Monday, January 26, 2015

Comics: Ben Sangor


Benjamin William “Ben” Sangor was born in Kiev, Russia, on February 5, 1889. Sangor’s full name and birth information were on his World War I draft card. The U.S. Naturalization Record Index, at Ancestry.com, said Sangor arrived in America on February 25, 1904. At this time it is not known who accompanied him. Sangor’s draft card said his dependents included his mother, so she may have emigrated with him.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, there are two women who were born in Russia and lived in Milwaukee. Sarah Sangor, 60 and a widow, was in the household of Harry Podolsky, her 35-year-old, Russian-born son-in-law, who was married to Rosa, also 35. The couple had two children, one born in New York and the other in Wisconsin. Rosa emigrated in 1904 which was the same year as Sangor’s arrival. Maybe Rosa and Sangor were siblings and traveled together in 1904; she would have been about 29 years old and Sangor around 15. There was no emigration date for Sarah.

Sangor has not yet been found in the 1910 census. His education was reported in Joe Mitchell Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column which was printed in the Buffalo Evening News (New York), December 20, 1928.

…Benjamin Sangor was an emigrant boy who in 23 years after landing at Ellis Island has become one of the largest real estate operators in the country. He attended night school at Milwaukee, and after graduating at the North Division School, attended the University of Wisconsin, working nights as a waiter or anything he could do to support himself, and finally graduated from the Marquette Law school.
The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, at Ancestry.com, said Sangor married Sophia B. Kitz on August 20, 1912, in Chicago, Illinois. However, eight months later, the Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), April 19, 1913, printed this announcement:
Naturalization Clerk Going to Be Married to Chicago Girl, Sunday.
Naturalization Clerk Benjamin Sangor got things all mixed up Saturday, but his boss, Clerk of Courts Charles Maas, forgave him. There’s a reason. Ben is going to be married Sunday. The lucky girl is Miss Sophie B. Kitz, 1480 Farragut-av, Chicago. The ceremony will take place there.
The 1913 Milwaukee city directory listed Sangor as deputy clerk at the Court House and his residence at 871 40th.

On September 18, 1914, Sangor became a naturalized citizen. His address was 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee.

Sangor became a lawyer and was named in the article, “Moha Challenges Validity of Law”, which was published by the Milwaukee Sentinel (Wisconsin), January 23, 1915.

Sangor signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. The card said he was a lawyer and lived at 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee. Sangor’s mother, wife and child were his dependents. The description of him was medium height and stout build with gray eyes and brown hair.

According to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index, Sangor’s wife, Sophie, passed away March 27, 1918, in Chicago. She was buried at Ridge Lawn Beth El Cemetery. Her death certificate said she was born n Baraga, Michigan, on November 16, 1893, but the 1900 census and her gravestone have the birth year 1892. The cause of death was not stated.

Sangor was in the lawyers listings of the 1918 Milwaukee city directory. His address was 114 Grand Avenue. Sangor’s involvement in the Kroeger Brothers Company case was chronicled in the following newspapers.

The Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1918: “‘Rummy or Liar,’ Says Court
The Milwaukee Journal, November 9, 1918: “Ready to Talk Now, He Says
The Evening Sentinel, November 16, 1918: “Judge Geiger Tells Herzog He Falsifies
The Evening Sentinel, November 18, 1918: “Court Declares Kroeger Bros. Co. Bankrupt
The Milwaukee Journal, November 19, 1918: “Kroeger Witness May See His Son
The Milwaukee Journal, November 20, 1918: “Rubin Explains Kroeger Deal
The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 21, 1918: “Rubin Undergoes Long Examination
The Milwaukee Journal, November 30, 1918: “Evidence Untrue, Says Court
The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 22, 1919: “Contempt Charge Against Lawyers
The Milwaukee Journal, February 24, 1919: “Rubin Denies He Sought Secrecy

The 1919 Milwaukee city directory had this listing: “Sangor Benj 835 Caswell blk”.

The 1920 census recorded Sangor as a resident of Chicago at 4518 Prairie Avenue. He was single and a general practice lawyer. His Wisconsin-born, seven-year-old daughter, “Jacqueline”, was enrolled at the Chicago St. Xavier Academy.

In Funnybooks (2014), Michael Barrier wrote:
By 1922, B.W. Sangor was listed in a legal directory as a Chicago attorney and was advertising real-estate auctions in the Chicago Tribune. Sangor moved to New York by the mid-1920s…
Sangor has not yet been found in the 1925 New York state census, which said his daughter, “Jacqulyn”, attended Highland Manor School in Tarrytown, Westchester County.

Sangor’s real estate business, B.W. Sangor & Co., used a New York City address, “1,459 Broadway (42d St.)”, in a New York Times classified advertisement dated May 14, 1925 (below).


Sangor also advertised in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1926) and Philadelphia Inquirer (1927).


 June 22, 1926

November 29, 1927

Sangor traveled to Europe in 1928. Aboard the S.S. Berengaria, he departed Southampton, England, on July 7, and arrived in New York, July 13. His address was 1457 Broadway, New York, New York.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (New York), December 24, 1928, published a longer version of Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column on Sangor.

