In 1937 the Rare Book Department at the Library of Congress launched a surprising exhibit of what they called, "ephemeral literature" - these works were popularly known as "Dime Novels" and they were not simply the father of the modern comic book but also the father of one other form of popular literature:
"The roots of the American historical novel are sunk in the so-called dime novel - the first effort at popular fiction. It began with the stories based on the Revolutionary War, then historical fiction of incidents in the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the struggle for Cuban independence, which stated about that period."
"Time is the satirist in its recompense as in its revenge. Who of that youthful generation who read Dime Novels stealthily and by night, with expense of spirit and waste of shame, imagined that he would one day review his sins by broad daylight in the exhibition room of the New York Public Library? The thin volumes which were wont to lie so flat under pillows or slip so readily into pockets are now enshrined in glass case, and the yellow covers and inky pages which suffered such persistent search and seizure and were burnt so freely as literary garbage are now gathered and appraised as prizes of the bibliophile."
Although the dime novel was in full swing as a popular form of mass literature in 1900, the journalist titled this article as he did because the genre was undergoing so many changes at the time, departing from it's original format. A short history of the dime novel is provided with an emphasis on it's "classic period" spanning the years 1860 through 1870:
Some references are also made to the work of the Beadle and Adams bookkeeper, George Munro, who completely changed the direction of the dime novel when he took up the pen in 1865.