Finding Aids
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F. O. Alexander Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Alexander, F. O. (Franklin Osborne)
Title: F. O. Alexander Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1943-1990
Bulk Dates: 1955-1966
Quantity: 7 linear ft.
Abstract: Over 1,000 original editorial cartoons (1943-1966); small quanities of photographs, exhibition catalogs, clippings and published material; one video recording and one letter.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Franklin Osborne Alexander (1897-1993), commonly known as F.O. Alexander was an American cartoonist.

F.O. Alexander was born in St. Louis, Missouri on November 3, 1897. During World War I, Alexander served with the Camouflage Engineers in the American Expeditionary Forces. Alexander studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and at Northwestern and also pursued night and correspondence courses. While in Chicago in the 1920s, Alexander worked in commercial advertising and operated a cut service.

Alexander took work at the Western Newspaper Union and produced Finney of the Force, a comic strip about a police officer. He later drew the strip, The Featherheads after the departure of creator Van Zelm. During this time, Alexander worked from his home in Oklahoma. In 1931, Alexander moved to Philadelphia to draw Hairbreadth Harry for the Ledger Syndicate, replacing C.W. Kahles. Alexander worked on Hairbreadth Harry until 1939.

In December 1941, after a stint drawing editorial cartoons for the United Features Syndicate, Alexander became the staff cartoonist at the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin where he remained until his retirement in 1967. His editorial cartoons were also syndicated

A member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, Alexander received many awards. He was honored several times by the Freedoms Foundation and received the National Safety Council Award as well as the National Headliner’s award (1945), Christopher Award (1955) and an award from National Council of Christians and Jews (1956). Active in his church, Alexander also contributed cartoons to several religious publications.

F.O. Alexander died on January 17, 1993 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Franklin O. Alexander Papers are divided into one main series of cartoons and five smaller series.

Cartoons (1943-1966) contains approximately 1,048 original editorial cartoons as well as two proofs of cartoons that were published in the Philadelphia Bulletin. Alexander's work typically focuses on national and international politics. Like other editorial cartoonists, Alexander frequently used an everyman character in his work; Alexander's character appears under the name of "Joe Doakes".

Dates, captions and notes appear on the front in different colors of pencil and pieces are numbered on the back. Works were drawn in ink and crayon on Glarco brand pebble board made. Overall dimensions are 11 1/2" x 13" with image sizes of 9 3/4" x 10 3/4".

Within Correspondence there is one letter from the Times Chronicle Company dated November 18, 1959.

Photographs consists of five black and white photos of Alexander including one related to the Boy Scouts and another to the National Foundation for Highway Safety as well as portraits of Alexander at his drawing table. All but one photograph is undated.

The Exhibition Catalogs series contains catalogs for three exhibitions of Alexander's work held in the Philadelphia area.

There is one VHS tape, "Conversation with F.O. Alexander" from June 1990 located in the Video recordings series. This tape was donated by Bill Alrich who worked on exhibitions of Alexander's cartoons.

Published material contains newspaper clippings and examples of Alexander's cartoons that were printed in periodicals.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged in chronological order.

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Other Related Finding Aids

A partial set of worksheets containing titles, dates, captions, condition and remarks about cartoons from January-August 1961 is located in the finding aids folder. It appears to have been completed at some point prior to Alexander's death, possibly by a student or intern.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this material.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Additional copies of exhibition catalogs are located in Rare Books as well as a published compilation of Alexander's religious cartoons. Please refer to SUMMIT, our main catalog to locate these materials.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Alexander, F. O. (Franklin Osborne) -- Archives.
Castro, Fidel, 1926- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Philadelphia Bulletin.

Subjects

American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Farmers -- Political activity -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Peace -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Places

United States -- Economic conditions -- 1945- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Video recordings.
Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings.
Editorial cartoons.
Exhibition catalogs.
Photographs.

Occupations

Cartoonists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

F. O. Alexander Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

All material gift of F.O. Alexander, 1966, except videotape, gift of Bill Alrich, 1990.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: Nov 1966
Revision history: 3 Aug 2005 - EAD file created (MRR); 19 Aug 2010 - added detailed bio, scope and inventory (SK)

