Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Thach Folsom

William Thatcher “Thach” Folsom was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 25, 1887, according to the Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records at; the records spelled Thatcher with two Ts, while other sources, such as periodicals used one T, which, I believe, was Folsom’s preferred spelling.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Folsom was the oldest of three children born to William and Mary. His father was in construction. They resided in Medford, Massachusetts at 115 Winthrop Street. Information regarding Folsom’s art training has not been found.

Folsom was a newspaper artist according to the 1910 census. He remained in his parent’s home, now in Boston, Massachusetts at 187 Belgrade Street. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Folsom produced Bob Bonedome for the Boston Post; the strip ran from August 7 to 15, 1911.

Folsom signed his World War I draft card in June 1917. He lived at 71 Clement Avenue in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. His occupation was artist at the Boot and Shoe Recorder, a periodical devoted to footwear located in Boston at 207 South Street. He stated that he was the sole supporter of his mother. The description of him was medium height, slender build with brown eyes and black hair.

The 1920 census recorded Folsom and his wife, Mary, in Boston at 107 Jersey Street. He was a commercial artist. His cover illustration credit for House Beautiful, June 1920, is here (scroll up 16 pages to see cover). The Boston Register and Business Directory 1921 had a listing for Folsom in the “Architects—Artists” category: “Folsom, W Thatcher 126 Mass av rm 505”.

Folsom designed an alphabet for the National Display Alphabet Company’s Innes Alphabets. Advertisements appeared in Advertising & Selling, April 17, 1929, and Printers’ Ink Monthly, May 1929.

Canton, Ohio was Folsom’s home in 1930; his address was 1621 Shorb Avenue N.W. He worked as an advertising artist for a few years then returned to Boston.

Folsom was counted twice in the 1940 census. He and his wife lived with his sister-in-law at 542 Newbury Street. His highest level of education was one year of college. He was an advertising artist. The following day Folsom was counted at the same address and had the same occupation but his highest level of education was recorded as three years of high school, the same as his wife.

The 1942 Boston directory listed Folsom as a 53-year-old artist at 12 Hemenway Street. His address in 1941 was 542 Newbury Street. On April 27, 1942, Folsom signed his World War II draft card, which had his middle names as “Thacher”. His address was unchanged. He was employed at the Boston Post.

What become of Folsom is not known. An obituary has not been found and he does not appear in the Social Security Death Index.

—Alex Jay

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