Saturday, September 17, 2011


Herriman Saturday

Saturday, February 15 1908 - Another big boxing match is in the offing -- Jimmy Britt and Battling Nelson are getting set for a lightweight brawl in L.A. These two have met in the ring three times before, with Britt getting the nod twice on points. Both fighters had been in the game about five years by this point, but Britt was in the twilight of his career whereas Nelson would go on for almost another decade in the ring.

Did you notice that famed cartoonist Jimmy Swinnerton gets caricatured in this collection of vignettes? And have you noticed that Herriman's duck, someday to be known as Gooseberry Sprig and have a strip of his own, is now a regular mascot to his sports cartoons?

Sam Coulter, the fellow with the bandaged ear, was a local boxer; he has only two known professional fights, both of which he won. Dick Dunnigan was a local attorney; I don't know why he had privileged access to Jimmy Britt.


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Friday, September 16, 2011


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Ed Goewey

Edwin A. "Ed" Goewey was born in Albany, New York in July 1871. Goewey's father was a resident of Albany when he received his patent for an improvement to a tea kettle design, as recorded in Commissioner of Patents Annual Report, 1864; also, he was listed in the Albany Directory 1875. The date of birth is from the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.

In the 1880 census, Goewey was the oldest of three children born to J. Augustus and Mary. They lived in Albany at 142 Swan Street. His father was a jeweler. The first time Goewey's name appeared in the Albany Directory was 1887; he was an editor. The listing was the same the following two years.

In the 1890 directory his occupation was reporter for the Albany Morning Express. The following two years his occupation was clerk. According to the 1893 directory he had moved to New York City. His Albany Directory listing was clerk in 1894, then back to reporter in 1895 to 1897. There was a significant occupation change, in 1898, to artist.

The 1900 census recorded Goewey in Brooklyn, New York at 257 Prospect Place. He had been married to Harriet for six years. His occupation was newspaper writer and artist. In 1904 he produced the comics series Fish Stories and Handy Andy, the Man of Good Intentions, and worked on Joco and Jack. He also contributed to Cousin Bill from the City in the second half of the decade.

Baltimore American, 11/13/1904

In 1910 Goewey and second wife, Gertrude, lived in Brooklyn at 581 Park Place. He was an artist and writer for magazines. The New York Dramatic Mirror (New York) reported the following on November 16, 1910 [date corrected 10/28/2013]:
Edwin A. Goewey, who for the past five years has been connected with the Leslie-Judge Company, first as art manager of Judge and later holding a similar post as well as that of sporting editor with Leslie's Weekly, will soon leave for the West to join the forces of the Kansas City (Mo.) Post. On the latter publication Mr. Goewey will have charge of the dramatic desk, acting both as critic and dramatic cartoonist. His series of caricatures of stage folk that has been running in Leslie's Weekly for some two years will be continued as a feature on the Post. Mr. Goewey was with the World for some years as a writer and artist, and later conducted newspaper art departments in St. Louis.
His father passed away on July 25, 1917 according to the Hartwick Village Cemetery website. Goewey has not been found in the 1920 census.

Ten years later Goewey and Gertrude lived in Queens, New York at 162-33 Yuma Lane (later renamed 86th Avenue). His occupation was a writer for magazines. The census said Gertrude was 25 years old at the time of her first marriage, presumably to Goewey, which would have been around 1905.

Goewey passed away on July 18, 1930. The New York Times published a death notice on July 20.
Goewey—Edwin A., husband of Gertrude B. Goewey, July 18. Funeral services Sunday, Albany, N.Y.


I've just spent an hour trying to track down that quote from the Dramatic Mirror. The paper didn't go to press on the 6th, only on the 2nd and the 9th.

I know this is an older post, but is there any chance you have any notes or anything on this? I've gone through both issues and can't find it anywhere...
You're correct. I made the error of writing 6 instead of 16. The article was published November 16 and is on page 10, at the bottom of column 3.
The Jocko and Jack comic that was in the Baltimore American 11/13/1904 was in the San Diego Union on 11/27/1904 ... first comic I've run into for a while... they've been having Puzzle cartoonish art... the Witches Puzzle, the Elephant Puzzle etc.

The Union had some strips in 1903... artists I don't know...copyright TCMcClure.
Only recently discovered Goewey, and that through his writing. He seemed no average illustrator, one can only wonder where he would have gone if he had lived until the golden age of comics. But, if you want to read his short fiction, one of his stories has been reprinted Gwandanaland Comics facsimile reprint of the January 1927 issue of Ghost Stories.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011


Obscurity of the Day: Do You Remember Your Kid Days?

