Each night children's stories were read over the Newark Telephone Herald, as part of its daily program service. Included were a series of original stories about the adventures of the Trippertrot children--Mary, Tommy, and Johnny--written by a local author, Howard R. Garis. (The Trippertrots displayed a marked tendency to get lost after wandering away from their home.) A short time after these stories were read over the Telephone Herald, twenty adventures were collected into each of two books--Three Little Trippertrots, and Three Little Trippertrots on Their Travels--that were sold to the general public. Although the book's foreword stated that the Telephone Herald was likely the first to ever read children's stories to a large audience over the telephone, the Telefon Hirmondó actually had already been doing the same thing for many years in Budapest. However, the Telephone Herald was probably the first to do so in the United States. Following is the story of the Trippertrot's first adventure, from the opening chapter of their first book.

The photograph of Howard R. Garis is from page 3 of the April 23, 1922 issue of Radio Broadcasting News magazine.

Three Little Trippertrots, Howard R. Garis, (illustrations by Griselda Marshall McClure) 1912:


Quarto.    Illustrated.    Price,  per  volume,
60 cents,  postpaid.


       How  They  Ran  Away  and  How  They  Got
           Back  Again


       The  Wonderful  Things  They  Saw  and  the
           Wonderful  Things  They  Did

CHARLES  E.  GRAHAM,  Publisher,  New  York
           PUBLISHERS'  NOTE           

    The  stories  of  the  Three  Little  Trippertrots,  though  never  before  published,  have  been  told  to  thousands  of  children,  in  a  way,  probably,  that  no  tales  have  ever  before  been  related.   They  were  read  over  the  telephone,  nightly,  to  thousands  of  little  folks,  by  means  of  the  system  operated  by  the  N. J.  Telephone  Herald  Company.   The  stories  so  delighted  the  children  that  the  author  has  yielded  to  the  request  to  issue  them  in  book  form.
Howard R. Garis