In two sharply-contrasted environments, both of which he calls home, Benjamin W. Sanger, one of the largest realty operators in the country, eminent in community building, gave me his heart throb. In the brilliant and almost blinding glare of Broadway, shining in on his apartment at the Astor Hotel, New York, he began repeating the enchanting verses from Longfellow’s “Evangeline”…
…That was the story of a tragic Arcady, but it brought to mind another and a happier one—at Pinewald, New Jersey, “where the pine forests meet the sea,” and where a new day play city is in the making, as Mr. Sangor said: 
“This is my city home, but I want you to come with me to my real home in the pine woods on the Jersey Shore a few hours away, and you will understand why I am so intense in my love of Longfellow’s lines. When I first began to read English, Longfellow seemed to be the poet who took me by the hand and welcomed me to the rich storehouse of American literature.” 
Three hours after I found myself with him at his home, called “Cedar Crest,” among the whispering pines and sands of the Jersey shore. Pointing to the west, called attention to a beautiful sunset, he continued: 
“There is a picture that hangs on the wall of heaven painted by the great Creator that to me surpasses all the thrills that I can ever hope to have in any art gallery. The quiet of these woods and the close contact to nature will perhaps explain to you why my favorite poem is ‘Evangeline.’”
According to the 1930 census, Sangor was married and involved in real estate. His wife was not listed. He resided on Pinewald in Bayville Village, Berkeley Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. Pinewald was Sangor’s failed real estate project.

At some point, Jacquelyn Sangor returned to Illinois where she was a student at the New Trier High School in Winnekta. She was a senior in 1931.

The Echoes, 1931 yearbook

Sangor’s involvement in the comic book industry is told in Michael Vance’s Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group (1996), Michael Barrier’s Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books (2014), and Alter Ego #61, August 2006. A list of people who worked in the Sangor Studio is here. Sangor’s daughter, Jacquelyn, married publisher, Ned L. Pines, in 1938. The New York Times reported the birth of Jacquelyn’s two daughters, in 1939 and 1942, and referred to her as “the former Miss Jacquelyn Sanger [sic] of Chicago.”

In the 1940 census, Sangor resided in Manhattan, New York City at 205 West 54th Street. He was married and an executive in personal services. His wife was not recorded. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said his wife’s name was Frances.

After the census enumeration, Sangor traveled by ship to Mexico. He departed Vera Cruz, Mexico, on June 5, 1940, and arrived, six days later, in New York.

Sangor signed his World War II draft card in 1942. His address was 205 West 54th Street in Manhattan. He was employed at Cinema Comics, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, New York. He named his daughter, “Jacqulyn Pines”, who resided at 965 5th Avenue, New York City, as his nearest relative. On the back of the card was his description: five feet six inches, 175 pounds with gray eyes and hair.

The Brooklyn Eagle, January 16, 1948, published a legal noticed which named Sangor in a complaint.


Apparently, Sangor retired to Florida where he passed on January 26, 1953, in Miami Beach. A death notice was published in the New York Times, January 29, 1953.

Sangor—Benjamin W., on Monday, Jan. 26, 1953, at Miami Beach, Fla., dear husband of Frances Unger Sangor, beloved father of Jacquelyn Pines, loving grandfather of Susan and Judy Pines. Service at Frank E. Campbell, Madison Ave. at 81st St., New York City, Thursday, 12 noon.
Under the year 1953, DC’s “Other” Comics said: “Ben Sangor dies. Frances Sangor, his widow, is listed as co-owner for the next year.” There was a widow, Frances Sangor, who died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, on April 1, 1964. She was born in 1896.

*****

The Wikipedia profile of Sangor said: “…On October 1, 1925, a Benjamin Sangor married Etta Weidenfeld at the Hotel Martinique in Manhattan, New York City, though it is unclear if this is the same Sangor…” Wikipedia misspelled the name and had the date wrong. Below is the announcement in the New York Times, October 25, 1925.


Sanger–Weidenfeld—Mr. Joseph Weidenfeld announces the marriage of his daughter, Etta, to Mr. Benjamin Sanger at the Hotel Martinique Oct. 18, 1925.
The 1930 census recorded the couple in the Bronx. New York-born Sanger owned and operated an importing company.

*****

(Updated 10:07 am, January 26, 2015; next post on Monday: Ned L. Pines)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Comics: Ruth Atkinson, Rae Hermann and Ruth Roche


RUTH ATKINSON

Social Security and California Death Indexes at Ancestry.com
Ruth M[ildred Atkinson] Ford was born on June 2, 1918.

New York, Naturalization Records at Ancestry.com
Ruth’s mother, Yilda Estelle Atkinson (formerly Yetta Gottesfeld) submitted a Petition for Naturalization in June 1942. The petition said the Atkinson family emigrated from Canada to the United States, by train through Niagara Falls, New York, in July 1920.

1924 Elmira, New York, City Directory
Address: 751 Spaulding

1925 New York State Census
Address: 209 Mechanic Street, Elmira, New York
Name / Age
Fredrick Atkinson, 45, father born in England and employed in brass department
Yilda Atkinson, 31, mother born in Austria and worked in real estate
Warren F Atkinson, 11, brother born in Canada
Agnes B Atkinson, 10, sister born in Canada
Theodore F Atkinson, 8, brother born in Canada
Ruth M Atkinson, 7, born in Canada
Marshall Atkinson, 5, brother born in Canada
Rita Atkinson, 2, sister born in New York
Emma L Atkinson, 1, sister born in New York

1926 Elmira, New York, City Directory
Address: 246 E Miller

1927 Elmira, New York, City Directory
Address: 217 Franklin

1930 United States Federal Census
Address: 331 East Third Street, Corning, New York
Immigration Year: 1920
Household Members:
Name / Age
Frederick Atkinson, 49, glass works inspector
Yilda E Atkinson, 37, unemployed
Warren T Atkinson, 16, hotel employee
Agnes B Atkinson, 15
Theodore F Atkinson, 13
Ruth M Atkinson, 11, student
Marshal Atkinson, 10
Rita C Atkinson, 7
Emma L Atkinson, 5
Bertha M Atkinson, 1

The Stator
Corning Free Academy
Corning, New York
page 29: 1930 yearbook, junior high school girls class photograph






















