As a commodity, Frank Merriwell was both popular and lucrative! Even as the era of the nickel weekly waned, Frank found audiences in radio and other media. He remained popular into the 1930s when cinema and comic books killed him once and for all.
Frank as a character is pretty flat, I think: he's plucky, cheerful, and athletic with no vices whatsoever. Hard to believe this goody-two-shoes could interest young readers, but he was the "it" entertainment of his day (and remember this is prior to the movies, so everything is relative). Still, he was something entirely new in a medium where characters like Buffalo Bill and Jesse James had dominated for decades. Most likely his super-human athletic ability attracted an audience (there was no sport at which he could be fairly bested ~ definitely a precursor to the ideal all-American superheroes who would dominate comic books later), but maybe even more than that, he was someone that young readers could actually relate to. He went to school, he got into fights, and sure, he had crazy globe-trotting adventures (and was attacked by too many wild animals to enumerate [see cover above]), but at the end of the day he was just a nice all-American fella.
Anyway, enough with the history lesson.
The point is, last weekend I was trying to come up with something for the Titanic commemoration (since it was on TV and in the news and whatnot), but I felt like 1912 was a bit of a stretch for "19th Century Paper Dolls" and, besides, I don't actually care for the fashions of that era. But I figured maybe I could do something turn-of-the-centuryish and that would be kind of close. I had, sitting on my desk at that time, an issue of Tip Top Weekly, and I thought: Oh why not, Frank's certainly got no dearth of sports uniforms depicted on the covers.
So all this week I will be posting pieces of Frank and Frank's clothing. He had two girlfriends during the run of the series (one of whom he eventually married), but I am not sure I will be making him any friends.