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The criminal known as Public Domain was a confidence trickster who operated in and around Dick Tracy's city. He had dark hair, almond-shaped eyes, and a flat, wide nose.

Public Domain arranged for Silver Nitrate and his sister Sprocket to escape from police custody as they were transferred from one facility to another. The Nitrates were then brought to Domain, where he attempted to recruit them into his current criminal scheme.

Domain contacted the wealthy Bea Thorndike, who was known to have an interest in historical relics, particularly those relating to US President Abraham Lincoln. Domain dispatched Silver Nitrate (in disguise) to convince Bea that they were in possession of a long-rumored wax cylinder recording of Lincoln's voice.

Thorndike provided Nitrate with the agreed-upon amount of money. Nitrate then abandoned Domain's plans and prepared to flee with Sprocket. Thorndike informed Dick Tracy about Domain's involvement in the scheme, and Domain was arrested. Silver Nitrate was later apprehended as well, though Sprocket Nitrate escaped.


  • "Public Domain" is a legal term that relates to creative works. Once the copyright on a work (i.e. song, film, or other published material) has expired, that work enters the public domain and may therefore be used and reproduced without paying a royalty or license fee to the original producers.