<<BACK          HOME          GIFT SHOP           CONTACT            LINKS          NEXT>>
1918-12-23 Sci. American
1934-02-24 Sat Even Post
1920-06-18 Adventure
1935-02-18 Complete
1926-05-22 Western Story
1935-03 Outdoor Life
1929-01-15 Adventure
1935-04 American Boy
1929-02 Complete Stories
1938-10 Popular Science
1929-10 Complete Stories
1939-11 The Rotarian
1933-04 Popular Science
1945-07 Nation's Business


















Edgar Franklin Wittmack was born on July 10, 1894 in New York City. His father, Charles A. Wittmack, was born in 1860 in NYC to German immigrants. His mother, Emma Balthazar, was born in 1865 in NYC, and was also the child of German immigrants. His parents married in 1887 and they had three children, Karl (b.1888), Edgar (b.1894), and Beatrice (b.1896). They lived at 107 West 82nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The father was a chemist.

After graduating from high school in 1913 Edgar Franklin Wittmack spend the summer with a friend working as a farmhand on the E. C. Potter pig farm of Clearwater, Montana. He enjoyed it enough to return to the same farm for the next three summers in 1915, 1916, and 1917.

On June 5, 1917 during the Great War, he reported for draft registration, as required by law. At that time his nearest draft board was in Missoula Montana. Although his record stated that his only prior military experience was "reject from artillery," he served in the Army and was stationed overseas in France.

By 1920 he had returned to NYC, where he studied at The Art Students League, and worked as a commercial illustrator from a rented room in an apartment house at 420 West 116th Street.

By 1924 he had moved to 58 West 57th Street, where his monthly rent was $15. This building was near the Art Students League, so it had many artist studios. His neighbors included such notable artists as Abe Hirschfield (1903-2003), Alexandre Archipenko (1887-1964), and Franklin Booth (1874-1948). He introduced his sister Beatrice (aged 21) to Franklin Booth (age 50). They fell in love and married. Booth was renowned for his illustrations in nationwide magazines, such as Scribner's, Collier's, and Harper's. Booth was also one of the founders of the Phoenix Art Institute in NYC, where pulp artist Laurence Herndon taught and where pulp artist Walter Popp took art classes.

In 1925 Edgar Franklin Wittmack worked as a secretary at the Arthur Balthazar Industrial Appliances Company at One Madison Avenue and 23rd Street. Balthazar was his mother's Uncle. In July of that year he quit his job and sailed to France on the Steam Ship Rochambeau. While in Paris he studied at L'Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. He returned to NYC on November 12, 1925.

His illustrations were published in American Boy, Collier's Magazine, Everybody's Magazine, Liberty, Outdoor Life, The Saturday Evening Post, and Scientific American. He became the main cover artist for Popular Science.

He also painted covers for pulp magazines, such as Adventure, Clues, Complete Stories, Frontier Stories, Short Stories, The Popular, West, and Western Story.

On April 27, 1942 during WWII, he reported for draft registration, even though at age forty-seven, he was too old to even volunteer for military service. At the time he was recorded to be five-nine-and-a-half, 168 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, a light complexion and mustache.

In 1946 he married Maude A. Burris, who was born in NYC on July 23, 1896. They lived at 15 West 67th Street, where he also kept his art studio. They had no children.

After the war he had a regular assignment creating commemorative paintings of newly-built oil tankers. These paintings were a regular feature in Cities Service Magazine. He painted a mural of the oil tanker World Glory for the New York City office of the Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchros. His last assignments were posters for the National Drive to Employ the Handicapped, which were published posthumously.

Edgar Franklin Wittmack died of a heart ailment in his art studio at the age of sixty-one on April 25, 1956.

                         © David Saunders 2009

<<BACK          HOME          GIFT SHOP           CONTACT            LINKS          NEXT>>