Teddy Tail

Teddy Tail
Daily Mail
05 APR 1915 - 1974


Charles Folkard
Herbert Sydney Foxwell
Arthur Potts
Bill Glen
Charles Folkard

Teddy Tail is cited as the first daily cartoon to run in a British newspaper. The euponymous mouse with a knot in his tail made his first appearance on 9th April 1915 in the Daily Mail and continued to appear (with a few interuptions) until 1974. During that time many Christmas Annuals (hardback books published in the UK for the Christmas trade) were released of his adventures.

He was first drawn by Charles Folkard (1878–1963) who both wrote and illustrated Teddy Tail.

Original art by Charles Folkard circa 1917.
Original art by Arthur "Spot" Potts circa 1949.
Three birthday postcards by Foxwell for the Teddy Tail League members - 1930s. Click to enlarge.
The Teddy Tail League badge. Special events and public activities were announced in the Daily Mail. In the 1936 Annual, mention is made of "750,000 members".

The character was revived by the Daily Mail in 1933 with art by Foxwell who had regularly contributed to the Amalgamated Press' nursery comics.

A newspaper club for children - the Teddy Tail League - was also started by the Mail and many marketing tie-ins were produced including jigsaw puzzles, and toys. One of the most endearing attributes of the club were that young members would receive a birthday card featuring the Teddy Tail characters drawn by Foxwell. (see below).

When Foxwell died in 1943 the character went into a brief hiatus before being revived by Arthur Potts in the late 1940's. During the war Potts has been a political cartoonist for the Bristol Evening World.

After Potts came Bill Glen who drew the mouse with a knotted tail until 1974.

Such was Teddy Tail's popularity that other newspapers created their own cartoon characters, such as the Daily Express' Rupert Bear (debuting on 08 November 1920), and the Daily Mirror's Pip, Squeak and Wilfred (1923).

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