Ledger Syndicate

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Ledger Syndicate
Formerly
Public Ledger Syndicate
Subsidiary
Industry Print syndication
Founded 1915; 103 years ago (1915)
Founder Cyrus H. K. Curtis
Defunct 1946; 72 years ago (1946)
Headquarters Independence Square[1], Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people
George Kearney
Products Comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons
Owner Public Ledger (Philadelphia)

The Public Ledger Syndicate (known simply as the Ledger Syndicate) was a syndication company operated by the Philadelphia Public Ledger that operated from 1915–1946 (outlasting the newspaper itself, which ceased publishing in 1942).

The Ledger Syndicate distributed comic strips, panels, and columns to the United States and the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The syndicate also distributed material from the Curtis Publishing Company's other publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, and The Country Gentleman.[2]

For whatever reason, the Ledger Syndicate favored comic strips with alliterative titles, including Babe Bunting, Daffy Demonstrations, Deb Days, Dizzy Dramas, Hairbreadth Harry, Modish Mitzi, and Somebody's Stenog.

History[edit]

The Public Ledger Syndicate was founded in 1915 by Public Ledger publisher Cyrus H. K. Curtis,[2] The first big comic strip success as A. E. Hayward's Somebody's Stenog, launched in late 1918.

The Syndicate was particularly active in the 1920s, when it launched a number of comic strips, including such long-running titles as Connie, Dizzy Dramas, Dumb-Bells, Hairbreadth Harry, and Modish Mitzi.

Walter B. Gibson, creator of The Shadow (which was syndicated by the Ledger Syndicate from 1940 to 1942), was a Ledger Syndicate staff writer.[3] In its later years, the manager of the Ledger Syndicate was George Kearney.[4]

The Public Ledger closed down in 1942 and most of the Ledger Syndicate strips ended that year as well, with the exception of Frank Godwin's Connie, which kept going until 1944. Syndicate manager George Kearney tried writing a strip called Rink Brody, illustrated by H. Draper Williams, but it was not successful, and the syndicate finally closed its doors in 1946.

In c. 1946 author Walter B. Gibson put together the Gibson Studio from the art staff remnants of the Ledger Syndicate Studio and the Jack Binder Studio.[5]

A second, unrelated iteration of the Ledger Syndicate operated from 1966 to c. 1973, distributing strips such as Doc Savage and Batman.

Features[edit]

Writers syndicated by the Ledger Syndicate included Dorothy Dix and Anne Mary Lawler. At its height (1940), Dix's column, Dorothy Dix Talks, appeared in 273 papers with an estimated reading audience of 60 million.

The syndicate's most popular/long-running comic strips were A. E. Hayward's Somebody's Stenog; Hairbreadth Harry (by C. W. Kahles and later by F. O. Alexander); Frank Godwin's Connie and Babe Bunting; Joe Bowers' Dizzy Dramas; Clare Victor Dwiggins ("Dwig")'s Footprints on the Sands of Time and Nipper; and Roy Powers, Eagle Scout ("the official strip of the Boy Scouts of America").[citation needed] Frank Godwin had a number of strips with the Ledger Syndicate, including Rusty Riley, Vignettes of Life, War on Crime, and Roy Powers, Eagle Scout, in addition to Connie and Babe Bunting.

Ledger Syndicate strips and panels[edit]

Launched c. 1915–1919[edit]

Launched in the 1920s[edit]

  • The Boy Friend by Marge Buell (1925–1926)[8]
  • Carrie and Her Car by Wood Cowan (1923–1926)[9]
  • Connie by Frank Godwin (1927–1944)[10]
  • Daffy Demonstrations by Ray Rohn (1926) — daily panel
  • Deb Days by Charles Coll (1927)[11]
  • Dizzy Dramas by Joe Bowers (1927–1943)[12]
  • Doc by Hy Gage (1925) — daily panel
  • Dumb-Bells by Joe Cunningham (1924–1925)[13] and Gar Schmitt (1925-1935, 1937-1939)
  • Hairbreadth Harry by C. W. Kahles and F. O. Alexander (1923–1940) — originated with The Philadelphia Press Syndicate and then the McClure Syndicate[14]
  • Lady Bountiful by Gene Carr (1926–1929)[15]
  • Miss Information by Hy Gage (1924–1930)[16] — formerly by Wood Cowan for the George Matthew Adams Service[17]
  • Modish Mitzi by Jay V. Jay (c. 1923–c. 1938)[18]
  • Rufus M'Goofus by Joe Cunningham (1922–1924)[13]
  • Such is Life by Walt Munson and Kemp Starrett (1928–1938)
  • Vignettes of Life by Frank Godwin (1924–1927) and J. Norman Lynd (1927–1939)

Launched in the 1930s[edit]

  • Babe Bunting by Frank Godwin (1930–1939)[10]
  • Effie Spunk by F. O. Alexander (1935)
  • Footprints on the Sands of Time by Dwig (1931–1937) — taken over from the McClure Newspaper Syndicate, which ran it in 1929[19]
  • Nip and Tuck by Bess Goe Willis (1936-1939)
  • Nipper by Dwig (1931–1937)
  • Roy Powers, Eagle Scout (c. 1937–1942) by "Paul Powell,"[20] Jimmy Thompson (c. 1937),[21] Kemp Starrett (1937–1938),[22] Frank Godwin (1938–1940),[10] and Charles Coll (c. 1940)[23]
  • War on Crime by Frank Godwin (1936–1938)[10] and Jimmy Thompson (1938)[21]

Launched in the 1940s[edit]

Ledger Syndicate II strips and panels[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Watson, Elmo Scott. "Chapter 10, Bibliography & Appendix, The Newspaper Syndicate in American Journalism. Archived at Stripper's Guide.
  2. ^ a b Frederic Hudson, Alfred McClung Lee, Frank L. Mott, editors. "The Daily Newspaper in America," American Journalism 1690-1940 (Psychology Press, 2000), p. 594.
  3. ^ Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superheroes and the American Experience, edited by Julian C. Chambliss (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Nov 10, 2014), p. 15.
  4. ^ "Ledger Signs Huck Finn," Editor & Publisher (Jan. 13, 1940). Archived at Stripper's Guide.
  5. ^ Gibson entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Markstein, Don. "Somebody's Stenog," Toonpedia. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "F.Y' Cory's History as an Artist and Illustrator," F.Y. Cory Publishers, Inc. Accessed Dec. 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Buell entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  9. ^ Cowan entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d Godwin entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "Charles Coll," Lambiek Comiclopedia. Accessed Nov. 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Bowers entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Cunningham entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Markstein, Don. "Hairbreadth Harry," Toonpedia. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
  15. ^ Markstein, Don. "Lady Bountiful," Toonpedia. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Gage entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Wood Cowan entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Dec. 4, 2017.
  18. ^ Holtz, Allen. "Obscurity of the Day: Modish Mitzi," Stripper's Guide (October 28, 2005).
  19. ^ a b Dwiggins entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  20. ^ Godwin entry, Lambiek's Comiclopedia. Accessed Nov. 26, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Thompson entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  22. ^ Starrett entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  23. ^ Coll entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  24. ^ Weiss entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.
  25. ^ Greene entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 23, 2017.