by Dennis E. Power
(with much assistance from Matthew Baugh, Win Eckert and Chuck Loridans)



   Frank Griffin differed from his brothers in many ways, he was the only of the three not to suffer from driven ambition, the only not to become an invisible man and he was the only one not to attend Rugby. Due to financial reasons, John Stuart Griffin was forced to make a decision that only one of his brothers be allowed to attend Rugby school (1), the other would go to the less expensive yet still academically sound Brookfield.(2)

    Frank volunteered to go to Brookfield and by doing so set in motion events that would further tie his family's destiny to the invisibility formula. At Brookfield, Frank met and became fast friends with Michael and Geoffrey Radcliffe, scions of a wealthy and landed family. Since Frank had no home life to speak of once his mother had died, Geoffrey invited him to his home for the holidays.

    At the time the Radcliffe family was led by Philip Radcliffe, the nephew of Phoebe Radcliffe, who had been Frank's grandmother. Philip was quite a bit more egalitarian than his grandfather had been. He accepted Frank Griffin as a family member and attempted to reach out to John and Robert Griffin. However, John wanted nothing to do with the Radcliffe family. He still rankled over the treatment his father and grandfather had gotten. Robert followed his eldest brother's lead. Frank's continued involvement with the Radcliffes caused a rift between he and his brothers.

    Upon graduating from Brookfield, Frank Griffin entered Oxford with Geoffrey Radcliffe. His tuition was paid by scholarship supplemented by Philip Radcliffe. He studied chemistry and later medicine. While at Oxford he was introduced to a fellow student Willard Morthley, an American, Willard in turn introduced Frank to his sister, Katherine who had also come to England for an education. While Frank was in Edinburgh University's medical school, they married. After finishing medical school Frank's hopes for a career as a medical researcher were almost crushed for 1922 was also the same year that Frank's brother Jack became notorious as the Invisible Man.

    Michael and Geoffrey Radcliffe came up with an interesting proposal. If Frank would take the position as physician on call at the Radcliffe Mines and would also use his chemical and research knowledge to devise medical and other uses for coal and petroleum products he could have a research lab at Radcliffe Mines. Frank agreed. In 1923, Dr. Cranley approached Frank Griffin with some startling news and a set of proposals. Flora Cranley had borne John's son but could not bear to raise it; the scandal and the constant reminder of her grief were just too much for her mental state. Cranley wished for Frank to adopt the baby and claim that it was his own. This was not as difficult as would be supposed since; Katherine had gone to America for six months to take care of some family business and had just returned. To help provide for the child Cranley told Frank he would sell his lucrative Cranley Preservatives for lower than market value price, however he and Flora would have to remain as shareholders.

    Geoffrey Radcliffe brokered the deal. Michael, Geoffrey, Frank Griffin and Dr. and Flora Cranley became partners in the newly formed Radcliffe Preservatives Inc. Michael and Geoffrey sold their shares to their family business Radcliffe Industries, so Radcliffe Preservatives became a subsidiary of Radcliffe Industries.

    Philip Radcliffe died in 1930 and his son Michael took over the business. Philip's cousin and a shareholder in Radcliffe Industries, Richard Cobb was made Chief Financial Officer. By this time Geoffrey Radcliffe had met and fallen in love with beautiful Helen Manson. Unfortunately, Richard Cobb also conceived of a passion for Helen. In late 1930, Richard Cobb murdered Michael Radcliffe. Michael and Geoffrey were inspecting a minor cave-in at one of the mine's shafts. Richard Cobb arranged for Geoffrey to be momentarily called away. Richard had been hiding in the mine; he hit Michael with a wrench and shoved him down the shaft.

    Geoffrey was accused and then convicted of having killed his brother. Even though every legal option was exhausted Geoffrey was sentenced to death. Although since they heavily relied upon good old Richard for his influence and legal aid, it may be that his defense was not all that it could have been. By 1931 two hours before Geoffrey was to executed, Dr. Frank Griffin visited him. Geoffrey went off to the side to use the urinal. Dr. Griffin left. The guards found Geoffrey's clothes in a heap before the urinal.

    The word was released that Geoffrey had escaped. Geoffrey found a suitcase of clothes that Frank had left for him hidden in the woods near the prison. Geoffrey and Helen Manson went to a small cottage owned by the Radcliffe's. The caretaker's believed that a patient of Dr. Griffin's was staying for convalescence. Helen told him that the patient had been terribly hurt and so would be wrapped up.

    Frank had injected Geoffrey with an invisibility serum derived from Jack Griffin's serum. He had distilled the monocaine in an attempt to reduce its production of toxins, the distillate was known as duocaine. The serum still increased production of certain hormones, which resulted in an odd subtle scent which animals could sense. The caretaker's dog would not stop barking at Geoffrey. The constant barking got on Geoffrey's nerves. Geoffrey Radcliffe demonstrated a quick temper, which was an early stage of the invisibility psychosis. The barking dog eventually drew the attention of the police, which caused Geoffrey to flee from the cottage. Helen returned to the Radcliffe Manor

    Upon hearing the Griffin name in connection with Geoffrey Radcliffe's sudden disappearance Inspector Simpson of Scotland Yard immediately made the deduction that Dr. Griffin had made Geoffrey invisible. He visited Dr. Griffin at his laboratory and apprised him of the fact. He made it clear that if an invisible monster killed, a doctor would hang.

    Griffin tested an antidote on an invisible guinea pig. The guinea pig became visible but died immediately afterward. Geoffrey Radcliffe visited Dr. Griffin shortly thereafter. Griffin informed him that the police knew he is invisible. Griffin told Geoffrey that the search for a cure was going very well and took a blood sample. He knew it was important that Geoffrey be kept calm.

