Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Frank Merriwell Postcards

I have noted the Street and Smith and Federal hardcover Frank Merriwell books previously. The David McKay works will be discussed in the future. As mentioned before, Frank Merriwell appeared in the Tip Top weekly dime novels beginning in 1896. They were immensely popular. Over the years the Merriwell stories spurred quite a bit of ephemera.

Plays, movies, playbills , membership cards, badges and the like are scarce but very collectible for the Merriwell/Patten collector. One of the more elusive items dates from 1906 and 1908. That would be postcards.

In 1906 Street and Smith issued two different six card postcard sets. One was from Tip Top Weekly while the other was from another dime novel-Rough Rider Weekly. The Tip Top Weekly set features Frank Merriwell and pictures five other characters.
Apparently if a youngster wrote in to Street and Smith a letter about why he/she liked the Number 519 issue of Tip Top Weekly, they would be sent the set.

In 1908 Street and Smith reprinted the six card set. Again a letter to the publisher would earn a set.

I have a reproduction of the ad shown here from March 17, 1906. I do not know if it is possible to distinguish the earlier 1906 set from the 1908 set. The only way for sure is to find a postmark prior to 1908 on the back of the card. These postcards are the originals.

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