Henry “Hy” Mayer “Seeing The Town” Print 1907 AP414

A couple in the rear of an open sightseeing charabanc are kissing passionately, oblivious to the tour guide addressing them through his megaphone. Delicately rendered, the brave turrets and towers of the 1907 New York skyline, the Flatiron Building clearly visible, rush by them. An early work by one of the pioneers of animation.

(And we are delighted to append a photograph of the original for the drawing, an electric omnibus belonging to the Seeing New York tour company located AT the Flatiron Building! As you can see, Hy rendered it meticulously.)

Henry “Hy” Mayer (18 July 1868, Worms, Germany – 27 September 1954) was a German-American cartoonist and animator. He created the “Travelaughs” series, released through Universal Studios from 1913 to 1920, and the “Such Is Life” series, with titles as Such Is Life at a County Fair (1921) and Such Is Life in Munich (1922), released by Film Booking Offices of America from 1920 to 1926. These two series combined animation with live action film taken in exotic locations.

Mayer also worked with Otto Messmer on the series The Travels of Teddy, satirizing President  Teddy Roosevelt before Messmer left to work with producer Pat Sullivan on the long-running Felix the Cat animation series.

Framed 11′ x 8″.

Price on request.

These “Automobile buses” were made by the Vehicle Equipment Company of Long Island City, New York. Their literature called them “A combination of the commercial and pleasure types.”

The Vehicle Equipment Company was started in Brooklyn in 1901 by Robert Lloyd and Lucius T. Gibbs. By 1903 they had relocated to Long Island City. Up until mid-1906 they built a large number of commercial electric vehicles. From 1903 to 1905 they also built a 3-seat electric car called the VE Electric. Almost all of their vehicles were single motor shaft-drive. The company went into receivership in 1906, and the General Vehicle Company (owned by the General Electric Company) purchased the factory and reorganized to build both gasoline and electric vehicles, as well as replacement parts. Vehicles built from mid-1906 on were known as GV Electrics.

By 1915 there were some 2,000 GV Electrics in New York City alone, representing more than 25% of all trucks of all types working daily in the city. The style of “Automobile bus” seen above was also very popular in Washington D.C. and other cities as well.

General Vehicle Company ceased production around 1917.