Now we're really going back in time.
Long before a certain cat & mouse became cinematic icons in the 40's, there existed another Tom & Jerry. These two were designed in the style of Bud Fisher's comic strip, Mutt & Jeff, in that you had one tall fellow (Tom) and one small one (Jerry). The Van Beuren studio produced a short series of black & white shorts with these two, and I think it's easy to see why they became so obscure so quickly. Skreenplay1 brings us "The Tuba Tooter":
Little known facts: Before going to MGM, Joe Barbera worked as an artist at Van Bueren on this series. Now, ya don't suppose he copped the Tom & Jerry label for his cat & mouse team from this, do you?
Also, there was a 3rd Tom & Jerry, except that these two were folk singers who dropped the pseudonyms rather quickly and became famous under their own names-----Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel. Hmmmmm. Again, it makes ya wonder where they got the idea for Tom & Jerry in the first place.......