Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Frank Beck Papers, 1918-1960
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (0.58 Mb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank Beck Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1918-1960
    Collection number: 233
    Creator: Beck, Frank, 1893-1962
    Extent: 23 boxes (11.5 linear ft.) 34 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Frank Beck (1893-1962) was an artist who created the cartoon strips Down the road (1920-36), Hem and Amy (1926-37), All in a lifetime (1935-62), and Bo (1940-56). The collection consists of Beck's cartoon strips, original ink drawings, proof sheets, clippings, printed ephemera, correspondence and photographs.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Marion Beck, 1964.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Frank Beck Papers (Collection 233). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 462322 


    Frank Beck was born in 1893 in Tacoma, Washington; was staff artist for the Tacoma High School yearbook; enrolled at University of California at Berkeley in 1912, but left to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute; joined advertising department at Cadillac in Detroit, Michigan; illustrator of New York Tribune Automobile Section; after serving in World War I, began first cartoon strip, Down the road (1920-36); other cartoon strips included Hem and Amy (1926-37), All in a lifetime (1935-62), and Bo (1940-56); died in San Diego, California, 1962.

    Biographical Narrative

    Frank Beck was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1898. As a young boy, he attended Tacoma public schools and First Methodist Episcopal Sunday School. He then entered Tacoma high School where he was staff artist for the school yearbook, The Tacoma. After high school graduation in 1912, Beck enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, but left there to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute.
    In 1917, Beck began his career as a professional illustrator when he joined the advertising department of the Cadillac Motor Company Detroit. His next job, illustrator of the New York Tribune Automobile Section, enabled him to polish his cartooning style. However, World War I interevened and Beck became staff artist for the U.S. Army's Evacuation Ambulance Company no.2.
    After the war, Beck returned to civilian life and began a new career as a cartoonist for the newspaper syndicates. His first strip, a weekly panel entitled, Down the Road featuring Mr. and Mrs. Bumpo's Gas Buggies which became Hem and Amy, a daily strip concerning the joys and tribulations of marriage and child raising, appeared from 1926 to 1937. Beck drew heavily upon his own family experiences for this strip.
    In 1935, Beck introduced Beck's Daily Cartoon which soon became All in a Lifetime, a daily single panel cartoon about life: recollections of the good old days, the absurdities of neighbors, young love, etc. Often his recollections of life in Tacoma appeared in these cartoons which remained in syndication until Beck's death. Bo, a daily strip about the adventures of a dog and his human family, began in 1950 and continued until 1956.
    In addition to his long career as a syndicated cartoonist, Beck was a member of the National Cartoonists Society, the Kiwanis Club, and the San Diego Humane Society. In 1924, Frank and Marian Beck moved to San Diego where they raised their two daughters, Barbara and Nancy, and were active members of the community. In 1939, the family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut. The Becks returned to San Diego in 1951, and remained there until Frank Beck died in 1962.
    The collection reflects Beck's entire career: the various cartoon strips, containing original ink drawings, proof sheets, publicity, clippings, and related ephemera; his work/clipping files; correspondence; and photographs.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of cartoon strips, original ink drawings, proof sheets, clippings, and printed ephemera related to the work of cartoonist Frank Beck. Also includes correspondence and photographs.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Comics.
    2. Correspondence.
    3. Ephemera.
    4. Organizations.
    5. Photographs.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Beck, Frank, 1893-1962--Archives.
    Cartoonists--United States--Archival resources.
    Cartoons (Humorous images).