|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 three years.
John's father Deny Lowitz ( 1837-1892) was born in Hamburg
Germany and was educated to be an engineer. He traveled widely
throughout Europe and visited Russia in 185. 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
multi-talented man and loved music. We recently discovered that
Deny Lowitz arranged music as shown with the two music sheets
above - "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 to reconstruct the
tower in the United States.
The Lowitz family spent the summer of 1889 in Paris and
while there John Lowitz was hired by Thomas A. 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 drew in 1926) - it
depicts himself talking to King George of Greece and
reassuring the King that the Edison machine was not a
talking monkey. The French decided at the close of the
1889 Exhibition to keep the tower and so Deny and his family
traveled to Hamburg for the winter to see his family.
John Lowitz 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 his 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
|Above are images of Deny A. Lowitz and two of
his sheet music..
|John Buckingham Lowitz
photographed in the 1890's