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Finding Aid for the Francis Hamilton Striker Papers, 1929-1986

MS 18

State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Phone: 716-645-2916
Fax: 716-645-3714
Email: lib-archives@buffalo.edu
URI: http://library.buffalo.edu/archives

Finding aid prepared by Archives Staff.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Jessica Tanny, June 2008.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:

© 2008. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.

Collection Overview

Title: Francis Hamilton Striker Papers, 1929-1986
Creator: Striker, Fran, 1903-1962
Extent: 19 cartons, 1 manuscript box (24 linear feet)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Abstract: Papers include the bound radio scripts for many of Fran Striker's radio serial dramas including the first few years of both the The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet series. The collection also includes records regarding a YWCA television writing course Striker taught in Buffalo, New York and resources about Striker's most famous radio serial, The Long Ranger.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, MS 18, Francis Hamilton Striker Papers, 1926-1986, University Archives, The State University of New York at Buffalo.

See the Archives' preferred citations instructions for additional information.

Acquisition Information

In 1955, Fran Striker donated the bound radio scripts for the first five years of The Lone Ranger to the University. In 1967, Janet Striker (Mrs. Fran Striker) deposited the bulk of the collection's radio scripts including the first six years of The Green Hornet. Her letter to former University Archivist, Shonnie Finnegan stated, "Your recent request for books or manuscripts from my husband's collection is one of several. The others I have refused. But after consulting my children, we have come to a decision. My husband was born in and lived a great part of his life in Buffalo. I know he was proud of his association with the University. We feel this is where some of his manuscripts belong."

In 1967 Beth Hollyer from the Franklin Street YWCA donated the materials regarding Striker's television writing course. In 1980 Mrs. Lee Weinstock donated the Captain Silver: episode 55-4, "The Dead Past" scripts and The Lone Ranger Special Program for the Twentieth Anniversary. In 2004 Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Spiller donated the 1956 Lone Ranger movie poster and supporting materials.

Terms of Access

Francis Hamilton Striker Papers, 1929-1986 are open for research.

Please note: Box 19 only is stored onsite. The remainder (and bulk) of the collection is stored off-site. Access to collection requires 3 business days’ notice. Contact University Archives at (716) 645-2916 or lib-archives@buffalo.edu to schedule an appointment.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Archives Staff

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Biographical Note

On January 30, 1933 radio audiences in Detroit Michigan were first invited to listen to the adventures of a mysterious masked hero called the Lone Ranger. The show was an immediate success and soon audiences all over the country were tuned-in to listen to the dramatic fast paced western thriller. Today, the masked figure of the Lone Ranger is a legendary icon in pop culture, but he got his humble beginnings from radio scriptwriter, Francis Hamilton Striker.

Born on August 19th 1903, Fran Striker grew up in the city of Buffalo, New York. After graduating from Lafayette High School, he attended the University of Buffalo to study chemistry for three years. During his junior year, Striker dropped out of school to start a career in radio. He was soon hired by local Buffalo radio station, WEBR, as a "jack-of-all-trades". Striker worked at everything from radio announcer to studio manager. As one of WEBR's scriptwriters, he wrote for over 40 different series. He penned scripts for westerns, mysteries, science fiction adventures, and even romantic comedies.

Striker found he excelled at script writing and later quit WEBR to become a freelance radio scriptwriter. When George W. Trendle, station owner of WXYZ in Detroit Michigan, asked him to write four episodes of a western thriller starring a masked rider, Striker eagerly accepted the assignment. Later, after the incredible success of The Lone Ranger radio series, he was offered a full-time position at WXYZ. Striker churned out an incredible amount of work during the 20 years he was scriptwriter at the station. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, it was estimated he wrote around 60,000 words a week. The Lone Ranger series ran until September 3, 1954 with almost 3,000 individual episodes.

While at WXYZ, Striker was also responsible for several other radio programs. In 1936, he created the contemporary crime fighter series, The Green Hornet starring hero Britt Reid as the Green Hornet (who also happened to be the grand-nephew of the Lone Ranger).