The Stator
Corning Free Academy
Corning, New York
page 29: 1934 yearbook, sophomore class photograph

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
January 29, 1937
page 8, column 7: lists of high school graduates
Girls’ Commercial [High School]
Ruth M. Atkinson (Art)

1940 United States Federal Census
Address: 85-02 20th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Yilda Atkinson, 47, divorced and store keeper at corset shop
Thomas Atkinson, 28, restaurant dish washer
Ruth Atkinson, 21, music publisher canvasser; in 1939 she worked 20 weeks and earned 160 dollars; her comic book career began in the 1940s; it’s not known when she became a U.S. citizen
Marshall Atkinson, 20, plumber’s helper
Rita Atkinson, 16, artist, hand-painted jewelry
Emilton Atkinson, 15
Bertha M Atkinson, 11

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Grand Comics Database
Credits

Comic Book Database
Credits

Catalog of Copyright Entries
1963
page 1400, column 2: Colona, Maxine.
Jireh College; stirred embers of the past. In collaboration with Ruth Ford Atkinson. 134 p. © Maxine Colonna & Ruth Ford Atkinson; 29Aug63; A6 48023.






















A Century of Women Cartoonists
Trina Robbins
Kitchen Sink Press, 1993
pages 83 (comic book art, above), 101 (comic book art), 102 (comic book art), 104, 109, 111 (comic book art), 121






















Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013
Trina Robbins
Fantagraphics, 2013
pages 80, 82 (comic book art), 83, 90 (photograph), 99 (comic book art, above), 100, 108, 115

California Death Index at Ancestry.com
Ruth M. Ford died on June 1, 1997.

Comics Buyer’s Guide
July 4, 1997
pages 6 and 8: “Ruth Atkinson Ford Dies June 1”
Trina Robbins

Penstuff
July 1997
page 10: “Cancer Takes Ruth Atkinson Ford”
Trina Robbins

The Comics Journal
#198, August 1997
page 31: “Atkinson Ford Dead at 79”
Comics artist Ruth Atkinson Ford, died May 31, 1997.


RAE HERMANN

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Herman was born on June 9, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.

1925 New York State Census
Address: 1474 Park Place, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Aaron Herman, 50, father born in Russia and works as a tailor
Fannie Herman, 38, mother born in Russia
Abe Herman, 18, brother born New York and works as a bookkeeper
Beckie Herman, 17, sister born New York and works as a bookkeeper
Bennie Herman, 15, brother born New York
Sam Herman, 10, brother born New York
Ruth Herman, 5, born New York
George Herman, 5, brother born New York

1930 U.S. Federal Census
Address: 1474 Park Place, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Harry Herman, 55, father born in Poland and works as a tailor
Fannie Herman, 41, mother born in Poland
Abe Herman, 22, clerk in law office
Benjamin Herman, 20, clerk in office
Bettie Herman, 20, stenographer
Samuel Herman, 15
Ruth Herman, 9
George Herman, 9

Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists
Ruth Rae Herman aka “Rae Hermann” and “Ray R. Hermann”
1920–1996
Profile by Dave Saunders

Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics
Michelle Nolan
McFarland, 2008
page 81: ...Our Publishing Company, often known as Orbit, was headed by a woman, Ray R. Hermann (sometimes known as Rae)....

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Grand Comics Database
Credits

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Herman died December 26, 1996, in Brooklyn, New York.


RUTH ROCHE

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Ann Roche was born on February 18, 1917, in Massachusetts.

1920 United States Federal Census
Address: 194 Brown Avenue, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John Roche, 31, father was a gas and electric repairman
Anna Roche, 26, mother born in Russia
Walter J Roche, 11, brother
George Roche, 8, brother
Ruth Roche, 3, born in Massachusetts
Hannah T Roche, 50, father’s aunt

1930 United States Federal Census
Address: 28 Elmwood Avenue, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John Roche, 41, father was widower and gas meter inspector
Ruth A Roche, 13
Anna M Roche, 5, sister also worked in comics
Bridget T Roche, 62, father’s sister
Ethel M Roche, 27, father’s mother

1940 United States Federal Census
Address: 31 Franklin Street, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John H Roche, 51, father was city meter inspector
Ruth Gahan, 23, completed 4 years of high school; first name and whereabouts of husband is not known; her career in comics began in the 1940s
John Gahan, 1, son
Eileen Bunyan, 28, lodger

Florida, Divorce Index at Ancestry.com
Ruth Roche and Frank Manning, 1949

A Century of Women Cartoonists
Trina Robbins
Kitchen Sink Press, 1993
page 83: …In the case of Fiction House, the stories were often written by a woman, too. From 1940, when she was only twenty years old, until 1961, Ruth Roche, sometimes using the male pseudonym “Rod Roche,” was first the company’s major writer, and later editor. Although women writers worked for both Fiction House and other comic book companies, Roche probably wrote more comics during the ’40s than any other woman who was not also drawing her own strip….

Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas
M. Keith Booker
ABC-CLIO, 2014
page 141: …while Ruth Roche, another studio writer, became Iger’s full partner in 1945…

Will Eisner: A Spirited Life
Bob Andelman
M Press, 2005
Arthur Iger is Jerry Iger’s nephew.
Page 353: ...Arthur recalled that Jerry’s longest-lasting personal relationship was the one he had with his assistant, an attractive redhead named Ruth Roche. She had a son from a marriage that ended before she met Jerry, according to Arthur. “She loved Jerry,” he said. “But he never married her.”

American Newspaper Comics
Allan Holtz
University of Michigan Press, 2012
page 152: Flamingo
(Ruth Roche was the writer of the comic strip, Flamingo, which was drawn by Matt Baker and John Thornton. The strip ran from February 11, 1952 to March 21, 1953.)