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Inventory

Cartoons (1,050 items) 11 1/2" x 13"
Click here for a detailed inventory.
See below for an index to the cartoons.
includes 2 proofs
Oversize 1, Folder 1 1943 Sep
Oversize 1, Folder 2 1946 Sep-Oct, 1946 Dec
Oversize 1, Folder 3 1951
Oversize 1, Folder 4 1952
Oversize 1, Folder 5 1955 Jan, 1955 Apr
Oversize 1, Folder 6 1955 May
Oversize 1, Folder 7 1955 Jun
Oversize 1, Folder 8 1955 Jul-Aug
Oversize 1, Folder 9 1955 Sep
Oversize 1, Folder 10 1955 Oct
Oversize 1, Folder 11 1955 Nov
Oversize 1, Folder 12 1955 Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 1 1956 Jan-Feb
Oversize 2, Folder 2 1956 Mar
Oversize 2, Folder 3 1956 Apr
Oversize 2, Folder 4 1956 May-Jun
Oversize 2, Folder 5 1956 Jul
Oversize 2, Folder 6 1956 Aug
Oversize 2, Folder 7 1956 Sep
Oversize 2, Folder 8 1956 Oct
Oversize 2, Folder 9 1956 Nov-Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 10 1957 Jan
Oversize 2, Folder 11 1957 Feb
Oversize 2, Folder 12 1957 Mar
Oversize 2, Folder 13 1957 Apr-May
Oversize 2, Folder 14 1957 Jun-Jul
Oversize 2, Folder 15 1957 Aug-Sep
Oversize 2, Folder 16 1957 Oct-Dec
Oversize 3, Folder 1 1958 Jan
Oversize 3, Folder 2 1958 Feb
Oversize 3, Folder 3 1958 Mar
Oversize 3, Folder 4 1958 Apr
Oversize 3, Folder 5 1958 May
Oversize 3, Folder 6 1958 Jun
Oversize 3, Folder 7 1958 Jul
Oversize 3, Folder 8 1958 Aug
Oversize 3, Folder 9 1958 Sep
Oversize 3, Folder 10 1958 Oct
Oversize 3, Folder 11 1958 Nov-Dec
Oversize 3, Folder 12 1959 Jan
Oversize 3, Folder 13 1959 Feb
Oversize 3, Folder 14 1959 Mar
Oversize 4, Folder 1 1959 Apr
Oversize 4, Folder 2 1959 May
Oversize 4, Folder 3 1959 Jun
Oversize 4, Folder 4 1959 Jul
Oversize 4, Folder 5 1959 Aug-Sep
Oversize 4, Folder 6 1959 Oct
Oversize 4, Folder 7 1959 Nov-Dec
Oversize 4, Folder 8 1960 Jan
Oversize 4, Folder 9 1960 Feb
Oversize 4, Folder 10 1960 Mar
Oversize 4, Folder 11 1960 Apr
Oversize 4, Folder 12 1960 May
Oversize 4, Folder 13 1960 Jun
Oversize 4, Folder 14 1960 Jul
Oversize 5, Folder 1 1960 Aug-Sep
Oversize 5, Folder 2 1960 Oct
Oversize 5, Folder 3 1960 Nov
Oversize 5, Folder 4 1960 Dec
Oversize 5, Folder 5 1961 Jan
Oversize 5, Folder 6 1961 Feb
Oversize 5, Folder 7 1961 Mar
Oversize 5, Folder 8 1961 Apr
Oversize 5, Folder 9 1961 May
Oversize 5, Folder 10 1961 Jun
Oversize 5, Folder 11 1961 Jul
Oversize 6, Folder 1 1961 Aug-Sep
Oversize 6, Folder 2 1961 Oct
Oversize 6, Folder 3 1961 Nov
Oversize 6, Folder 4 1961 Dec
Oversize 6, Folder 5 1962 Jan
Oversize 6, Folder 6 1962 Feb
Oversize 6, Folder 7 1962 Mar
Oversize 6, Folder 8 1962 Apr
Oversize 6, Folder 9 1962 May
Oversize 6, Folder 10 1962 Jun
Oversize 6, Folder 11 1962 Aug
Oversize 7, Folder 1 1962 Sep
Oversize 7, Folder 2 1962 Oct-Dec
Oversize 7, Folder 3 1963 Jan
Oversize 7, Folder 4 1963 Feb
Oversize 7, Folder 5 1963 Mar
Oversize 7, Folder 6 1963 Apr
Oversize 7, Folder 7 1963 May
Oversize 7, Folder 8 1963 Jun
Oversize 7, Folder 9 1963 Jul
Oversize 7, Folder 10 1963 Aug
Oversize 7, Folder 11 1963 Sep
Oversize 7, Folder 12 1963 Oct
Oversize 8, Folder 1 1963 Nov
Oversize 8, Folder 2 1963 Dec
Oversize 8, Folder 3 1964 Jan
Oversize 8, Folder 4 1964 Feb
Oversize 8, Folder 5 1964 Mar
Oversize 8, Folder 6 1964 Apr
Oversize 8, Folder 7 1964 May
Oversize 8, Folder 8 1964 Jun-Jul
Oversize 8, Folder 9 1964 Aug
Oversize 8, Folder 10 1964 Sep
Oversize 8, Folder 11 1964 Oct
Oversize 8, Folder 12 1964 Nov
Oversize 9, Folder 1 1964 Dec
Oversize 9, Folder 2 1965 Jan
Oversize 9, Folder 3 1965 Feb
Oversize 9, Folder 4 1965 Mar
Oversize 9, Folder 5 1965 Apr
Oversize 9, Folder 6 1965 May-Jun
Oversize 9, Folder 7 1965 Jul
Oversize 9, Folder 8 1965 Aug
Oversize 9, Folder 9 1965 Sep
Oversize 9, Folder 10 1965 Oct
Oversize 9, Folder 11 1965 Nov
Oversize 9, Folder 12 1965 Dec
Oversize 9, Folder 13 1966 Jan
Oversize 9, Folder 14 1966 Feb-Apr
Oversize 9, Folder 15 1966 May
Oversize 9, Folder 16 1966 Jun , 1966 Aug
Oversize 9, Folder 17 Undated
Correspondence (1 letter)
Box 1 Times Chronicle Company 1959 Nov 18
Exhibition catalogs
Box 1 "Alexander Recycled: Editorial Cartoons from 1955 to 1971 on Finance and Economics from the Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin Plus Hairbreadth Harry" 1985
Box 1 "Off and Running: Original Drawings on Elections from 1952 to 1967" 1988 - Paley Library of Temple University
Box 1 "Through the Wringer: Editorial Cartoons from the Philadelphia Bulletin 1945-1967" 1990 - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Photographs (5 items)
Box 1 F.O. Alexander 1958, undated
Published material
Box 1 Clippings 1959 Dec, undated (2 items)
Box 1 People-to-People magazine 1964 Oct, 1965 Jan , 1965 Apr (3 issues)
Box 1 "Serious Summer Circus" in Wharton Quarterly 1971
Video recordings (1 VHS tape)
Box 1 Conversation with F.O. Alexander 1990 Jun

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Index to cartoons

The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.

B= Box, F= Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.

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