One of Foster Morse Follett’s earliest efforts, which ran March 8 1903 to April 3 1904 in the New York World. There’s an interesting evolution in this strip, where Teddy seems to start out having a mania for being clean, but then later it seems to be more that his desire to keep clean is merely to avoid the strenuous bathings of his mama, and not a true mania at all.
On a separate note, it is very hard to capture even a dim reflection of the incredible coloring of the New York World Sunday sections of the early 1900s, but a few of the samples here come pretty close. I hope you enjoy them. I have to tell you that seeing an early World color section in person is the sort of experience that got me irretrievably hooked on newspaper comics. The colorists and printers who were working for Pulitzer at that time were fine artists and craftsmen, and the coloring of the comics sections could make any artist, even an amateurish one, look like a master. The coloring has so much depth, such fine highlights and shadows, all executed with an incredibly limited palette that was exercised to the ultimate degree, that it is a terrible shame we don’t know and thus can’t celebrate the names of the production staff who produced such works. Another reason not to rely entirely on reprint books for your comics fix — I have yet to see that glorious coloring reproduced in its full glory!
One further note; the second example, where Teddy visits the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, presumably would have had the title customized for each paper which used the Funny Side section
12 strips 1903