Palmer Cox was born in Granby, Quebec, Canada in 1840. He studied at Granby Academy and moved to San Francisco in 1863, where he worked as a writer and illustrator for magazines Golden Era and Alta California. From 1875 on, he lived in New York. He illustrated his own books with humorous drawings. Some of his titles are 'Squibs of California, or Everyday Life Illustrated', 'Hans von Pelter's Trip to Gotham', 'That Stanley', 'Queer People with Wings and Stings' and the famous 'The Brownies'.
The Brownie characters gained great popularity and were used by George Eastman to promote the widespread use of Kodak's Brownie cameras. The Brownies were merchandised as games, cards, dolls etc., but Palmer Cox never received any money for the use of his comic creations.