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Comic Book Database
Credits

Grand Comics Database
Credits

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Ann Roche died May 1983, in Montauk, New York.

The East Hampton Star
(New York)
May 12, 1983
page 2, columns 2 and 3
“Ruth Schaefer”
Ruth R. Schaefer, 66, of South Delrey Road, Montauk, died on May 4 at Southampton Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in Massachusetts, Mrs. Schaefer lived in Flushing before she moved to Montauk 25 years ago.

While living in Flushing, Mrs. Schaefer worked as an executive editor with Rochris [sic] and Iger, a New York firm that produced creative writing and artwork. She was with the firm for 18 years. During her career as a writer and illustrator, she also worked as a business manager for Phoenix Features Syndicate, where she created the comic strip “Flamingo,” which appeared in the New York World-Telegram for many years.

She also worked as an editor of Classics Comic Books for five years; edited six romance-confession magazines under the pen names of Miss Martin, Miss Bennett, Miss Adams, Miss Thorpe, Agnes Wilson, and the Marriage Clinic; illustrated Mickey Spillane’s “Mike Hammer” series, which appeared in the New York Mirror and other newspapers around the world; wrote scripts for such properties as “Ellery Queen,” “Brenda Starr,” “Aggie Mack,” and “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,” and edited the cartoons “Felix the Cat” and “Huckleberry Hound.”

Mrs. Schaefer, who was divorced, is survived by her companion of many years, Peter Panteles of Montauk. Her body was cremated. Memorial donations have been suggested to the Montauk ambulance squad.


(Next post on Monday: Ben Sangor)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Creator: Everett R. Currier


EVERETT RAYMOND CURRIER

Birth
January 16, 1877, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

1891 Census of Canada
Everett R Currier

Massachusetts Passenger List
E. R. Currier, age 23
first trip
ship: Prince Arthur
departure: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
arrival: Boston, August 22, 1900

second trip
arrival: Boston, December 30, 1900

1903 Fitchburg, Massachusetts Directory
Currier Everett R., emp Sentinel Printing Co., rms 254 Main

1904 Fitchburg, Massachusetts Directory
Currier Everett R., emp Sentinel Printing Co., rms 26 Summer

1906 Boston, Massachusetts Directory
Currier Everett R printer 185 Franklin rms 54 Pinckney

1910 United States Federal Census
Everett R. Currier, age 33, manager at publishing company
1012 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Type Spacing
E.R. Currier
J.M. Bowles, 1910

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index
Everett R Currier and Elizabeth R Hurlbut, 1912

The Graphic Arts
February 1914
Type Spacing

1915 New York State Census
Everett and Elizabeth Currier
44 Pierpont Street, Brooklyn, New York
printing trade

1916 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Everett R Currier, advertising agent
home in Brooklyn; business address, 2 E 29th

Williston Graphic
(North Dakota)
October 12, 1916
Campaign on for Larger Hospital

1917 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Everett R Currier, advertising agent
home in Brooklyn; business address, 500 5th av R402

1918 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Everett R Currier, advertising agent
home in Brooklyn; business address, 500 5th av R402

World War I Draft Registration Card
Everett Raymond Currier, age 41
address: 414 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York
occupation: Advertising / Berrien-Durstine, Inc.,
25 West 45 Street, Manhattan
description: medium height and slender build
with blue eyes and brown hair
signed draft card on September 12, 1918
his wife resided at the Stratford House,
11 East 32 Street, Manhattan

The Printing Art
November 1918

The Printing Art

The Printing Art
February 1919

Printers’ Ink
February 6, 1919
advertisement for Currier Company

Printers’ Ink
February 13, 1919
Currier Has Printing Service

New-York Tribune
June 8, 1919
Garden City Season Opens with a Rush to Entertain Veterans

The Sun
(New York, New York)
June 8, 1919
Outdoor Sports at Garden City

The Printing Art

Printers’ Ink
February 5, 1920

Printers’ Ink
February 12, 1920

Printers’ Ink
February 19, 1920

Printers’ Ink
March 4, 1920

The Inland Printer
April 1920

New York County Supreme Court
Naturalization Petition
Everett Raymond Currier, 21 W 16 St, New York
January 6, 1921

The American Printer
September 5, 1921
Everett Currier, Ltd., which does layout, typography and fine printing at 27 E. Thirty-first Street, New York, is now operating a day and night plant.

The American Printer
September 20, 1921


The Stowaways lined up against a stone wall at Rudge’s Mount Vernon Printshop and shot (with a kodak.) From left to right: George J. Illian, illustrator; Richard J. Walsh, art director; W. D. Teague, designer; Paul B. Hoeber, bookseller; Cecil Seymour; Charles D. Burchenal, mechanical engineer; W. E Rudge, printer, C. P. Rollins (guest), printer to Yale University; Bruce Rogers, designer; D. Silve, typographer; H.Townsend, illustrator; J. M. Bowles, Stowaway Extraordinary; A. W. Griffin, typographer; O.W. Jaquish, designer; J. D. Brophy; Louis H. Ruyl, illustrator; Wm. Oberhardt, illustrator; E. R. Currier, printer; Chas. D. Allen, editor, “The Independent”

The American Printer
October 5, 1921
One of the features of the Stowaway “blowout” September 17 was the production, under the direction of Stowaway Charles Coburn, of Mark Twain’s satire of Queen Elizabeth’s Court. The cast was: Queen Elizabeth, Rea Irwin; Sir Walter Raleigh, Archie Griffin; Lady Helen, Lawrence Gomme; Lady Alice, E. C. Wolf; William Shakespeare, E. M. Hunt; Robert Bacon, Louis Ruyl; Ben Jonson, Everett E. Currier; Beaumont, Van R. Pavey.

