Women’s History Month: Edwina Dumm, 1893-1990

Edwina Dumm is one of our heroes here at the Cartoon Library, and we are extremely proud to have her collection in our archives. Beyond being an Ohio native–born in Upper Sandusky, in 1893–Edwina was the first woman in America to be employed as a fulltime editorial cartonist, on our own Columbus Daily Monitor.   Her work was first published on August 7th, 1915 and her first signed cartoon appeared on November 27th, 1915.   Dumm was a political cartoonist before she was able to vote, since the 19th Amendment granting women that right did not pass until 1920.

Home-made scrapbooks of Edwina Dumm's newsprint clippings, and a sleeved clipping from one of them. From the Edwina Dumm Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to englarge)

When the Monitor ceased in 1917, Edwina took the opportunity to fulfill her dream of moving to New York City to be an artist. Upon her arrival, she went to see newspaper columnist George Matthew Adams who had founded his own syndication service. Dumm showed him her strip “Meanderings of Minnie.”  Adams liked it immediately  and offered her a contract.  She changed the characters in the strip to become “Cap Stubbs and Tippie”, and it debuted in 1918. The strip was a huge success, and ran for nearly half of a century. Edwina also enjoyed success as an illustrator, creating a cover for Life magazine in January of 1930, and illustrating several books including Burges Johnson’s Sonnets from the Pekinese. In 1978, she became the first woman to receieve the Gold Key Award from the National Cartoonist Society Hall of Fame.

Edwina Dumm's Tippie and "Cap" Stubbs strip from November 2, 1951. From the Edwina Dumm Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Edwina retired from cartooning in 1966 at the age of 73, and passed away in New York City in April of 1990. To find out more about Edwina Dumm and see further samples of her work, please visit our Edwina Dumm Digital Exhibit.

One Comment

  1. I’m very surprised that there hasn’t been an Edwina collection in the past 2 decades. I’d buy it.

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