There’s a funny little cat
With a tummy nice and fat.
He’s won picture fame . . .
Felix is his name.
Has a funny little walk Whiskers on his chin;
And, no matter where he goes Or what occurs to him . . .
Felix keeps on walking, keeps on walking still.
With his hands behind him,
You will always find him.
Blew him up with dynamite, but him they couldn’t kill.
Miles up in the air he flew,
He just murmured “Toodle-oo!”
Landed down in Timbuctoo,
And kept on walking still.
– ‘Felix Kept on Walking’
I’m not sure of the exact age of this Felix the Cat tricycle. Felix started out in his first (1919) cartoon films with a rather scary square face, illustrated by his originator Pat Sullivan (as above on the cover of the song lyrics). His much kinder round face, as seen on this tricycle was illustrated by Otto Messmer, and appears to have been introduced in 1923. Felix was an immediate hit, the first cartoon character to become a movie celebrity. From 1923, Felix also started to appear as a comic strip in newspapers (see the 1923 comic strip advert below).
The 1923 song ‘Felix Kept On Walking’ was a big hit, and the combination of movies, comic strips and a hit song inspired a big spin-off industry in Felix toys of all kinds. The ‘Black Bottom’ dance craze followed soon after, replacing the Charleston, and its leading star Anne Pennington appeared in the January 1927 Photoplay magazine teaching Felix the dance steps. Incidentally, ‘The Walk’ was another name for the ‘Black Bottom’ dance.
Such was the popularity of Felix the Cat and the song ‘Felix Kept On Walking’ it was even used by Raleigh for one of its 1925 advertisements.
1920s Felix the Cat Tricycle
9″ Front Wheel
7″ Rear Wheels
FELIX THE CAT CARTOON
In this film, ‘Switches Witches’, Felix plays around with a bicycle.
FELIX DOES THE BLACK BOTTOM
January 1927 Photoplay Magazine
PAT SULLIVAN, CREATOR OF FELIX
1932 FELIX COMIC STRIP
FELIX HISTORY – http://comicskingdom.com/blog/2016/07/21/ask-the-archivist-felix
FELIX KEPT ON WALKING LYRICS – http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=71506
BLACK BOTTOM – http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3blkbtm.htm
PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE – https://ia800205.us.archive.org/24/items/photoplay3133movi/photoplay3133movi.pdf