The American Printer
October 20, 1921
From a noted typographer
New York, September 6, 1921
Editor The American Printer:
I hope you will accept my belated compliments on the Craftsmen Number of The American Printer. It is the kind of magazine that one puts aside for repeated perusals and a definite stimulation to better typography.
Everett R. Currier, Everett Currier, Limited.

The American Printer
November 5, 1921
Everett Currier, Limited, New York.—A miniature leaflet on yellow Chinese paper is quite a novelty and must have attracted a great deal of attention. Mr. Currier gets his usual good effects by simple combinations of Caslon type and border.

The American Printer
November 20, 1921
Typography: First prize, An Announcement, by Everett R. Currier, New York...


Stowaway Everett R. Currier was scolded recently by Imperial Wizard Bowles for delivering a circular a day before it had been promised. It seems that Currier by this act violated one of the sacred practices of the printing fraternity.

The American Printer
December 5, 1921
Everett R. Currier, Limited, New York.—The Stowaway announcement is typically good. The harmony between illustration and typography is notable, and should furnish a study for typographers.

The American Printer
December 20, 1921
Printed by Everett Currier Limited, New York.

1922 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Everett R Currier, president of Everett Currier Ltd.
home at Allerton House

The Inland Printer
July 1922

Bulletin of the Art Center
April 1923
The Institute is in receipt of a quaint and interesting gift in the form of an old Washington hand-press, the species on which so much of early American printing was executed. The donor is a member, Mr. Everett R. Currier, of Currier Press, Inc.

Bulletin of the Art Center
June 1923
Books accepted for the display were contributed by the following: The Brick Row Bookshop, Inc., Everett R. Currier, George Simpson Eddy, Thomas Nast Fairbanks, Franklin Printing Company, Walter Gilliss Press, Edwin and Robert

Bulletin of the Art Center

October 1923
Many of our members may recall, incidentally, that this press is the property of A.I.G.A., having been presented to us some months ago by Mr. Everett R. Currier.

Bulletin of the Art Center

The Stowaway Magazine
The exhibition in our room for October was a retrospective display of the typographic work of Everett R. Currier. The work shown was not by the firm of Everett Currier, Ltd., but by Everett Raymond Currier “himself,” and unlimited. This is the first of a series of typographic shows in our “gallery.” It extended back to the days when he and Frederic W. Goudy announced  the establishment of a press at 114 East Twenty- eighth Street, New York.

There was also a very modest card dated 1904 announcing the establishment by Everett R. Currier of “the Laurel Press, at 16 Bigelow Street, Cambridge, Mass.” Sixteen Bigelow Street was a lodging-house, and the press was located in a hall bedroom.

New York Passenger List
Everett R Currier, age 48
ship: S.S. Majestic
departure: Cherbourg, France, July 15, 1925
arrival: New York, New York, July 21, 1925
address: 27 E. 31st Street, New York, New York

1925 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Everett R Currier, president of Everett Currier Ltd.
27 E 31st

Everett Currier Ltd
27 E 31st
Everett R Currier, president
Hubert L Canfield, vice-president
William Engleman, secretary
Randolph Boyle, treasurer

Everett R Currier, president of Currier & Harford Ltd
home, 45 E 55th

late 1920s
divorce from Elizabeth

New York Evening Post
August 17, 1928
Briton Sentenced in Literary Fraud
Pleads Guilty to Misrepresenting Facts to Obtain $600 From Publisher
Francis Willis Harland, thirty, known to Scotland Yard and Manhattan Detective Headquarters as Sir Francis Norton-Howard today received an indeterminate sentenced up to three years in the penitentiary by Judge Collins in General Sessions Court.

By the special concession of Assistant District Attorney Aurello, Harland, who was indicted last May for grand larceny was permitted to plead guilty to petty larceny. The dispensation was granted because the complainant, Everett R. Currier, a publisher at 400 West Thirty-fourth Street, was in Europe. Harland obtained $600 from the publishing concern by representing himself as writing a book on fox hunting for the Essex hunt Club of Newark, N.J.

The prisoner revealed that he came to this country from England as the private secretary of Lady Sholto Douglas, now engaged in motion picture work in Hollywood. He will be deported upon the expiration of his sentence, it was said.

1929 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
113 Myrtle Avenue
printer

1930 United States Federal Census
Everett R. and Frances B. Currier
101 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, Connecticut
printer

1935 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
113 Myrtle Avenue
printer in New York

1937 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
Morning Side Drive
printer

1940 United States Federal Census
Everett and Frances Currier
Morning Side Drive, Westport, Connecticut
his highest level of education was the eighth grade
printer

1941 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
Court of Oaks
printer

1943 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
Court of Oaks
printer

1950 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
Court of Oaks
printer

1954 Westport, Connecticut, City Directory
Everett R and Frances B Currier
Court of Oaks
printer

Death
May 19, 1954, Westport, Connecticut

The New York Times
May 21, 1954
“Everett Currier, Publisher, Was 78”
Typography Expert Is Dead—
Ad Layout Specialist Also
Wrote Religious Music

Brooklyn Eagle
(New York)
May 21, 1954
“Everett R. Currier, Expert on Type”
Everett Raymond Currier, publisher and typography expert, who years ago founded the Currier Press in Manhattan, died Wednesday in his home at Westport, Conn. He was 78.

Mr. Currier also was the composer of religious music. His hymn, “In Christ There Is No East or West,” is in the New Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church, published in 1940. He also wrote several anthems and other pieces of music.

