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Chattanooga News-Free Press File Photo / This 1965 photo from the archives of the Chattanooga News-Free Press shows a doll representing Honey Moon, a character from the "Dick Tracy" comic strip.

You would have to be a die-hard comic strip enthusiast to remember this little doll.

The accompanying photo was found in a collection of 1965 Chattanooga News-Free Press newspaper images and represents Honey Moon, the "granddaughter" of the iconic comic strip character Dick Tracy.

The "Dick Tracy" comic strip, first published in 1931, was originally drawn by artist Chester Gould and featured the exploits of a crime-fighting police detective.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? The children in this 1965 photo are in their 60s today.)

Although we weren't able to locate this photo in the newspaper's archive, it could have been a photo shot for a toy-department advertisement or feature story.

"Dick Tracy" panels in the Chattanooga newspaper in 1965 did mention Honey Moon, a child with antennae and magnetic hands. In the storyline of the "Dick Tracy" strip, Honey Moon was the daughter of Dick Tracy's adopted son Dick Tracy Jr. (a.k.a. Junior) and the Moon Maid, a humanoid woman who was born on the moon.

In 1990, an article in the Morning Call newspaper (in Allentown, Pennsylvania) about cartoon collectibles noted, "In 1965, the Ideal Toy Company issued a 14-inch Honey Moon with a removable plastic space bubble helmet."

Chattanooga History.com

Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

 

 

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? In 1953, a giant vegetable was the talk of the town.)

But before anyone goes scrambling in the attic looking for a Honey Moon doll, please know that, despite the extraterrestrial theme, the dolls really never took off. A scan of eBay shows several well-worn copies of the doll available this week for about $35.

The Honey Moon character was introduced in the "Dick Tracy" strip in the mid-1960s as part of the strip's so-called "space period," when space travel was a recurring theme. According to the strip, Honey Moon was born Sept. 12, 1965, on the Space Coupe, a fictional spacecraft.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? Guess how much the first Corvette sold in Chattanooga is worth today)

According to comic strip histories, the "Dick Tracy" space period ended after 1969 when the Apollo 11 moon landing made it harder to maintain the cartoon's fantasy of moon-beings.

Still, the "Dick Tracy" strip was famous for introducing fantastic (for the day) technologies that did turn out to be prophetic. Specifically, a radio/television wristwatch — which predicted today's smartwatches — was a mid-century staple in "Dick Tracy" storylines.

The Honey Moon photo is part of an archive of newspaper images at chattanoogahistory.com, a website curated by local history enthusiast Sam Hall.

Follow the "Remember When, Chattanooga?" public group on Facebook.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.

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