    J. S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1920
    “Tricks of the Trade”



































    Print Magazine
    September-October 1974
    “The Cooper Union”...
    Design by Herb Lubalin 























    Print Magazine
    May-June 1979
    The Graphic Revolution in America
    Cover design by Herb Lubalin


































    Liaison
    The Erotic Art Book Society
    Design by Herb Lubalin


































    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    New York, New York














    (Next post on Monday: The)

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  • 10/09/17--05:00: Lettering: The
  • Studio Handbook
    Letter & Design
    Samuel Welo
    Frederick J. Drake & Co., 1927




































    Theory and Practice of Poster Art
    Duke Wellington
    Signs of the Times Publishing Company, 1934



































    Related Posts

    Lettering: Modern and Foreign
    Parts 1234 and 5
    Samuel Welo Profile
    THE

    (Next post on Monday: Howard Ferguson, Letterer
    )



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    Howard Grant Ferguson was born on July 4, 1895, in Washburn, Wisconsin, according to his World War I and II draft cards. Ferguson’s full name was on his second World War card and Social Security application (at Ancestry.com) which had the birth year as 1896. The application also had the names of Ferguson’s parents, Grant U. Ferguson and Minnie A. Rettie. The St. Clair County, Michigan, Marriage Index, at Ancestry.com, recorded their marriage as December 23, 1891 in Fort Gratiot, Michigan. Grant’s parents were Charles Ferguson and Sally Spalding, and Minnie’s were William L. Rettie and Elsie Ogg.

    Two weeks before Ferguson’s birth, the Wisconsin state census was enumerated on June 20. Only the name of the head of the family was recorded in the first column. The next section was Aggregate Population which was sub-divided into White and Colored, each with two columns labeled Male and Female. In the row with Ferguson’s father was the numeral one in the white male and female columns. The female was Ferguson’s mother. The third section was Nativity which was divided into eight countries. The numeral two was in the United States column for Ferguson’s father. The couple resided in the incorporated village of Washburn, Bayfield County, Wisconsin.

    Apparently, the Ferguson family resided in Superior, Wisconsin for a period of time. Ferguson’s father was listed in the 1899 Superior city directory: “Ferguson, Grant U agt C St P M & O Ry, [agent with the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway] Itasca, r 1st n e corner for Hennepin av”. Ferguson’s maternal grandfather was a clerk at the same railway and had the same address.

    Ferguson and his parents have not been found in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The 1900 Superior directory said Ferguson’s father had moved to Duluth, Minnesota. The census and directory said Ferguson’s maternal grandfather was in Superior as a watchman with the Itasca Elevator Company. He boarded at the Railroad Hotel.

    In 1901, Ferguson’s father, a Northern Pacific Railway clerk, and maternal grandfather, a watchman, were Superior residents at 290 West 4th Street. The same address for them was printed in the Superior Times, March 8, 1902.

    The 1902 and 1903 Superior directories listed the address, 1612 Belknap, for Ferguson’s father and maternal grandfather. Their address was 1513 John Avenue in the 1904 directory.

    The 1905 Wisconsin state census was enumerated on the first day of June. Ferguson’s maternal grandmother was the head of the household. The census listed Ferguson and his mother, Marion, with the Rettie surname. Ferguson was erroneously recorded as his grandmother’s son. The trio and a servant were Superior residents. 




    The 1905 Superior directory said Ferguson’s father moved to Duluth, and had this line about his maternal grandfather, “Wm L Rettie, died Jan 12, ’05, age 62”. Ferguson’s maternal grandmother’s address was 1513 John Avenue in 1905 and 1906. The 1907 Superior directory said she moved to Hibbing, Minnesota.


    It’s not clear when and where Ferguson’s parents divorced. According to Duluth city directories, Ferguson’s father was a clerk with the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad. He resided on West Superior from 1907 to 1909. From 1910 to 1914 he was on West Fourth Street.

    Ferguson’s mother married Arba Hawley, a bookkeeper, who was a Duluth resident. The 1907 city directory listed him and Ferguson’s maternal grandmother at 229 5th Avenue East. Their address in the 1908 and 1909 directories was 190 West Third.

    The 1910 census was enumerated in April. It recorded Ferguson, his mother, maternal grandmother, step-father and three-year-old step-brother in Duluth at 131 West 3rd Street.




    Ferguson attended the East End School Washington and graduated from the eighth grade on June 16, 1910. The Duluth News Tribune said Ferguson gave a recitation, “International Peace”, at the ceremony.




    Ferguson was a freshman at the Duluth Central High School according to the 1911 Zenith yearbook.



    The 1911 Duluth directory said Ferguson’s family moved to Detroit, Michigan.

    The 1912 Detroit city directory listed Ferguson’s step-father and maternal grandmother at 971 Woodward Avenue. His step-father was a salesman with the United Realty Company. Their address in the 1913 directory was 830 Woodward Avenue.

    In the 1914 Detroit directory Ferguson was listed as a student who resided at 931 Jefferson Avenue. The 1915 directory is not available. In 1916 he lived at 43 Center and worked as a stock keeper.




    According to the Michigan marriage records at Ancestry.com, Ferguson married Ida Trombley on December 26, 1916 in Detroit. His occupation was clerk.

    On June 5, 1917, Ferguson signed his World War I draft card. He, his wife and baby lived at 148 Chene Street in Detroit. Ferguson was employed by the drug manufacturer “Dae Health Laboratory”. Ferguson was described as short, slender build with blue eyes and light-colored hair.




    A 1918 Detroit directory said Ferguson was a shipping clerk at “Dae Health Laboratories (Inc)”. One of its major products was Nuxated Iron. The American Medical Association’s critical analysis of Nuxated Iron was published in Nostrums and Quackery.




    Ferguson’s address was 919 Jefferson Avenue in the 1919 directory which said he was a clerk. That address was recorded in the 1920 census. Ferguson was a telephone company clerk. His daughter, Virginia, was two-years-and-four-months-old. His mother and her family lived nearby at 931 Jefferson Avenue. The census said Ferguson’s father lived in Duluth. Ferguson’s art career began soon after the census enumeration.




    Up to this point there were no indications of Ferguson’s interest in art. Perhaps he saw something during his employment at Dae Health Laboratories or the telephone company that motivated him to pursue art. The Detroit School of Lettering would have been an obvious choice for training. Maybe Ferguson saw lettering books such as Strong’s Book of Lettering (1917), Strong’s Art Of Show Card Writing (1922) and How to Paint Signs and Sho’ Cards (1920).

    The 1921 Detroit city directory listed Ferguson as an artist residing at 3105 Jefferson Avenue. He may have been working at one of the eighty advertising agencies listed in Polk’s Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1921–1922.




    Ferguson’s occupation and employer were not stated in the 1922 directory.




    In the 1923 directory, Ferguson’s address was 14, 164 East Grand Boulevard. He was employed by the S. M. Epstein Company.




    The earliest listing for the S. M. Epstein Company was in the 1922 directory. The company did not exist in directories for 1920 and 1921.




    Samuel M. Epstein was profiled in Who’s Who in Advertising (1931). Epstein was born in 1897 in Kansas City, Missouri. (The Social Security Death Index said his birth was September 12, 1897.) He graduated from Kansas City High School and received a B.A. at the University of Michigan. He was married and had one child. Epstein was president of S. M. Epstein Company. He passed away February 11, 1989. The Jewelers’ Circular, January 16, 1924, said the S. M. Epstein Co. specialized in jewelers' advertising.

    Presumably Ferguson was lettering and illustrating advertisements, brochures and other printed matter. Maybe he produced showcards for jewelry stores.


    The 1924 directory was not available. At some point Ferguson changed jobs.

    Ferguson was an artist with the Detroit Ad-Service according to the 1925 Detroit directory. His address was “26, 95 E Palmer av”. Ferguson went to work at the General Necessities Building.




    The Detroit Ad-Service was founded by Milton C. Hirschfield. In the 1913 Detroit directory, Hirschfield was an advertising writer. The 1914 directory listed Hirschfield and his Detroit Ad-Service. Michigan-native Hirschfield was born May 5, 1888 and passed away September 25, 1982.




    Below is a 1915 advertisement produced by the Detroit Ad-Service (see upper left-hand corner) that was printed in the Canton Repository (Ohio) on May 9.




    The 1926 directory was not available. While employed at the Detroit Ad-Service, Ferguson resided at 255 East Grand Boulevard in 1927, then at 15330 Snowden Avenue in 1928.






    The Michigan Manufacturer & Financial Record (1927) said the Detroit Ad-Service’s address was 1961 Chicago Boulevard. The Detroit Ad-Service was at 51 Elliot in the 1928 Detroit city directory.




    The Detroit Ad-Service produced a number of printed pieces that were copyrighted and may have included work by Ferguson. For example, a 1927 Catalogue of Copyright Entries had these items, “Gift for your baby. (Gerson’s) Fold, sheet” and “Detroit ad-service bulletin no. 909. 5 piece electric waffle set. Sheet”. A 1928 Catalogue’s index listed “Dividend for you” and “Special D. A. S. furniture service”.

    Two major events in Ferguson’s life occurred in quick succession. The Michigan Divorce Records, at Ancestry.com, said Ferguson’s divorce was finalized on April 8, 1927 in Detroit. The cause was “extreme cruelty”. Alimony was granted. His daughter was nine-and-a-half years old. The Michigan Marriage Records said his second marriage was eight days later on April 16 in Detroit. The commercial artist’s bride was twenty-year-old French native, Marjorie V. Crawford.

    The 1929 city directory was not available. Ferguson, his wife and daughter have not been found in the 1930 census. The census said Ferguson’s mother, maternal grandmother, step-brother and sister-in-law were in Detroit at 134 East Grand Boulevard. The 1930 directory has a “Howard Ferguson”, an operator, at 180 East Grand Boulevard, who may or may not be Ferguson the artist. Ferguson was not listed in Detroit directories from 1931 to 1939. Wherever Ferguson was, his third-wife-to-be was in New York City.




    The 1930 census said Lillian Edith Stanton, a law office typist, lived with her parents, Arthur and Lillian, and sister, Marjorie, in Jamaica, Queens County, New York. The eighteen-year-old married Henry Smith Lockwood on June 27, 1930, according to the New York, New York, Marriage Certificate Index at Ancestry.com. The Long Island Daily Press, June 28, 1930, said “Following the ceremony the young couple left on a honeymoon trip touring Canada. They will reside in Munsey Park, Manhasset.” It’s not known how long their marriage lasted.

    The 1940 census had a category “Residence, April 1, 1935”, and both Ferguson and Edith were in Detroit in 1935. How Ferguson met her is a mystery, as well as when and where they married. The census said Ferguson (line 1) and Edith lived with her parents and sister in Jamaica, New York at 173-43 103rd Road. Ferguson’s occupation was artist doing “private work”. His father-in-law was a chauffeur at a bakery (line 79).





    Apparently, Ferguson was in New York City in the late 1930s. With an advertising background, Ferguson probably looked for work at art studios and advertising agencies. He found a livelihood in booming comic book industry.

    Joe Simon, in his autobiography, Joe Simon, My Life in Comics (2011), said 

    …in 1939 Charles [Nicholas] was doing work for us, and we brought in a letterer, too.

    The letterer’s name was Howard Ferguson, and he was the best ever in the business. Howard was from Detroit. His wife left him, and he came to New York with his daughter Elsie, who was his pride and joy. She was maybe eight or nine years old at the time. Howard’s mother was an “America Firster,” one of the people who pressured the government not to get involved with World War II. The group had been organized by a Yale student. Its ranks included future President Gerald Ford and Sargent Shriver, the man who founded the Peace Corps. Howard didn’t agree with the Firsters, so he had a lot of heated arguments with his mother, and held a lifelong grudge against her.

    Howard was a chain smoker who drank coffee all day. When we got his pages, there were always coffee stains and cigarette burns on them. But he was unlike any other letterer in the business. One time I brought Will Eisner in to see for himself. He came up to the studio.

