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Edward Stratemeyer lived for most of his professional life in Newark, New Jersey. Most of his publishers had offices in nearby New York City. As Horatio Alger Jr. had before him, many of Edward’s stories featured detailed descriptions of the metropolis. Unlike the made-up small towns used in the books, there was a great probability […]
Among the least-known form of Edward Stratemeyer’s writings are his short stories for newspapers, especially the Newark Sunday Call. This weekly from his home town ran a group of stories by Stratemeyer that were timed and themed to the holidays of the year. With only a local audience in mind, locations known to Newark-area readers were included. […]
Both the publishers and Edward Stratemeyer knew that the biggest sales for juvenile series books occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To help ensure that young readers and adult buyers of the books were thinking of his products, he worked with the publishers to print small folded brochures that listed the books written by Edward and […]
Like any field with complexity and sophistication, the people who read, collect, and research juvenile series books from the Stratemeyer Syndicate and other people and groups have developed specialized terms. For the person who is new to the community, this jargon can be confusing and even intimidating. Learning the meaning of these words can help […]
After 33 successful hardcover titles were published in the Tom Swift Jr. series by Grosset & Dunlap between 1954 and 1971, there were two paperback editions offered. The first group of four from 1974 were large digest-size paperbacks. New cover art was made but the original printing plates were used, complete with the Graham Kaye illustrations […]
One of the persistent myths about Edward Stratemeyer is that he wrote his first long professional story, “Victor Horton’s Idea,” while clerking in a relative’s shop in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is said to have found some idle time and took wrapping paper from a roll and wrote his story in pencil to be sent […]
When collecting modern first printings, the typical desire is to obtain a first printing of a book in fine condition that is signed by the author. Sometimes these copies are the only ones that will sell at all. With juvenile series books, this is usually not possible because there were relatively few occasions to meet […]
The Bobbsey Twins was one of the longest-running series produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The first volume was personally written by Edward Stratemeyer and was published in 1904. It was not a big seller. Undeterred, two additional titles were added in 1907, the product of a ghostwriter, Lilian C. Garis, working from Stratemeyer’s outlines. These also did […]
Tom Swift was among the Syndicate’s most successful creations. The first series was forty volumes published between 1910 and 1941 and featured a young inventor of Shopton, New York, who made airships and other gadgets and these were instrumentals in adventures around the world. The inventive genius ran in the family. Tom inherited it from his […]
When series books were published, it was expected that thousands of copies would be printed and sold. The lead-based type metal (actually lead, tin and antimony) was too soft and heavy for a page’s worth of type. The electrotype printing plate was one of two main methods used to make plates for books (and other […]