East Quogue Historical Society
P.O. Box 174 East Quogue New York
Before J.K Rowling introduced us to the boy who lived, Tolkien took us to Middle Earth, and Dorothy got lost in OZ; children were delighted by stories of The Brownies. Their antics recorded on the pages of the books and comic strips written by Palmer Cox.
When he was a child, his step mother filled the long hours of childhood in the cold Canadian winters with stories of the Brownies of her homeland Scotland’s lore. As an adult these little sprites came back to him as inspiration for children’s books. The stories were first published as a comic strip, then later books and even a stage production, in terms of sales he was the J.K Rowling of his day. He was, for a time the bestselling author in English speaking countries.
With this success, companies started using his drawings to sell their products, he finally was able to fight the copy right infringement and practically invented licensing contracts as we know them today, Walt Disney was quoted as saying that it was this example he used when he created his
Mickey Mouse Franchise.
Cox was born on April 28, 1840 in Granby, Canada, as a young man he moved to California and worked as a mechanic, while there he joined the Coast Guard and obtained US Citizenship.
He first became published while in California. He then moved to New York where he focused on writing about his Brownies and their many adventures.
During his time in New York, he would winter in East Quogue. He would work from this location, he liked it because it was on the water, and quieter then the city, but within a close enough proximity to the city that he could still get his work submitted.