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HELENA SMITH DAYTON
Helena Smith Dayton (1879-1960) participated in the full range of Greenwich Village artistic endeavors. A painter and a sculptor, Dayton was also the first female stop-motion animator, releasing the clay stop-motion film Romeo and Juliet in 1917. She was a member of the Society of Illustrators and during World War One served as the director of the YMCA canteen in Paris. Dayton was also a writer. She began her career as a reporter in Hartford, Connecticut, alongside her husband Fred Erving Dayton. Later she would compose one-act plays, a guide to New York, and a primer on hosting "entertainments and theatricals."
The cover and an excerpt from Helena Smith Dayton and Louise Bascom Barratt's New York in Seven Days (New York: Robert M. McBride & Company, 1925
Dayton is represented here by her 1925 guide, New York in Seven Days, a collaboration with Louise Bascom Barratt. Directed at a general audience, the guide went through three printings by November of 1926. The volume's premise is that the narrator is showing her visiting friend, Jane, around the city. In the passage excerpted here, the two women visit Greenwich Village.