    As Dr. Frank Griffin was talking with Geoffrey, Willie Spears the newly appointed production superintendent demanded to speak with Dr. Griffin. Spears was quite intoxicated. He told Dr. Griffin to mind his own business and not to interfere with the mine's operation. Mr. Cobb would soon be getting rid of the safety regulations and the research laboratory. Geoffrey Radcliffe was shocked that a drunken night watchman had been put in a position of such responsibility. He decided to follow Spears and hitched a ride in his car. Standing on the running board, he pulled open the hood and detached the carburetor wires, which caused the car to stop. He did this twice, spooking Spear. Jumping from the stalled car Spears dashed for the woods. Geoffrey Radcliffe told Spears that he was the ghost of Geoffrey Radcliffe. Willie Spears was frightened and confessed that he saw Cobb kill Michael. He promised to go the police. Spears hurried to his home and started packing. After watching this for a few moments Geoffrey Radcliffe angrily punched Spears and tied him up.

    Geoffrey Radcliffe went to Radcliffe Manor to get a confession out of Richard Cobb. Richard had been pressuring Helen to tell where Geoffrey was at so that he could be helped. She had refused. When Cobb was alone, Geoffrey attempted to get Richard to sign a confession. Richard threw a paperweight at the chair where Geoffrey sat rocking. Cobb pulled out a gun and began blasting away. Richard Cobb ran down the steps and was greeted by Inspector Simpson and a group of police.

    Something about Cobb's manner made Simpson suspicious but his job was to capture Geoffrey Radcliffe. Police surrounded the estate. It was raining and the rain pouring on Geoffrey would have made him ghostly visible. Geoffrey is chased from the garden house back into the main house. The police are conducting a through search using smoke machines and wearing gas masks. Geoffrey manages to grab a policeman and over power him. He steals his clothes and gas mask and ties him up. Helen pretends to have been overcome by the smoke and Geoffrey disguised as a police officer carries her out of the house.

    Geoffrey sneaked over to Frank Griffin's house, where Frank and Helen were having dinner as the watchful eyes of the police watched the house. During the meal Geoffrey began exhibiting delusions of grandeur. Frank Griffin drugged him and handcuffed him to a chair. Geoffrey feigned extreme dryness and asked for a glass of water. He splashed it in Frank's face, over powered him and got the handcuff key. He escaped. The commotion in the house brought in the police.

    Geoffrey Radcliffe returned to Radcliffe Manor. Richard Cobb slept with a gun next to his hand. Geoffrey picked up the gun and made Richard leave the room. Geoffrey was forced to knock out the guard to Richard's room and then trick the one downstairs. Geoffrey Radcliffe and Richard go to Willie Spears house. Willie was standing on a chair, a noose around his neck.

    At Geoffrey's prompting Spears confessed that he saw Cobb kill Michael. Cobb kicked the chair out from Spears. As Geoffrey tried to save Spears, Cobb jumped on Radcliffe. They fought and brought a crowd. Richard took advantage of the crowd to escape. Geoffrey chased after him gripped by the madness. He chased Cobb to the Radcliffe mines and up an ore train. Although the police arrived on the scene and shot at Geoffrey, Richard Cobb was still dumped out of a train to fall a great distance and land among a pile of ore. Dying he confessed to killing Michael.

    Geoffrey had fled the scene. Shot and going into shock, he took the clothes off of a scarecrow and stumbled back to the mine offices. Dying from excessive blood loss and internal hemorrhaging Geoffrey needed immediate transfusions to stay alive. The new blood brought him back to visibility, allowing Dr. Frank Griffin to operate and save Geoffrey's life. However the transfusion was not a permanent solution for as Geoffrey's own blood began to renew itself, he became invisible again. Dr. Frank Griffin hit upon the idea of filtering Geoffrey's blood that proved most effective. (3)

    In early 1933 a Dr. Peter Drury took a position as a researcher with Dr. Frank Griffin. He worked at Radcliffe Mines only briefly, a little over a year. Dr. Griffin would not have normally hired a man whom he had not been familiar with his work or background but Dr. Drury had been hired with the recommendation of Dr. Griffin's estranged brother, Robert. It was not discovered until some time later that when Dr. Peter Drury had left Radcliffe Industries he took along copies of Dr. Griffin's notes and a sample of the invisibility formula.

  Click here for a Griffin family tree graphic



1. Rugby was of course the public school featured in Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes and also the school where Sir Harry Flashman received his education.

2. Brookfield is the public school featured in Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton.

3. Frank Griffin involvement with Geoffrey Radcliffe's episode of invisibility is recounted in The Invisible Man Returns. Universal, 1940

Invisibles Timeline
1897 Invisible Man by H.G. Well (John Hawley Griffin. OIM Original Invisible Man)
1898 League of Extraordinary Men (John Hawley Griffin)
1922 Invisible Man (John (Jack) Griffin)
1929 Invisible Murderer with William Carpenter as the Invisible Man
1931 Invisible Man's Return (Frank Griffin----- with Geoffrey Radcliffe as the IM
1935 Invisible Man's Revenge  (Robert Griffin) the IM
1938 Invisible Woman (Kitty Caroll)
1942 (twenty years after Invisible Man) Invisible Agent (Frank Griffin a.k.a. Frank Raymond)
1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Geoffrey Radcliffe IM)
1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (Tommy Nelson IM)
1966 Invisibility Affair Willard Morthley and Kerry Griffin inventors of the OTSMID (Omnidirectional Total Spectrum Molecular Interpenetration Device) which can render objects invisible
1974 Daniel Westin  becomes an Invisible Man
1998 Darien Fawkes surgically implanted with quicksilver gland to become an Invisible Man
1999 Sebastian Caine has a brief and deadly career as an Invisible Man as seen in The Hollow Man

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