As a specialist in advertising layout and typography, Mr. Currier was a contemporary of Frederic W. Goudy and was acquainted with most of the leading type designers before and after the turn of the century.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Typography: Carter Printing Ink Company


THE CARTER DUCKS

The Inland Printer
June 1907

The Inland Printer
July 1907

The Inland Printer
August 1907

The Inland Printer
September 1907

The Inland Printer
October 1907

(Next post on Monday: Everett R. Currier)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Under Cover: The Gene Thurston Mystery


Dust Jackets by Gene Thurston

1930

The Amazing Web
A. L. Burt, 1930

A Bachelor Abroad
Evelyn Waugh
Jonathan Cape & Harison Smith, 1930

Sydney Horler
Mystery League, 1930

Edgar Wallace
Mystery League, 1930

Edgar Wallace
Mystery League, 1930

Miles Burton
Mystery League, 1930

The House of Sudden Sleep
John Hawk
Mystery League, 1930

Edward Woodward
Mystery League, 1930

Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning
Mystery League, 1930

George Goodchild
Mystery League, 1930

George Goodchild
Mystery League, 1930

Sydney Horler
Mystery League, 1930


1931

The Bungalow on the Roof
Achmed Abdullah
Mystery League, 1931

Death Walks in Eastrepps
Francis Beeding
Mystery League, 1931

The Gutenberg Murders
Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning
Mystery League, 1931

The Merrivale Mystery
James Corbett
Mystery League, 1931

Murder in the French Room
Helen Joan Hultman
Mystery League, 1931

The Mystery of Villa Sineste
Walter Livingston
Mystery League, 1931


The Secret of High Eldersham
Miles Burton
Mystery League, 1931

The Tunnel Mystery
J.C. Lenehan
Mystery League, 1931

Turmoil at Brede
Seldon Truss
Mystery League, 1931


1932


The Ebony Bed Murder
Rufus Gillmore
Mystery League, 1932


The False Purple
Sydney Horler
Mystery League, 1932


The Phantom President
George Worts
Jonathan Cape & Robert Ballou, 1932

Spider House
Van Wyck Mason
Mystery League, 1932


The Stingaree Murders
W. Shepard Pleasants
Mystery League, 1932


Two and Two Make Twenty-Two
Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning
Mystery League, 1932


1933

Death Points a Finger
Will Levinrew
Mystery League, 1933

Thurston contributed illustrations to Mystery League magazine.

Erie County Independent
(Hamburg, New York)
October 5, 1933
Thrillers—Ellery Queen, famous masked author of many best sellers, is editor of new monthly magazine, Mystery League. Photo shows Mr. Queen autographing first copy of magazine for the publisher, Sidney M. Biddell.

(Most of the dust jackets were found on eBay.)


Who Is Gene Thurston?

Imprint
Steven Heller wrote: “Before Saul Bass, designer/illustrators, including Arthur Hawkins Jr. and Gene (Eugene Thurston), were doing “Saul Bass” for a book company known as The Mystery League. It is a mystery to me that so little is known about Mr. Thurston. Any hints as to his lineage are gratefully accepted...”

Person of Interest Number One
At first glance, Eugene Bonfanti Thurston (1896–1993), a Tennessee native, seems to have the background and experience to have produced the Mystery League dust jackets. He was in New York City when he signed his World War I draft card (found at Ancestry.com) on September 12, 1918. It’s not clear when he returned to El Paso, Texas, where his family moved when he was a child.

Thurston was profiled in Early El Paso Artists (Texas Western Press, 1983). At El Paso High School, he was editor of the school newspaper The Tatler, and the yearbook. He took a two-year correspondence course in commercial art from the Federal School of Art in Minneapolis. He produced greeting cards, calendars, announcements, lithographs and prints.

But, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Thurston resided in El Paso, far away from the New York publisher of the Mystery League books. Working from such a distant seems impractical and costly, having to depend on the post office and courier services to deliver designs and artwork. Thurston’s occupation was an artist doing painting, plus he was married and had two daughters. So, I would rule out Eugene Bonfanti Thurston as the man behind the Mystery League covers.

Person of Interest Number Two
At Ancestry.com I searched “Eugene Thurston” and added the keyword “artist”. As I examined each name in the 1940 census, one person stood out because his occupation was “Designer”. Eugene Thurstson, 34, was a native of Michigan and resided in Manhattan, New York City at 178 East 91st Street. He was divorced and his highest level of education was the fourth year of high school. In 1939 he worked twenty weeks and earned 917 dollars.


I refined my search by including the birth year, 1906, and birthplace, Michigan. In the 1930 census is “Eugene E. Thurston”, age 24 and from Michigan. His occupation was designer in the commercial art trade. Thurston’s wife, Edith, was 45 years old and a New York native. They married when he was 21 and she 42. They resided in Manhattan, New York City at 527 West 121st Street. A 1931 Manhattan directory had the same address for him.



I did not find Thurston in the New York, New York Marriage Index at Ancestry.com. Presumably he had married out of state, probably in Michigan.

Apparently, Thurston resided in Brooklyn for a time. His wife returned from Europe on September 4, 1929. The passenger list recorded her address as 200 Washington Park in Brooklyn.


The Nassau Daily Review (Freeport, New York), August 10, 1935, published an item about Thurston visiting brother-in-law, Austin Long:
Mr. and Mrs. Austin O. Long of Hamilton street, Rockville Centre have as their week-end guests, Dr. and Mrs. Gould Cloud of Elizabeth, N. J., and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Thurston of New York city.

Thurston has not yet been found in the 1910 and 1920 censuses.

Regarding Thurston’s wife, Edith, there is considerably more information. According to Ancestry.com, she was born in Buffalo, New York, on February 26, 1885, and passed away in Florida, February 27, 1975. Her parents were Eli and Alice Long. In the 1900 census, Edith was the first of four children; her brothers were Austin, Raymond and Edwin. In the 1920 census and 1925 New York State Census, Edith was a widow who had the name, Robertson, and lived with her parents in Buffalo, where she was a self-employed landscape architect. In 1930, her book, High-Lights of Architecture, was published, and at Columbia University, Edith received her Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts (see column two). The 1940 census recorded her as an art teacher in Buffalo where she resided with her parents. The census said she had been a resident of Detroit, Michigan, in 1935.

What became of Thurston after the 1940 census is not known. A World War II army draft card has not been found for him. It’s possible he enlisted in another service such as the marines, navy or air force. At Ancestry.com, an artist named “Eugene E. Thurston” was found in two city directories: Pasadena, California, 1947, and San Francisco, California, 1959. Directories at San Francisco Genealogy for 1960, 1962 and 1963 list the firm, Shawl, Nyeland & Seavey as Thurston’s employer. It’s unclear if this artist was Thurston the designer, who would have been in his mid-fifties in the early 1960s. Thurston has not been found in the Social Security Death Index.

I believe Michigan-born Eugene E. “Gene” Thurston can be charged for the crime covers of the Mystery League books.


Mystery League Dust Jackets by Arthur Hawkins Jr.

The Mystery of Burnleigh Manor
Walter Livingston
Mystery League, 1930

Seldon Truss
Mystery League, 1931

The Maestro Murders
Frances S. Wees
Mystery League, 1931


More Mystery League Dust Jackets

For Sale—Murder
Will Levinrew
Mystery League, 1932
Signature Illegible

The Mardi Gras Murders
Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning
Mystery League, 1932
Designer Unknown


About the Mystery League, and the United Cigar Stores,
Whelan Drug Stores and Harpers Drug Co. Advertisements

Reading Times
(Pennsylvania)
June 20, 1930
“Books, 50 Cents at Cigar Stores”
Wallace Mystery Tome to Launch New Cut Rate Plan
By William Lipman (World News Service)
New York, June 19. One week from today 1,500 United Cigar stores throughout the country and Whalen and Neve drug stores associated with them, will offer you for 50 cents a copy of “The Hand of Power,” Edgar Wallace’s latest mystery novel, printed on good paper and bound in boards. And thus, my dears, will be written another chapter in the hectic history or the book business which seems to be going blotto. This new wrinkle was explained yesterday by Sidney M. Biddell, president of the Mystery League, and William A. Ferguson, secretary of the United Cigar Stores company of America. Educating magazine readers to buy books at prices within their reach is the aim of the Mystery League. Several hundred mystery books are published annually, its president pointed out, and his firm will not publish more than 24 in a year, so he feels that the new venture will not cut into the trade of book stores. “For one thing,” he said, “we expect to create a new class of book readers.” The impression seems to be fairly common that what the book business needs is “a new class of readers,” so thus worthy aim, as voiced by Biddell, isn’t exactly original. Ferguson thinks that selling you a book when you drop in to buy a pack of cigarets or a cigar, will be easy. Here and there, he said, some of his firm’s stores had been experimenting with the book business and things came off beautifully. Well, it seems Biddell got this idea about the Mystery League and needed a distributor for his wares, and there was Ferguson wishing he could get some books to sell. And then just to show you how things turn out, sometimes they met and talked it over. And now, as you tarry with dame nicotine, you may also select yourself a book. And remember the price only 50 cents. The idea has its possibilities, but we don’t quite agree with Biddell when he says it isn’t going to hurt the business of book stores. You’ll probably learn more about that angle after the booksellers catch their breath and proceed to have their say.

Cleveland Plain Dealer
(Ohio)
June 26, 1930
The Hand of Power

Evening News
(North Tonawanda, New York)
June 27, 1930
“Smokes and Books”
A big cigar store chain, in association with a chain of drug stores, is taking up books as a side line. That makes a couple of thousand stores altogether. The book distribution will be done through an organization known as the Mystery League, operating on the book-a-month plan.

Book-lovers, whether they smoke or not, will be interested in the fact that these books, of regular novel size, will be printed on good paper, bound in durable boards and sold for 50 cents apiece. This may have some effect on the general book market.

The idea of selling books in a tobacco store isn’t funny. It’s sensible. Smokers, being inclined to thoughtfulness, probably read more than non-smokers. Their taste for reading might be encouraged by giving a book with every box of cigars. But there ought to be many kinds of books offered besides mystery tales.

(New York)
July 2, 1930
The Hand of Power

New York Evening Post
July 5, 1930
Dashiell Hammett review of Edgar Wallace’s The Hand of Power
I managed to leave one of the three books that came to me for review this week in either a taxicab or a Pullman car somewhere between New York and Baltimore (finder please read and review, or at least review), and, to make a thorough job of it, also managed to forget its title and author, though I think the author’s name had a Louis in it. Luckily, I seem to have saved the right two books. The ones I have on hand are both excellent of their kinds: it is doubtful if the lost brother was so, good.

“The Hand of Power” is the book with which the United Cigar Stores make their entrance into the current cut-price publishing shindig. It is Wallace at his best, at his least adult, at his most naively melodramatic; the Wallace who can juggle complete sets of false whiskers with mustachios—trapdoors, the secret passages they lead to, and forged wills, birth certificates and whatnot with his left hand: an occult poison or two, the necessary hypodermic needles, stolen heritages and at least one impersonation with his right; while balancing a stack of cowled menaces, a kidnaping and as many murders as you like on his head and managing a typewriter—using the ribbon’s red stratum—with his feet.

