Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Comics: Zain-Eppy

Zain-Eppy was the publisher of Famous Comics, a comic book given away free to promote a product. The contents were reprints of popular comic strips. Zain-Eppy filed a trademark application for Famous Comics which was published in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, September 17, 1935. 

Zain-Eppy claimed use of the title since December 31, 1934. It’s not known how many issues were published on that date. The covers were signed by Ed Salter and some issues included the year “34” next to his name. A number of issues appeared in 1935. As of this writing, nine issues are known to exist

Preceding the trademark application, the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, April 30, 1935, published this entry in Class 38 which covered prints and publications: “Cartoons published at intervals. Series of Zain Features Syndicate, Inc., 323,753-4: Apr. 30; Serial Nos. 360,050-1; published Feb. 19, 1935.” The description appears to be of Famous Comics.

Zain-Eppy also produced a bread wrapper with comic strips. Samuel B. Eppy wrote about the company’s brief venture using the bread wrapper as an advertising vehicle in Printers’ Ink, April 18, 1935.
Is This a Premium?

Zain-Eppy, Inc.New York 

Editor of Printers’ Ink:

The bread wrapper is an advertising medium. It is so much circulation, paid for, and the wise baker imprints on his wrapper such copy and illustration decoration as will influence sales. The wrapper has unusual opportunity to serve as a sales builder. 

Not to take advantage of this opportunity is an economic and sales waste. 

An excellent example of a bread wrapper taking full opportunity of its medium is our Comic Strip Bread Wrapper. Four different comic strips are imprinted on the sides of the wrapper — and the comics change every day, just like in the newspapers.

NRA [National Recovery Administration] has ruled that the sale of bread in a wrapper bearing a serial comic strip printed on it is a violation of Article VII, Section 6 of the baking industry code. This provision prohibits the use of premiums.

But, we ask, is it a premium? Has a fair and proper interpretation been made? It is a matter of record, on two occasions, where President Roosevelt issued proclamations freeing up advertising novelties and specialties from all restraint in the normal and usual promotion of business. Speaking from thirty years' of experience, the editor of Bunting’s 

Novelty Mart says, “Comic Strip Bread Wrappers are strictly advertising novelties and not premiums in any sense whatsoever.” Here, then, is another interpretation relating to our wrapper. Which is the correct interpretation? The premium interpretation of NRA? The advertising novelty interpretation of Mr. Bunting? Who can help us draw the line of differentiation between these contentions? Who can help us support our contention to NRA that our wrapper is an advertising novelty and as such, free of their restriction?

Interpretations on the matter go even further. An advertising friend advances the opinion that our wrapper is neither a premium nor an advertising novelty. “It is a packaging improvement, much like the Post Toasties Mickey Mouse cutouts and other such packages. Since when,” he asks, “does a design decoration become a premium?”

Because members of the advertising fraternity work with premiums, advertising novelties and packaging improvements, we shall consider it a favor to hear from advertising people voicing their interpretations relative to our comic strip wrapper. Because we are preparing an appeal from the NRA ruling, we seek information, guidance and support in our contention that NRA erred.

Samuel B. Eppy.
A 1935 issue of Food Industries said “Serial, comic-strip bread wrappers are barred by National Bakers’ Council as a violation of the code.” A 1935 issue of Printing wrote, “Of interest to the trade is an interpretation made by NRA in which it is held that for a baker to use a bread wrapper on which is printed a serial comic strip would be in violation of Article VII, Section 6 of the Code for the baking industry. An advertising agency proposed to sell the strip to be printed on the wrapper.” 

I believe the unnamed client in Eppy’s article was Meyer’s Bread whose name was on a sticker on some issues of Famous Comics. It’s not clear when the comic strip bread wrappers first appeared, either in 1934 or early 1935. Apparently the comic strip bread wrappers were barred in 1935. It’s not known if the Famous Comics logo was used on the bread wrappers.

