Not many people today are familiar with Frank Reade Jr. He made his debut in the story "Frank Reade And His Steamman Of The Plains" in 1876. The story was an imitation of an earlier novel, "The Steamman of the Plains", which was published in 1868 (That story, btw, was the first US Science Fiction dime novel).
Frank Reade's adventures included his inventions that included airships, both of the dirigible balloon and helicopter type, submersibles, steam-driven and electrical vehicles and steam powered robots.
Now, Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, authors of "Boilerplate", have released "Frank Reade: Adventures In the Age Of Invention".
Here's the book description: Before Jules Verne’s flying machines and H. G. Wells’s spaceships, there was Frank Reade, globe-trotting inventor and original steampunk hero. Frank Reade magazines were the world’s first science fiction periodicals, enthralling millions of readers with tales of fantastic inventions and adventures. Now many of the spectacular images from the vintage dime novel series are being reprinted for the first time in more than a century, along with excerpts from the action-packed stories. In Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention, this lost legacy of Americana is interwoven with a biography of the "real" Reade family—inventors and explorers who traveled the world with their helicopter airships, submarines, and robots, and who encountered figures like Geronimo and Houdini. This epic saga is brought to life in the multimedia style of the authors’ previous volume, the critically acclaimed Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel. Frank Reade is part–science fiction, part–alternate history, and entirely exciting!
The author's drew inspiration from Philip Jose Farmer's "Tarzan Alive" and "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life", treating Frank Reade, and his family, as actual historical people.
And, here's the trailer for the book: