Jason Douglass – Artist, Author, and Pioneering Motion Picture Animator: The Career of Helena Smith Dayton (runner-up)

Roughly one hundred years ago, Billboard announced a one-week run of “the latest novelty in motion pictures,” a collection of shorts entitled “Animated Sculpture,” debuting at New York’s Strand Theater on March 25, 1917.[1] On the day of the premiere, Detroit Free Press ran an anonymous review in commendation of these short comic films, explaining in detail the methods by which the filmmaker, Helena Smith Dayton, photographed clay figures “jumping about as if they were real.”[2] In the following months, Dayton’s work as an innovative animator, active sculptor, and prominent suffragist was proclaimed and praised in publications including the New York Times, New York Tribune, Motography, Popular Science, Scientific American, and Moving Picture World, culminating in December with a glowing full-page review in Film Fun of her animated adaptation “Romeo and Juliet – In Clay!”[3] Abundant extant texts about, photographs of, and interviews with Dayton affirm her position as a pioneer of clay animation, and quite possibly as one of first commercial female animators in the United States. How, then, has she been all but excised from scholarship on silent cinema?

Animation scholars aware of the marginalization of Dayton’s medium within film history might scoff, “because she was an animator!” Feminist scholars acquainted with the cursorily titled opening chapters of textbooks such as Animation: A World History (see “Chapter 3: The Fathers,” or “Chapter 4: The Fathers’ Sons”) might add, “because she was a woman!” In the following pages, I argue that while both of these aspects played a part in Dayton’s career being largely overlooked by historians, I find that her role as a female film pioneer has been minimalized primarily because whether or not any of her animated films still exist remains unknown. By drawing insights from Eric Smoodin’s short article “Writing Film Histories without Films” (2014) and research methodologies from the collection Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinemas, Past and Future (eds. Gledhill and Knight, 2015), I make the case for belatedly incorporating Dayton into historical constructions of early American animation.

As a starting point, I arrange an archive of historical objects including newspaper announcements, film reviews, and interviews, as well as surviving remnants of Dayton’s work in the form of photographs, short stories, and how-to publications, in order to trace her technical, aesthetic, and economic interventions. Next, I turn to the eight pages dedicated to Dayton in Michael Frierson’s Clay Animation: American Highlights 1908 to the Present (1994) and consider how his argument may have discouraged further research into Dayton’s life and oeuvre. Ultimately, I enter into conversation with the many problems of evoking “firsts” posited by Jane Gaines individually in “First Fictions” (2004) and cooperatively with Monica Dall’asta in “Constellations: Past Meets Present in Feminist Film History” (2015) as a means of elucidating how film history stands to benefit from the rewriting of Dayton’s contributions to animation – this time, with her name in more headings than footnotes.

 

Writing Film Histories without (any) Films

In his contribution to the fall 2014 edition of The Moving Image, Eric Smoodin playfully reflects upon his initial oblivion to the “archival turn” within film studies. He traces this phenomenon back to at least the early 1980’s, a time when he was still a graduate student who “understood film history as the history of filmmakers and the movies they made” (p. 97), and attributes his oversight to a overdependence upon textual analysis. Smoodin praises innovative scholarship – such as Lea Jacobs’ excavation of Production Code Administration documents for The Wages of Sin and Richard DeCordova’s work on Theda Bara in Picture Personalities – that employs unconventional archives and drives fellow researchers within the field “to use more and varied materials and to move the film text itself more to the side of things” (p. 98). This foregrounding of objects other than films, he argues, reflects the entire academic discipline of film studies maturing away from the literary departments from which it once emerged, and he concludes the article by urging his peers to continue their diversification of sources in order to generate film histories within which films themselves occupy only a “modest place” (p. 100). However, despite titling the piece “Writing Film Histories without Films,” Smoodin’s appeal for research that minimalizes the need for films still seems to suggest an inevitable dependence upon their existence: he convincingly argues for writing film histories without very many films. In this article, I extend Smoodin’s logic further by exploring the benefits of writing film history without any films. Without a shred of celluloid to unspool as evidence, might it be heretical to insist that a degree of scholarly attention be devoted to Dayton’s career?

The groundbreaking collection Doing Women’s Film History (2015), born from an eponymous conference held at the University of Sunderland in 2011, indicates that the nature of this challenge is by no measure unique. In the volume’s prologue, editors Christine Gledhill and Julia Knight contend that in the case of film studies “we confront the particular problem that many women have left few historical traces, their roles in production or film culture obscured by more publicly visible or self-promotional male partners or concealed behind collective or collaborative practice” (p. 4). Nevertheless, chapter after chapter contributors reveal this systemic issue to be formidable, yet possible to circumvent. In “Scandalous Evidence: Looking for the Bombay Film Actress in an Absent Archive (1930s-1940s)” Debashree Mukherjee observes a wide-spread scarcity of archival material on actresses working within the early Bombay film industry, and overcomes this dearth of data by drawing upon scandal narratives from “film magazines, biographies, creative nonfiction writing, fan letters, and interviews” (2015, p. 30). In his demonstrative piece “Searching for Mary Murillo” (2015), Luke McKernan meticulously outlines the many unconventional methods by which he amassed information on a once-forgotten British screenwriter, including combing through contemporary shipping records and special interest databases. In these and other chapters of the book, scholars deftly incorporate women’s contributions to films and film industries without relying upon conventional textual analysis – in several cases, no motion pictures have been found to analyze. These investigations not only further nuance histories of national cinemas and technical practices, but also function to make the discovery of lost or unidentified films ever more likely. With a sketch of Devika Rani’s career on the books, a film archivist might recognize her in an untitled reel. Revealing the transnational breadth of Mary Murillo’s activities could lead a private collector to identify the creative mind behind a dusty 16mm print.

Scholarship of this sort mirrors the achievements of the bi-annual Orphan Film Symposium, an event that encourages speakers to employ “unfinished newsreels, outtakes, amateur works, test reels, [and] unidentified footage” as a means of contemplating their historical and aesthetic significance independent from a dominant conception of a known author (Streible 2009, p. xi). In a report on the state of the movement, progenitor Dan Streible calls attention to his “realization that historians are not seeing most of the films that exist to be studied” (p. ix), and supplies the Orphan Film Project as one solution to this quandary. Running parallel to this exposure of the many unfinished and unidentified cinematic texts that remain excluded from film history because conventional research methods cannot be readily applied to them, Doing Women’s Film History calls attention to the vast number of authors who altered the course of cinema but remained unrecognized because of the field’s dependence on textual analysis. The cause championed by Streible and his fellow orphanistas has led to the identification of many orphan films, but identification was never the driving force. Rather, the Orphans movement expands the frontiers of film studies through a willingness to embrace the singular significance of a piece of film. Analogously, one might consider Helena Smith Dayton an orphan filmmaker. Writing her story might lead to the discovery of her animated films, but – far more importantly – a detailed account of her career reveals that historians have still not investigated many of the filmmakers that exist to be studied.

 

Of Salamanders and Men

Helena Smith was born in 1883 and acquired the last name of fellow Nutmegger Fred Erving Dayton upon their wedding on the afternoon of June 26, 1905 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on New York’s Madison Avenue.[4] Their wedding announcement can be found in The Hartford Courant, where both Helena and Fred found themselves employed in their early careers. When Fred left to work privately with the Electric Vehicle Company and publicly as a councilman in Hartford’s Fifth Ward, Helena continued as a reporter and also started penning creative short stories in Boston Daily Globe and Detroit Free Press as early as 1907[5] and 1909,[6] respectively. In a description of her work at the paper, Dayton confessed,

In one day I did everything there from writing up the latest society scandal to the death of a whole family by gas, with eight hours of ordinary work thrown in. From reporting I went to writing for magazines, and [in 1914] I was sitting at my typewriter, when my fingers began to itch for something to mould, though I didn’t even know what artists’ clay was, and had never seen an artist or sculptor at work.[7]

Around this time the Daytons relocated to 313 East 18th Street, a stone’s throw from Greenwich Village.[8] Equipped with nothing more than copious amounts of clay, nimble fingers, a sharpened match, a hairpin, and “an incorrigible sense of humour,” Helena began crafting hundreds of eight- to twelve-inch tall statuettes inspired by “modern city life.” [9] Lining the many bookshelves of her brownstone residence,[10] these water-colored clay figures would soon play starring roles in some of the earliest known works of stop-motion clay animation.

In the second half of 1914, only a few months after the start of Dayton’s foray into sculpting, extensive articles written in awe of her innovative and “delightfully grotesque”[11] figurines began to pop up in the likes of the St. Louis Post, New York Tribune, and Richmond Times-Dispatch. These and other contemporary profiles reveal crucial aspects of her creative process, including her extensive background in dance endowing her with a trained eye for anatomy and movement,[12] as well as her steadfast belief that work of this sort should incite both laughter and contemplation.[13] The copious photographs and vivid descriptions of Dayton’s sculptures lining these pages attest to the breadth of her subject matter: not only does she craft models of “fashionable society leaders” to be showcased in “many of New York’s finest palaces,” but she also parodies classical art with a “pensive salamander” in the style of Rodin’s The Thinker, and exhibits a willingness to forsake realism through creations such as a slack-jawed, anthropomorphized lighthouse. [14]

This trail of laudatory statements – about Dayton’s satirical “new art”[15] figures modeled “as if real feeling animated their bodies”[16] which appeared “as fluid a vehicle for caricaturing the follies and vanities of mankind as a couplet by [Alexander] Pope or a cartoon by [Georges Goursat] Sem”[17] – culminated on January 16, 1915 with an announcement in popular humor magazine Puck:

Mrs. Helena Smith-Dayton, wonder-worker in clay, carries off Puck’s $250.00 for the best cover submitted before January 1. Her entry in the prize contest is by long odds the quaintest conceit that has come into the Puck sanctum in many moons. So original, so strikingly new in conception is it, that we felt obliged to repress a natural impulse to print a black-and-white reproduction of it on this page. We prefer to let the cover speak for itself upon its appearance February 6, in order that your surprise may be as complete as ours, when the cover was first show to us.[18]

This two hundred fifty dollar award would mark the start of an extremely financially successful year for Dayton. In the same issue of Puck, Dayton debuted a recurring comedic series, “Mrs. Canary’s Boarding House,” which she wrote and illustrated with photographs featuring her clay figures. She began copyrighting some of her sculptures,[19] attracting local artists to her weekly Sunday studio salons,[20] and establishing herself as a frequently reported upon somebody within the flourishing Greenwich Village art scene.[21] By year’s end, Dayton netted more than $12,000[22] – equivalent in the modern day to approximately $282,000. As Chairwoman of the Art Committee of the Empire State Woman Suffrage Party,[23] Dayton applied this commercial savvy to the organization of fundraisers featuring her artwork before the unsuccessful statewide referendum in November 1915.[24]

With a considerable amount of capital at her disposal, Dayton began developing a photographic means by which to animate her characters of clay. Despite the common misconception that Dayton’s first (or only) film was Romeo and Juliet, distributed by Educational Film Co. in the fourth quarter of 1917,[25] the first screening of her shorts actually occurred at the Strand Theater half a year earlier, on March 25, 1917. It remains unclear exactly when she started to experiment with the technique she calls “stop action,” though in the same year Dayton recounted, “the difficult thing at first was to determine just how much to move an arm or a head, to avoid an appearance of jerkiness. I used to make the changes too great, but am learning to overcome that now.”[26] Reviews of her unnamed films at the Strand Theater range from “highly amusing”[27] to “weird” and “quite baffling to the lay mind.”[28]

In the months between her theatrical debut and the release of Romeo and Juliet, Dayton juggled her participation in a large independent art exhibition at Grand Central Palace,[29] suffragist parades and fundraisers, and the continued production and release of comic films. The various strands of her professional and personal life appear considerably interwoven during this period: one of Dayton’s films seems to have been shown to Governor Whitman at a suffragist fundraising event on August 29;[30] Pride Goeth Before a Fall, her short which concludes Pathe’s Argus Pictorial No. 2 program, features “dances and other stunts”;[31] Dayton’s miniature statues of actor George M. Cohan were on display in the Strand lobby during the theatrical run of his film Broadway Jones;[32] and the description in Moving Picture World of her contribution to the Pathe’s Argus Pictorial No. 3 reel sounds oddly reminiscent of a scene from Dayton’s recurring comic series in Puck magazine.[33]

Despite the prolific and multi-medial nature of her animated work, Library of Congress records contain no mention of Dayton’s films or copyrights for those films. Online searches through the websites of several prominent American film archives return no results for her name, the few known names of her shorts, or the Argus Pictorial reels. Every scholastic reference to Dayton that I managed to locate noted that none of her films have been discovered. Even YouTube offered only dead ends. Fortunately, scholarship of the sort found within Doing Women’s Film History demonstrates that this absence of cinematic texts can be overcome. In Dayton’s case, the abundance of newspaper coverage on her work offers promising points of departure for understanding how she made her films, what those films must have looked like, and how archivists might go about locating them. However, traveling down this path necessitates a detour to the only substantive scholarship published on Dayton, and how the structure of that piece likely discouraged further research.

 

Reimagining Dayton’s Films

Michael Frierson displays an astonishing breadth of knowledge in his book Clay Animation: American Highlights 1908 to the Present, and his decision to dedicate almost eight entire pages to Dayton’s career has not gone unrecognized. In fact, most historical references to Dayton in the subsequent two decades can be traced back to this monograph, from Paul Wells’s Understanding Animation (1998, p. 58) all the way to Maureen Furniss’s A New History of Animation (2016, p. 50). However, the disconcerting structure of both the subsection devoted exclusively to Dayton and the overall chapter, “Clay Animators in the Early Days of Cel: Willie Hopkins and Helena Smith Dayton,” requires close examination.

Frierson dedicates a fourth of this section to the investigation of a single article from Scientific American, in which the author expresses skepticism regarding how quickly Dayton claims to be producing her animated films. Frierson seizes the opportunity to explain Dayton’s process of stop motion photography through a comparison to one of her contemporaries, Winsor McCay, and by emphasizing the sluggish pace of photography on a McCay film he concludes that the author’s disbelief is “not surprising” (p. 77). What he overlooks in this section is that while McCay routinely animated “on the ones” (i.e., photographing each of his drawings only once) (Canemaker 2005, p. 169), Dayton may have been photographing her shots two times each, rendering the speed of her production exponentially faster. A close examination of the few known photographs of her films supports the possibility that Dayton was – at least occasionally – animating “on the twos,”[34] which would account for a discrepancy in hours of labor between the two productions. A direct comparison of McCay’s work to Dayton’s also proves tenuous in light of the many uncontrollable variables between the two set-ups, such as the size of McCay’s production team in comparison to Dayton’s one-woman operation, not to mention material differences. When combined with Frierson’s claim earlier in the chapter that “the sheer volume of material [Willie] Hopkins did for Universal Screen Magazine clearly makes him the most significant early clay animator” (p. 65) despite Dayton producing material for Pathe’s screen magazine, this impulse to question the credibility of a female pioneer in the absence of definitive evidence undermines Dayton’s accomplishments and flattens her into a factoid.

Scientific American was not the only publication in 1917 to take interest in the technical ingenuity of Dayton’s animation. “Statues that Run, Dance, and Fight” in Popular Science Monthly contains photographic evidence of at least three Dayton films: one featuring chorus girls, a second capturing an interaction between a businessman and a snake, and a single shot from a film dubbed Battle of the Suds. The article highlights the comedic and action-packed spirit of the films, with Suds described as a “most energetic battle royal.”[35]  Widespread recognition of another Dayton film, Romeo and Juliet, traces back to an enigmatic, full-page review in Film Fun from November 2, 1917.[36] Three stills from the short are accompanied by the uncredited author’s confession, “when the immensity of the [film] had dawned upon us, we hustled over to the studio to find how the wheels went round.” Much to the interviewer’s surprise, Dayton confesses, “there are no wheels and no strings,” going on to describe the mechanics of “stop action.” Special attention is drawn to a ballroom scene in Romeo and Juliet containing thirty moving figurines, no small accomplishment for an independent animator even by today’s standards. The image of a bug-eyed moon spying on Romeo beneath Juliet’s vine-covered balcony reveals a busy mise-en-scene and asymmetrical composition. Clay figures are draped in elaborate costumes, and each shot incorporates a belabored use of shadow. Toward the end of the article, Dayton maps out a release schedule through Educational Films of “one picture a month,” and hints at the subject matter of upcoming work including an adaptation of Carmen, “on account of the bull fight,” and an animated short on the “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” “because I can put in some camels.”

Unfortunately, no mention is made of the release of these or any other films by Dayton after Romeo and Juliet. While the reason for her sudden departure from filmmaking is not documented, it likely arose from America’s entry into World War I. On November 6, 1917, women finally achieved the right to vote in New York, effectively ending Dayton’s involvement with the Empire State Woman Suffrage Party, and by 1918 she can be found managing a prominent YMCA canteen for soldiers in Paris. In France, Dayton developed friendships with artists such as etcher Louis Orr,[37] and upon her return to America she continued her creative career, though this time not as an animator, but as a columnist,[38] novelist,[39] playwright,[40] and portrait painter.[41] Dayton’s obituary in the New York Times places her back in New York City, a few blocks from the Chrysler Building, upon her death on February 22, 1960.

 

Who is Helena Smith Dayton?

The brevity of her career, the unconventionality of her work, or the absence of her films from the archive may account for the eclipse of Dayton’s trailblazing by her East Coast contemporary Willie Hopkins in Clay Animation – and, more generally, film history. Yet, the surviving images and descriptions of her films and filmmaking practice supply multiplicitous glimpses into the work of a pioneer whose animation was remarkably multi-medial, commercially viable, materially elaborate, and aesthetically nuanced. The conflation of Dayton’s dynamic career into nothing more than a “first female who” uncovers rifts in the methodical fabric of the study of film history.

Jane Gaines exposes similar ruptures with her article “First Fictions,” in which she repositions Alice Guy-Blaché’s La fée aux choux as cinema’s first fiction film while simultaneously subverting the same proposition in order to betray the pitfalls of asserting “firsts.” Gaines anticipates criticism from those who “will say that if I do not claim Guy-Blaché’s film as the first fiction film I will have snatched the victory from a woman just when the process of historical rectification and reparation was about to award her for her achievement” (2004, p. 1313) by concluding:

To reconceive of what it means to conceive is a feminist project, but not because women have been eternally linked with conception. It is a feminist project because we might never have looked at the problem of origins and repetitions in this particular way if it had not been for gender, and gender gives us a political explanation for the exclusion of the work of Alice Guy-Blaché from the canon as well as the rationale for its inclusion (p. 1314).

Similarly, relocating Dayton at the forefront of the history of clay animation in America should not function solely as a means of enshrining a female film pioneer, as prior scholarship reveals this to be more of a conversation stopper than starter. Instead, Dayton’s gender must be coupled with the peculiarity and innovativeness of her animated films for the sake of re-examining why so much scholarship has been generated on the likes of Winsor McCay, J. Stuart Blackton, and Willie Hopkins, while Dayton remains confined to the realm of film trivia. That none of Dayton’s shorts have been located cannot be the only reason, because the politics of preservation perpetuate a cycle of prejudice in which the films most often identified and saved are those by filmmakers already deemed worthy of rescuing. Writing history is an inherently political act. Declaring that Dayton’s films no longer exist insures that no one will go looking for them, and the pace of nitrate decomposition suggests that any chance of such a discovery may soon go up in flames.