Below are profiles of George K. Zain, Samuel B. Eppy and Ed Salter. 

* * * * * * 

George Kalil Zain was born on November 1, 1888 in Tyre, Lebanon, according to Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry, Volume 14 (1965). His parents were Paul Zain and Mary Habib. 

Who’s Who said Zain graduated from the Friends School, Mt. Lebanon, Lebanon, in 1906 and later that year emigrated to the United States. A passenger list, at, recorded Zain as a Syrian passenger on the steamship La Lorraine which departed December 22, 1906 from Havre, France. The ship arrived in New York City seven days later. Zain was on his way to see a friend in Brooklyn at 25 William Place. Who’s Who said Zain graduated from Potsdam Normal School in 1909. 

Zain has not yet been found in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census or the 1915 New York state census. In the 1920 census, Zain was a New York City resident in Manhattan at 110 West 81 Street. Zain worked at an advertising firm. Zain has not yet been found in the 1930 census. 

The Encyclopedia of American Biography, Volume 38 (1968) said Zain “began his career with the founding of the Zain Advertising System in New York City” in 1912. He was president and owner until 1942. Zain also formed the Zain Features Syndicate whose founding year is not yet known. The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, April 30, 1935, included the following entry in Class 38 which covered prints and publications: “Cartoons published at intervals. Series of Zain Features Syndicate, Inc., 323,753-4: Apr. 30; Serial Nos. 360,050-1; published Feb. 19, 1935.” The description appeared to be of Famous Comics.

At some point, Zain met Samuel B. Eppy. A profile of Eppy in Billboard, May 5, 1958, said “…Eppy spent the years 1930–36 as a traveling salesman for an advertising mat service, selling intangibles during the depths of the depression.” The two men formed a partnership, Zain-Eppy, Inc., in New York City, and produced the promotional comic book, Famous Comics in 1934. In 1936, Eppy was an assistant sales manager. at Gum, Inc. in Philadelphia. He went on to form his own company which produced plastic charms.

Who’s Who said Zain married Rebyl Silver on January 21, 1935. 

According to the 1940 census, Zain and his wife were residents of New York City in 1935. Their home in 1940 was Los Angeles, California at 500 South Berendo Street. Zain was in charge of his advertising company. 

Who’s Who said Zain was naturalized in 1943. His petition for naturalization was filed in Miami, Florida. The 1945 Florida state census counted Zain and his wife who resided at 128 Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables where Zain became well-known for Miracle Mile and the Zain Plan of parking. 

A 1950 Hendersonville, North Carolina city directory listed Zain’s address as 1029 Kanuga. Hendersonville was his summer home. Zain maintained a residence in Palm Springs, California whose city directories for 1950 to 1952 had this address, 480 Mesquite Avenue.

Zain passed away September 25, 1966 in Hendersonville, North Carolina, according to the death certificate at His passing was noted in the Living Church, November 27, 1966. Zain was laid to rest at Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum

Further Reading
Miracle Mile: The Evolution of a Street

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Samuel B. Eppy was born Samuel B. Epstein on October 23, 1904, in Rego Park, New York. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. A 1945 passenger list recorded Eppy’s birthplace as Rego Park, New York.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the Epstein family resided in Manhattan, New York City at 125 Monroe Street. Eppy was the fourth of six children born to Louis and Celia. Eppy’s father was a trimmer at a trunk manufacturer. The 1915 New York state census said the Epsteins remained on Monroe Street at building 281. 

According to the 1920 census, the Epstein family added another child and lived at 22 Jackson Street in Manhattan. Eppy’s younger brothers, George and Sidney, would later work for Eppy in his company. Sometime after the census, Eppy and his two brothers changed their surnames from Epstein to Eppy. 

A profile in Billboard, May 5, 1958, said Eppy 

…was graduated from New York University in 1926 with a major in banking. After graduation, he went to work for the Wall Street firm of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane as a statistician. Later he was promoted to writing market letters to customers.

