Tuesday, March 04, 2008

We need help. Author John Kenworthy is trying to find more information about artist Daniel Tattenham. Here is the email he sent me and the info he already gathered:

[I'm trying to track down good old Daniel Tattenham lately. I have found some stuff, but of course amalways after more. I keep hoping that somebody can place him more firmly at Disney in 1931 when we have a few Tat references.

Daniel Francis Tattenham born in Galveston, Texas 1872 (Father)

Daniel Francis Tattenham born in Galveston, Texas 1896 (Son, our guy)

1906, they move to San Francisco where dad is a barber - and very active in the union achieving some high levels - (I have a whole stack of correspondence from him to the union that is interesting by itself) and he is also a Deputy Sheriff. Both of which he will do his entire life. (I have tons of references to him in the papers around this era - nothing too earthshaking) His pro-worker stance is interesting in light of the Longshoreman's Strike of 1934 which erupted in violence, and that could be a story of its own (if Upton Sinclair were still alive to muckrake it right).

1909 - one of the two is a student in the SF Institute of Art. Makes sense for the son, but he would've been a prodigy at only 13 years old. (The senior Tattenham is mentioned as an artist in a book on California artists, but the author told me he can't recall how he found that information and doesn't know if it was father or son truly and he could be wrong.)

1917 - Daniel signs his draft card. (Herein, we are talking son)

1917 (imdb claims 1923) - The Long Trail - western with Pete Morrison and Daniel as producer. Paramount? imdb is notoriously bad, but where and how did they concoct Tat's name for this entry! The Film Daily listing does not mention Tattenham or Morrison only the director.

1919 - Daniel is in Chicago and copyrights SOMETHING in May. Still tracking it down.

1920s - Producer{?} presence on Brunswick Records catalog along with a song called Eustace and Juniper.

1928 - Daniel copyrights four non-published cartoons featuring color studies (I have all four names with dates). This coincides with info Russ Merritt gave me that he patented a Tattenham Color Process in the 20s. I can't find documentation of that, but it does make sense. Early 2-color?

1930 - Member of the Chicago Section of the SMPE (pre-SMPTE). Member of the Progress Committee

1931 - LA Times article heralding a party at his home - mentions he is newly moved from Chicago.

1931 - Tat shows up on The Beach Party at Disney. While [the Disney Archives do not appear] to have records of Tattenham working at Disney, Merritt has same reference on several Silly Symphonies usually in conjunction with David Hand which indicates to me he was probably a learning animator not yet ready for his own scenes.

1933ish - Publishes Tat's Tales comic strip (still seeking copies of that) Makes sense for it to be in LA, (Morrie thought it was Chicago)

1934 - Classified ads appear in the LA Times for Artists at Tat's Tales. GLadstone telephone number. I have another Tat's Tales reference that has an HI telephone number from that same timeframe. GLadstone is the 5515 address number listed eventually in the FIlm Dailys.

1934 - the year most folks assume the famous photo was taken at 5515 Melrose with Frank Tashlin, Izzy Ellis, Carl Urbano, Dick Hall, Bill Mason, Ray Patin, Bob Angier...... (Morrie Zukor date) The problem is that Consolidated Film Corp owned that building and it burned badly in 1929. It wasn't reconstructed until 1935 when NBC radio moved in. Interestingly, the Tat's Tales business address remains in the Film Daily Yearbook through 1938 at that address. Did he share space with NBC? Were they working on early TV cartoons?? What gives! It's obviously a big enough building, but was the Tat's Tales signage only temporary placed there for the photo - because it's not there when the NBC sign was running up the wall.

1936 - listed in Block Booking legislation as a supporter.

1937 - an unverified source says he was in NY (Does that mean Fleischer? Terry? As what?)

1939 - same source puts him back in LA

1939ish - Tat name reportedly appears on a Color Rhapsody - can't verify yet.

1966 - dies. No obituary found in the place of death - Placerville.]

1 comment:

Autumn Tattenham said...

Daniel Tattenham was my husband's great uncle. Although we don't have much information on him, his artistic abilities have carried through the generations. Our daughter is showing great promise as a cartoonist herself!