Keeping Up with the Joneses, by Arthur R. Momand

Arthur R. Momand was an early American newspaper comic artist. He was born in San Diego, and attended the Trinity School in New York City. In 1907 he began his career as a sketch artist for The New York World, owned by Joseph Pulitzer. He also created several series for the paper, including 'Mr. I. N. Dutch'. In 1913, he created the strip 'Keeping up with the Joneses', a title that would go down in history as a phrase meaning trying to keep up with the standards of your acquaintances. Momand drew his parody of American domestic life for about 150 daily newspapers in the United States and Canada from 13 March 1913 until 16 April 1938, and always signed it Pop. Underneath the strip ran a tier strip, called 'Cat Tales'. Afterwards, Momand became a portrait painter in Manhattan. He died in a New York hospital in 1987, at the age of 101. 'Keeping up with the Joneses' was adapted into a couple of animated films by Harry S. Palmer for Gaumont Pictures in 1916 and 1917.

Cat tales, by Arthur Momand

"According to his own account, cartoonist Arthur R. ("Pop") Momand lived in a community where many people tried to keep up with the Joneses. Momand and his wife resided in Cedarhurst, New York, one of Long Island's Five Towns, where the average income is still among America's highest. Living 'far beyond our means in our endeavor to keep up with the well-to-do class,' the Momands were wise enough to quit the scene and move to Manhattan, where they rented a cheap apartment and 'Pop' Momand used his Cedarhurst experience to create his once immensely popular 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' comic strip, launched in 1913. Momand first thought of calling the strip 'Keeping Up with the Smiths,' but 'finally decided on 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' as being more euphonious.' His creation ran in American newspapers for over 28 years and appeared in book, movie, and musical-comedy form, giving the expression 'keeping up with the Joneses' the wide currency that made it a part of everyday language."
From "The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

Keeping Up with the Joneses, by Arthur R. Momand

Momand at the Stripper's Guide

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