But the crash came three years later after Eppy joined the brokerage house, and by 1930, the demand for market analysts had slowed down considerably. Eppy spent the years 1930–36 as a traveling salesman for an advertising mat service, selling intangibles during the depths of the depression.
The New York Post, May 5, 1933, reported Eppy leased an office at 1182 Broadway in Manhattan. At some point Eppy met George K. Zain and they formed Zain-Eppy which was not mentioned in the profile. Zain-Eppy produced the promotional comic book Famous Comics in 1934 and 1935. 

Billboard said Eppy “joined Gum, Inc., Philadelphia, in 1936 as assistant sales manager. Within a year he was promoted to sales manager, and to general manager….” Eppy eventually went into business himself by selling plastic charms to retailers and the vending industry. “Last year he turned over the active management of his charm business to his brothers, George and Sidney, so that he could concentrate on new products.” A 1948 issue of Plastics listed the manufacturers’ address and company officers. Samuel Eppy & Co., Inc. was located at 113-08 101st Avenue in Richmond Hill, New York. Eppy was the president and his brothers George served as vice-president and Sidney as secretary. The Billboard profile ended by saying Eppy had two teenage daughters, Judy and Cindy. 

On December 3, 1929, Eppy obtained a marriage license in Manhattan, as recorded in the New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes at On December 7, 1929 Eppy married Pearl Blase in Brooklyn. 

Blase was an actress with the Henry Players of the Henry Street Settlement. The New York Post, January 26, 1930, reviewed the production of “A Kiss for Cinderella” and said “…In the cast of the present production there are forty-nine players, an ensemble which includes all ages from the four-tear-old Lionel to the mother of one of the younger actors. There, are several young married couples and the heroine of the play, Pearl Blase, is herself a bride of only a few weeks.” Billboard, February 15, 1930, said “…The treatment accorded this dainty little story reflects much credit on the organization that performed it. Pearl Blase was a sweet and appealing Cinderella…”

In the 1930 census, Eppy and Pearl resided in Brooklyn at 70 Remsen Street. He was a statistician at a brokers office and she a secretary at a law office. According to the 1940 census, Eppy, Pearl, their daughter, Judith, and a maid lived in Manhattan at 10 Monroe Street. Eppy’s occupation was sales representative. 

On October 9, 1945, Eppy returned to New York City on a flight from Toronto, Canada.

The New York Times, February 15, 1951, said Eppy rented a duplex at 59 East 82d Street in Manhattan.

The back cover of Billboard, July 10, 1961, featured a photograph of Eppy and his letter endorsing Billboard as an advertising medium. The January 13, 1962 issue of Billboard reported Eppy’s withdrawal from his company which merged with another charms manufacturer, Karl Guggenheim, Inc. Eppy sold all his stock to his brothers, George and Sidney, who, respectively, became president and vice-president of the new company, Eppy-Guggenheim, Inc. 

Eppy passed away April 19, 1994. His last known residence was the Bronx, New York. He was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery

* * * * * 

Edward Russell “Ed” Salter Jr. was born on November 29, 1909, in Detroit, Michigan, according to his New York National Guard service card. An article in the Oregon Journal (Portland, Oregon), September 12, 1910, said Salter was born in November 1909 (below). However the Illinois Death Index at said Salter was born in 1908.

Salter’s father was a press agent and theatrical manager. Salter’s mother, Ida Burt Laurence, was an actress who was pictured on the sheet music “I Wish I Had a Girl” (1907) and in the Middletown Transcript (Delaware), October 26, 1907. 

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Salter and his parents were residents of Aberdeen, Washington. They stayed at the Crescent Hotel. 

Salter and his parents have not yet been found in the 1920 census. In the 1925 New York state census, Salter, age 15, and his mother, “Ida Lawrence” who operated or worked at a dance studio, lived in Manhattan, New York City at 426 Audubon Avenue.

