Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Treve

Treve was the nickname used by Trevalla Henry Collins Junior, who was born in San Francisco, California, on March 26, 1892. 
His full name is based on his father’s name in the 1892 San Francisco voter’s register at Ancestry.com The birth date is from Collins’ World War I draft card. At some point Collins moved to Brooklyn, New York.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 10, 1896, reported the new clubs that had incorporated in Albany, New York. Collins’ father was a trustee in the Bull Players’ association.

Collins has not yet been found in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The 1905 New York State Census recorded Collins in Brooklyn at 25 Bartlett Street.

According to the Eagle, February, 3, 1907, Collins graduated from Public School 36. Additional information about his education has not been found. Sixteen-year-old Collins participated in the Eagle puzzle contests and was listed in the September 16, 1908, “Lucky Puzzle Solvers” column.

The 1910 census recorded Collins and his parents in Brooklyn at 646 Marcy Avenue. His father was a bookkeeper at a shoe manufacturer, and Collins was a stenographer at a tin ware manufacturer. Collins was at the same address in the 1915 New York State Census.

Songwriting was one of Collins’ talents. In 1912 several of his songs were copyrighted including Harmony Glide, My Ragtime Maid, and That Fanciful Strain.

The Billboard chronicled Collins’ songwriting and publicity contributions:

October 23, 1915: advertisement with songs by Collins

December 18, 1915

…Miss Bellin has also signed up to write a few numbers with Treve Collins, professional manager for the Will Carroll Company…
February 12, 1916
Treve Collins, Jr., the young Brooklyn lyric writer, has no complaint to make with the way 1916 has shaped up up for him thus far. The placing of the first Collins-Bellin number, The song Down in Your Heart, was recently announced. Now comes the announcement that Betty Bellin has also written the melody of another of Treve’s lyrics, entitled, I Miss You, Mississippi. Ernie Burnett, Buch and Lowney’s star composer, has contributed the melodies for the following Collins lyrics: Sailing Home, Where the Chapel Chimes Are Ringing on the Ray of Old Biscay, and Since Mary Jane Got Back to My Home Town.
July 8, 1916
Brooklyn, N.Y., July 1—Bathers at Coney Island and other beaches near New York were surprised the other day by the sudden appearance in the water of hundreds of small, sealed boxes, which, when opened, revealed regulation wireless telegraph blanks, on which were typed, “Greetings from the Good Ship Melody, en route to the offices of the Will Carroll Company, Inc., 122 Flatbush avenue, Brooklyn, with a cargo of new song hits.” The boxes bad been thrown out from a motor boat at some distance from shore. The stunt is considered one of the cleverest bits of publicity work yet originated by a music publishing company. Treve Collins, Jr., staff lyric writer and publicity manager for the firm, is responsible for the idea….
December 2, 1916
New York. Nov. 25.—Will Carroll, president of the Will Carroll Co., Inc.. was the great of honor at a midnight dinner and revue given in one of New York’s prominent restaurants the other night. Guests to the number of forty attended, several staff writers of the Carroll Co. leading their presence to the affair, among them being Treve Collins, Jr.. and Lafe Gammage, writers of Persia, the Oriental hit…
December 16, 1916: advertisement for Will Carroll Copmpany

Collins also sang and belong to the Men’s Club of the Puritan Congregational Church. The Eagle, April 26, 1913, reported the group’s annual minstrel show at the church.

The June 1916 Brooklyn Bulletin, published by the National Electric Light Association, Brooklyn Company Section, said Collins had worked at the Eagle.

…A feature of the afternoon was the newspaper experiences of Treve Collins while on the staff of the Brooklyn Eagle as related by himself. They were not only interesting but very humorous.
Collins had a talent for humorous writing. The Judge, June 22, 1918, published his piece titled “Trinklets.”

The Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), June 16, 1919, published some of Collins observations:

Treve Collins, Jr., of the American Newspaper Service and a candidate for membership in the A.P.H., writes:

There is one consolation about crowded street cars: You may be too tired to stand up, but you couldn’t fall down if you wanted to.
Time and tide wait for no man. So woman, lovely woman, continues to be as late as she pleases.
Some women can see good points in every man except the one they’ve married.
The only reason some men long for sudden wealth is that it would enable them to lie in bed as long as they’d like to in the morning.
A woman is quite will to forgive a man all his faults—unless she’s married to him.
Collins was included in the book, Our American Humorists (1922).