Ed Goewey, one of the yeoman hands at the World Color Printing company in St. Louis, produced Do You Remember Your Kid Days? for their section from February 12 to August 6 1905. A nostalgic look back at the trouble we got into in our younger days, the series is well done but not overwhelmingly interesting. BUT, the top strip above is a pretty darn fascinating entry indeed. I think Ed was under the influence of wacky weed when he penned that one. It makes about as much sense as the typical underground comic.

The bottom sample may be confusing to today's audience, so I should explain that back in those days rag recycling was an actual occupation. Rag-pickers would gather up clothes and other materials that were beyond use and in turn sell them to companies that recycled them. Rags were used in paper-making (you've heard of rag paper?).

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!


I don't know about wacky weed, but that first strip is so disjointed that it looks like Goewey was struggling to figure out what ought to come next and how to make it all hang together. The black bear someone just happens to have, the hysterical villagers, and the grandma who changes appearance from one panel to the other is all just part of the odd fun.
The man with the bear is a stereotype of what once would be a familiar sight, the travelling trained bear act. The man(always depicted as an Italian) would make the bear dance for pennies, much as an Organ Grinder with a monkey. In fact there's a comic strip about such a pair, Bruno and Pietro.
Thanks Mark. I assumed it was supposed to be some sort of trained bear act, but it just strikes me as strange ... as well as terribly dangerous.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Ink-Slinger's Profile: Fred Morgan

First signed cartoon in Inquirer, 7/21/1898

Frederick "Fred" Morgan was born in England in February 1865, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; his birth year differs in later censuses. He has not been found in the 1880 census. So far, the earliest mention of Morgan, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, was on August 31, 1889; an advertisement for James S. Earle & Sons, an art dealer, listed a piece, "School Belles," by Morgan. In the Inquirer column, "Everybody's Column," of May 21, 1904, there was an answer to Miss E.G.G.'s question about Morgan: "His name is Fred Morgan and he resides in this city. His father was an artist of renown in Great Britain…." There was a London artist Frederick Morgan (1846-1927), who might be his father. A biography at Rehs Galleries said

...Fred Morgan married three times. His first wife was the genre and landscape artist Alice Havers (1850-1890) and together they had three children. Their eldest son became an artist and exhibited landscape and figure subjects regularly at the Royal Academy under the name Val Havers. With his second wife, he had two children, one of whom also became an artist....

I believe the child from the second marriage may be Morgan the editorial cartoonist. The date of Morgan's employment at the Inquirer is not known. The Inquirer of September 15, 1899 mentioned him.

…Several fine proofs had been pulled of the splendid portrait of Admiral Sampson which accompanies this paper and which was drawn from a very recent photograph by Rau, of Philadelphia, by Fred Morgan, of The Inquirer's art staff. The original pen-and-ink drawing was presented to the Admiral and then the famous officers attached their signatures to the proofs….

In the 1900 census he was boarding in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 931-933 Arch Street; his occupation was Inquirer artist. Also in the same building were an Inquirer editor and manager. The census said Morgan immigrated to the U.S. in 1875. The census also revealed that he married in the 1880s; his three children, Horace, Dorothy and Ruth, resided at the Five Points House of Industry, an orphanage, in New York City. The oldest, Horace, was born in New York in January 1890. The fate of Morgan's wife is not known.

Morgan was thoroughly entrenched in the newspaper artists community. The Inquirer, on October 23, 1902, reported the following:

Newspaper Artists' Exhibition

A special meeting of the Newspaper Artists' Association was held at 1430 South Penn square yesterday, when preliminary steps were taken for holding its second annual exhibition in December. The following executive committee was elected to serve until the end of the present year: F.V. Wilson, Charles Bell, W.M.F. Magraw, John Sloan, Herman Rountree, Arthur Crichton, Jean Mohr, Walt McDougall, William Hofacker, F.R. Gruger, Fred Morgan, V. Floyd Campbell, Henry Gage and Mrs. Benson Kennedy. The manager of the last exhibition, C.W. Parker, was appointed to take charge of the coming show.