Salter’s father’s death was reported in many newspapers including the Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), October 13, 1926 and Detroit Free Press, October 23, 1926, “News of the death of Edward Russell Salter, old-time showman, who began a long connection with the theatrical business as an usher in the Old Detroit Opera house, reached Detroit yesterday. He died on Raleigh, N. C, October 11….Besides his wife, he leaves one son, Edward R. Salter, Jr. The body has been buried in Flushing cemetery at Flushing, L. I., following services conducted by the Masons.”

The New York, New York, Marriage Index, at, said Salter’s mother and William J, Toohey married on July 6, 1928 in Queens.

According to the 1930 census, Salter and his parents resided in Mount Vernon, New York, at 144 South 2nd Avenue. Salter’s stepfather was the proprietor of a billiards parlor. Salter’s occupation was self-employed cartoonist.

Salter was in the Mount Vernon YMCA Aquatic Club who were pictured in the Daily Argus (Mount Vernon, New York, May 1, 1931.

Salter belong to the Phi Alpha Sigma Fraternity.

Daily Argus, May 28, 1931

It’s not known how Salter found work with Zain-Eppy who produced the giveaway comic book, Famous Comics, in 1934 and 1935. Salter drew the cover art. 

The Daily Argus, November 20, 1936, reported the first birthday of Salter’s daughter.
Barbara Gail Salter, One-Year-Old, Feted
Barbara Gail Salter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Salter, of 36 East 4th Street, was tendered a party in honor of her first birthday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Toohey, 407 Homestead Avenue, parents of Mr. Salter, yesterday afternoon.

Guests at the, party were Mrs. E. R. Busch of Jackson Heights, L. I.; Mrs. Ernest Schluder and her daughter Eimra of Pelham; Mrs. A. A. Alexander and her sons, Bert and Scott of Mount Vernon; and Mr. and Mrs. Donald F. Cole of Paterson, N. Y. The latter couple, late arrivals, were best man and matron of honor respectively, when Mr. and Mrs. Salter were married in Paterson two years ago.
Salter was news in the Daily Argus, June 8, 1939.
Appendicitis Complex Hits Sports Editors
White Plains—Two rival newspapermen are sleeping side by side these evenings.

Bob O’Connor, sports editor for the Evening Dispatch, was taken to St. Agnes Hospital last weekend and underwent an operation for appendicitis. He is recuperating.

Ed Salter, sports editor of the Daily Reporter suddenly was stricken with the same ailment. He has had the bed next to O’Connor’s. He will be operated on today.

And Dr. Harry Clapper, who removed O’Connor’s appendix, will do likewise for Salter.
The 1940 census said Salter was a sports editor. Salter, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law, Neal Sullivan, lived at 17 Scotts Place in Greenburgh, New York.

The 1941 Albany, New York city directory listed Salter as a copy reader at the Knickerbocker News. His home was 410 Kenwood Avenue in Delmar. Salter’s address in the 1942 directory was 316 Delaware Avenue in Delmar.

During World War II, Salter was in the New York National Guard from October 5, 1942 to April 21, 1943. He served in Company C, First Regiment. Salter’s service card said he lived at 140 State Street in Albany, New York.

At some point, Salter moved to Florida. The Miami Herald (Florida), July 25, 1943, said Salter was on a Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce postwar planning committee. The February 1, 1944 edition of the Herald said Salter was a member of the citizens’ wartime venereal drive committee; Salter headed the newspaper division.

Salter’s second daughter, Diane, was born in Fort Lauderdale on August 5, 1943. (Click here and scroll to Diane Salter Voyda.) 

Salter killed himself on December 10, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois. His death was reported in the Daily Argus, December 14, 1945. 

The Illinois Death Index said Salter, a newspaper writer, was buried in Miami, Florida on December 11. His wife’s name was Betty.

(Next post on Monday: Trademarks, September 17, 1935)