|Sidney Smith 1877 - 1935|
Chester Gump: At Silver Creek Ranch: Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1933
Chester Gump Finds The Hidden Treasure: Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1934
Chester Gump In The City Of Gold : Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1935
The Gumps in Radio Land: 1937 Lehn and Fink Advertising for Pebeco Toothpaste
Original Medium: Newspaper comics ~ Distributed by: Chicago Tribune
Syndicate ~ First Appeared: 1917 Creator: Sidney Smith
When a comics artist wants to indicate that a character is the heroic type, one of the visual cues available is to give the character a strong (i.e., large) chin — Dick Tracy and the lantern-jawed Batman of the late 1930s through the early '60s being only two examples. Andy Gump, then, was just about the least heroic-looking character in comics, with the possible exception of A. Mutt. He had absolutely no chin whatsoever. His neck was stuck right into his upper lip, and his mouth, when seen, was merely a hole near the top of it. The basic idea for Andy and his family was supplied by Captain Joseph M. Patterson, the Chicago Tribune editor/publisher whose many contributions to the world of comics include Moon Mullins, Winnie Winkle and Little Orphan Annie. He envisioned a domestic comedy strip about ordinary people — not too bright, not too rich, not too good-looking — and their ordinary adventures. He even came up with the name, The Gumps, "gump" being a term he used for a member of the Uneducated Masses. He hired cartoonist Sidney Smith, whose major credit to date was a billy goat named Old Doc Yak, to write and draw the strip, which began on February 12, 1917. It was Smith who fleshed out the characters and made them come to life. Andy was as heroic as his chin indicated. In times of stress, he would holler "Oh! Min!" — Min being his wife and pillar to lean on. They had a son named Chester, a wealthy Uncle Bim, and a maid named Tilda, who was absolutely insufferable. Smith started out just doing daily gags about life in and around the Gump household, but gradually moved toward longer and more complex storylines. Like Gasoline Alley (another strip Patterson strongly influenced, by the way), it became an early example of what later came to be known as a soap opera. A Sunday page was added on June 29, 1919. It was a popular strip right from the start. When, on June 16, 1919, Patterson launched The New York Daily News, The Gumps was the only Tribune strip that was in it right from the start. There, it attracted national attention among newspaper feature editors, a great many of whom wanted the strip for their own papers. It was to meet that demand, that Patterson formed The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate — which, under the name Tribune Media Services, still distributes such comics as Broom-Hilda, Brenda Starr and Shoe. Soon as the strip achieved national distribution, the merchandising kicked in. Sheet music in 1919 and 1923, a board game in 1924 and a proliferation of toys were only a few of the Gumps paraphernalia that could be had. On June 5, 1920, Andy's Dancing Lesson, the first of dozens of animated cartoons about the characters, was released. In 1931, The Gumps became the very first comic strip adapted into a radio show, when Chicago station WGN began broadcasting their adventures. The strip's popularity increased as Andy ran for Congress in 1922, and for president in practically every election from 1924 until the strip ended — one of a long succession of toon candidates for the Oval Office, beginning with A. Mutt in 1908 and eventually including Alfred E. Neuman, Betty Boop and Zippy the Pinhead. On April 30, 1929, a major character, Mary Gold, died — another comic strip first — and reader interest soared. All of a sudden, anything could happen. In 1922, Smith signed a highly publicized million-dollar contract — $100,000 per year for ten years, a vast sum in those days and a pretty good hunk of change even today. And it only went up from there — in '35, he signed a new contract, giving him $150,000 a year. It was on the way home from signing the latter that he wrecked his brand-new Rolls-Royce, killing himself in the process. Patterson hired sports cartoonist Gus Edson (who later co-created Dondi) to take over the strip, and Edson's work on it began appearing on December 16, 1935. Tho Edson made a reasonably successful attempt to continue it in Smith's style, his version of The Gumps wasn't nearly as popular as Smith's. Except for a few comic books from Dell and Big Little Books from Whitman (the latter featuring Andy's and Min's son, Chester), the merchandising dried up. The strip continued for a couple more decades, but circulation declined steadily. The plug was pulled on October 17, 1959. By that time, it was appearing in less than 20 paper
The Gumps was also a strip of firsts - it was the first comic strip to feature a character's death (the character was Mary Gold, in 1929), the first to spawn a radio show (in 1934), and the first to be presented in such a way that each day's strip told a new chapter of an ongoing story. This soap opera-ish technique had fans clamoring for more at the end of each strip, and undoubtedly helped perpetuate its popularity. It was also for The Gumps that the first million-dollar contract was signed for a comic strip. Sadly, just after signing this contract in 1935, Sidney Smith was killed in a car accident. His assistant Gus Edson took over, and though he did a fine job with the strip, there was a certain magic missing. So while the hi-jinx and hilarity continued for nearly 25 more years, the popularity of the family steadily declined.