There has only been one man who could beat, Wallace at this game and he, George Bronson Howard, has been dead some seven, years and is completely forgotten. Herman Landon can sometimes hold the pace for a chapter or two, but seldom for longer than that. Sydney Horler’s warehouses are well stocked with hocus-pocus but in action he is all thumbs. M. P. Shiel, mechanically Wallace’s one undoubted superior in this dizzy field, is often enough—even in such essentially dull opera as “The Purple Cloud”—too authentic a magician to deserve a place among the masters of claptrap.

“The Hand Of Power” starts off with a pair of cowled Proud Sons of Ragousa whispering in the sinister ear of the sinister Dr. Laffin on a desolate Dartmoor road, then jumps to dirty work la London—including some amazingly delightful nonsense in a shop-window, with the heroine in a green gown sitting at a desk in front of a single red rose—and culminates in much filthier work aboard the S. S. Escorial in the Arctic Circle. Noteworthy among the villains herein assembled is Captain Harvey Hale, “seventy-five by fifty coarse inches of muscle and bone.” This is just the sort of story Wallace can do if done at his best. I would not care to recommend it as a steady diet but it has its place. For instance, it makes swell reading when somebody who bores you is talking. Perhaps you do not care for this sort of thing even then. Then you should pay no attention to Wallace at any time, for when he tries to be reasonable he is simply dull.

 Boston Herald
(Massachusetts)
July 24, 1930
The Curse of Doone

 New York Sun
September 5, 1930
The House of Sudden Sleep

 Boston Herald
(Massachusetts)
September 30, 1930
Jack O’Lantern

Lockport Union Sun and Journal
(New York)
October 2, 1930
Jack O’Lantern

Dunkirk Evening Observer
(New York)
November 5, 1930
The Mystery of Burnleigh Manor 

 The Times-Picayune
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
November 25, 1930
The Invisible Host

 Cleveland Plain Dealer
(Ohio)
December 10, 1930
Five-book Gift Set

Dunkirk Evening Observer
(New York)
February 3, 1931
The Monster of Grammont

 Trenton Evening Times
(New Jersey)
March 26, 1931
Death Walks in Eastrepps

 Elmira Star-Gazette
(New York)
June 18, 1931
The Gutenberg Murders

 Trenton Evening Times
(New Jersey)
August 6, 1931
The Tunnel Mystery

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Pennsylvania)
July 22, 1932
The Ebony Bed Murder

New York Evening Post
August 22, 1932
“Women Like Gore”
Sixty Per Cent of Mystery Novel Readers Feminine, Publisher Finds.
If statesmen like to escape from the intricacies of statecraft and industrial giants choose to forget the problems of industry by tucking their noses between the covers of a mystery novel, so do housewives hasten to wash their hands of the breakfast dishes and cooks yearn to curl up with a good (i. e.. hair-raising) book.

Even more so, in fact. According to Sydney [sic] M. Bidden, the young executive of the Mystery League which supplies a book a month to the detective-minded public, 60 per cent of the buyers of mystery novels are women. They will have their mysteries, even if they have to go into cigar stores to get them. For this particular check-up was made through the chain cigar stores which are in many cases the distributors of Mystery League books. A general check-up among all the distributors would, Mr. Biddell opined, reveal an even higher percentage of women readers.

“And here’s an even more startling figure for you,” Mr. Biddell went on. “When we held our Baffle Book contests, 80 per cent of the solutions were sent in by women, and only 20 per cent by men.

“That proves something more than just numbers. It proves that, contrary to what most people think, women, don’t just read these stories to pass the time. They are interested in following the clues. They like to pit their wits against the author’s and see how quickly they can arrive at the solution.”

Love interest? Mr. Biddell shook his head. It seems that over in England, where those cold Anglo-Saxons live, they like books in which the love interest predominates over the mystery. But here in sentimental America the heart is subordinated to the intellect.

“There has to be a thread of romance, of course,” said Mr. Biddell, and he rummaged through hie files and brought out a letter from a woman reader. 

“I missed the love story in ‘______’,” the lady wrote, commenting on a recent novel. “Put a bit more in and all will be serene. Romance and mystery mix well. I for one can’t stand a straight love story.”

Among the 7,000 to 8,000 letters that come to the Mystery League’s office in the course of a year, the majority are from women. Ladies sit themselves down before their scented violet and baby blue sheets of letter paper in Melrose, La., and Mount Vernon, Iowa; in Danielson,  Conn., and 
San Juan Bautista, Cal., take pen in hand and inscribe their opinions of such and such a book or such and such an author.

“They are both more loyal and more critical than men readers,” said Mr. Biddell, who has women folks of his own (he showed your reporter, pardonable pride, a snapshot of his young daughter, who will probably grow up to be a mystery writer herself). “Women demand that the background be bizarre—they want to read about a life as different from their own as possible.

“They are quite impartial about whether their authors are men or women—there are about as many women writers as men, and Mary Roberts Rinehart, M. G. Eberhard, Agatha Christie, Carolyn Wells and Dorothy L. Sayres are as popular as any of their male colleagues—but they don’t take kindly to a woman sleuth.

“I suppose,” Mr. Biddell ventured slyly, “that’s because even women don’t believe a woman could solve a really heinous crime. After all, have you ever noticed that even at the most successful mystery plays the matinee audiences are very sparse? Even the bravest women seem to like having a masculine arm within reach, and so they go in the evening when they can have a male escort.

“Why do they read mystery stories, then? Well, psychologists tell us that we read mystery stories because our civilization is so refined that we miss the dangers of primitive life. Women, on the whole, live even less dangerous lives than men. Perhaps that is why their taste in literature is more gory than men’s.

“Or perhaps,” said Mr. Biddell wickedly, “It‘s just because they have more time.”


The Bookshop Blog
The Mystery League: Great Crime Fiction or Only Super Deco Dust Jackets?” Diane Plumley’s research on the Mystery League books.

(Next post on Christmas Day)