Once The Lone Ranger television series became more popular than the radio series in the early 1950s, Striker decided it was time to move his family back to his native Western New York. Soon after settling in Arcade, New York, he began teaching a television writing course at the Franklin Street YWCA back in his hometown of Buffalo.

Striker also renewed his relations with the University at Buffalo. In 1955 he donated the first five years of The Lone Ranger radio scripts in a formal ceremony with UB President C.C. Furnas. In 1962 Fran Striker agreed to teach a creative writing course at the University, but was killed on September 4th in a car accident.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of bound scripts penned by Striker from about thirty different radio series. It also includes flyers, correspondence and news releases from his YWCA television writing course and many articles, clippings, and other memorabilia regarding The Lone Ranger series.

Container List

I.     Radio Scripts, 1929-1941

Radio series with a small number of episodes were bound together in a single volume which is noted in the individual folder descriptions.

Arranged alphabetically by title.

Carton Contents
1 Campus Nights: episodes 1-33, circa 1930
[2 volumes]
Box-folder Contents
1.11 Captain Silver: episode 55-4, "The Dead Past", circa 1940s
Carton Contents
17 Clippings: episodes 1-15, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Temple Bells]
Box-folder Contents
Copper Cylinder: episodes 1-6, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Mad Hatter]
Carton Contents
1-2 Crimson Fang: episodes 10-59, undated
[5 volumes]
[first volume, episodes 1-9 are not available][ Manhunters episodes 81-86 are bound with Volume VI of Crimson Fang][episodes 10-41 in Box 1, episodes 42-59 in Box 2]
2 Crystal Gazer: episodes 1-13, circa 1929
[1 volume]
15 Doctor Dragonette: episodes 1-10, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Drums of Kali]
16 Dromedary: episodes 1-4, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Mort Manor and Subconscious]
15 Drums of Kali: episodes 1-5, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Doctor Dragonette]
19 The Green Hornet: episodes 1-7, 1936
[1 volume]
[This carton stored on-site; all others off-site.]
2-9 The Green Hornet: episodes 8-522, 1936-1941
[62 volumes]
[first volume, episodes 1-7 are missing][episodes 8-61 in Box 2, episodes 62-142 in Box 3, episodes 143-218 in Box 4, episodes 219-290 in Box 5, episodes 291-354 in Box 6, episodes 355-418 in Box 7, episodes 419-482 in Box 8, episodes 483-522 in Box 9]
9-10 Hank and Honey: episodes 1-178, undated
[15 volumes]
[episodes 1-58 in Box 9, episodes 59-178 in Box 10]
10-11 Headlines: episodes 1-79, circa 1930
[3 volumes]
[episode 24 was not included in the original donation][episodes 1-48 in Box 10, episodes 49-79 in Box 11]
11 Hiram and Belinda: episodes 1-12, B1-B10, undated
[2 volumes]
16 Lights and Shadows: episodes 1-8, circa 1930
[1 volume]
[bound with Sands of Time and The Sky Boat under the single title, "Musicals"]
2 Limelight of Purple: episodes 1-7, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Loup Garou]
19 The Lone Ranger: episodes 1-243
[9 volumes]
[This carton stored on-site; all others off-site.]
11-15 The Lone Ranger: episodes 244-712
[44 volumes]
[episodes 244-384 in Box 11, episodes 385-514 in Box 12, episodes 515-622 in Box 13, episodes 623-703 in Box 14, episodes 704-712 in Box 15]
Box-folder Contents
1.12 Index to The Lone Ranger radio scripts, volumes 1-44, circa 1943
Carton Contents
2 Loup Garou: episodes 1-8, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Limelight of Purple]
Box-folder Contents
15 Love: episodes 1-52, undated
[4 volumes]
Mad Hatter: episodes 1-5, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Copper Cylinder][missing as of January 2008]
Carton Contents
15-16 Manhunters: episodes 1-133, 1932, undated
[6 volumes]
[episodes 81-86 are bound in Volume IV of Crimson Fang (carton #2)][episodes 1-80, 87-89 in Box 15, episodes 90-133 in Box 16]

Titles for radio series Manhunters and Warren Lester were often used interchangeably. See volumes title "Warren Lester and Manhunters" for more episodes.

