Collecting The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger is number one with cowboy hero collectors. Almost 80 years after his debut, the masked man tops Hoppy, Roy and Gene in collector interest.

History - Collecting The Lone Ranger Memorabilia


The Lone Ranger History

The Lone Ranger story began in the winter of 1932. George W. Trendle, previously a movie picture distributor and theater owner, recently established an independent radio station network known as Michigan Radio.

He needed programming for his modern Detroit station WXYZ. Trendle considered a great many ideas at the time, but kept coming back to the interest in Western movies at the time. He decided to target a juvenile audience, but with stories also containing adult appeal.

His series would focus on trials and tribulations of Western pioneers and their moral character. The shows lead would be a mysterious individual dedicated to justice. While the concept was Trendle's, the writing was assigned to a young writer from Buffalo, New York, name Fran Striker.

Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring from 1946

Late in 1932, Striker began working on The Lone Ranger; his earliest scripts were largely reworked from his earlier series, Covered Wagon Days. A letter from Trendle, dated Monday, January 30, 1933, clearly gives Striker credit for creating the character. However, by 1934, Striker was pressured by Trendle to sign over his rights to the Lone Ranger, and Trendle claimed credit as the creator. This sparked a long-term controversy over the creation of The Lone Ranger, extending as far as a 1960 television appearance by Striker on To Tell the Truth, which mentioned his role in the character's creation.

The actual first trial episodes of The Lone Ranger were broadcast on WEBR in Buffalo prior to the official premiere on WXYZ. The show began January 30, 1933. For only the first six episodes Jack Deeds, an actor, provided the Lone Ranger's voice. George Stenius followed for three months and then WXYZ station manger Brace Beemer took over. Beemer also left after a few months and the role went to actor Earl W. Glaser who continued until an automobile accident claimed his life in spring of 1941.

For a few weeks, the plot covered the situation by declaring The Lone Ranger critically ill. Only heavy breathing could be heard as Tonto, worked to restore the Ranger's health. Suddenly, the crisis passed as Brace Beemer returned to the role which he stayed with until the final live radio broadcast cast September 3, 1954.

Lone Ranger composition gun. 1942

The first movie was released in 1938 as a 15 chapter serial by Republic Pictures titled "The Lone Ranger." The story involved four masked men each assuming the identity of the real Ranger. In the end, the four are killed attempting to bring justice to villi an. The success of this serial brought the 1939 sequel The Lone Ranger Rides Again. The final film effort in 1981 starred Klinton spilsbury and Michael Horse.

Television brought The Lone Ranger to new generations beginning in 1949. Clayton Mooroe, a star of many movie serials, teamed with Jay Silverheels, a full blooded Mohawk. The first season was a success, but Moore and the producers had conflicts so actor John Hart was substituted in the second season. By the third season, Moore was re-installed and came to personify The Lone Ranger on TV through the show's final 1961 season.

A daily and Sunday comic strip appeared form 1938 to 1971. The strip also ran from 1981 to 1984. The Lone Ranger became an animated cartoon star on ABC-TV in 1980-1981 as part of the "The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour."

Lone Ranger Collectibles

During the heyday of its popularity, from the 1930s to early 1950s, the Lone Ranger generated mountains of souvenirs, mementoes, ephemera and novelties.

All of these wonderful products and publications amount to a gold mine of collectibles for today's collectors.

The most popular Lone Ranger books are by Whitman Publishing Company in the Big Little Book series, which ran from 1935 to the early 1950's.


In 1939, Lone Ranger Ice Cream was being sold. Their premium, a "Lone Ranger" comic book is today considered by many collectors to be one of the rarest of Lone Ranger collectibles. Only 20 copies are known to exist.

There were many premiums available during those years .

The Lone Ranger, Cheerios Premium Comic Book, dated 1954

Probably the earliest of the Lone Ranger premiums was the black & white "photo" of the Lone Ranger on Silver marked "Michigan Radio Network". The cast of the Lone Ranger radio shows made numerous public appearances around the Detroit area in the period before syndication. It is likely that this & other photos were given out to the young fans by the radio station.

A very popular Lone Ranger collectible is the original Lone Ranger Lunch Box.

Collecting Lone Ranger Memorabilia will keep the sounds Of Hi Ho Silver Ringing !

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