Antedating comments htm
The term “feathering strips,” meaning the same thing, is found in some roofing manuals.The term “horsefeathers” is used colloquially in New England and New York.Thus It is used to refute many theories that identify the two events, and also a common theory of psychoneural lawlike connection that supposes the events are simultaneous.
The reply in turn got a response -- Honderich's 'Is The Mind Ahead of the Brain -- Rejoinder to Benjamin Libet'.
One possibility is that it was picked up around 1927 by Billy De Beck or some other writer, who appreciated its comic potential but changed its sense when reproducing it.
This reseach has lately been given a kind of attention by Daniel Dennett and Marcel Kinsbourne in The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates (1997) edited by Ned Block, Owen Flanagan and Guven Guzeldere.
However, so far as I know nobody has actually found the word in a Barney Google strip.
Oddly, the first recorded appearance of the word, in 1927, was in a different comic environment, a cartoon created by T A Dorgen: “The cashier’s department — Bah — Horsefeathers.
This was doing the rounds in early 1928, so antedating by five years the Marx Brothers film of the same title.