Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Ink-Slinger Profiles: GAR

GAR was the pseudonym of Raymond H. Garman who was born in Crete, Illinois on August 7, 1873, according to a passport application filed on December 20, 1919. However, the 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded his birth as September 1873, and the California Death Index, at, gave his birth date as August 10, 1872. In the 1880 census Garman and his mother, Carrie (Mary Caroline), lived with her brother's family in Bloom, Illinois. An family tree said his father's name was Samuel. Information on his education and art training has not been found.

Garman and his mother, a widow, were recorded in the 1900 census in Chicago, Illinois at 38 Louis Avenue. His occupation was artist. For the Chicago Daily News he produced the comic panel, The New First Reader, in June 1900; it was a parody of primers. (For a history of American primers click here.) GAR was identified in The Inland Printer in its February 1903 issue:

...The artists signing the document were: L.D. Bradley, Charles F. Batchelder (C.F.B.), Raymond Garman (Gar.), John Lilcso (Lil.), George Frink, Reinhold Palenske (Pal.), Charles Tanner, Harry Hirschfield (Zing.), William Molt and Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy (O'Shau.)….

The Publishers Weekly, August 8, 1903 issue, listed one of his books.

Garman, Raymond H., ["Gar," pseud.] Jungle larks; funny stories in words and colors, merry pranks, odd scenes, droll incidents of animal life. Chic, Laird & Lee, 1903. c. no paging, il. Q. bds., $1.
A collection of funny animal stories for children, told in many combinations of colors.

Seven years later was this entry in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2: Pamphlets, Leaflets, etc., New Series, Volume 7, Group 2, Numbers 40-43, October 1910.

Garman (Raymond H.) Ideal color crayon book…Easy lessons in drawing and coloring, by G A R (R.H. Garman). Chicago, Ideal book builders [1910] [160] p. ill. (partly col.) obi. 12mo. $1.00. [19593
© Aug. 15, 1910; 2 c. Sept. 6, 1910; A 2713S9; K.E. Garman, Wilmette, Ill.

According to the 1930 census, Garman married when he was 32 years old, which would have been in 1905. He produced two books for the Chicago publisher Thompson & Thomas: Games, Pastimes and Amusements for Boys and Girls (1906) and Toyland Moving-Pictures (1907). In 1907 it appears he started his own company, Ideal Book Builders, to publish his own work such as Moving Picture Teddies (1907) and Moving-Picture Dolls (c1908). He was an early participant in the new field of moveable books. One of his patents can be downloaded here. His wife, Kathryn, wrote a number of books for his company. This was a major change in her career; in the 1900 census her occupation was restaurant chef. Her credit appeared either as "K.E. Garman" or "Kathryn E. Garman." [aside from Allan -- those credits in books that featured Raymond's work are what caused me to misidentify GAR as K.E. Garman]

Garman received a patent, 38643, for his "Design for a Book or Booklet Cover"
on June 25, 1907. The application was witnessed by his mother and wife.

Garman has not been found in the 1910 census. According to a 1919 passport application (see photos), he and his wife intended to travel to Cuba, Brazil, South America, and England for the purpose of "commercial work." His description on the application:

Stature: 5 feet 11 inches
Forehead: High
Eyes: Blue
Nose: Straight
Mouth: Medium
Chin: Round
Hair: Light Brown
Complexion: Ruddy
Face: Oval

There was no description of his wife. He gave his mailing address as 9 South Clinton Street, Chicago. In the 1920 census Garman, his wife and mother lived in New Trier, Illinois at 1220 Elmwood Avenue. He was an illustrator and publisher of juvenile books. The couple remained at the same address in 1930; apparently his mother had passed away. Garman was a magazine publisher.

The date of their move to Los Angeles, California is not known; most likely they retired there. According to the California Death Index, both passed away in Los Angeles; Kathryn on December 10, 1956, and Garman on July 19, 1961.


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