The Joe Franklin

"Memory Land" Collection










Re: Memorabilia from the Memory Lane Collection - Steel & Brass Sword from Production of "Freaks"


Dear Friend, and To Whom It May Concern:


This fascinating piece of Hollywood history - the steel and brass sword swallowed by Delmo Frita in Ted Browning's production of "Freaks" -has been a very important part of my private Memory Lane Collection of Memorabilia & Nostalgia since 1952 when I personally visited the film's director, Tod Browning at his home in Malibu Colony, California.  At the time, I was on a tour of the Los Angeles area seeking interviews for the first season of The Joe Franklin Show which began in 1953 and ran continuously until 1994.  I was to the best of my knowledge, one of the relatively few people to see Tod Browning socially during this period, as he was gradually becoming a recluse.  Upon my request for a personal contribution to my Archive of memorabilia relating to the film "Dracula". Mr. Browning offered his regrets that he could not oblige, but instead offered me this sword, as well as an old black derby hat, which Browning told me he kept from the production of his very controversial film, "Freaks."  If one looks closely, one can observe that the sword was shortened to twenty seven inches for swallowing, and the blade dulled.  The dark patina is no doubt the result of the way the sword was stored, in a garage very close to the sea air of Malibu.  I am confident that you will enjoy owning this fine piece of  Hollywood history, and appreciate it as much as I have.  Bu my signature, I hereby certify that the aforementioned Memorabilia is the original, authentic, and gifted personally to my Memory Lane Archives by the true Legend of the Screen, Mr. Tod Browning.


Nostalgially Yours


Joe Franklin

Joe Franklin

Memory Lane



About Joe Franklin:


We know him as "The King of Nostalgia" and he answers to "The Wizard of Was."  Its been written that Joe Franklin invested the TV talk show before many of his colleagues learned to talk!  The Joe Franklin Show ran on Television for 40 consecutive years and during the World Record run Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Bill Cosby, Julia Roberts, and Liza Minnelli Show.  Franklin's were but a few of the world's great entertainment talents who got their very first exposure on The Joe Franklin lovable personality even prompted comedian Billy Crystal to imitate him on NBC's Saturday Night Live for four years- the ultimate form of flattery.


"The only guy who remembers more than I do is Joe Franklin and that's because he's been around longer than me.  Joe's show biz collection is the most outstanding I've ever seen and there's a story behind every single acquisition" -- Regis Philbin.


All images and text are from the collection of and are posted with the permission of Ted Campbell Sr.


1- Joe Franklin

2- Sword from the movie "Freaks"

3- Sword Swallower from the Movie Freaks

4- Letter from Hoe Franklin



The Above Images of the Sword Swallower are from Tod Browning's 1932 movie "Freaks"


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