Even if Dayton’s comedies in clay remain permanently lost, the act of reemphasizing her accomplishments remains consequential. In the prologue to Doing Women’s Film History, Monica Dall’asta and Jane Gaines theorize history as far more present than past through a close examination of the recently discovered anti-war film Umanità (2015, p. 1919). By installing the film’s once-forgotten director, Elvira Giallanella, within a constellation of female filmmakers, Dall’asta and Gaines declare, “we thus cannot misinterpret the historical significance of Umanità because effectively we are Elvira Giallanella” (p. 22). If scholarship on historical filmmakers remains skewed by gender, then the works of female pioneers in the present day will similarly receive less critical analysis. By crafting syllabi that begin with McCay and Blackton and conclude with Miyazaki and Lasseter, animation scholars facilitate the loss of many past, present and future films animated by female hands. Upon encountering chapters on pioneers entitled “The Fathers” and “The Fathers Sons,” aspiring researchers are subtly advised of the absence of noteworthy Mothers.

In a print version of the keynote speech delivered by Paolo Cherchi Usai at the sixth Orphan Film Symposium in 2008, Usai calls attention to institutional forces around the globe pressuring archives to prioritize digitalization projects and to increase the rate at which analog films are “deaccessioned.” Usai spells out the heightened stakes of preserving film in an era of digitalization, and voices his concern that all analog film may soon find itself orphaned. As a result, the rate at which films can and will be lost continues to hasten. Celebrating the centenary of Dayton’s lost entries into the vanguard of American animation by reconstructing, anthologizing, and teaching them counteracts the multifarious forces that privilege scholarship on male animators over female. In the absence of similar endeavors, a pioneering filmmaker today may find herself a Dayton tomorrow.

Jason Cody Douglass is a graduate student in Yale’s combined PhD program in Film and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures. His review of Maureen Furniss’s A New History of Animation can be found in the summer 2017 edition of Film Quarterly. His current projects include a case study of Shinkai Makoto’s breakout hit Kimi no na wa (Your Name, 2016) and research on animated Japanese television commercials from the 1950s and 60s.

References

Bendazzi, G. (2016). Animation: A World History, Volume 1. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Canemaker, J. (2005). Winsor McCay: His Life and Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Dayton, H. S. and Barratt, L. B. (1923). A Book of Entertainments and Theatricals. New York: Robert M. McBride & Company.

Dayton, H. S. and Barratt, L. B. (1926). New York in Seven Days. New York: Robert M. McBride & Company.

Frierson, M. (1994). Clay Animation: American Highlights 1908 to the Present. New York: Twayne Publishers.

Furniss, M. (2016). A New History of Animation. New York: Thames & Hudson.

Gaines, J. M. (2004). “First Fictions.” Signs 30 (Autumn), pp. 1293-1317.

Gaines, J. M. and Dall’asta, M. (2015). “Constellations: Past Meets Present in Feminist Film History.” In: C. Gledhill and J. Knight, eds., Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinemas, Past and Future. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, pp. 13-25.

McKernan, L. (2015). “Searching for Mary Murillo.” In: C. Gledhill and J. Knight, eds., Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinemas, Past and Future. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, pp. 78-92.

Mukherjee, D. (2015). “Scandalous Evidence: Looking for the Bombay Film Actress in an Absent Archive (1930s-1940s).” In: C. Gledhill and J. Knight, eds., Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinemas, Past and Future. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, pp. 29-41.

Smoodin, E. (2014). “Writing Film Histories without Films.” The Moving Image 14 (Autumn), pp. 96-100.

Streible, D. (2009). “The State of Orphan Films.” The Moving Image 9 (Spring), i-xiii.

Usai, P. C. (2009). “Are All (Analog) Films Orphans: A Predigital Appraisal.” The Moving Image 9 (Spring), pp. 1-18.

Wells, P. (1998). Understanding Animation. London: Routledge.

 

NOTES

[1] “Latest Picture Novelty,” The Billboard, March 10, 1917, p. 58.

[2] “Sparks from the Reel,” Detroit Free Press, March 25, 1917, p. C13.

[3] “Romeo and Juliet – In Clay!,” Film Fun, November 2, 1917, p. 434.

