Thursday, November 05, 2009


Obscurity of the Day: The New Zoology

Bob Addams specialized in animals, sometimes of the barnyard variety, sometimes, as in The New Zoology, the fantastical variety. Addams was a fixture at Life magazine, but also occasionally did a short run newspaper feature. The New Zoology was done for the Philadelphia North American and ran just three times in their Sunday section, March 16 to March 30 1902.

Although Bob Addams was a excellent and prolific cartoonist, I was surprised to find that there is no biographical information about him in the whole pile of the reference books I checked.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!


He was born in Woodbury, New Jersey in 1874, the son of Wellington and Sarah (Neff) Addams. His full name was Robert Neff Addams. He grew up in Germantown, Pennsylvania. By 1919, he was living aboard a boat in Miami, where he was employed as a cartoonist. His WWI draft registration gives his wife's name as Anna King Addams. I couldn't read his employer's name well, but it seems it was a federal agency in Washington DC. There is a photograph with his passport application for 1919 on That's where my trail ends so far. See:

Sara Duke
Library of Congress
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