At some point Collins added cartooning to his portfolio. Information about his cartooning training has not been found. The Daily Standard Union (Brooklyn, New York), January 14, 1913, reported the meeting of the Brooklyn Company Section, National Electric Light Association at the Academy of Music.

The evening session was closed with an excellent vaudeville entertainment by employes of the Edison Company. These included: Edison Trio, Wilcox, Delaney and Schalk; Mr. Cooper, songs, accompanied by Mrs. Cooper; Mr. Spaulding, monologuist; Miss Seelman, songs, accompanied by Miss Marsten; Mr. Brierley, songs; Treve Collins, cartoonist…
Collins produced the strip Past and Present which appeared in March 1919.

Collins signed his World War I draft card on September 5, 1917. The name on the card was “Treve H. Collins Jr.” His occupation was “Secretary to Purchasing Agent; Edison & Co., 360 Pearl Street, Brooklyn.” He was described as short and slender with brown eyes and hair.

Collins’ occupation was private secretary at an electrical house as recorded in the 1920 census. He continued to reside with his parents whose address was in Brooklyn at 6 St. Francis Place.

The Silent Film Necrology (2001) said the August 14, 1920 issue of Moving Picture World published the article, “Treve Collins Writing Two-Reelers for Legend”.

Collins’ name appeared in the Legend Film Productions advertisements in Wid’s Year Book 1920–1921 here and here.

The 1921 Motion Picture Studio Directory published this entry:

Collins, Treve Jr.; early career, newspaper man and short story writer, contributed humorous prose, verse and drawings to publications throughout the country; screen career, author of a number of special two reel comedies produced by Legend Film Prod., featuring John junior and Edna Shipman. Now writing independent special comedy dramas and dramas. Free lance writer of originals, titles and continuities. Member Brooklyn Press Club. Home ad., 6 St. Francis Place, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Collins contributed to The Plumbers Trade Journal from the early 1920s to 1939. His roles included freelance writer and cartoonist, editor and advertising manager. The August 15, 1922 issue published his story “Ye Plumber of Ancient Rome”. The December 15, 1922 issue had Collins’ two illustrations for “The Deferred Payment Plan”.

Plumbers Trade Journal 10/15/1922

The Eagle, September 9, 1923, noted the engagement of Miss Knapp to Collins.
Announcement has been made of the engagement of Miss Theodora Knapp of Rosevllle, N. J., to Treve Collins Jr. Mr. Collins is the son of Mrs. Mathilda Collins of 264 Linden Ave., Flatbush.
They did not marry. According to the 1930 census, Collins was single and editor of a trade journal. He and his mother resided in Montclair, New Jersey at 26 Forest Street.

Collins has been credited with a daily panel called It Does Happen which was distributed by Thompson Service from 1931 to 1934.

Collins’ novel, Stairway to the Stars, was published in 1936.

Collins passed away July 7, 1939, in Teaneck, New Jersey. His death was reported in several trade journals and the Eagle, which published an obituary on July 9:

Treve H. Collins, Ad Man, AuthorPlumbing Trade Journal Manager Was Noted As Free-Lance Writer
Palisades Park, N. J., July 8—Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 8 p.m. for Treve H. Collins, 46 [sic], of 40 E. Columbia Ave., here, advertising manager of the Plumbing and Heating Journal in Manhattan and a writer of note, who died yesterday, in Holy Name Hospital, Teaneck, N. J., of complications resulting from a ruptured appendix. The services will be conducted at the Blackley Funeral Home, 809 Broad Ave., Ridgefield, N. J.
Mr. Collins formerly lived in Brooklyn and at one time worked as a reporter on the Brooklyn Eagle. He first became associated with the Plumbing and Heating Journal about 22 years ago as a free lance writer and artist. About 1923, he was made editor of that Publication, and about nine years ago, became advertising manager.
For a number of years Mr. Collins contributed fiction stories to magazines and daily newspapers, and at the time of his death some of his manuscripts which had been accepted were a awaiting publication. He also was the author of a novel, “Stairway to the Stars.”
In the early days of motion pictures, Mr. Collins wrote scenarios. On one occasion he played a part in a picture he had written. He was unmarried and left no immediate survivors.

—Alex Jay 


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]