Andy Gump Monument Robert Sidney Smith Estate: Lake Geneva Wisconsin
Robert Sidney Smith was the creator of the great American family epic 'The Gumps'. Smith was already almost forty years old when the first panel of this strip was published, in 1917. In 1908, he published his first comic, 'Buck Nix'. When he got hired by the Chicago Tribune the name changed to 'Old Doc Yak'. In 1919, Smith was forced to abandon this strip due to the immense popularity of 'The Gumps', which had greatly boosted the Tribune's circulation. The Gump family brought Smith fame and riches, which he spent on several houses and cars. The depression of the 1930s did not affect him, for he was able to sign a new contract with the Tribune that paid him a million dollars over the next three years, plus a brand new Rolls Royce as a bonus. Driving home after having closed the deal, Sidney Smith collided with another car and was killed instantly. After that 'The Gumps' were taken over by Gus Edson
|SMITHSONIAN Scientific Series|
|Calvin Coolidge Memorial Edition ~ 12-Volume
Set, Limited to 1000 Numbered Copies from 1934: Inscription: "This copy
(#402) is registered in the name of Florence Gilbert Burroughs to whom
it was presented by her husband Edgar Rice Burroughs."
Florence Gilbert Burroughs ~ The second Mrs. Edgar Rice Burroughs
|Roy J. Snell|
|Skimmer and his Thrilling Adventures 1919 Albert Whitman and
Co. ~ Illustrations: frontispiece on coated paper and three on plain paper.
~ Skimmer was created by Roy Snell and appeared in the two-book "Skimmer
Series," which appeared in 1919 and began with Skimmer and His Thrilling
Adventures. Skimmer was a teenaged soldier with the American Expeditionary
Force in France during World War One and in northern Russia during the
attempt to suppress the Reds in Russia after the War.
|Fairmont Snyder (Ethel Fairmont Ryer)(Ethel Fairmont Beebe) (1881-1977)|
|Rhymes for Kindly Children
|Fairmont Snyder: Author,
animal welfare activist. Born Ethel Fairmont Ryer, in La Crosse, Wisconsin,
July 24, 1881. She moved with her family to Denver in 1895, and in 1899
married William Snyder and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. The Snyders
were divorced in 1921. In 1922, she married Murray C. Beebe, a former University
of Wisconsin engineering professor, whom Ethel had met while a student
there (1915-1916). Murray Beebe died in 1943. In Kansas City, Ethel founded
the city's first animal shelter, beginning a life long career as an activist
in the animal welfare movement, which was exemplified by her vegetarian
beliefs and activities. She spent 1916-1917 in Japan, helping to establish
the movement there. Active in various groups, she testified before the
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in 1921 on proposed
legislation to protect range animals. In 1916 her well know book of children's
verse, Rhymes for Kindly Children, was published, followed by The Lovely
Garden in 1919, under the pen name Fairmont Snyder. She also contributed
numerous pieces of verse to periodicals and wrote a newspaper column, "The
Listening Heart," for the Waterbury-Republican, and some art history. In
addition to her year at the University of Wisconsin, she was a student
in the Yale University School of Drama, 1926-27.She died March 17, 1977,
in Westport, Connecticut.