    “Will, look at this,” I said. Howard was working on a page, and usually when you letter, you do penciled guide lines first, so your lettering can fit neatly within the lines. But Howard didn’t bother with this extra step.

    “Wow,” Eisner said. “I’ve never seen anybody do that before.” The lettering was straight as can be. I mean, Ben Oda was great, but nobody could do the work that Howard Ferguson did.”
    At the 1998 San Diego Comicon, Mark Evanier interviewed Joe Simon
    Mark Evanier: What do you remember about Howard Ferguson?

    Joe Simon: Howard Ferguson was the greatest letterer and Ben Oda was the second greatest letterer. Howard Ferguson was a middle-aged man from Detroit, and like everybody else in the business he was living hand-to-mouth. He came here, he got divorced; he brought his daughter, Elsie, to live with him. I think his wife left him, he said. He was the only letterer I ever heard of that could draw in a straight line without doing the penciled lines. Just like a machine and very, very creative. He was a big part of our effort, of our creativity. He was great with logos and designs, everything. We'd just rough out the stuff and give it to Howard, and he'd give us back beautifully-inspired, inked lettering and logos. The only problem was that there'd be coffee stains on every page. (laughter) He'd drink like 30 cups of coffee a day.
    In the book, Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur (2010), Jim Amash asked Infantino about Ferguson.
    Yes! He was a crusty, old bastard. [chuckles] He was one hell of a letterer. He was a fat, older, German guy—very tough. Jack used to say, “Don’t pay attention to him. He’s all right.” He smoked cigarettes like a train. He had a daughter to take care of because his wife left him. He had a chip on his shoulder all the time, but he could letter. His logos were the best!
    In the Jack Kirby Collector #34, Infantino said to Amash, “Ferguson. He was unbelievable. Great letterer. Cranky, very cranky, old guy. You say hello, he would say, ‘Go to hell….’”

    Two contemporaries of Ferguson were Joe and Sam Rosen. In Comics Interview, #7, January 1984, Joe explained to David Anthony Kraft how he and his brother Sam got into comics.

    My father had a fruit store in Coney Island. In 1940, one of the customers he was well acquainted with mentioned that her son was an artist for Timely—the company that’s now Marvel Comics. The son, George Mandel, is now a novelist. This was during the Depression. My father asked her if her son could maybe do something for Sam. So Mandel introduced Sam to the big letterer of the time, Howard Ferguson, who was working for both Timely and Fox. Fox was Ferguson’s lesser account, and soon he gave it to Sam. Sam got me my first lettering job, at Fox, doing The Blue Beetle.
    Ferguson began lettering for Simon and Kirby in 1939. Maybe he had been lettering comics earlier and was known to other publishers and studios. 

    Ferguson’s lettering has been examined by Harry Mendryk here, here and here, and by letterer Todd
    Klein here. An incomplete chronological list of Ferguson’s credits are at the Grand Comics Database. His Captain America credits, among others, are missing. Presumably Ferguson did the finished art for theCaptain America logos that changed after the first issue.

    When Ferguson signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942, he was living at 110-33 207
    Street in Hollis, Queens County, New York. His employer was “Simon-Kirby Productions” in Tudor City, New York City. Ferguson named his wife, Edith, as the person who would always know his address. Ferguson’s description was five feet four inches, 148 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.


     


    Below is a record of payment to Ferguson for lettering in the unpublished Stuntman number four that included a 12-page story pencilled by Jack Kirby.




    Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 shows Ferguson worked for other studios and several publishers. Below are samples of Ferguson’s lettering.

    Daring Mystery Comics #6, September 1940
    (The complete story is at Timely-Atlas-Comcs.)


    Captain America Comics #1, March 1941
    (The complete story is at Timely-Atlas-Comcs.)
     

    Later issue of Captain America Comics

    Clue Comics v2 #1, March 1947

    Headline Comics #23, March-April 1947


    Headline Comics #24, May-June 1947

    My Date Comics #1, July 1947


    Ferguson’s lettering credit appeared on the splash page of “Gold Makes a Ghost Town” in Cow Puncher Comics #7 in 1949. It was reprinted in Jesse James #15, October 1953, without Ferguson’s credit (below). In 1958 the story was reprinted in Western Action #7 with Ferguson’s lettering credit (below).



    Ferguson took a short break to travel to Detroit where his step-father, Arba Hawley, was murdered during a robbery as reported in the Grosse Point News (Michigan), November 15, 1945. (see column 1). The Detroit News, November 10, 1945, said, in part, “Hawley leaves a wife, Marion, and a son, Arba Wallace Hawley, 38, of Kalamazoo. A stepson, Howard Ferguson, of New York, had been visiting the Hawleys and was to have returned to New York Friday.”


    The Comics Journal #134, February 1990, published Gary Groth’s interview with Kirby who mentioned Ferguson’s passing. 

    Joe [Simon] did a lot of the business. Had I stayed at Joe’s side all the time while Joe operated we’d have never gotten any pages done. We got an office in Tudor City — I worked in the office with a letterer, Howard Ferguson. When Howard passed away there was another letterer to replace him....

    The Comic Book Makers (2003) said “Ferguson was with Simon and Kirby for many years, until the day coffee and cigarettes finally ‘done him in.’” 

    I was unable to confirm the date of Ferguson’s passing. Ferguson filled out a Social Security application which was transcribed at Anestry.com. It has his birth information, parent’s names and Social Security number. A note, dated December 7, 1983, said “Name listed as Howard Grant Ferguson”. Apparently, Ferguson’s death was not reported to the Social Security Administration. At the Grand Comics Database, I believe Ferguson’s lettering credits, excluding reprints, end in 1957. The New York, New York, Death Index has a Howard Ferguson, age 63, who passed away April 18, 1957, in Queens, New York. He might be Ferguson the artist and letterer. 


    * * * * * 

    It’s not known if Ferguson had any children with his third wife, Edith. The New York, New York, Death Index at Ancestry.com recorded the 1946 passing of an Edith Ferguson, age 34, in Queens, New York, but it’s unclear if she was Ferguson’s wife.

    Simon mentioned Ferguson’s young daughter, Elsie, who was from his second marriage. Apparently she was named after Ferguson’s maternal grandmother. Elsie was not counted with Ferguson in the 1940 census, so she was with her mother, Marjorie. There was an Elsie Ferguson
    , in 1943, who was a junior at Eastern High School in Detroit. Her whereabouts and status are not known. Detroit city directories have a Marjorie Ferguson, at different addresses, for the years 1935, 1937, 1939 and 1941. The last three directories said she was a typist at the Del Auto Inter-Insurance Exchange. Marjorie and Elsie were not found in the 1940 census. Marjorie was born around 1907 and, in the Social Security Death Index, she may be the Marjorie Ferguson who passed away in 1981 in California.

    Ferguson’s first wife, Ida, and daughter, Virginia, were in Detroit according to the 1930 census. They lived with Ida’s step-parents. Ida married David Whitney in 1934. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1941. Ida passed away on December 11, 1990 in California. In the 1940 census, Virginia lived with her maternal step-grandparents, Frank and Rosanna Fleming, and their three children. Not long after the census enumeration Virginia married Orville A. Reinholz (1918–2004). The birth of their son, Brent Dennis, was announced in the Detroit Free Press, May 30, 1943. The birth of a second son, Randy Wayne, was reported in the Detroit News, November 18, 1946. (Ferguson’s grandsons are now in their seventies.) Virginia passed away March 14, 2000 in California.

    According to the 1940 census, Ferguson’s mother, Marion, and step-father, Arba, were living alone in Detroit. As mentioned earlier, Arba died in 1945. According to the Detroit Free Press, Marion passed away December 20, 1947. Ferguson’s step-brother, Arba Wallace Hawley, was married (see entry number 11016-27). He passed away in 1997. The 1930 census recorded Ferguson’s mother and maternal grandmother, Elsie, in Detroit with his step-brother’s in-laws. The date of Elsie’s passing is not known.

    The last known location of Ferguson’s father, Grant, was Duluth, Minnesota according to the 1930 census. When and where he passed away is not known.

    Unfortunately, no obituaries were found that might have shed more light on Ferguson.

    Related Posts
    Ben Oda
    Irv Watanabe
    Morrie Kuramoto
    Artie Simek
    Ira Schnapp and here
    Martin DeMuth


    (Next post on Monday: 
    101 Mosco Street)

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      N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y  
    101 Mosco Street near Mulberry Street, 
    Chinatown, Manhattan

    (Next post on Monday: Mahlon Blaine, Illustrator)

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    Mahlon Carradin Blaine was born June 16, 1894, in Albany City, Linn County, Oregon, according to his World War I and II draft cards. The second World War card had his full name.

    In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Blaine was the only child of Wilson, a men’s clothing salesman, and Carrie. His father’s surname was spelled Blain, and Blaine’s first name was recorded as Mayborn. The trio resided in Albany, Oregon.

    Blaine was counted twice in the 1910 census. Blaine’s mother remarried to Claud D. Jack, a tea salesman. The trio lived at 5004 Steele in Tacoma, Washington. Blaine’s divorced father remained in Albany at 403 West 1st Street. It’s unclear how much time Blaine spent with each parent.

    At some point Blaine’s family moved to Portland, Oregon. The newspaper The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), August 27, 1932, said Blaine “in 1912 became office boy for The Oregonian.”

    A 1916 Portland, Oregon city directory listed Blaine at 510 Stephens.

    On June 5, 1917, Blaine signed his World War I draft card. He was a farmer in Dilley, Oregon. Blaine’s employer was his mother. He was described as medium height and build with blue and dark eyes and grown hair. Blaine claimed an exemption because of he was “blind in left eye”.

    Blaine and fellow artist, Wylog “Ernest” Fong, were arrested for drawing the Portland waterfront. Their misdeed was reported in two local newspapers.

    The Oregon Daily Journal
    (Portland, Oregon)
    January 19, 1918

    Artists Too Near Waterfront for Their Own Safety
    Mahlon Blaine, an artist, whose home is in Dilley, Or., and Ernest Fong, a Chinese, also an artist, set out this morning to sketch riverfront pictures, contrary to a war law of Uncle Sam, and were taken before United States Marshal Alexander for investigation.

    When Marshal Alexander told them the making of pictures of waterfronts might result in aiding the enemy, they declared they would confine their art to scenes which would less likely be of interest to the kaiser.

    “I wan’t aware that the law was so strict,” said Blaine. “I didn’t mind being arrested, but would rather jump into the river than have it thought I was making sketches for the kaiser.”

    Both were released.
    The Oregonian
    January 20, 1918

    “Spy” Artists Halted
    Policeman Does his Duty, Medal or No Medal
    Mahlon Blaine and Ernest Fong Promise to Make No More Pictures of Portland Waterfront

    Visions of German spies, craftily plying their trade in making war sketches of the waterfront of a Pacific port, came before a detective of the police force as he caught sight of a couple busily sketching the Portland skyline near the Steel bridge. With a duty to be performed in sight he stepped forward and accosted the “spies.”

    “You’re arrested,” he declared.

    “You’re kidding us,” scoffed Mahlon Blaine, artist. Ernest Fong, his associate, grinned his belief in the detective’s attempt at humor.

    “Not so you’d notice it,” replied the arm of the law. “Don’t you know its against the law to sketch the waterfront. How do we know you’re not going to send those pictures to Kaiser Bill, so he can see how the Portland harbor looks?’

    The two artists looked at one another.
    “Hadn’t thought of that,” admitted Blaine.

    “Well, that’s the way it might look to Uncle Sam. You’s better come up to see the United States Marshal.”

    Marshal Alexander was soon convinced of the innocence of the devotees of art. And the artists promised to seek further for their subjects. So everything turned out satisfactorily except for the detective, who will probably not get a medal for capturing “dangerous German spies.”
    The Oregon Daily Journal, July 21, 1918, reported the arrest of scores of men, including Blaine, on the charge of failing to carry their war classification cards.

