Published in 1920 by Scribners, the book is called simply Animated Cartoons, How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development, by E.G. Lutz. Let's consider the state of the art in 1920.
In the United States the industry was dominated by such studios as Hearst, J.R. Bray and Paul Terry. Many of the series being produced then were animated versions of popular newspaper comic strips, and were looked upon by the syndicates as additional promotion for their newspaper features.
The technology of motion picture film, cameras and projectors was just twenty-five years old. Winsor McCay had produced Gertie the Dinosaur in 1914, just six years earlier. Disney was still a very young man in Kansas City; he hadn't even begun his work for Kansas City Film Ad and Newman's Laugh-o-Grams, much less his Alice in Cartoonland series. And Mickey Mouse? The Mouse was still seven years in the future. Even Felix the Cat, the first-ever character and marketing sensation in animation, had just been established that year.
|A Farmer Alfalfa of 1916, produced by Paul Terry at the old Barré studio.|
|A pre-1920 Mutt and Jeff, after the comic strip by Bud Fisher and produced by Charles Bowers at the old Barré studio.||Note the sophisticated drawing in this one.|
|But for the registration system, this same design could be used today in the making of 2D animation.|
Timing back then, however, was quite a bit different, since the standard film speed before sound production was just 16 frames per second. At that speed, the animator did not have to make so many drawings per second, but of course nothing was as smooth, either.
|The registration system of the day, years before Acme or any system with oblong pegs and holes.|
|How cels were used in the beginning.|
|How to design a walk cycle in 1920.|
|Special effects, 1920-style!|
|The book's title page.|