Little is known about the early years of Enoch Podsnap. Some have speculated that his father Euripides Podsnap changed his name after some sort of scandal involving the sale of a prospective ski resort in Iowa.
Whatever tale you believe, Enoch appears to have lived a fairly charmed existence. Chums at Cambridge, where Enoch was to avidly attend the theosophical lectures of the famous Professor J. S. Numbweed, claimed they never knew him to attend any other tutorials or sat any examinations. In his seven years at the university, from which he was never to receive a degree, Enoch Podsnap gained a reputation as an entertaining creature with a lust for life and all things that made loud noises and moved quickly.
So it should come as no surprise that Enoch arrived at Cambridge riding a penny farthing. This was surprising for many of the locals as the trend had completely bypassed Cambridge and locals were more used to seeing the more modern cycles of the safety configuration. So the site of the rather dapper and lanky Enoch flying down the road at great speed and danger was quite a shock to the local citizenry. There is a legend in the town that there are three such penny farthing machines in various locations at the bottom of the Cam, donated by Podsnap, as a result of excess velocity. None have been recovered to date. But perhaps what gave most concern to those who witnessed Enoch's fly perambulations, was the site of a small, but well-dressed man hanging on for dear life to the scruff of Enoch's neck!
Much mystery surrounds the true identity of the young man, known to be the 'long-term companion' of Enoch Podsnap, and referred to only as, 'Mr. Wiggles.' Part of the mystery revolves around the fact that he was never spotted alone away from Enoch nor did he seem to walk of his own accord, preferring the comfort of Enoch's lap. But the two got on famously with never an ill word between them. If ever Enoch was spotted on his own and quizzed about the condition of Mr. Wiggles, he would reply breezily, “He has retired to his study to contemplate the important issues of the day, no doubt.” In fact, it was almost eerie how the two never seemed to interrupt each other or pass a raised word in the presence of witnesses.
Though Enoch never excelled in academic terms, he was always on the forefront of things involving speed. Although he was not inclined to understand the inner workings of the various machines he employed to experience the dizzying speeds for which he was so famous, there were few so skilled or brave when it came to these exploits.
From the moment Enoch first became acquainted with Erasmus Thump, the two knew there was a sense of destiny in their meeting. Once these two gentlemen, along with Titus Bottomly, embarked upon the adventure of creating the Phantom Manufacturing company, there was no doubt that fate was standing tiptoe in the wings, urging them on to the great achievements that lay in store for them.