    The American Art Directory, Volume 14, was published in 1918 and had an entry for Blaine: “Blaine, Mahlon, 915 Van Ness Ave.. San Francisco, Cal. (P.[ainter]).”

    The 1920 census was enumerated in mid-January. Freelance artist Blaine, his mother and step-father were residents of Portland, Oregon at 504 East Stephens. The 1920 Portland city directory listed Blaine’s home address as 505 Stephens.

    The Spanish-language newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico (Los Angeles, California), January 28, 1920, reported Blaine’s gift.

    Un Valioso Obsequio de un Pintor para las Victimas de Veracruz
    El senor Mahlon Blaine, pintor, a quien los conocedores consideran como uno de los mas originales, mas hábiles; un artista genial, en una palabra, por conducto de nuestro compañero de redacción, el Lic. R. Gomez Robelo, ha cedido al Comité de Auxilios un pastel que representa una mañana de sol, para que se destine el producto de su venta al fondo de auxilios para las víctimas de Veracruz.

    El senor Blaine nos hace saer que pindra una dedicatoria autógrafa al pastel, para la persona que lo adquiera, y el Comité ha pensado en que esta obra de arte, sea puesta a la venta en remate que se hara en alguno de los próximos festivales de caridad, admitiendo desde ahora las ofertas que quieran hacerse.

    El Comité de auxilios, por conducto de El Heraldo de Mexico, de las mas sinceras gracias al senor Mahlon Blaine por esta rasgo de generosidad y de simpatia para nuestra Patria.

    Google translation
    A Valuable Gift of a Painter for the Victims of Veracruz
    Mr. Mahlon Blaine, painter, whom the connoisseurs consider as one of the most original, but skillful; a great artist, in a word, through our writing partner, Lic. R. Gomez Robelo, has given to the Aid Committee a cake representing a sunny morning, so that the product of its sale is destined to the aid fund for the victims of Veracruz.

    Mr. Blaine makes sure that he inscribes an autograph dedication to the cake, for the person who acquires it, and the Committee has thought that this work of art, put on sale at auction, will be done at one of the upcoming festivals. charity, admitting now the offers they want to make.

    The Committee of aid, through El Heraldo de Mexico, of the most sincere thanks to Mr. Mahlon Blaine for this trait of generosity and sympathy for our country.
    The passing of Blaine’s father was reported in The Oregonian, April 30, 1920. At the time he was a resident of Dayton, Ohio.

    A 1921 Los Angeles, California city directory said Blaine was an artist who lived at 130 East Avenue.

    On August 30, 1922, a passport was issued to Blaine who was traveling to Mexico. The Los Angeles artist said he was going to cross the border at El Paso, Texas. A notarized letter, dated August 18, 1921, said Blaine

    …has business in Mexico City, D.F., Mexico, which necessitates his immediate attention and requires his presence as follows:

    That he must prepare an exhibit of paintings, etc. for exhibition at the Centennial Exposition opening September 12th, 1921, for Lic. Ricordo Gomez Robelo. That he must be in Mexico City, D.F., on or before September 5th, 1921.

    That Signor Lic. Ricordo Gomez Robelo wishes me to accompany his wife, who is in ill heath and his young son, who have passports and every thing necessary, etc. for the trip…
    Passport Photograaph

    The New York Evening Telegram, November 27, 1922, reported Blaine’s work on the latest Douglas Fairbanks film.
    Richard, the Lion-Hearted, would probably rise from his tomb if he would but see a cow-puncher of the American West painting the works of art which held the admiration of that twelfth century monarch.

    However, Mahlon Blaine, a buckaroo from Arizona, did just that very thing when he painted many of the sets in “Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood,” now at the Lyric Theatre

    Mr. Blaine is a born artist, and after punching cattle for years attracted attention with the brush. Through an inheritance he was enabled to study abroad. Mr. Fairbanks engaged him to create the art work on a number of scenes and sent him abroad two months for research work.
    As of this writing, Blaine has not been found on any steamship passenger lists.

    The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts), March 1, 1923, published a report on a modern art exhibition in Los Angeles.

    Los Angeles, Feb. 21 (Special Correspondence)—The first exhibition of modern art in this city opened at the MacDowell Club recently. There were 172 pictures by 24 painters. Comparatively few of these artists have become familiar through the various exhibitions and it is in fact in protest against the continued rejection of their paintings by local juries, that they have now used the ever-friendly walls of the MacDowell Club.

    …Coming to the extremes, cubism, etc., one can only gaze and wonder. Even the titles are queer—“Vudu Futhmique,” “Owngz” and “Glaggle” from the brush of Ben Berlin; “Saint About to Reform” by Mahlon Blaine (why should a saint reform?),…Blaine’s “Banker Counting Pennies” gains notoriety by being nailed to the wall through the center of the picture, at an angle, “Peroxide” has a strand of raveled rope tacked carelessly to the frame, possibly to stimulate the golden-haired model’s tresses…
    The Oregonian, October 8, 1923, said Blaine was a passenger on the steamer Admiral Farragut that was bound for San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

    The Steinbeck Review, Spring 2012, published Nick Taylor’s article, “Mahlon Blaine, John Steinbeck, and The Maniac (1941)”, who wrote, “Blaine and Steinbeck met in November 1925 on board the steamship Katrina, which was headed from Long Beach to New York City. Steinbeck was twenty-three years old and had just left Stanford for the last time. Blaine, eight years Steinbeck’s senior, was returning to New York from a stint decorating studio sets in Hollywood….”

    Blaine had a listing in the 1927 eastern edition of Advertising Arts and Crafts, “Blaine, Mahlon, 160 W. 11th St., Sti 7608.”

    The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York), May 8, 1927, published Blaine’s observations of various New Yorkers.

    Perhaps New York is a wicked city after all. Mahlon Blaine says that he had no difficulty in findings suitable models for the various devils which serve as decorations in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a new John Day publication, which has just been chosen by the American institute of Graphic Arts as one of the 50 books of the year. Mephistophelian gentlemen discovered in taxis, restaurants, theaters, even in Mr. Blaine’s own Gramercy Park studio, lent themselves to his recording pencil….
    The Daily Olympian (Olympia, Washington), August 13, 1929, published Gilbert Swan’s article about San Francisco and said “There was Mahlon Blaine, whose illustrations are to be found today in books and magazines—and a score of others. Most of them figure in the surviving legends of San Francisco’s Bohemian days.”

    Blaine created the cover art for Steinbeck’s Cup of Gold (1929) and To a God Unknown (1933).

    Blaine was a Manhattan resident in the 1930 census. The freelance illustrator and apparently his West Virginian wife, Thelma L., made their home at 124 Bank Street.

    The San Diego Union, November 1, 1931, said “Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shuttleworth entertained with a week-end house party. Guests were Mrs. W. Bowman, Mrs. F.E. Stivers and Miss Bernitta Bowman of Hollywood, and Mahlon Blaine of New York City.”

    Blaine was profiled in The Oregonian, August 27, 1932.

    Call of “Boy” Still Rings in Ears of Noted Artist
    Mahlon Blaine, ex-Oregonian “Copy Rusher,” Another of Those Who Make Bigs Towns Sit Up and Take Notice.

    Another local boy who has more than made good in the big cities has come back to Portland to renew friendships, talk over the “old days” and to state, most emphatically, that Oregon’s a great place in which to live.

    The returning celebrity is Mahlon Blaine, ex-office boy and tyro artist of The Oregonian, who now is one of the leading book illustrators and movie set designers of the country. He is here with Mrs. Blaine visiting his mother at Dilley in Washington country.

    Interviewing Blaine was accomplished only after numerous interruptions for, while being questioned, he espied several persons who were staff members of The Oregonian when he served as an office boy and of course, reminiscences were in immediate order. When the discussion of “old times” was ended, the story of his rise to prominence was modestly unfolded by the artist.

    Unknown and with a suitcase full of drawings, Mr. Blaine hit New York in 1926 and, as the opening step in his bid for fame, listed the names of all book publishers, arranging them according to their distance from his hotel. The first he visited was the McBride Publishing company and after displaying his sample drawings was given a book to illustrate. It was Thomas Burke’s “Limehouse Nights.” One of Mr. Blaine’s favorite authors is Thomas Burke. 

    Scoring in his first attempt, the Oregon boy quickly gained a reputation and since 1926 has furnished the art work for more than 50 books. The latest was “Black Majesty,” by John Vander Cook, the sale of which has already passed the 500,000 mark.

    Like many others of the literary world, Mr. Blaine was soon drawn to Hollywood and in the past few years has divided his time between New York and the celluloid capital. He joined the art staff of Howard Hughes’ studios and designed many of the sets for the gangster picture “Scarface.” The recent controversy over the showing of the film here and the subsequent arrest of a theater owner interested Mr. Blaine greatly and he expressed some surprise that the show had caused any objections.

    “It was intended to give the public a real insight on gangsters, their mode of living and their nefarious activities and was not intended to offend anyone,” he said.

    Mr. Blaine was somewhat reluctant to talk about his work, being much more willing to tell of the days when he responded to the call of “boy” or “copy,” familiar in all newspaper offices.

    Born in Albany, the artist spent his early days there, and in 1912 became office boy for The Oregonian. After a year at this he transferred to the art department where, he revealed yesterday, he received his first instructions in drawing. From Portland he drifted to California and then back home, doing whatever jobs he could obtain but always studying the work that was eventually to lead him to success. When he felt prepared he made his bid and, as aforementioned, scored in a big way.

    Although here for only a week, Mr. Blaine’s stay has been long enough to convince him that Oregon’s climate has no superior, and in the future, he said, all his summers will be spent on the family farm at Dilley.
    California voter registration lists, at Ancestry.com, recorded Blaine’s address. In 1932 and 1934, the Democrat lived in Los Angeles at 1452 North Alta Vista Boulevard.

    The San Diego Union, May 23, 1935, said “Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shuttleworth have as guests Mrs. Shuttleworth’s brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon Blaine, of Hollywood and New York City.”

    The Oregonian, July 5, 1935, described a window display with Blaine’s work: “Contained in the display are a dozen of the original full-page illustrations drawn by Mahlon Blaine, noted American artist, who is now engaged in finishing a set of murals at the San Diego exposition. Mr. Blaine, according to the publishers, has illustrated some 60 best sellers in the past ten years.”

    Blaine’s work on the murals was noted in the San Diego Union, May 24, 1936: “…The mural was designed by Juan Larrinaga, art director of the project, assisted by Arthur Eneim and Albert McKiernan. P.T. Blackburn, Mahlon Blane [sic] and Nichalas Reveles were the artists who carries out the project.”

    Blaine’s Los Angeles address, in a 1938 directory, was 351 South Norton Avenue and his spouse was “Fern E.”.


    Blaine used the pseudonym G. Christopher Hudson on the books Satanism and Witchcraft (1939) and and The Maniac (1941).

    In the 1940 census, Blaine’s monthly rent was forty cents at the Mills Hotel, 160 Bleecker Street, New York City. According to the census, Blaine was single, had four years of college and the owner of an interior decorating service. 

    Blaine was mentioned in the Work Projects Administration’s American guide series title, Oregon: End of the Trail (1940).

    Blaine signed his World War II draft card on April 25, 1942. The freelance worker lived in New York City at 130 Charles Street which was crossed out and replaced with 505 West 124 Street. That address was crossed out and updated on June 5, 1943 with 6427 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California. Blaine’s description was five feet eleven inches, 190 pounds with blue eyes (one artificial) and black and gray hair.


    One of Blaine’s friends (and patron) was Joseph Dunninger.

