Grace Drayton

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Grace Drayton
Image of profile of Grace Drayton, wearing a large feathered hat.
BornGrace Gebbie
(1877-10-14)October 14, 1877
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 31, 1936(1936-01-31) (aged 58)
Area(s)Cartoonist, Illustrator
Pseudonym(s)Grace G. Wiederseim
Notable works
Campbell Soup Kids
Dolly Dimples
Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls
The Pussycat Princess
Theodore Wiederseim
(m. 1900; divorce 1911)

W. Drayton
(m. 1911; divorce 1923)
Dolly Dingle

Grace Drayton (née Gebbie; née Wiederseim; October 14, 1877 – January 31, 1936) was an illustrator of children's books, fashion pages, and magazine covers. She created the Campbell Soup Kids.[1][2] She is considered to be one of the first and most successful American female cartoonists.[3][4]


Drayton was born Grace Gebbie in 1877 in Philadelphia. Her father, George Gebbie, was an art publisher.[4]

Drayton attended Drexel Institute (now Drexel University) and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (PSDW).[4] While at PSDW, she was a student of the American artist and teacher Robert Henri from 1893-94.[4] Drayton began her career as a freelance artist in 1895.[1] From 1905–1909, she was a member of The Plastic Club, an arts organization in Philadelphia.[5] She created the Campbell Soup Kids which was used in advertisements for Campbell's Soup beginning in 1904.[1][2] The Campbell Soup Kids and Drayton's other children characters were drawn in a cute cherubic style often with round faces, plump bodies, and rosy cheeks.[1][2][6]

With her sister Margaret G. Hays as writer, Drayton produced The Adventures of Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland and The Turr’ble Tales of Kaptin Kiddo in the period 1905–1909.[1][2] Drayton designed the popular Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls which appeared in the women's magazine Pictorial Review.[5]

She also created syndicated newspaper comic strips for Hearst/King Features such as Naughty Toodles, Dottie Dimple, Dimples, Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce, and The Pussycat Princess.[1][6][4] Drayton was the first woman to be a cartoonist for Hearst.[2] The Pussycat Princess was started in 1935. After Drayton's death in 1936, the strip was continued by Ruth Carroll and Ed Anthony.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1900 she married Theodore Wiederseim. In 1911, she divorced Wiederseim and married William Drayton, and started signing her work as Grace Drayton. She divorced Drayton in 1923.[1][4] Grace Drayton died in 1936.


The Campbell Soup Kids were an iconic staple of Campbell's Soup advertising strategy for decades.[2] The Campbell Soup Kids drawings and memorabilia remain popular with antique collectors.[3][2] It is possible that Drayton's work had some influence on Japanese Shōjo manga in the late 1930s.[2] Drayton's Dolly Dingle dolls are part of the Joseph Downs Collection at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.[4][7] Some of her work is also part of the collection at The Cartoon Museum.[4]

Comic strips[edit]

as Grace G. Wiederseim:

  • Toodles / Naughty Toodles / The Strange Adventures of Pussy Pumpkin And Her Chum Toodles! (Hearst, March 22, 1903–January 10, 1904)[2][8]
  • The Adventures of Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland (The Philadelphia Press, 1905–1906) — written by Margaret G. Hays[9]
  • The Turr’ble Tales of Kaptain Kiddo (Philadelphia North American Company, 1909) — written by Margaret G. Hays[10]
  • Dottie Dimple (Hearst, 1908–1911)

as Grace Drayton:

  • Dimples (Hearst, January 1914–1918)
  • Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce (King Features, 1928–Spring 1933) — with topper strip Kittens[6]
  • The Pussycat Princess (King Features, 1935–1947) — written by Ed Anthony; art continued by Ruth Carroll after Drayton's 1936 death


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Grace Drayton". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gomez, Betsy (11 March 2016). "She Changed Comics: Golden Age, Silver Age, & Undergrounds". Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Gilbert, Anne (2002). "Women Illustrators Rate High With Collectors". Antiques & Collecting Magazine. 107 (5): 17.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Wardle, Marian; Burns, Sarah; Brigham Young University; Museum of Art (2005-01-01). American women modernists: the legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945. [Provo, UT]: Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Association with Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N.J. pp. 135, 192. ISBN 0813536839.
  5. ^ a b "Grace Gebbie Wiederseim Drayton". The Plastic Club. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b c The Archivist (March 13, 2014). "Ask the Archivist: Grace G. Drayton". Comics Kingdom. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  7. ^ "The Joseph Downs Collection and the Winterthur Archives". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  8. ^ The Archivist. "Ask the Archivist: TOODLES and PUSSY PUMPKIN," Comics Kingdom (April 3, 2013).
  9. ^ John William Leonard, Albert Nelson Marquis, editors. Who's Who in America, Volume 6 (Marquis Who's Who, 1910), p. 2078.
  10. ^ Robbins, Trina. Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2010 (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), pp. 18-21.

External links[edit]