Alice Harvey came to New York from Chicago with her friend Helen Hokinson in the early 1920's. Both had studied at the Art Institute, shared a studio on N. Michigan Ave. and worked as fashion illustrators for Marshall Fields. In New York they found work immediately in the comic art department of the Daily Mirror, where they created the short-lived strip "Sylvia in the Big City". They continued studying art at Parsons and Harvey found early success submitting to Life, Judge and other magazines. Her appearances in Life seem to have been as frequent as those of almost any other contributor.
In February of 1925 The New Yorker was launched and both Harvey and Hokinson soon found a home there. This isn't surprising since Harvey had pretty much been doing New Yorkerish cartoons for years before it existed, something Harold Ross seemed aware of in a letter he wrote to Harvey:
I judge from your letter that you apparently don't realize that you are one of the three or four pathfinders in what is called the new school of American humor. Your stuff in Life before The New Yorker started might well be considered the first notes of the new humor. I remember seeing it and being encouraged by it when I was thinking of starting The New Yorker. It had a lot to do with convincing me that there was a new talent around for a magazine like this.
Ross was right in another regard: "This kid's got stuff, this kid can draw!" *
*These quotes and much of the biographical information here have been unrepentently cribbed from Funny Ladies: The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists And Their Cartoons by Liza Donnelly.