    A review of Blaine’s art, in a group exhibition at the Gene Sullivan Gallery in New York, appeared in Arts Magazine, January 1957. 
    …Whatever Dunninger’s work is like, the work of his two co-exhibitors is theatrically bad. A joint press release informs us that Mahlon Blaine is a famous illustrator who has illustrated many best sellers, and that Aline Rhonie is a well-known muralist. It would be unfair to suggest that Aline Rhonie is in the same class with Blaine, but what she exhibits are small darkish oils stuccoed with glitter—a knight in armor, three chapeaux, a group of jazz blowers, some tropical fish. As for Blaine, while his gouaches—his medicine men, covered wagon, floating skiffs laden with tropical flowers and a native woman—are not offensively bad, the same cannot be said of his lurid series of watercolors illustrating (by a single figure): Gluttony, Anger, Envy, Lust, etc.
    Blaine passed away January 1969. His last residence was New York City.


    Selected Dust Jackets































    Further Reading and Viewing
    ERBzine, profile and bibliography
    Grapefruit Moon Gallery, Mahlon Blaine, 1894–1969

    Heritage Auctions, artwork and books
    JVJ Publishing, profile
    The Outlandish Art of Mahlon Blaine
    , preview
    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, preview


    (Next post tomorrow: Halloween)

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  • 10/31/17--05:00: Halloween




































  • (Next post on Monday: Selma Meyers Gleit, Forgotten Comics Artist)

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    Selma Meyers was born April 15, 1928, in Brooklyn, New York. The birth date is based on information at Tributes.com and Dignity Memorial.

    In the 1930 U.S Federal Census, Selma was the second and youngest child of Louis, a baker, and Cecilia, who were Polish emigrants. Selma’s older brother was “Abie” [Abraham]. The family resided in Brooklyn at 1456 44th Street

    The 1940 census recorded the Meyers’ new address in Brooklyn, 114 Manjer Street, and two additional children, Harriet and Melvin.




    Selma graduated from New York City’s School of Industrial Art in 1945. On page 14 of the yearbook was Meyers’ name, specialty and achievements: “Silk Screen. Valedictorian; General Excellence Award; Designed commencement program cover.” The Class of 1945 included Rocco Mastroserio, Joe Orlando, Peter Pandolfi, Gaspar Saladino, and August Scotto

    The Northport Journal, (New York), June 23, 1949, covered Selma’s marriage.
    Gleit–Meyers
    The wedding of Miss Selma Meyers and Bernard Gleit took place last Sunday evening, June 12, in the Temple Auditorium in Brooklyn. Immediately following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Auditorium for friends and family of the bride and groom, the guests numbering two hundred. Mr. and Mrs. Gleit left later for their honeymoon trip to Schroon Lake, a resort in the Adirondacks, where they stayed until their return on Sunday, June 19.

    Mrs. Gleit a popular Huntington Station resident is a graduate of the Industrial School of Arts Class of 1945, of New York City, and also attended Pratt Institute in that city. She is presently an artist for the National Comics Publications in New York. Mr. Gleit is connected with the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company.

    The young couple are making their home on Jacobson Avenue in Huntington Station, where they are already well known and well liked Mrs. Gleit is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Meyers of that community, and Bernard is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Gleit of Broadway in Greenlawn.
    Selma is not listed in Who’s Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. It’s not known what her role was at National and what titles she worked on.

    The Northport Journal, August 9, 1961, reported the birth of a son.

    Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Gleit are the proud parents of a boy born in the Huntington Hospital last Thursday. Mr. B. Gleit is the son of Herman Gleit of the Broadway stationery store.
    There were two sons, David and Stephen.

    Selma’s husband passed away July 25, 1995 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Selma’s passing was on April 4, 2012 in West Palm Beach.

    The Selma Gleit Memorial Scholarship for Women in STEM was established by a granddaughter, Naomi Gleit, in 2015.


    (Next post on Monday: Searching for Sid Check)

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    Sid Check was born around the same time as fellow comic book artists Wally Wood (1927), Joe Orlando (1927), Frank Frazetta, (1928), Al Williamson (1931) and Angelo Torres (1932). Child of Tomorrow: And Other Stories (2013) said Check lived in Brooklyn, New York where he attended the Mark Twain Junior High School.

    With this information I began my search for Check.

    In the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, there was a ten-year-old Sidney Check who resided in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York at 3001 West 29 Street. (No other boys named Sidney Check or Sydney Check were found in Brooklyn.) Check lived with his uncle and aunt, Morris and Rose Applebaum. Morris worked in children’s clothing. The census said Check was born in New Jersey around 1930 and, in 1935, lived in Newark, New Jersey.

    A Social Security application, transcribed at Ancestry.com, was filled out by Sidney Charles Check who was born August 2, 1930 in Newark, New Jersey. His parents were Abraham Check and Ida Applebaum.

    Check’s parents were found in the 1930 census which was enumerated in April, four months before Check’s birth. Check’s parents were Polish emigrants who arrived in 1926. The census recorded their address as 217 Harrison Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. Check’s father was a tailor at a clothing house. Also in the household was Morris Applebaum, Ida’s brother. What happened to Check’s parents is not known. At some point Check was in the care of his uncle and aunt.

    The Mark Twain Junior High School (known today as Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 for the Gifted and Talented) is located in Coney Island, Brooklyn at 2401 Neptune Avenue, less than a ten minute walk from Check’s home that was about a mile west of the train station.





    Check graduated from the School of Industrial Art (SIA) in Manhattan. Below is the 1948 yearbook photograph with his name, address and major: “Check, Sidney; 2995 West 29 Street; Brooklyn, 26[?], New York; Cartooning.” Check lived on the same street and near his previous address. Check may have known Orlando, who was in the Class of 1945, and Torres, a 1951 graduate.





    Check’s earliest comic book work dates to 1950 according to Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 and 1951 in the Grand Comics DatabaseAgainst the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood (2003) said “Working off and on with Wood since 1949, Check was a huge comic book fan while growing up in the Thirties and Forties. He held Wood, Williamson, [Roy] Krenkel and Frazetta in high regard and eventually became friends with these talented giants.”


    Below is Check’s “The Spartans!” in Battlefront #23, September 1954.







    Child of Tomorrow said “Check grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he and Frank Frazetta knew each other as boys in the same neighborhood.” In the 1930 census, Frazetta lived at 1203 Avenue Y in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn which was about three miles east of Check’s home. Frazetta’s address in the 1940 census was 2435 East 11th Street, about a block-and-a-half from his old home. Frazetta studied at Michele Falanga’s Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts and did not mention Check as a student there. Frazetta attended Abraham Lincoln High School, in Brooklyn, when Check was at SIA. It’s not clear when and where Check and Frazetta first met as boys.

    The New York City, Marriage License Indexes at Ancestry.com said a Sidney Check and Betty Green obtained a Brooklyn marriage license in 1952. The couple were granted an August 1957 divorce in Russell County, Alabama. There was no mention of Check’s marital status by his friends and colleagues.

    Check’s name and address were recorded in a 1964 Brooklyn voter registration enrollment book: “Check Sidney C. 2995 W 29th st 1868762—D”.

    Child of Tomorrow said “Sometime in the early 1970s, Torres bumped into Check on the street. ‘He told me he had a regular job and wasn’t involved in comics anymore. I never saw him again after that,’ Torres said.” Years later, some of Check’s possessions in a storage locker were sold.

    According to the Social Security Death Index, Check passed away June 19, 2002. His last residence was Coney Island, Brooklyn at the 11224 ZIP Code.



    (Next post on Monday: School of Industrial Art’s Comic Book Artists, 1939–1951)

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    The School of Industrial Art (SIA) was founded in 1936. In 1960 SIA announced the change of its name to the High School of Art and Design. The first SIA yearbook was published in 1942. Yearbooks can be viewed here.


    CLASS OF 1939

    Al Plastino


    CLASS OF 1942

    William Molno





















    John Styga 
















    CLASS OF 1943

    John Belfi





















    Carmine Infantino






















    CLASS OF 1944


    Jack Abel
    “No Tyrone Power
    or Clark Gable.
    But he’s ready,
    willing and able.”















    Charles Grandenetti















    Ezra Jackson

















    CLASS OF 1945

    Rocco Mastroserio

















    Selma Meyers

















    Joseph Orlando

















    Peter Pandolfi

















    Gaspar Saladino

















    August Scotto

















    Frank Loffredo might be Loffredo in Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999


    CLASS OF 1946


    Seymour Barry



















    Robert Hirsch














    Jacob Katz (no photograph; listed in senior directory)

    Seymour Moskowitz (no photograph; listed in senior directory)

    Alvaro Scaduto
















    Alexander Toth















    Morris Waldinger















    William Weltman (no photograph; listed in senior directory)


    CLASS OF 1947


    John D’Agostino
















    Hal Fromm


















    John Romita


















    Herbert Tauss

















    CLASS OF 1948

    Sidney Check
















    Joseph P. Gagliardi


    Leonard Herman




    CLASS OF 1949

    Stanley Goldberg and here














    Eugene Russo might be Russo in Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999


    CLASS OF 1950


    Ernest Colon















    James Infantino















    CLASS OF 1951

    Lionel J. Dillon














    Angelo Torres














    CLASS OF 1952

    no cartooning course


    CLASS OF 1953



































    CLASS OF 1954

    Victor Moscoso






















    CLASS OF 1955

    Colin Allen (far left) begins as cartooning instructor




    CLASS OF 1956

    Ralph Bakshi






















    CLASS OF 1957

    Sheldon Brodsky






















    CLASS OF 1958

    Victor Gorelick





















    John Verpoorten (no photograph; listed on Camera Shy page) 





    CLASS OF 1959

    Neal Adams




    CLASS OF 1960

    last yearbook of the School of Industrial Art


    CLASS OF 1961

    first yearbook of the High School of Art and Design


    CLASS OF 1962

    Famous Last Words
    Colin Allen: You can come back at 3:15.


    CLASS OF 1963

    Administration
    Famous Last Words
    Alvin Hollingsworth: Soon we’ll all be selling frankfurters on Second Ave. 

    Harry Blumfield






















    CLASS OF 1964

    Marvin Wolfman (undergraduate) 


















    CLASS OF 1965

    Colin Allen, staff

















    Alvin Hollingsworth, staff

















    Bernard Krigstein, staff

















    Arthur I. Spiegelman






















    CLASS OF 1966

    Staff
    Colin Allen, Alvin Hollingsworth, Bernard Krigstein


    CLASS OF 1967

    Faculty
    Charles [Colin] Allen, Alvin Hollingsworth, Bernard Krigstein


    CLASS OF 1968

    Faculty
    Charles [Colin] Allen (final year at school), Alvin Hollingsworth, Bernard Krigstein 


    CLASS OF 1969

    Faculty
    Alvin Hollingsworth, Bernard Krigstein 


    Class year unknown or did not graduate
    Valerie Barclay (classmate with Allen Bellman)
    Ernest Bache

    Allen Bellman and here (classmate with Valerie Barclay)
    Frank Bolle
    Solomon Brodsky
    Nick Cardy (classmate with Al Plastino)
    Bernard Case
    Jon D’Agostino

    Frank Giacoia (classmate with Belfi, Kane and Infantino; dropped out to work full-time)
    Joe Giella (classmate with Gaspar Saladino)
    Raymond Gill
    Alfonso Greene

    Gil Kane (classmate with Belfi, Giacoia and Infantino; dropped out to work full-time)
    Rudy Lapick
    Peter Morisi
    Martin Rosenheck
    Joseph Michael Roy
    Al Scaduto
    Mike Sekowsky
    Emilio Squeglio
    Chic Stone
    Martin Thall
    Albert William Tyler aka Alberto Pugluico

    John Buscema graduated from the High School of Music and Art. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said he graduated from SIA.




