Law Enforcement and Pop Culture
Toy: Dragnet Toy Set, ca. 1955. 2007.31.1. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.
Dragnet Toy Set
The original Dragnet starring actor and producer Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday ran on radio from June 1949-February 1957—sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes until September 1952, at which time Chesterfield Cigarettes took over. Dragnet was one of the most famous and influential police dramas in media history. It's focus on realism in portraying life on the beat earned praise for improving the public opinion of police officers.
Dragnet ran on television from December 1951 to August 1959, and from January 1967 to April 1970. NBC's radio and television networks carried all three series. There were three Dragnet feature films, and a newspaper comic strip version of Dragnet, written by Jack Webb and Joe Scheiber, which ran in newspapers from about 1952 to 1955.