|The Viking Goes to Sea: Being an Account of the Honolulu
Race of 1923.: 1924 Illustrated with photos of the yachts, the sea
and the islands. Times-Mirror Press, Los Angeles ~ 126 pages ~ ERB
toured aboard the Viking from August 8-11, 1924
The Soldier Boy -
SPEED, Nell Molly Brown's Freshman Days
SPEED, Nell Molly Brown's Sophomore Days
SPIEGEL BOM Bom und Zu Peckelsceim. Adventures of the U-202; An Actual Narrative. New York: The Center Company, 1917. (Narrative of U-boat mission.)
Transpacific Ocean Races & The Transpacific Yacht Club: 1937 Privately printed ~ Los Angeles: Frontis., illus., & folding map 205 pages
|Soiland was Admiral of the Pacific Coast Yachting Asso. & Skipper
of the Schooner Yacht, Viking IV.
(ERB toured aboard the Viking from August 8-11, 1924)
|ABYSSINIA, S SOMALILAND, KENYA Colony, Zanzibar, the Camnoros, Madagascar.
(NY, Century, 1925);
Early Abyssinia and Ethiopia postcard views 1931
|Nell Speed (Emma Speed Sampson)|
|Molly Brown's Freshman Days - 1912 A.L.Burt
Molly Brown's Sophomore Days - 1912 illustrated by Charles L. Wrenn. Hurst; A.L. Burt.
The Molly Brown Series has eight titles, originally published by Hurst from 1912 to 1921. It was reprinted by A. L. Burt. The author is listed as "Nell Speed," but according to "The Girls' Series Companion," Nell died after writing the first four titles, and her sister, Emma Speed Sampson, took over the writing of this series. Emma continued to use her sister's name as her own pseudonym when she wrote The Carter Girls and The Tucker Twins series. The first four titles are college romances, set in Wellington College near New York City. With the fifth title, and the change in authorship, the stories move right down south to Kentucky, although Molly and her friends visit France and Great Britain in #s 6 and 7. Similarities to the Carter and Tucker series include a "May-December" romance, this one between Molly and Professor Edwin Green, who is 29; emphasis on women's rights, and (for a southern writer especially) a certain lack of racial stereotyping. Despite the fact that the servants' words are written in dialect, they are much more real than contemporary presentations in the Nancy Drew or Bobbsey Twins series, for example. It is difficult for a reader of today to read: "The old woman, [Aunt Mary] having been a most energetic and tireless person in her day, could not understand that the whole world of darkeys could not be as she had been." However, Aunt Mary is a real person; she is fully drawn and full of warmth and humor. In her depiction of people of color, Speed Sampson is a step ahead of any other series writer. It's interesting to compare her writing with that of Annie Fellows Johnston, who penned The Little Colonel series. Of course, Johnston even has her Little Colonel speaking in southern dialect -- despite the fact that she was raised by a Yankee mother in New York! Characters from this series appear in Speed's other two series, and Zebedee (Page Allison's
'December' beau from the Tucker Twins) shows up in the final Molly Brown title, "College Friends."
Others in the Molly Brown Series:
Miss Minerva Series
The Carter Girls Series:
Mary Louise at Dorfield 1920
|The Edith Van Dyne series proved nearly as popular as the Oz books, so upon Baum's death the publishers employed Emma S. Sampson to continue the stories under the familiar pseudonym.|
|Baron Spiegel, Von und Zu Peckelsheim ~ (Later commander of U93)|
|The Adventures of the U-202 (An Actual Narrative) -
NY The Center Company (Narrative
of U-boat mission.)
Ed's Book plate
A good narrative, but fake U-boat number (for WWI anyway) Research shows that the U-Boat number was actually U-32. This information was obtained from the memoirs of Admiral Scheer. The Admiral was in command of the German High Seas Fleet from 1916.
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