    Related Post
    Pratt Institute and the Golden Age of Comics


    (Next post on Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving, 1907)

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  • 11/23/17--05:00: Happy Thanksgiving, 1907
































  • Collier’s, November 23, 1907

    (Next post on Monday: Sam Marsh)



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  • 11/27/17--05:00: Lettering: Sam Marsh

  • Samuel H. “Sam” Marsh was on August 20 or 21, 1899, in Warsaw, Poland. The birth dates were recorded on several passenger lists when Marsh went overseas. Early census records said Marsh was born in Russia while later records named Poland. The New York Times, April 2, 1969, said he was born in Warsaw.

    On May 5, 1906, Marsh, his mother, Helena and siblings Aron, Odessa and Benjamin, were aboard the S.S. Zeeland when it departed Antwerp, Belgium. They arrived in the port of New York City on May 15. The passenger list said they were Hebrew and were going to the home of Marsh’s father and maternal grandfather who resided at 7 Willett Street in New York City.

    The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded Marsh, his parents and four siblings in Manhattan at 204 East 109 Street. His father had a plumbing business.

    In the 1915 New York state census, the Marshes were Bronx residents at 1082 South Boulevard. 

    The Stamp Specialist Orange Book (1941) said Marsh was “educated in the public and High Schools of New York.  After service in the U.S. Navy, was employed by J. & R. Lamb, ecclesiastical art workers. Received first training in lettering and designing tombstones and procession crosses!” The Times said Marsh graduated from Stuyvesant High School and was offered a scholarship to the Columbia University School of Architecture. However, Marsh had to earn a living and found a job doing decorative lettering for tombstones.

    1920 census said Marsh was an artist at a studio. He lived with his parent in the Bronx at 890 Forest Avenue. According to the Times, Marsh formed a studio, S.H. Marsh Associates, which became very successful.

    The Stamp Specialist Orange Book said Marsh “studied at the New York Evening School of Industrial Design and the Art Students League for five years. During that time, worked for the McFadden Publications, Robert Gare, packaging, and the Harry Marx Advertising Art Service. Became free lance in 1926…”

    Mamaroneck, New York was Marsh’s home in the 1930 census. He was married to Lenore, a Brooklyn native, and had a daughter. They lived on Bleecker Street and employed a maid. Marsh was a commercial artist in the lettering trade.

    Edward Rondthaler mentioned Marsh in his book, Life with Letters—As They Turned Photogenic (1981), on pages 54 and 55.

    1937–40
    …Mr. Kohl, who held the purse strings at J. Walter Thompson, sent word that Photo-Lettering was not to add any more hand lettered styles. Flexible type was to be our province. We could keep the styles we already had but no new ones. Evidently Sam Marsh had persuaded him that the newcomers on Forty-fifth Street were getting out of hand and should be fenced in. We had no choice but to pull back for a while and hope the storm would blow over.

    Much later in life I learned that it’s almost impossible to deny an enterprise the tools that enable it to prosper. Certainly you can’t do it artificially, and that’s what Mr. Kohl was trying to do. He was probably making a gesture in behalf of his friend Sam Marsh, but it’s rare that the power of a gesture from on high can match the determination of the little fellow way down the ladder fighting for his life. We all remember the vivid example of this in the Vietnam war. Big money and big firepower with halfhearted commitment was no match for little money and little firepower with big commitment.

    Railroad Gothic finally gave us our chance to break Mr. Kohl's ban. Railroad needed a lowercase, it needed certain improvements in the caps, and it needed more weights and proportions. Any change on battered old Railroad Gothic could easily be passed off as no more than flexing type. At first we called our revision “Railroad” just in case Mr. Kohl flagged us down. But when nothing happened we threw caution to the wind and boldly renamed the new gothic in honor of our favorite telephone exchange—Murray Hill.

    The Daily Argus (Mount Vernon, New York), February 5, 1938, reported Marsh’s stamp design.
    A small green stamp, bearing the legend “Peace is the new patriotism” was introduced into Westchester yesterday, when Mrs. Charles F. Robbins, of Llewelyn Park, West Orange, N. J., chairman of the Peace Stamp Committee of the New Jersey Council of International Relations, was a luncheon guest of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, 120 Paine Avenue, New Rochelle. With Mrs. Robbins was Mrs. Frederick A. Coombs, international relations chairman of the Woman’s Club of Orange, N. J.

    The stamp, designed by Sam Marsh, New York artist, represents the globe. The band encircling it with the quotation, expresses a thought voiced some 20 years ago by the late Jane Addams. Above and below is printed “Encircle the globe with thought.”


    The New York Sun, March 21, 1938, said “Eastern Offices, Inc., leased space in the Graybar Building, 420 Lexington avenue to Samuel H. Marsh…”

    Marsh and his wife visited Mexico. They departed abroad the S.S. Yucatan from Vera Cruz, Mexico on November 6, 1935 and arrived in New York six days later. The following year, they visited South America. On November 11, 1936, the steamship Santa Inez departed Callao, Peru and arrived in the port of New York on the 24th. The passenger list said Marsh’s address was Taylor’s Land, Mamaroneck, New York. Marsh visited the Bahamas in 1939. He returned to New York on April 7. Marsh gave his business address, 420 Lexington Avenue, New York City, on the passenger list. Marsh returned from a trip to Jamaica on April 25, 1940, about two-and-a-half weeks before the 1940 census enumeration.

    Marsh, his wife and two daughters, Ellen and Audrey, made their home in Rye, New York, as recorded in the 1940 census. Marsh operated a commercial studio. 

    The Stamp Specialist Orange Book published Paul F. Berdanier’s “Designs for U.S. Stamps” on how to improve the country’s postage stamp designs. Various methods of selecting designers were mentioned. Berdanier assembled twelve designers, including himself, to submit designs to the Post Office. Each designer, including Marsh, was profiled. 



    Scott’s Monthly Stamp Journal, December 1942, said: 
    In the July 1941, and July and August, 1942, issues of the Journal we told about the movement inaugurated by a group of liberal artists to convince official Washington that there are superb designers in the United States other than Federal employees at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and that the appearance of Uncle Sam’s postal paper could in their opinion be immeasurably improved if Washington would adapt some of the design-ideas proffered by such artists.

    Proposed designs for the “United Nations” and “Four Freedoms”stamps were prepared by Mr. Helguera and Mr. Manship and the following: Gordon Aymer, Paul F. Berdanier, Warren Chapel, Andre Durencean, Alexander Kahn, Robert Riggs, Carl Setterberg, Paul Shively, Irwin Smith, Hugo Steiner-Prag (who designed many of Hungary’s stamps before he came to the United States), John Vicery, Edwin A. Wilson. Much of the lettering was done by Sam Marsh.

    “A Crusade for for Better U.S. Postage Stamps” appeared in the March 1943 issue of American Artist. Many artists submitted designs, some of which were reproduced.

    Four stamps with lettering by Marsh 

    The Times, May 8, 1945, said George Salter and Paul Standard assembled examples of modern lettering and calligraphy for an exhibition at the A-D Gallery in May 1945. Among the exhibitors were Arnold Bank, Warren Chappell, W.A. Dwiggins, Gustav Jensen, Marsh, William Metzig, Oscar Ogg, George Salter, Andrew Szoke and Tommy Thompson.

    Marsh and daughter Audrey visited the Bahamas in 1946. Their Pan American World Airways plane landed in Miami, Florida on January 2, 1947. On the same airline, Marsh flew from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York City on December 23, 1948.

    The Times, December 24, 1949 reported Marsh’s marriage to Margot Woodle, a sculptor, on the 23rd in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. On December 27, 1949, Marsh and Margot sailed on the S.S. Ile de France from New York City to Le Havre, France. On the same ship the couple returned to New York City on February 9, 1950. Marsh’s address was 150 East 33rd Street, New York, New York. They also visited Puerto Rico in 1951 and 1952.

    Stamp Specialist Orange Book said Marsh “has…done work for all the leading advertising agencies as well as a number of industrial organizations. At present, his studio is in the Graybar Building [420 Lexington Avenue] where he works with his staff of specialists.” The 1949 Official Directory, American Illustrators and Advertising Artists had this listing: “Sam Marsh Lettering, Package Design, 420 Lexington Ave. MU 3-3135 Trade-Marks New York 17, N. Y.” 


    Jacket design by Marsh, 1959



    Marsh endorsed Letraset’s dry-transfer “instant lettering” in an advertisement in The Penrose Annual, Volume 56, 1962.


    Courtesy of Rod McDonald


    Postage Stamps of the United States (1966) published the names of the designers, artists and letterers. Here are Marsh’s credits.

    Air Mail 7¢; Artist, William H. Buckley; lettering by Sam Marsh; First day issue July 31, 1958, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



    Overland Mail 4¢; Design by William H. Buckley; Art by C.R. Chickering; Lettering by Sam Marsh; First day issue October 10, 1958, San Francisco, California



    Winston Churchill; Designer, Richard Hurd; lettering by Sam Marsh; First day issue May 13, 1965, Fulton, Missouri



    Salvation Army; Designer, Sam Marsh; First day issue July 2, 1965, New York, New York



    Herbert Hoover; Designer, Norman Todhunter; lettering by Sam Marsh; First day issue August 10, 1965, West Branch, Iowa



    The Times said Marsh retired in 1967 and, about two years later, passed away March 31, 1969 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He lived at 70 West 10th Street and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  


    (Next post on Monday: Types of Mind)

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  • 12/04/17--05:00: Lettering: Types of Mind

  • Benjamin Perley Poore (1820–1887) had a collection of over 2,700 autographs, that were sold at auction in 1888. Catalogue of the Collection of Autographs Belonging to the Estate of the Late Maj. Ben. Perley Poore, of Newburyport, Mass.

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, January 1, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, January 8, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, January 15, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, January 22, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, January 29, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, February 5, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, February 12, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, February 26, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, March 5, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, March 19, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, April 2, 1853

    Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, April 16, 1853





























































































































































































































































































































































































    (Next post on Monday: Elmer “Tom” Tomasch, a Timely Artist)

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    Elmer John “Tom” Tomasch was born on November 16, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio, according to his Social Security application at Ancestry.com. His parents were John Tomasch and Julia Kosman, both Hungarian (1920 census) or Czechoslovakian (1930 census) emigrants.

    1920 United States Federal Census
    Home: 3477 West 126 Street, West Park, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
    Name / Age / Occupation
    John Tomasch, 36, “cooper”
    Julia Tomasch, 28, none
    Elmer Tomasch, 5, none
    Helen Tomasch, 7, none
    (spelled “Thomash” by census enumerator)

    1930 United States Federal Census
    Home: 3477 West 126 Street, West Park, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
    Name / Age / Occupation
    John Tomasch, 44, automobile blacksmith
    Julia Tomasch, 38, none
    Helen Tomasch, 16, none
    Elmer Tomasch, 15, newsboy route
    Jack Tomasch, 4, none
    Olma Taub, 21, exchange operator

    Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) said Tomasch graduated from the Cleveland School of Art and Western Reserve University. He received his master’s degree from Kansas State College. Tomasch was a Cleveland public school teacher.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer
    (Ohio)
    June 4, 1933
    May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art
    Class of Illustration.
    …Other strong exhibitors are Elmer Tomasch…

    Cleveland Plain Dealer
    June 2, 1935
    May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art
    …Entrants from the teacher training classes were…Elmer J. Tomasch.

    Missouri, Marriage Records
    Name: Elmer J Tomasch
    Spouse: Sadie M Pelkey
    Marriage: November 22, 1939, Jackson, Missouri


    The Lake Placid News

    (New York)
    December 8, 1939

    Placid Figure Skater Weds Art Teacher
    A shower and reception for Mr. and Mrs. Thomas [sic] Tomaseh was given recently by friends at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey upon the arrival of the bridal couple from Cleveland. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pelkey and was the former Miss Sadie Pelkey.

