Friday, October 24, 2014

Pocket notebook sightings: Dragnet

[“You have the right to remain silent”: Anthony Eisely as bad cop Chris Drucker, reading himself his rights. From the Dragnet episode “Administrative Vice: DR 29” (February 6, 1969).]

The Los Angeles Police Department notebook, as seen in the television series Dragnet, is a thing of beauty. Miranda rights are printed on the cover. I wish I could find a photograph online.

A missing notebook is the crucial element in a Dragnet episode devoted to an internal investigation. A dead man’s landlord claims to have turned over the man’s few valuables, including $1000. The cops, who wrote two receipts, say it was $200. The landlord says she threw her receipt away. The notebook with the cops’ copy is missing. The notebook slid under a car dashboard, where Joe Friday finds it and saves the day.

[Sgt. Friday finds a missing notebook. From the Dragnet episode “I.A.D.: The Receipt” (March 26, 1970).]

[Yep, $200. Such strange printing. But that is indeed Agnes Emerson’s signature. Click any image for a larger view.]

Given Jack Webb’s close connection to the LAPD, I wanted to assume that these notebooks are — or were — the real thing. The answer is were . I called the Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club’s store this morning. The two men I spoke with knew exactly what I was asking about and said that these notebooks are no longer used.

You can find these notebooks and their episodes — one, then the other — at Hulu.

More notebook sightings
Angels with Dirty Faces : Cat People : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Extras : Foreign Correspondent : Journal d’un curé de campagne : The House on 92nd Street : The Lodger : Murder, Inc. : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : Naked City : The Palm Beach Story : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Quai des Orfèvres : Railroaded! : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : Route 66 : The Sopranos : Spellbound : State Fair : T-Men : Union Station : The Woman in the Window

comments: 3

Elaine Fine said...

The printing might be strange because it was carefully done in order to make the carbon copy (which this seems to be) legible. Someone would have had to bear down pretty substantially and lean on a hard surface to get it ready for a camera.

Sean said...

Look at that handwriting! Wow.

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine, if you were a Dragnet fan, you’d recall that there is no carbon. The officer explains that he wrote out two receipts: “C’mon, Joe, we don’t carry carbon paper.” But that writing is designed for legibility on the screen, for sure.

Sean, yes, wow.