|Swifty's calling card promoting his new
song "MY LITTLE JAVA LADY"
John Buckingham Lowitz was born August 1, 1873 in New
York City. His father was Deny Adolph Lowitz and his mother
was Isabel Gray Lowitz. John had an older brother Robert by
John's father Deny Lowitz ( 1837-1892) was born in Hamburg
Germany and was educated to be an engineer and he traveled
widely throughout Europe and visited Russia in 1853. He immigrated
to the United State around 1856 and married Isabel Maria Gray
(1843-1913) in St. Louis in 1861
Not only was Deny well educated but he was also a very talented
man and loved music. We recently discovered that his name was on
two music sheets - "Rock of Ages" and "The Loved one, far away!" .
In 1889 the Lowitz family traveled to Europe for about a year. Deny
Lowitz worked with a consortium of engineers and investors to dismantle the
Eiffel Tower after the Exposition of 1889 in Paris and reconstruct the
tower in the United States.
The Lowitz family spent the summer of 1889 in Paris and John was
hired by Thomas Edison to help introduce his new Edison
phonograph to Europeans. John was multilingual and a very
confident young man indeed. (See the cartoon below that John did
on 1926) - it depicts himself talking to the King George of Greece
and reassuring the King that the Edison machine was not a monkey.
The French decided at the close of the Exhibition to keep the tower
and Deny and his family traveled to Hamburg to see his family.
John married Louise Morris in 1894 and they settled in New York City.
John, being very clever and artistic, began doing cartoons and was
later hired by the New York Herald to publish his first major comic
series "Swifty and His Wonderful Dream". John's nickname was
"Swifty" and he portrayed himself as a messenger boy with wonderful
dreams. He was one of the first to have animals talking and was the
first to have his weekly comics "to be continued" to the next issue. We
have selected various examples of his artistic work which one can see
on the SWIFTY'S COMICS PAGE.
John's musical talents were evident from an early age. His parents
encouraged this talent with piano lessons - he was a natural.
Sometime shortly after 1900 John began writing the music and lyrics
for Broadway personalities. It was important to have your songs sung
by the leading singers and May Irwin found John and headlined his
clever and stylish songs. John was associated with the leading
composers of the time and counted them as close friends and
| SWIFTY and HIS WONDERFUL DREAM