    Both bride and groom took part at the New York’s World’s Fair. They plan to spend some time here before returning to Cleveland. Mrs. Tomaseh will continue her figure skating and her husband will also take up skating and skiing during his stay here. Among those attending the shower at which the couple received many attractive and useful gifts were: Mr. and Mrs. Frank LaBare, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Pratt, Louis Perry and Richard Charland of Standish, Miss Katharine Pelkey, sister of the bride, and Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey.
    1940 United States Federal Census
    Home: 4012 Franklin Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio
    Name / Age / Occupation
    Elmer J Tomasch, 25, public school art teacher
    Sadie M Tomasch, 20, New York World’s Fair figure skater

    Soon after the census enumeration in April, Tomasch moved to Lake Placid, New York, where Tomasch’s first son, Lyndon, was born on June 10, 1940. Also born in Lake Placid was Kim on July 14, 1947. Tomasch had a third son, Bret. The Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists said Tomasch taught at Lake Placid.

    An obituary for Sadie said:

    As a young woman, Mrs. Tomasch was a professional ice skater and skated with the Ice Capades. While skating at the 1939 World’s Fair, held in New York City, she met and later married Elmer J. Tomasch, a caricature artist also working at the World’s Fair….The Tomasch’s lived in New York City for several years before moving to Manhattan [Kansas] in 1947….
    The Lake Placid News
    July 12, 1940
    Three Lake Placid students are enrolled in the summer school at Syracuse University, Miss Stella McKeown, Charles F. Lehman, Jr., and Elmer J. Tomasch.
    The Lake Placid News
    August 16, 1940
    Among the house guests this week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey are: Mrs. John Tomasch and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Becker, all of Cleveland, O. They are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Tomasch who live at the Pelkey home.
    The Lake Placid News
    June 27, 1941
    Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Tomasch left Monday for New York City where Mr. Tomasch will remain to attend summer school. Mrs. Tomasch will return later in the week.
    The Lake Placid News
    March 13, 1942
    Junior Class Presents Play Tonight, ‘The Late Christopher’
    …The set and stage background were designed by James Mulvey and the art director Elmer Tomasch….
    The Lake Placid News
    September 11, 1942
    Miss Kate Pelkey returned Tuesday after spending a week at the home of her sister, Mrs. E.J. Tomasch in Astoria, L.I. [New York City’s Queens Borough] Returning with her was Mrs. Tomasch’s infant son, Lyndon, who will spend some time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey.
    Timely-Atlas-Comics
    an excerpt from “Allen Bellman: The Interview”
    Michael J. Vassallo: Who were some of your biggest artistic influences at Timely?
    Allen Bellman: At Timely there was a guy named Tom Tomasch. He taught me a lot when I arrived. He was a short guy, very sophisticated and very nice. A real classy person. He even wrote a book on anatomy. [The ABC’s of Anatomy (1947)] He knew anatomy so well. He originally lived up in Lake Placid. His real name was, I think Elmer Tomasch but he was known as Tom. He would look over my work and correct me early on. Syd Shores was also a great help.

    M: Was Tom Tomasch an artist or production person?
    B: Tom was an artist and a darned good one at that. He knew his anatomy extremely well. He would make suggestions to me that helped me in my drawing.
    The interview has Tomasch’s illustration for “Make Up Your Mind!” which was published in Miss America, Volume 1, Number 4, January 1945. Tomasch also illustrated “It’s Fun to Act” which was in the second issue of Miss America.

    In Alter Ego #11, November 2001, Jim Amash interviewed Vince Fago, artist, writer and third editor-in-chief of Timely Comics. Amash asked, “Who else sticks out in your mind from Timely?” After naming several artists, Fago said, “There was a man named Thomas who did a lot of the Human Torch stories; he later became a teacher. I don’t remember anything else about him except he was German.” Fago described Tomasch whose name sounded like Thomas.

    Alter Ego #33, February 2004, published “Viva Valerie! An Interview with ‘Glamorous Girl Inker’ Valerie (a.k.a.) Violet) Barclay”. The interview was conducted by Jim Amash who asked, “What do you remember about Syd Shores?” Barclay answered
    “He was a very talented artist who did Captain America. He had another artist who worked with him who was a short, blond, Irish or English type of guy. I can’t think of his name now, but he used to take Syd Shores’ work and ink it. He had a tremendous knowledge of anatomy and would sharpen up muscles. Syd would pencil very roughly, and this man was a strong inker who’d tighten it all up.”
    [Note: Vince Alascia isn’t the man Valerie Barclay was trying to recall. Anybody know who it might be?—Jim.]
    I believe Barclay described Tomasch.

    Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists said Tomasch joined the faculty at Kansas State University, Manhattan in 1947. Tomasch’s work was exhibited in Prairie Water Color Painters, Derby, England, 1948, and Kansas State University, 1978.

    The Lake Placid News

    April 30, 1948
    Infant Death
    Word has been received here of the death of the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer J. Tomasch of Manhattan, Kansas, and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson of Lake Placid and Mr. and Mrs. John Tomasch of Cleveland, Ohio. Also a niece of Mrs. C.J. Martin, lake Placid, and Helen Becker of Cleveland. Burial was in the Catholic cemetery in Manhattan.
    The Lake Placid News
    July 27, 1951
    Tomasch Home Ruined in Flood
    Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey gave received word by radiogram and letter from their daughter, Mrs. Elmer Tomasch, telling of her family’s safety after being caught in the flood at Manhattan, Kan. It was the first news received from the family in three weeks. The flood ruined their home where seven feet of water still remained and the family was taken for refuge to the Kansas State College where Mr. Tomasch is professor of art.
    Kansas State Collegian
    November 14, 1951
    page 8: Kansas Magazine Features Articles, Art by K-Staters

    Kansas State Collegian
    November 19, 1951
    page 7: Ability to Sleep on the Job Pays Off for Models in Tomasch’s Art Classes

    Kansas State Collegian
    December 13, 1951
    page 15: Catalogs, Bulletins Win First Prizes

    Kansas State Collegian
    February 4, 1952
    page 3: Tomasch Is Brain Behind Artistry of Publications

    The Lake Placid News
    August 15, 1952
    Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Tomasch and children of Manhattan, Kan., are visiting Mrs. Tomasch’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Pelkey. Mrs. Tomasch and children will remain here during the winter while Mr. Tomasch studies for a master’s degree at New York University. During the week they made a brief trip to Cleveland to visit the mother of Mr. Tomasch, accompanying Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pfieffer of Manhattan, who drove east with them last Friday.
    1952 Royal Purple
    Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas
    Tomasch contributed over 20 cartoons
    page 140: “E.J. Tomasch, whose sketches appear throughout the book, handled all cartoon artwork in the 1952 Royal Purple and gave invaluable assistance in working out page layouts for the book.”




































    1954 Royal Purple
    Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas


















    1955 Royal Purple
    Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas



























    Kansas State Collegian
    May 9, 1957
    page 1: German Arts to Highlight Weekend Festival Program
    ...Saturday’s schedule includes a gallery lecture at 2:30 p.m. on drawings and graphic arts being exhibited in the art lounge by E.J. Tomasch, assistant professor in the Architecture and Allied Arts department.
    Kansas State Collegian
    November 6, 1957
    page 3: SU Displays Kansas Art
    The Kansas Federation of Art is sponsoring a display of 16 paintings in the Union lounge. The paintings will remain there until November 10.

    ...Six of the paintings are by members of the K-State faculty.
    The faculty members are Oscar V. Larmer, assistant professor of art; E.J. Tomasch, assistant professor of architecture; …
    Kansas State College Bulletin
    Volume 42, Number 11, 1958
    Kansas Engineering Experiment Station
    Bulletin 87, 1958
    Creative Drawing
    E. J. Tomasch

    Kansas State Collegian
    October 28, 1958
    page 3: SU Kansas Mag Ready Soon for Stands
    Kansas Magazine will soon make its yearly appearance on the newsstands. It contains 104 pages of literature and art produced mainly by Kansans and former Kansans. All of the works are appearing in ring for the first times.…Of the eight contributors of art, one is a K-State staff member—E.J. Tomasch of the Art Department.
    Kansas State Collegian
    November 20, 1958
    page 1: SU Contemporary Italian Music Discussed by Prof Stratton
    ,,,E.J. Tomasch will give a demonstration of portraiture in the art lounge at 3:15 p.m….
    1959 Royal Purple
    Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas



















    Kansas State Collegian
    February 4, 1959
    page 1: Art Not Appreciated, Claims Professor
    …When he came here in 1947, this was his first college position. He had previously worked in New York City for the Martin-Goodman [sic] Publications….
    The Salina Journal
    (Kansas)
    November 19, 1965
    Sandzen Gallery Plans Reception 
    Lindsborg—The Sandzen Memorial gallery at Bethany college will ”…also have a new show Sunday, a one-man show by E. J. Tomasch, Kansas State university. Prof. Tomasch is recognized for his work in figures and painting….”

    The Manhattan Mercury
    (Kansas)
    February 23, 1966
    K-State Art Professor Shows Negro Paintings
    Paintings of the life of Negroes is being featured in a one-man show by Elmer J. Tomasch at The Barn Gallery, 8200 Mission Road, Prairie Village, that began Sunday through March 13. Tomasch, an associate professor of art at Kansas State University, is a pioneer in the emerging period of great art of today’s America.

    Explains Tomasch: “The changing status of the Negro and his role in today’s society is one of our nation’s most pressing and challenging problems. Our newspapers, radios, and television networks keep us well informed with daily reports on the latest developments in civil rights. We are permitted to see Uie Negro in his marches, as he is engaged in sit-ins, as he boycotts stores and even as he riots.

    “Yet there is another side to the Negro we barely know. The side which shows him as a man devoted to his family and as one who is capable of experiencing all emotions. It is this side of the life of Negroes I depict in the series of paintings currently being displayed.”

    Tomasch studied at the Cleveland School of Art. He has exhibited at the Gallery Anjoy, New York City; The Ankrum Gallery and the Paul Rival Gallery in Los Angeles; and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He has had one-man shows in Manhattan, Lindsborg and Wichita. 
    The Yellow Brick Road Trip
    Johnny Kaw Statute – Manhattan, KS
    “In 1966, Kaw was memorialized in a 30-foot, statue that cost $7,000 to build. He was designed by Elmer Tomasch, a member of the Kansas State University’s Art Department.”

    Tomasch wrote A Foundation for Expressive Drawing which was published in 1969.

    The Wichita Eagle (Kansas), October 19, 1969, reported the exhibition at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery on the campus of Bethany College at Lindsborg, Kansas. The show included a painting or paintings by Tomasch.


    The Manhattan Mercury

    May 21, 1974
    Earns Award
    Bret Tomasch, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Tomasch, 809 Juniper Dr., was presented the John Philip Sousa Band award at Manhattan High School recently. A flutist, Tomasch has been selected for both the band and orchestra the past three years by the Kansas Music Education Association. He is also the holder of six gold medals in state music competition.
    Tomasch passed away May 12, 1977 according to the Manhattan Mercury.
    Well-known KSU artist Elmer Tomasch is dead
    Popular and prolific artist Elmer Tomasch, a member of the Kansas State University faculty for 30 years, died this morning at age 62 in Memorial Hospital. Death was attributed to natural causes. Final rites for one of the most versatile K-State Art Department members where he held the rank of associate professor will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Seven Dolors Roman Catholic Church with Fr. Carl Kramer as celebrant. Interment will be in Sunrise Cemetery. The Rosary will be recited for Mr. Tomasch at 7.30 p.m. Friday at the Parkview Funeral Home. Friends wishing to contribute to a memorial 'and for an art scholarship in Mr. Tomasch's name may leave donations at the funeral home.

    Mr. Tomasch is survived by his widow Sadie, of the home on Route 5; three sons, Kim and Bret of the home, and Lyndon of Olathe; one sister, Mrs. Helen Becker of Charlotte, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

    The artist whose works besides his paintings included numerous illustrations, caricatures and designs for such things as the Johnny Kaw statue in City Park had been a KSU artist member of the K-State art faculty since 1947. He gained reputation as an artist concerned with the use of the human figure. Man, through his eyes, was both idea and form, and he put his thoughts into his teaching and into [missing text]

    (Next post on Monday: 1 Ladder 1)

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    Air Mail—15¢

    Designer
    Herb Lubalin; lettering: John Pistilli; statue drawn by Joseph Lomberdero.

