Carl John Edwin Moline was born February 23, 1908 in Middletown, Connecticut. He preferred to be known as Edward John Moline, because there was a cultural prejudice against Germanic-sounding names, although his actual ancestry was Swedish. His father, Carl Johan Wilhelm Moline, was born 1878 in Sweden and moved to America in 1902. His mother, Hilma Katrina Stromgren, was born 1881 in Sweden and came to America in 1896. His parents married in 1907 and had two children. His younger sister Velma was born in 1913. They lived at 315 High Street in Middletown, CT. His father worked as a house painter.
In 1918 the Moline family moved to 708 Arch Street in New Britain, CT.
In 1926 he graduated New Britain High School, where he had developed an interest in drawing, but for practical reasons he went to work after graduation as a technical draftsman in the design department of a local factory.
By 1930 he had begun to attend night school art classes at Cooper Union in New York City. After a day of factory work in New Britain, he rode a commuter train to Grand Central Central Station in NYC and took the downtown subway to the school on Astor Place in the Lower East Side. His three-hour class started at 7:00pm and ended at 10:00pm, so he returned home around midnight.
On May 12, 1934 he married Grace Kathryn Durkin. She was born January 3, 1914 of Irish ancestry in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They moved to an apartment on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.
On June 6, 1935 at the age of twenty-seven Edward Moline was awarded a diploma in architectural drawing from Cooper Union.
His younger sister Velma was studying Costume Design at the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, and on November 23, 1935 she married Jim Chambers, an art student at the same school.
On December 20, 1935 Grace and Ed Moline's daughter, Cynthia, was born. She was their only child.
Construction projects were scarce during the Great Depression, so instead of drawing blue prints for architects, Ed Moline followed the lead of his new brother-in-law and best friend, Jim Chambers, to look for work drawing black and white line art for newspapers and publications.
In 1938 the Moline family moved to a suburban home in Baldwin, Long Island.
In 1940 Ed Moline began to draw Kid Kopper for Detective Eye Comics, published by the Centaur Comics Company.
On December 7, 1941 America entered WWII after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Ed Moline contributed to the war mobilization by returning to his fundamental skill as a certified draftsman at a defense plant designing parts for submarines.
In 1942 he was not selected for military service because of his greater value as a defense industry draftsman, as well as his age of thirty-four, dependent wife, and infant child.
In 1942 they moved to 91-10 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY.
After the war he returned to his civilian job as an illustrator. He drew pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines, such as Famous Western, Crack Detective, Double Action Western, Marvel Science Fiction, Western Action, Five Western Novels, Real Western, and Fighting Western. He signed most of this work with a distinctive signature cleverly designed around the letter "O."
In 1951 he and his wife and daughter moved to his mother's home on Bartholomew Road in Middletown, CT.
From 1950 to 1955 he drew horror, crime, romance, and western comic books for Marvel/Atlas, American,and Fawcett Comics, contributing to War Comics, Battlefront, Spy Cases, Astonishing, Uncanny Tales, Kid Colt, and Texas Kid.
By 1958 employment opportunities for most illustrators were scarce. American popular culture had developed a greater interest in television than in printed mass media, and the advertising industry followed this trend, which caused a major decline in the publishing industry. This cultural shift left illustration art looking old fashioned. The general economy was very strong, so there were plenty of new construction projects in Connecticut. Ed Moline made the practical business decision to retire from illustration and return to his roots as a certified architectural draftsman. In 1960 he opened an office at 179 South Street in West Hartford, CT.
In 1962 he closed his private practice and began to work as a draftsman for the Dunham & Busch Company of West Hartford, CT, which manufactured air conditioning equipment.
According to the artist's daughter, "Dad was a healthy, strong, and very funny man! He often worked at home at a drafting table in his private studio in the basement. I remember he decorated the walls with a drawing of a gorilla eating my mother!"
On October 30, 1971 his wife Grace K. Moline died at the age of fifty-seven.
Edward Moline died at the age of seventy-one in a hospital in Portland, CT, on October 4, 1979.
© David Saunders 2012