In the 1910 census, Morgan was reunited with two of his children, Horace and Dorothy. They lived in Philadelphia at 3331 Gratz Street. His occupation was newspaper artist, and his age was given as 48, which made his birth around 1862. The Inquirer published an advertisement in its July 14, 1918 issue, highlighting its coverage of the war. Near the bottom of the ad was a box about its comics and cartoonists.

FRED MORGAN, the leading cartoonist of the United States, not only draws cartoons on the war, but he also deals with national and State political issues and important events of every kind throughout the world.

Alone, Morgan remained at the same address in 1920. He was a newspaper cartoonist. His age was listed as 58. In the Inquirer's "Everybody's Column", of May 26, 1921, was this item:

Size of Original Cartoons

Editor Everybody's Column:—Would you please print in your wonderful column how large is the original cartoon which appears every day on the editorial page? Do these cartoons have to be drawn a certain size to fit 2 columns, 3 columns, 4 columns, etc? Hoping to see this in your column soon. Y.T.

A one-half reduction is the general rule. Our friend Fred Morgan, however, had long made it a practice to draw his cartoons about three times larger than the cut they are intended for, with a view, no doubt, to preserve the fine lines for which his work is noted.

Next time you pass by 1109 Market st., have a look at the original exhibited every morning in the Inquirer's window.

Morgan's youngest daughter lived with him at the same address in the 1930 census, which recorded her as Florence (Rawlinson), her middle name. She was divorced. According to the census, Morgan was 70 years old, which made his birth year 1860. And the census recorded his age as 27, at the time of his first marriage. Further information about him has not been found. I believe the Inquirer published his obituary, but it has not been found.


The English painter Fred Morgan was born in 1846, his first wife in 1850, and she died in 1890. It is nearly impossible that the illustrator Fred Morgan (born in 1865, came to the US in 1875) was a son from the second marriage of painter Fred Morgan (who, as far as we know, never migrated to the US), considering that Fred Morgan was only 31 (and his first wife only 26) when his son supposedly moved to the US.
Note also that "School Belles" was a famous 1877 painting by the English painter Fred Morgan, so the 1889 mention of it may well be a reference to the English painter, not to the US illustrator
On a more positive note, he seems to have worked at the Inquirer at least as early as 1898 (
That's a very good point about the birth year, 1846, of Fred the painter, who would have been about 19 when Fred the illustrator was born, if that date is accurate. Without a birth certificate or baptismal document we really don't know how accurate the census info was. It's true Fred the painter did not immigrate to the U.S., but, for the sake of argument, his second wife could have immigrated on her own and brought her children with her; maybe she had relatives in America. A passenger list, if it exists, with her and the children's names would clear that up.

Fred the illustrator may have been 10 years old when he arrived in America in 1875, according to the 1900 census. Again, we don't know how accurate that date was. About twenty-five years had passed when he was asked about his year of immigration. My experience with census information is that inconsistencies and errors abound.

I concede that the reference to the painting "School Belles" was probably the work of Fred the painter.

Looking back at the first paragraph, there is this line about Fred the illustrator's father, "His father was an artist of renown in Great Britain." Here are two lines from Fred the painter's biography at Rehs Galleries website, "Frederick Morgan was born in London, England in 1847. His father John Morgan (1823-1886) was a genre artist who received his training in Paris France under the French painter and teacher Thomas Couture (1815-1879)." Fred the painter and John Morgan are the two most prominent Morgans in the art field, of that time, that I am aware of. If Fred the illustrator was not the son of Fred the painter, could he have been the son of John Morgan, who would have been around 42 years old at the time of Fred's birth. Another question would be, "Who was the mother?" Of course, this is speculation, but it might explain why Fred the illustrator was sent to America.

Who were the parents of Fred the illustrator remains unclear.

