Dedicated to the legacy of Edward Stratemeyer, author & founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate

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Edward Stratemeyer, author and founder of the Syndicate

The Stratemeyer Syndicate

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Example of a copper-clad electrotype printing plate used for The Clue of the Rusty Key (©1942) in the Dana Girls series.  The plate has a copper printing surface and a heavy backing metal (overall 1 lb.).

Artifact—Dana Girls electrotype printing plate

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 […]


Hybrid Airship Inspirations: Santos-Dumont

As written previously, this novel combination aircraft was not without a real-life precedent. Most of the inventions in the Tom Swift series are enhancements of real inventions. Although the design was not ultimately successful, the combined aeroplane-dirigibile balloon was an area of interest for several inventors. It is difficult to know precisely which publications were […]

Examples of 1980s and 1990s Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books produced by the Syndicate (left) and afterward.

Ghostwriting in the Mega-Books era

A recent article in The Atlantic gives some interesting perspectives on the role of ghostwriting the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew in the era immediately after the Stratemeyer Syndicate was sold to Simon & Schuster in 1984.   When the Stratemeyer Syndicate was a separate entity, they supplied the outlines to ghostwriters, edited the stories, and submitted […]


Tom Swift’s Combined Aeroplane-Dirigible Balloons

To the modern reader used to visualizing the frail pioneering aircraft of the Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and others, the Red Cloud from the Tom Swift series seems utterly fantastic — the stuff of science fiction. However, as was often the case, the descriptions were not pure fantasy but rather extensions of concepts and inventions described in […]

Two "Chester K. Steele" mysteries by Howard R. Garis, The Golf Course Mystery (1919) and The Diamond Cross Mystery (1918).

Early Stratemeyer Mysteries

If Edward Stratemeyer is known today, it is as the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate and the creator of their longest-lasting and most famous series, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  For many readers and collectors, mystery stories similar to these are their primary interest.  The Syndicate had many types of series, including outdoor, school, sports, career, […]


The Red Cloud

The third volume in the Tom Swift series describes the first of several aircraft owned and flown by the young inventor. The Red Cloud was a large and versatile craft and was featured in several of the early adventures until it was destroyed in the caves of ice. The initial plans for the Red Cloud […]

An advertisement that appeared on some Don Sturdy books with an illustration of Tom Swift tinkering on some small piece of machinery.  It also expresses the aims for the series.

How Tom Swift Invented Everything

For the readers of the Tom Swift Sr. books who have seen many parallels of the inventions from Shopton, N.Y. and those from the pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics and the rest of everyday life, there is almost no question that Tom Swift invented everything of consequence. In reality, the Tom Swift Sr. volumes popularized […]


Nancy Drew Myth Busting

There is an unfortunate amount of false information about Edward Stratemeyer, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, and Nancy Drew, both in print and online.  As these legends are repeated, they take on a semblance of truth that is undeserved. This piece, called “The Nancy Drew Mythtery Stories,” was made at the 2007 Nancy Drew Conference at Wilson […]


Stratemeyer Syndicate 101; or, Where did all of those books come from?

This page on the Stratemeyer Syndicate was adapted from a presentation given to the 100th Anniversary Tom Swift Convention we hosted in San Diego in July 2010.  Its goal is to provide an historical overview of the Syndicate using information interpreted from findings in the Stratemeyer Syndicate Records Collection at NYPL and other respected sources. Keep […]


Happy Mother’s Day, Anna Siegel Stratemeyer

While we are beginning to understand the scope of Edward Stratemeyer’s contributions to the massively popular books read by millions of children spanning more than 120 years, it seems fitting for Mother’s Day to remember Edward’s mother, Anna Siegel Stratemeyer. She was born in Bremen, Germany on October 28, 1828.  Her first husband was the […]


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