Born near Bronx Park, New York, Adamson moved to England in 1921. He studied at the Mining and Technical College in Wigan, England and entered Wigan School of Art in January 1930. He specialised in engraving at Liverpool City Art School and began the first of many drawings for Punch in 1939. In 1943, he was appointed the official war artist by the War Artists' Advisory Committee. He lectured in engraving and illustration at Exeter College of Art, Devon and set up as a full time illustrator and cartoonist in 1954.
A retired member of the Chartered Society of Designers and life member of the Cartoonists' Association of Great Britain, he has illustrated well over 80 books, including several by Ted Hughes. He succeeded Heath Robinson as illustrator of the Professor Branestawm books. He also worked for Punch, Private Eye and the Nursing Times, besides providing drawings for Cricket and British Airports World as well as many cartoons for the 'Peterborough' column of the Daily Telegraph.
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