On a more positive note, the first editorial cartoon by Morgan appears to have been published on July 21, 1898 in the Philadelphia Inquirer; on the day before, there was an unsigned cartoon that resembles Morgan's work.
Ok I am the Great Granddaughter of Frederick Sommerville Morgan 1865-1932. He was born May 22 1862 in London. I was told from my Mother and grandmother that Fred's father was Matthew Somerville Morgan 27 April 1839 London - 2 June 1890 New York City was an artist known mainly for his cartoons in various publications.
I can not verify this as family records were Lost. I was told Fred came to USA some times between 1885 and 1890. His wifes name is no where to be found Yet. ( I am still looking for that) Fred's wife that he did have 3 children with were Horace, Ruth Florence, Dorothy, Died not long after giving Birth To Dorothy. Fred not having anyone here to help him with the Children put them into a home for children untill he could care for them. No records could be found on them so far. The Fred Morgan (1847) you talk about was an Uncle to our family. As for him Leaving England, My Mother was told that he was doing policial cartoons on the Royal Family and was told to leave England. I do know that My Fred Morgan Got Married around 1889 before coming here to stay in USA. Fred's Children Dorothy lived a quiet Life in Phila Untill 1960 and then moved to Cape May NJ where she passed in 1980. Ruth Florence Did not live with her father as she was married in england to a J Rawlinson from London. She divorced Him and went back to school to become a Nurse working with Mental Handicapped people in Phila.Until she passed away. Horace I have no infomation on him as no one ever spoke of him, I found him on the 1900 census In House of Industry. I am trying to locate the records for the House of Industry, as if someone was sick and got off a boat from another country they were sent to this place to live, Parents were seperated from the Children, untill a family could prove that they made enough money to support their family. My mom or Grandmother never had a drawings that Fred did. But I know that they were In England in 1893-1894 as I have a oicture of my Aunt from England Photographer. I hoppe this helps with some of the confusion..
Yes, Fred Morgan is the son of Matt Morgan, the cartoonist for Frank Leslie's (1870-1875) and the general manager of Strobridge Lithography, Cincinnati (1880-1885). Father and son worked together on Collier's Once-A Week (1888-1890). Fred came to the US when his father did in 1870. He became a naturalized citizen in 1888.
Matthew Sommerville Morgan was Fred Morgans son. Matthew died in 1890 in New York City NY. Fred came to the US when his father asked him to help out with his work. His first trip here was in 1885 to help with Collier's. He would come here for a month do his job and go back to England. As, His Mother died he went back to help his brothers and sisters out. Fred Married Elizabeth Brotherton 1888 in England and their first child was born 1889. Fred never did get his naturalized citizenship here. Fred died in 1932 in Philadelphia PA.

If anyone is still out there, I am the great grand daughterof Fred Morgan. I have the Morgan family box, with pictures drawings newspapers and documents. If anyone is interested in pursuing the information on him, you may contact me.
I would like to contact JMorganGGD. I am a descendant of Fred Morgan also (the great-grandson of Fred Morgan's daughter Dorothy). This is first time I've used blogger so I don't how contacts can be made. Feel free to email me at
I would like to contact both JMorganGGD and GMEdwards though I do not know how to do so belonging as I do to an earlier generation.
I am writing the biography of Matthew Somerville Morgan and know a good deal about his two remarkable careers in England and the United States.
I welcome emails at
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Ink-Slinger Profiles: F.R. Morgan

Fred Royal Morgan was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on February 8, 1885, according to Wisconsin Births, 1820-1907 at In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the oldest of two sons born to Joseph and Jennie; the family lived in Chippewa Falls at 426 Chippewa Street. In the Wisconsin State Census 1905, Morgan was a newspaper artist, presumably for one of the Wisconsin papers. His father's name was recorded as Vesper.

A selection of strips from, top to bottom, April 12 and 13, and May 8 and 10, 1913.

The 1910 census recorded Morgan in Chicago, Illinois at 6059 Ellis Avenue. He was a newspaper artist. His comic strip, The Nut Club was distributed in 1913 by the Western Newspaper Union. The Trenton Evening Times (New Jersey) published the strip beginning on April 12 and ending on May 11; it was published daily except Fridays but included Sundays. The Nut Club replaced O.U. Chump by "Gosh". (O.U. Chump has been attributed to Pete Llanuza, but I believe Myer Marcus was the artist.) The strip was also published weekly in Kentucky newspapers Mt. Sterling Advocate and Breckenridge News; both papers can be found at Chronicling America.

He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He was employed as a mechanical draftsman at the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. His description was short height, medium build, brown eyes and black hair. He and his brother, Robert, resided at 1321 North Dearborn. On the back of the draft card Robert wrote, "I personally know that the registrant has a bad chronic infection of second turbinate bone sending a constant discharge." Morgan suffered from a chronic nose infection.

Morgan has not been found in the 1920 and 1930 censuses. For the McClure Syndicate, he produced Dolly the Drummer in 1925. He passed away on September 14, 1947 in New York City. The Brooklyn Eagle (New York) reported his death on September 16.