[4] “Councilman Dayton Married,” The Hartford Courant, June 27, 1905, p. 7.

[5] “Mary Weaves a Tangled Web,” Boston Daily Globe, March 25, 1907, p. 10.

[6] “Home Town Tales,” Detroit Free Press, November 21, 1909, p. E4.

[7] “Caricatures in Clay Are Her Contribution,” New York Tribune, February 28, 1915, p. B12.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “Cartoons in Clay by a Woman,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 9, 1914, p. B7.

[10] “Caricatures in Clay Are Her Contribution,” New York Tribune, February 28, 1915, p. B12.

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Cartoons in Clay by a Woman,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 9, 1914, p. B7.

[13] “Statuette Cartoons of Metropolitan Life,” The New York Sun, June 21, 1914, p. 11.

[14] “Fashionable Society Leaders in the New Clay Cartoons,” The Times Dispatch, August 30, 1914, p. S6.

[15] “Statuette Cartoons of Metropolitan Life,” The New York Sun, June 21, 1914, p. 11.

[16] “Caricatures in Clay Are Her Contribution,” New York Tribune, February 28, 1915, p. B12.

[17] “Cartoons in Clay by a Woman,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 9, 1914, p. B7.

[18] “What Fools These Mortals Be!,” Puck, January 16, 1915, p. 3.

[19] “Works of Art,” Catalogue of Copyright Entries Part 4, 1915, pp. 450-451.

[20] “Caricatures in Clay Are Her Contribution,” New York Tribune, February 28, 1915, p. B12.

[21] See articles such as “The Alley Fiesta,” Cartoon Magazine 12.2, 1917, pp. 286-7.

[22] “Woman’s Place, If You Insist, Is in the Home; but Who’s Going to Fuss About It If She Wants to Earn $10,000 Or So a Year Somewhere Else?,” New York Tribune, December 17, 1916, p. F5.

[23] “Helena S. Dayton Back from France,” The Hartford Courant, August 11, 1919, p. 3.

[24] “Helena Dayton Has New Figure Show,” October 4, 1915, p. 2.

[25] “Catalogue of Educational and Selected Pictures,” Moving Picture World, February 2, 1918, p. 659.

[26] “Romeo and Juliet – In Clay!,” Film Fun, November 2, 1917, p. 434.

[27] “Sparks from the Reel,” Detroit Free Press, March 25, 1917, p. C13.

[28] “On the Screen,” New York Tribune, March 26, 1917, p. 11.

[29] “Independent Artists’ Big Exhibit Opens in Grand Central Palace,” New York Times, April 11, 1917, p. 12.

[30] “Animated Sculpture Appears,” Motography, September 15, 1917, p. 546.

[31] See “Pathe’s Argus Pictorial No 2.,” Moving Picture World, December 8, 1917, p. 1523, and “Argus Pictorial,” Moving Picture World, December 8, 1917, p. 1490.

[32] “Statues of Cohan,” The Billboard, March 24, 1917, p. 175.

[33] See “Items of Interest,” Moving Picture World, December 22, 1917, p. 1774.

[34] “Statues that Run, Dance, and Fight,” Popular Science Monthly 90.2, February 1917, pp. 257-258.

[35] Ibid.

[36] “Romeo and Juliet – In Clay!,” Film Fun, November 2, 1917, p. 434.

[37] “Battlefield as Foemen Left It,” The Hartford Courant, May 5, 1919, p. 6.

[38] See Dayton’s regular contributions to the New York Tribune, such as “A New Comer at Mrs. Canary’s,” January 22, 1922, p. D6.

[39] See Dayton’s co-authored works, A Book of Entertainments and Theatricals (1923) and New York in Seven Days (1926).

[40] “That ‘Hot Water’ Opened Cold Was Not Surprising After All,” New York Herald Tribune, January 27, 1929, p. F12.

[41] “Mrs. Helena Dayton,” New York Times, February 23, 1960, p. 31.

© Jason Douglass

Edited by Amy Ratelle

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