Three  Little  Trippertrots



    ONCE upon a time, not so very many years ago, there were two little boys, and a little girl, who lived with their papa and mamma in a house in a big city. One of the boys was named Tommy, and the other was called Johnny, and the little girl's name was Mary. Mary was seven years old, Tommy was six, and Johnny was the youngest of all, being only five years old. Now the children had a last name, which was the funny one of Trippertrot. They were called this because they were always tripping or trotting off somewhere or other.
    One day, when Tommy and Johnny and Mary were at play in their house, the telephone bell rang, and Suzette, the nurse maid, who had charge of the children, ran to answer it.
    "Who do you s'pose it is calling up?" asked Tommy of Johnny.
    "I don't know, maybe it's the milkman," answered Johnny.
    "Milkmen don't have time to talk on a telephone," said Mary. "But I know what let's do, Johnny and Tommy. Now that Suzette isn't here, let's go out for a walk. She won't see us."
    "Oh, goody! Let's do it!" cried Johnny and Tommy together, like twins, you know, only they weren't, of course. They jumped up very quickly, and followed Mary out of the house.
    Now, of course, that wasn't just the right thing to do--to go away when Suzette wasn't looking. But the Trippertrots didn't always do what was right, any more than do some children whom I know--but, of course, I don't mean any of you. Anyhow, the Trippertrots ran away, and I'm going to tell you what happened to them.
    "Which way shall we go?" asked Tommy, when they stood outside on the pavement.
    "Let's go off and see if we can find a fairy," suggested Mary.
    "No, don't do that," cried Johnny, "for we might meet a bad fairy, and she might turn us into an automobile with a honk-honk horn, or an elephant with a long nose, or something like that."
    "Well, if we're going to take a walk, we'd better hurry," said Mary. "Suzette will soon be back from the telephone, and she'll miss us, and come looking for us, and then we'll have to go in and have our faces and hands washed. Hurry up!"
    "I know what's the best thing to do," exclaimed Tommy. "We'll go down the street, where the toy store is, and get some things to play with."
    "But we haven't any money," said Johnny.
    "That doesn't make any difference," Tommy replied. "I mean we can look in the toy-store window and choose what things we'd like to have."
    "Oh, yes, that is fun!" agreed Johnny. "I heard a boy do that one day, and he choosed a whole train of cars and an engine."
    "But did he get them?" asked Mary.
    "No; but it was fun just the same. Come on."
    So down the street the Trippertrot children went, hand in hand, hurrying as fast as they could, and looking back every now and then to see if Suzette was following them. But she wasn't. Police Officer and Trippertrots
    And oh! what wonderful things those children saw as they ran along! An automobile nearly banged into a trolley car, and a dog just missed being run over by a peanut wagon, and he barked almost as loudly as a lion can roar when he's hungry for popcorn balls in the circus.
    Then the Trippertrots saw a man selling red and green and yellow balloons, and pink paper pinwheels. And pretty soon they turned a corner, and there was a lady wheeling two babies in the same carriage. What do you think of that? They were twins, you know.
    "Oh, aren't they cute babies!" exclaimed Mary. "Let's stop and look at them, boys."
    "No, we haven't time," said Johnny. "We've got to hurry down to that toy store, and choose things, or we won't be back in time for tea, and we'd be hungry if we missed that."
    So they hurried on faster and faster, still holding hands. They went past one store, in the windows of which were lots and lots of cakes, with pink and brown and white frosting on, and Johnny wanted to stop there and choose one, but Tommy hurried him on.
    Then they went around a corner where a Chinaman was ironing clothes right in the window of his shop, and past another place where a man was digging a big hole in the ground, and Mary nearly fell down in it, and she was very much frightened, only her brothers pulled her away from it just in time.
    Then, all of a sudden, a big automobile whizzed past, just as the Trippertrots were crossing the street, and a kind man called to the children:
    "Look out, little ones, or you'll get run over!" Then they ran as fast as they could run, and the man called after them: "Aren't you children lost?"
    "No, indeed, thank you," answered Tommy. "We're going to the toy store to choose presents."
    "All right," said the man, and he went on his way, laughing.
    A little while after that Tommy stubbed his toe and fell down. But do you suppose he cried? No, sir! not a bit of it. Not a single tear, though he wanted to very much.
    "But if I cry, and get my eyes full of water," he thought, "I might not be able to see in the toy-shop window to choose things. So I'm not going to cry."
    Then Mary and Johnny rubbed the sore place on Tommy's leg, and Mary kissed him, and the Trippertrots went on farther.
    Then, just as the postman blew his whistle, they came to the toy shop. Oh, I just wish you could have seen it! The window was full of toy trains, and toy elephants who could wiggle their heads and their trunks, and there were dolls, and steam engines, and rocking-horses, and camels, and lions, and tigers--not real, you know, only make-believe--so don't get frightened. And then there was an airship, with a thing in front that went around whizzy-izzy.
    "Oh, I'm going to choose that airship!" cried Johnny, as soon as he saw it.
    "No, it's Mary's turn first," said Tommy. "Ladies are always first, you know."
    "Oh, yes, of course. I forgot," admitted Johnny. "Go on, Mary, you choose."
    "Well," said Mary slowly, "I'll take the doll with the pink dress and the blue eyes."
    "Now I am going to take the airship!" cried Johnny eagerly.
    "And I want the big elephant that wiggles his nose," said Tommy. "Now it's your turn again, Mary."
    "I'll take the little brass bed for my doll," spoke the boys' sister.
    And so they went on. Well, those children just stood there, choosing all the pretty toys in the store window, until there were hardly any left. Only, you know, of course, that it was only make-believe, for they didn't really take the things away.
    Mary had just picked out a lovely doll carriage, and Tommy was going to take a small automobile with wheels that really went around, when, all of a sudden, the lady who kept the toy store came out on the sidewalk, and said:
    "I am afraid you children had better run home. You have been standing here for some time, and your mamma will worry about you, I'm sure. Run along, now, and take this," and she gave each of them a stick of nice candy.
    "Yes, I guess we had better go home," said Tommy. "Which way do we go, Johnny?"
    "Why, don't you know the way home, Tommy?" asked his brother.
    "No. Don't you?"
    "Not a bit of it!" answered Johnny, surprised like. "I am all turned around. Maybe Mary knows."
    "What!" exclaimed the little Trippertrot girl, "you boys don't mean to tell me you don't know where our house is, do you?"
    "I don't know," spoke Tommy.
    "And I'm sure I don't know," answered Johnny.
    "We don't either of us know," went on Tommy in a sad voice. "Do you know, Mary?" and he began to eat his candy.
    Mary shook her head. Then two tears came into her blue eyes. Then came still more tears, until they rolled from her cheeks, and splashed down on the sidewalk, like salty rain.
    "Oh, dear!" she cried. "If none of us knows where our home is we're lost! We can't ever find our house! What shall we do?"
    And there was no one there to tell the children what to do, for the toy-store lady had gone back into her shop and shut the door.
    Then, all of a sudden, along came a big, kind-looking policeman, with a blue coat covered with brass buttons. Tommy saw him first.
    "Oh! Oh!" exclaimed Tommy. "Run! Run! Here comes a policeman after us!"
    "Yes, and he may put us in jail!" said Johnny. "Run!" So he and Tommy started to run, but Mary caught hold of them.
    "Stop, you silly boys!" she cried. "Don't be afraid. Mamma always said that if ever we got lost we should go to a policeman right away. Now the policeman is coming to us, and that is much better; so it's all right."
    Then the nice big man with the brass buttons on his coat came closer, and Mary said to him:
    "Please, Mr. Policeman, we're the Trippertrot children, and we're lost. We don't know where our house is. Will you please find it for us?"
    "To be sure I will," answered the policeman, with a jolly smile. "Come along with me."