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100 Years Ago Today – Harold Teen


above: The Love Life of Harold Teen debuts in the Chicago Tribune May 4, 1919


As Michael Vassallo says:

The strip made its debut 100 years ago today, May 4, 1919 in the pages of the Patterson family owned Chicago Tribune (run by News publisher Joseph Medill Patterson’s cousin, Robert R. McCormick) and joined Patterson’s New York Illustrated Daily News on June 26th as a daily feature. From there it was one of the most influential  strips ever on the popular culture of the roaring twenties.

Doc Vassallo continues quoting Tell It To Sweeney:

During the 1920’s, Harold Teen and his companions, including Shadow, either introduced or popularized such youthful phenomena as bell-bottom trousers, exaggerated plus fours, marked-up tin Lizzies, autographed sweat shirts, illustrated raincoats, broad-toed shoes, and the gedunk sundae, which was two scoops of ice cream in a glass of chocolate, to be taken with a bib. Teen’s phraseology swept the land – “Fan mah brow!” “pantywaist,” “lollypopsie,” and “big hunk of stuff” being samples.”



The particulars come from Allan Holtz via Doc:

Running Dates: May 4, 1919 to November 18, 1959
Creator: Carl Ed
Syndicates: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune – New York News Syndicate

Notes: Sunday started first, followed by Daily on 9/25/19.

Jeffrey Lindenblatt reports that an extra daily ran in the NY Daily News in their Sunday edition 5/1/21 – 4/16/22, 7/16/22 – 2/18/23. It is unknown if they were “new” dailies created for the News, or recycled.
Bob York assisted in the early 1930’s
Rick Fletcher reports he was an assistant sometime before 1950.
Alberto Becattini cites Bill Perry as an assistant on the strip (confirmed by John Chapman in “Tell it to Sweeney“, p.152)
Carl Ed’s obituary states the last strip would be published on 11/18/59 but nothing has been found past 9/26/59.


While no strips have yet been found in newspapers after September 26, 1959
originals survive with dates between the last known and the last supposed date.


Sources and thanks

Big hat tip to John Wells for the debut strip.
Doc Vassallo for the history and dozens of Sunday Harold Teen samples.
Allan Holtz for the dates and particulars.
Rob Stolzer and Sudeep P for the specialty art and daily strip.





Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
@ 6:35 pm

Was Harold Teen the inspiration for Archie Andrews and the Archie comics?

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