    Engravers
    Vignette: R.M. Bower; outline frame, lettering, numeral and plane: G.L. Huber.

    First Day
    Nov. 20, 1959; New York, N.Y.














    Air Mail—25¢

    Designer
    Herb Lubalin; lettering: John Pistilli; illustrations: Joseph Lomberdero.

    Engravers
    Portrait: M.D. Fenton; outline frame, stars, lettering, numeral and plane: H.F. Sharpless.

    First Day
    Apr. 22, 1960; San Francisco, Calif.














    Air Mail—10¢

    Designer
    Herb Lubalin; lettering: John Pistilli; illustrations: Joseph Lomberdero.

    Engravers
    Vignette: A.W. Dintaman; outline frame, lettering and plane: G.L. Huber.

    First Day
    June 10, 1960; Miami, Fla.














    Air Mail—15¢
    (Redesigned)

    Designer
    Herb Lubalin; lettering: John Pistilli; statue drawn by Joseph Lomberdero (modeled by V.S. McCloskey, Jr.)

    Engravers
    Vignette: A.W. Dintaman; outline frame, lettering, numeral and plane: R.J. Jones.

    First Day
    Jan. 13, 1961; Buffalo, N.Y.














    Air Mail—13¢ 


    Designer

    Herb Lubalin; lettering: John Pistilli; Modeled by V.S. McCloskey, Jr. and W.K. Schrage.

    Engravers

    Vignette: A.W. Dintaman; outline frame, lettering, numeral and plane: J.L. Huber.

    First Day

    June 28, 1961; New York, N.Y.

    Source: Postage Stamps of the United States: July 1, 1847 to December 31, 1965 (1966)




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    Five Points


    (Next post on Monday: 1 Ladder 1)

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  • 01/01/18--05:00: Street Scene: 1 Ladder 1

  • NEWYORKCITY
    100 Duane Street, Manhattan


    (Next post on Monday: Cornelia J. Hoff)

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    Cornelia Josephine Hoff was born on June 22, 1903, in Concord, Massachusetts, according to Massachusetts birth records at Ancestry.com. Her parents were Anton J. Hoff and Pauline Christianson.

    In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Hoff was the second of four daughters born to the Norwegian emigrant parents. Their father worked at odd jobs. The family resided in Concord on Barretts Mill Road.

    The Hoff family had a fifth daughter in the 1920 census. Their address was unchanged.

    In 1924 Hoff graduated from the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston. The Palette and Pen yearbook had Hoff’s photograph and this description:

    Our own “Connie,” lives in North Acton, Mass. She attended Concord High and graduated from there in ’20. “Connie” is a worker, mastering every single subject in its turn. There has never been one turned down or laid aside yet, by “Connie.” She was Secretary of her class as a Freshman, Sophomore and Senior, and has helped on all the Spreads, too. “Connie” will proceed to tell the younger generation just how things are done. Gee, if we could only be students again!

    The graduation was covered in the Christian Science Monitor, June 12, 1924. Hoff was one of eighteen women to receive a bachelor of science in education in the teacher-training department. Hoff was one of two students awarded the medal of honor in teacher training.


    Hoff was a teacher in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Her name was in the 44th Annual Report of the Town Officers of Wellesley, Massachusetts for the Year Ending December 31, 1924: “9. Cornelia Hoff; Drawing, Crafts; Massachusetts Normal Art School, B.S.; Sept. 1924” Her salary was four-hundred-and-eighty dollars.


    So far the earliest record of Hoff’s professional career was a listing in the Eastern Edition of Advertising Arts and Crafts (1927): 

    Hoff, Cornelia J., 6 Newbury St., Ken 6175 Boston, Mass. Borders, Decoration, Decorative Wash, Design, Layout, Lettering, Magazine Covers, Ornamentation, Poster, Trade Specialties, Black and White, Charcoal, Color, Line Drawings, Pastel, Pencil, Pen and Ink, Tempra, Wash, Water Color.
    Boston city directories, from 1929 to 1937, said Hoff was a commercial artist at 383 Boylston Street in room six. Hoff illustrated several children’s books and mathematics textbooks including The Sunshine School (1928), Walks and Talks in Numberland (1929), and The Alpha Individual Arithmetics series.

    The Boston Herald, October 12, 1930, reviewed the young artists exhibition at the Concord Art Centre and said, “…Some remarkable decorations for book pages are by Cornelia Hoff, daughter of one of the American Norwegian families numerous in Concord district, and already employed as illustrator by a leading text-book house.”

    In the 1930 and 1940 censuses, Hoff lived with her parents in Carlisle, Massachusetts. In 1930 Hoff’s occupation was illustrator. She was a freelance commercial artist in 1940.

    The Lowell Sun, September 21, 1942, reported the reception for the newly-elected pastor of the Carlisle Congregational Church, and said, “…At the end of the receiving line was Miss Irma D. Stanton with the guest book. This book was of original and clever design, the work of a church member, Miss Cornelia Hoff.”

    During World War II and the 1950s, Hoff produced designs and illustrations for the Strathmore Paper company. One piece (below) was included in Modern Publicity 23 (1954).




    Hoff’s father died September 12, 1948. Her mother’s death was on February 16, 1962. Hoff passed away May 24, 1964. She was laid to rest with her parents at Green Cemetery


    (Next post on Monday: Marcia Snyder, Artist)

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    Marcia Louise Snyder was born on May 13, 1907, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and the birthplace is based on her parents’ residence in Kalamazoo. Snyder’s full name appeared in the Kalamazoo Gazette (Michigan), June 13, 1921, and Florida death certificate. Snyder’s parents were Charles R. Snyder and Louise P. Underwood, who married on January 20, 1898 in Kalamazoo, according to the Michigan Marriage Records at Ancestry,com.

    In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Snyder’s parents resided with her maternal grandparents, Theodore and Katherine Underwood, in Chicago, Illinois, at 6707 Wentworth Avenue. Snyder’s father was a clerk at a shoe store. Shortly after the census enumeration, Snyder’s parents moved to Kalamazoo. The first child of Snyder’s parents died shortly after birth in 1902. The couple lost their second child in 1906.

    The 1907 and 1909 Kalamazoo city directories listed Snyder’s father as a clerk who lived at 219 West Cedar Street.

    The 1910 census recorded Snyder, her parents and three-month-old brother David, and an aunt, Pauline, in Kalamazoo at 1007 South West Street. Snyder’s father was a shoe store salesman. In the 1917 city directory, Snyder’s father worked in the insurance industry.

    The Gazette, May 11, 1919, reported the upcoming performance of the cantata, “Childhood of Hiawatha”. Snyder was one of the 150 children in the chorus that sang with the Chicago Symphony orchestra. Music News, May 30, 1919, published an article about the May Festival; Snyder was mentioned on page 15.

    Snyder was a Girl Scout. An advertisement for three screenings of the Girl Scout film, “The Golden Eaglet”, appeared in the Gazette, December 4, 1919, and said Snyder was one of the scouts appearing in a short exhibition of camp life and first aid work. The March 28, 1920 edition of the Gazette said Snyder, of Troop 4, passed the invalid bed making test. 


    The Snyder household and address remained the same in the 1920 census.

    The Gazette, June 13, 1921, said Snyder would be one of twenty-nine students graduating the eight grade of the Western Normal Training school on June 16. Snyder continued her education at Western Normal High School. Apparently, her school operated under the Kalamazoo Plan, a program for teaching art, which was examined in The School Arts Magazine, March 1922.

    The 1924 Kalamazoo city directory listed student Snyder and her parents at 121 West Lovell Street.

    Snyder graduated in 1925. Next to her senior photograph, in the Highlander yearbook, was this quote, “I love not man less, but art more.”





    Snyder may have continued her art training at another institution such as the Kalamazoo School of Art, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Western Michigan University.

    The Journal of Proceedings of the Fifty-fourth Annual Convention of the Diocese of Western Michigan (1928) listed receipts for various services. Snyder submitted an invoice of six dollars and twenty-five cents for her signs


    Sometime in the late 1920s, Snyder moved to New York City. The 1930 census recorded Snyder as a self-employed artist who had two roommates, Lucile Cameron, a department store saleswoman, and Emma Rayhon, a bank file clerk. The trio lived at 315 West 4th Street in Manhattan.

    Snyder’s brother, David, a 1927 graduate, followed her to New York City. David’s marriage to Margaret Lusty was covered in the East Hampton Star (New York), June 9, 1933, which said, “A luncheon and reception was given by Miss Marion [sic] Snyder, sister of the groom, at her home in Greenwich Village immediately after the ceremony.”

    King Features Syndicate produced a women’s page with columns about fashion, child-rearing, gossip, beauty advice, etcetera. The page included illustrations and photographs. Snyder produced artwork for at least three of these pages.




    Long Island Daily Press, October 6, 1934


    Long Island Daily Press, October 13, 1934

    Long Island Daily Pres, October 31, 1934

    The Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists has several of Snyder’s mid-1930s pulp illustrations.

    Snyder’s mother passed away February 8, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City. On August 22, 1936 Snyder’s father married Myrtle L Russell in Kalamazoo.

    Snyder has not yet been found in the 1940 census. A 1942 Manhattan telephone directory had a listing for an “M L Snyder” at 141 East 45th Street.

    Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Snyder found work at a number of comic book publishers and a comics studio.

    Regarding the Binder studio, Women and the Comics (1985) said “Most of these women were inkers and most soon left comics, but two of them, Ann Brewster and Marcia Snyder, were pencillers as well. Both stayed in the industry long after the Binder shop closed in 1943, Brewster going on to spend almost two decades with the Iger-Roche shop...”

    At the Sequential Tart site, Murphy Anderson was interviewed by Laurie J. Anderson. He recalled working at the publisher Fiction House, “When I started there they were all ladies, practically. There were only two or three males in there.”

    ST: What were the ladies doing? Comic books?
    MA: Oh yeah, oh yeah. There was Fran Hopper, she did a number of adventure stories for Planet Comics and all over. Lilly Renée who did their lead feature for Planet Comics. Oh, Ruth McCully was a letterer. Ruth Atkinson was an artist who worked there. Her brother happened to be a very prominent jockey; he was one of the top jockeys in the country at the time. And Marcia Snyder, she did a very heavy adventure-type of material.
    Five pages of Snyder’s original art for Ranger Comics (Fiction House) can be viewed at Heritage Auctions.

    In Alter Ego #11, November 2001, Jim Amash interviewed Vince Fago who was an artist, writer, and third editor-in-chief of Timely Comics. In 1943, Timely moved from the McGraw-Hill building to the Empire State Building. Amash asked about the move. Fago explained what happened and added, “Later, for $90 a week, I hired Marcia Snyder, an artist who had done newspaper strips. She dressed like a man and lived in Greenwich Village with a girlfriend named Mickey. I never thought about her being a lesbian; I didn’t care….” Amash interviewed artist Dave Gantz who shared a bullpen photograph that included Chris Rule, Barbara Clark Vogel, Gantz, Snyder, Mike Sekowsky and Ed Winiarski. The photograph was taken at the Empire State Building and published in Alter Ego #13, March 2002. Some of Snyder’s comic book credits are at the Grand Comics Database.


    Snyder’s father passed away January 13, 1943 in Kalamazoo.

    In the 1946 Manhattan telephone directory on page 1150, Snyder was a commercial artist who resided at 64 West 9th Street.

    Women and the Comics said Snyder assisted Alfred Andriola on the comic strip, Kerry Drake, which was distributed by Publishers Syndicate. The strip began October 4, 1943. It’s not known when Snyder started assisting Andriola or how long she worked with him.