16 Matinee Players: episodes 1-7, undated
[1 volume]
16 Mort Manor: episodes 1-12, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Dromedary and Subconscious]
16 Rhinestones: episodes 1-19, undated
[1 volume]
use tag only as necessary
16 Romance: episodes 1-41, undated
[3 volumes]
16 Sands of Time: episodes 1-27, circa 1930
[1 volume]
[bound with Lights and Shadows and The Sky Boat under the single title, "Musicals"]
16 The Sky Boat: episodes 1-13, circa 1930
[1 volume]
[bound with Sands of Time and Lights and Shadows under the single title, "Musicals"]
16-17 Skylarks: episodes 1-53
[3 volumes]
[episodes 1-18 in Box 16, episodes 19-53 in Box 17]
16 Steppin' Out: episodes 1-35, 1931, undated
[3 volumes]
use tag only as necessary
16 Subconscious: episodes 1-11, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Dromedary and Mort Manor]
17 Temple Bells: episodes 1-9, undated
[1 volume]
[bound with Clippings]
17-18 "Warren Lester and Manhunters": episodes 1-303, 1 A/B - 20 A/B
[20 volumes]
[episodes 1-198 in Box 17, episodes 199-303, 1 A/B - 20 A/B in Box 18]
II.     The Lone Ranger Related Materials, 1953-1986

Series includes clippings, articles, flyers, posters, program all related to the background and history of The Lone Ranger radio series, television series, and movies.

arranged chronologically

Box-folder Contents
Typewriter: Remington Standard #12, 1925
[See archivist for location]
1.4 The Lone Ranger special program for the 20th anniversary of the American Broadcasting Company, January 30, 1953
Map Contents
5.7 Movie poster from The Lone Ranger directed by Stuart Heisler and starring Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger, 1956
[See archivist for location]
Box-folder Contents
1.1 Clippings, circa 1960-1986; includes Buffalo Evening News.
1.10 "Red, White and Blue and Shot Through With Silver Bullets" article in November/December 1968 issue of Colleague.
1.2 The Lone Ranger Golden Anniversary in Arcade, New York, June 24-26, 1983
Carton Contents
15 Case History of the Filming of the Lone Ranger for Republic Studios, undated
Box-folder Contents
1.3 "The Lone Ranger" article in The Big Little Times, undated
1.9 Photographs, undated; includes portrait of Fran Striker and press photo of Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels as the Lone Ranger and Tonto from the 1956 movie, The Lone Ranger.
III.     Creative Writing Course, 1959-1962

related materials to Fran Striker's adult education course "Television Writing" at the Franklin Street YWCA.

arranged alphabetically.

Box-folder Contents
1.6 Correspondence, 1959-1962
1.5 Flyers, 1959-1962
1.7 News releases, financial records, questionnaire, registration information, 1959-1962
1.8 Workbook: "Creative Writing Workbook and the Morphological Approach to Plotting" by Fran Striker, 1959-1962

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog:


State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

Subject Terms

Detective and mystery radio programs
Green Hornet (Radio program)
Lone Ranger (Radio program)
Lone Ranger films
Radio authorship--New York (State)--Buffalo
Radio plays, American
Radio plays--Stories, plots, etc.
State University of New York at Buffalo--Archives
Striker, Fran, 1903-1962--Radio scripts
Striker, Fran, 1903-1962. Green hornet
Striker, Fran, 1903-1962. Lone ranger
Striker, Fran, 1903-1962. Manhunters
Striker, Fran, 1903-1962. Warren Lester
Western radio programs

Associated Material

Related Resources

See archivist for more reference clippings and articles on Fran Striker and The Lone Ranger.