Fred R. Morgan, Cartoonist, 62

Fred Royal Morgan, 62, cartoonist and freelance commercial artist, died Sunday night in the Roosevelt Hospital, Manhattan, after a brief illness. He resided at the Hotel Diplomat.

Mr. Morgan, a native son of St. Paul, Minn. [sic], was a son of the late Vesper Morgan, Judge of the Circuit Court of Wisconsin, and formerly lived in Chippewa Falls, Wis. After studying at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, he did political cartoons for the Chicago American and drew a comic strip called "The Nut Club," which was syndicated by the Western Newspaper Union.

Later, coming to New York, he worked for the New York Evening Graphic, one of his duties being drawing of cartoons in which he rated the popularity of vaudeville acts at the Palace Theater. After leaving the Graphic he became associated with the New York Daily Mirror. In recent years he had specialized in commercial art.

Surviving are a brother, Robert C. Morgan, of Garden City, publisher of The Travel Agent and the American Travel, trade magazines.

It should be noted that this is not the Fred Morgan who drew editorial cartoons for the Philadelphia Inquirer for many years in the first quarter of the century. 


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Monday, September 12, 2011


Obscurity of the Day: The Nut Club

The Nut Club is interesting on a couple levels. First of all, there's the cartoonist. Until I devoted more than the minimum of brain cells to the issue, I had identified this F.R. Morgan chap as the same Fred Morgan of Dolly the Drummer and Philadelphia Inquirer editorial cartooning. Well, F.R. is indeed a Fred, but there are two Fred Morgans. And to even suggest that Fred Morgan, editorial cartoonist of the Inquirer, would stoop to such ephemeral productions for second-rate syndicates is, when given some thought, utterly ludicrous. Alex Jay has produced profiles on both of these Freds and they'll be presented here in subsequent posts.

The other interesting thing about The Nut Club is the syndicate. Western Newspaper Union, provider of boilerplate material to rural papers, really didn't get into the comic strip game until the 1920s, so to find a comic strip series from 1913 distributed by them was quite a surprise to me. It sure does make me wonder if there could be a lot more WNU comic strip material from the 1910s lurking out there. Nice to know that they were putting prominent copyright tags on their material, though, so I don't have to start worrying that they produced material that I've credited to other syndicates.

But there's even more to the syndication. The early strips in this series were copyright by Joseph B. Bowles and ran in the Chicago Daily News. Bowles ran an eponymous newspaper syndicate in the 1900s-10s which specialized in short articles about science, history and the like. Comic strips seemed to be way out of his line, and the Chicago Daily News certainly had no need of his wares between having their own cartooning staff plus whatever they wanted from Associated Newspapers. Why they ran The Nut Club (and a second strip named Butch) from Bowles is a mystery. Bowles' only other comic strip connection is that he brokered a deal between George Peck and the Philadelphia North American to do a Peck's Bad Boy strip back in 1906-07. So how and why did Bowles, WNU and the Chicago Daily News, all based in Chicago, come together for this one comic strip? Wish I had an answer to that. It's certainly not like F.R. Morgan was a huge draw that brought rivals together to capture his genius.

So, some interesting stuff going on here, perhaps the least of which is the actual strip itself. Not that it was a bad strip, mind you. In fact it's pretty funny. I especially like the membership applications, with questions like, "Number of Bats in Belfry ____". The strip ran from February 10 until about November 1913. Several papers have been found running the strip into 1914, but I think they're all late. The Racine Journal-News has a relatively consistent run that ends on November 4.


Hello Allan-
I see the NUT CLUB running until 20 March 1914 in the (Owosso, Mich.) Evening Argus. I couldn't say if at some point they became reruns, all have a 1913 copyright in the title, but that would seem to be part of an immovable boilerplate. There's nothing special about the final one, and the date is a friday, not finishing a week out, if that means anything.
Also, you will remember two years ago I speculated that MR. HENRY PECK AND HIS FAMILY AFFAIRS and UNOSPHISTICATED OSCAR might be the earliest WNU strips because of their size and the trash panel. Now this one fits in well with those titles, and it has the WNU imprint.Good evidence?
In re Oscar and Peck being WNU products, I admit I am slightly bent in the wind by how similar the headers are to this strip, and of course the drop panel. But the fact that this strip carries a prominent syndicate slug and the others do not, and that they don't seem tyo appear in a healthy list of patent insides papers still keeps me from being able to jump on the bandwagon. I'll mention the possibility in their listings, tho.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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