    The East Hampton Star, July 31, 1947, noted Snyder’s visit with her brother in Amagansett, “Miss Marcia Snyder of New York City was entertained last week-end by Mr. and Mrs. David Snyder. Miss Snyder is a commercial artist and works with syndicates in the metropolitan area.” Snyder’s visit to Amagansett was noted in the East Hampton Star, June 2, 1949: “Miss Marcia Snyder of New York, sister of David U. Snyder, with a party of friends, spent the week-end at the Windmill.”

    The 1960 Manhattan directory said Snyder still resided at 64 West 9th Street. It’s not known when she moved to Florida.

    Snyder passed away February 27, 1976, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to her death certificate.


    (Next post on Monday: Doctor Doletter)

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  • 01/22/18--05:00: Lettering: Doctor Doletter

  • Inland Printer, April 1914


    New York Press, March 8, 1914

    New York Press, March 15, 1914

    New York Press, March 22, 1914

    New York Press, March 29, 1914

    New York Press, April 12, 1914

    New York Press, May 31, 1914

    Something to Do, September 1916

    Something to Do, October 1916

    Something to Do, November 1916

    Judge, January 14, 1922


    (Next post on Monday: Herb Lubalin, School Days)

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  • 01/29/18--05:00: School Days: Herb Lubalin

  • Herbert Fredrick “Herb” Lubalin was born on March 17, 1918, in Manhattan, New York, New York, according to the New York, New York Birth Index at Ancestry.com. Lubalin’s Social Security application, transcribed at Ancestry.com, said his parents were Joseph Lubalin and Rose Jospe.

    In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Joseph resided in Manhattan at 58 East 98th Street. The head of the household was his brother-in-law, Aaron Siegel, who was married to Yetta, and had three children. Joseph was a freelance musician and Russian emigrant who came to American in 1904. Rose was a native New Yorker who lived with her parents, and was the fourth of five siblings. Rose was a bookkeeper at a printing company. The family lived at 19 East 108 Street.

    The New York, New York Marriage index, at Ancestry.com, said Joseph and Rose married on June 9, 1914 in Manhattan.

    Joseph signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. His address was 25 West 110th Street in Manhattan. Joseph was a musician at the Rialto Theater, at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.



    Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 30, 1919

    News of Lubalin’s birth was published in the New York Tribune, March 19, 1918: “Lubalin—Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lubalin (nee Rose Jospe), 132 West 121st st., announce the birth of twin sons on March 17th.”





    The 1920 census recorded the Lubalin family in the Bronx at 1135 Forest Avenue. Also in the household was Rose’s older sister, Emilie Jospe.

    The Lubalins and Emilie were counted at 307 [Beach] 47th Street in Arverne, Queens County, New York in the 1930 census.


    Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
    ...Lubalin…was…the younger of fraternal twin boys…

    …His early interest in art was encouraged, although he was colorblind, as was his twin. Figures he drew with crayon had startling purple hair.

    …Herbert was a good art student in high school, despite his inability to draw recognizable images. His teacher encouraged his feelings for design and lettering, knowing one can develop as an artist without relying on drawing accurately.

    Further schooling in art was accidental. To have an art career wasn’t in Herb’s original plan, although, typically, he expressed no thought for a future….But Herb’s high school academic standing was so low he wasn’t accepted by the tuition-free College of the City of New York, where his twin was enrolled.
    The Wave (Rockaway Beach, New York), June 27, 1935, published the names of the Far Rockaway High School graduates which included Herb and Irwin Lubalin.

    Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
    What happens when a poor kid with bad grades can’t afford to go to a regular college? He applies to a free art school.

    In 1935, Herb passed the entrance exam (“mostly in the form of an intelligence test“) to the prestigious Cooper Union. “I was 64th out of 64 applicants.”

    …“For the first two years, I was the worst student in the school. In the last two years, I was about the best.”

    The turning point was a class in calligraphy. The angle of the flat pen point used in calligraphy prescribes that the art be done with the right hand. Herb drew with his left hand. The instructor told Herb he’d have to learn to use his right hand on the assignment.

    “I didn’t tell her I wrote with my right hand. Since calligraphy really is handwriting, it was easy for me. I got the highest mark in the class, not because I was the best, but because the teacher felt I’d overcome a great handicap.

    “I guess this gave me confidence, because from that time on, I did very well.”
    The Wave, November 24, 1938, reported this item:
    Miss Isabel Bisgyer of Ocean Crest Boulevard will celebrate her birthday on Sunday. Tomorrow friends will take her to see “Hamlet,” and later will treat her to dinner In the Hotel Pennsylvania. In the party are Miss Rues Diamond, Morton Friedlieb, Eugene Hammer, Herbert Lubalin and others.

    Lubalin attended Cooper Union and graduated in 1939. The Long Island Daily Press (Jamaica, New York), June 6, 1939, said he received an Advertising Design Certificate.



    Also in the Class of 1939 were designer Lou Dorfsman and cartoonist Mel Tapley. Pictured in the 1939 yearbook were calligrapher and illustrator Jeanyee Wong, Class of 1941, and illustrator Roy Krenkel.



    Sylvia Kushner
    Sylvia Kushner, of the surprised look and unique coiffeur, is a shining example of industriousness and a gal with with a delightful sense of humor. A four year honor student, her real forte is dress designing and draping, in which her originality and creativeness have been successful in acquiring satisfied customers. Besides her work, Sylvia has had one other factor on her mind these past four years…but why tell tales outside of class? 
    Herbert Lubalin
    Herbert Lubalin is another shining light of the class of ’39. His wit and “creativeness” are, unfortunately, often censored. Baseball, ping pong, basketball, and penny-ante have been Herb’s extra-curricular activities at Cooper, not to mention his greatest talent, “tall stories.” In 1937 Herb received the medal given for general excellence in all subjects and hasn’t let up the least bit in upholding this distinction. Last summer Herbie ran a day camp for children in his native Far Rockaway. He has an especial affinity for kids, kittens, ketchup, other such sentimentalizes beginning with “K.”
    Louis Dorfsman
    Louis Dorfsman left Day School in the middle of his third year to go to work in the commercial art field. Starting at the Trans-Lux Theatres, he is now designing exhibition booths and window displays for the Display Guild. A tall guy with one of those grins that the gals eat up (a brunette anyway?). “Shlep,” as he is quaintly called by his chums, is an ace drummer and managed to keep busy between club dates and just dates.
    Louis Dorfsman
    Sylvia Kushner and Herbert Lubalin


    Lubalin’s father passed away July 1939 and was laid to rest at Montefiore Cemetery.

    Advertising Age, June 1, 1981, said, “Mr. Lubalin’s first graphic design job following college was with the New York World’s Fair at $8 per week. Upon requesting a pay hike of of $2, he was fired. He free lanced for a year and then worked for a number of small advertising agencies and Fairchild Publications.”

    According to the 1940 census, Lubalin, his mother and brother were residents of Woodmere in Hempstead Township, Nassau County, New York. The trio lived on Woodmere Boulevard in Apartment 5J. Lubalin was a self-employed commercial artist.

    Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
    …He had entered Cooper Union unaware of two impending romances that would change his life. One lasted three decades, the other, until his death.

    The first big excitement was to meet a classmate, the petite and beautiful Sylvia Kushner. Four years later, the two artists were married, after they had been graduated, Herbert with the Student’s Medal for General Excellence….

    …Herb and Sylvia had three sons and 32 years together….
    The New York, New York, Marriage License Index said Lubalin and Sylvia Kushner obtained a marriage license on October 2, 1940 in Brooklyn.

    Excerpt from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
    …In 1945, Lubalin became art director at Sudler & Hennessey, a studio specializing in pharmaceutical ads and promotions. He worked with a bullpen of 20 illustrators, photographers, comp people, letterers and retouchers who followed through from Lubalin tissues—tissues on which the Lubalin legend began….

    Related Posts

    Herb Lubalin, Part 1
    Herb Lubalin, Part 2
    Herb Lubalin, Part 3
    Herb Lubalin, Part 4
    Herb Lubalin, Part 5
    Herb Lubalin, Part 6
    Herb Lubalin, Part 7
    Herb Lubalin, Part 8
    Herb Lubalin, Part 9

    (Next post on Monday: )

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    American Artist, November 1942




















    American Artist, January 1943




















    American Artist, September 1943

    American Artist, October 1943




















    American Artist, November 1943




















    American Artist, January 1944




















    American Artist, March 1944




















    American Artist, October 1944































    American Artist, March 1945































    American Artist, May 1945































    American Artist, February 1946
































    Related Post
    Gordon & George, Speedball Pen Inventors


    (Next post on Monday)





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    The Design Association of the Republic of China
    Taipei Gallery
    McGraw-Hill Building, New York City
    July 17 – August 28, 1998






































































    (Next post on Monday)

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    1935


    According to Who’s Who of American of Comic Books 1928–1999, Al Stahl used the pen name, Bruce Baker. But there really was a comic book artist named Bruce Baker.

    Bruce Edward Baker was born on March 20, 1916, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to Baker’s Social Security application which was transcribed at Ancestry.com. His parents were Olin J. Baker and Margaret E. Thompson.

    When Baker’s father, a self-employed photographic supplier and New York native, signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917, the family of three lived in Grand Rapids at 1416 Sherman Street. The same address was recorded in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.

    In the 1930 census, Baker and his parents, both photographers, remained in Grand Rapids but at a different address, 542 Livingston.

    Baker attended Central High School and was in the class of 1935. He was on the art staff of the school yearbook, Helios, in 1934 and 1935.

    The 1940 census recorded Baker, a student, in Brooklyn, New York at 11a South Portland Street. Baker was staying with his cousin Walter Homiak and his two sisters, Anna and Mildred. Baker was studying at Pratt Institute. In the 1940 Prattonia yearbook, Baker was in Pictorial Illustration at the School of Fine and Applied Arts (see page 45).

    During World War II, Baker enlisted in the army on May 27, 1943. He was discharged December 24, 1945.

    Baker’s comic book connection was revealed in the Utica Daily Press (New York), April 3, 1946.

    Last Rhoadsman Appears Friday
    Final issue of the Mohawk Rhoadsman semi-monthly publication at Rhoads General Hospital, will appear Friday, it was revealed yesterday by Col. A J. Canning, commanding officer. The magazine is being discontinued due to the lack of personnel experienced in publishing a magazine.

    Originally named Cross Rhoads at its inception in September, 1943, just after the first patients arrived at Rhoads, the magazine was discontinued in May of 1944 in order to help alleviate the paper shortage. It was published under its present name from May, 1945, until now.

    Among the reporters, photographers and artists who worked for The Mohawk Rhoadsman were: T 3 Vic Tampon, former New York Times cameraman, now working for Vogue: T 5 Bruce Baker, comic book artist; Signal Corps photographer Cpl. Joe Petak, survivor of the death march from Batan [sic]; T 5 Ed Robbins, former Hollywood photographer; T 4 Bill Cloonan, industrial publications writer, and S. Sgt. Bill Casey, newspaper reporter and rewrite man.


    There were at least nine comic book stories signed “Bruce Baker”.


    Ding Dong #1, 1946; Doodle Doo and Doodle Dee





    Ding Dong #3, 1946; Sally Salt and Peter Pepper







    Frisky Fables, v2 #11 [14], February 1947; Lee O’Lion



    Frisky Fables, v3 #4 [19], July 1947; Lee O’Lion



    Frisky Fables, v3 #7 [22], October 1947; Lee O’Lion



    Frisky Fables, v3 #10 [25], January 1948; Lee O’Lion



    Frisky Fables, v3 #11 [26], February 1948; Lee O’Lion



    Frisky Fables, #43, October 1950; The Mad Artist



    Other work by Baker has not been found. He may have gone into animation or commercial art.

    The Social Security Death Index said Baker passed away November 7, 1987, in Miami, Florida. He was laid to rest at Fred Hunter's Hollywood Memorial Gardens East.



    Further Reading
    Profile of Al Stahl


    (Next post on Monday)