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

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Edward Stratemeyer graduated from high school in June 1879 when he was 16.

Stratemeyer Graduates

May and June are traditional graduation months for universities and high schools.  At the time of his high school graduation on Thursday June 26, 1879, Edward Stratemeyer was attending Public School No. 3 on High Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  It was a few blocks from the Stratemeyer family home at 24 Palmer Street. While […]

Henry Julius Stratemeyer standing in front of his cigar and tobacco store at 212 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Happy Father’s Day, Henry Julius Stratemeyer

My discovery of Stratemeyer Syndicate series began with the original Tom Swift series and my father.  On our family bookcase were six or eight of these books from the 1920s and two of them had the paper dust jackets.  I became interested when I was about eight years of age in 1975 and I remember […]

Yellowback Library #155 (May 1997).

April Fools Articles in Series Book Magazines

It is April 1 again and time for each amazing claim placed before you to be treated with more scrutiny than usual. Some series book fans like to play the April Fool’s Day game and have submitted articles to series book magazines that have misled some collectors to look for books that do not exist. […]

The work of a motion picture camera operator was sometimes dangerous.

Edward Stratemeyer’s New York City

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 […]

Hose-Drawn Fire Wagon

1891 Christmas story by Stratemeyer

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. […]

Small publisher-printed brochures like this were sent out around Thanksgiving to stimulate holiday sales of series books.

Artifact—Holiday Bookselling

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 […]


Terminology Tuesday

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 […]

A preliminary sketch for Tom Swift and His Rocket Ship that was not selected for final illustration by George Barr.

Artwork—Ken Barr illustrates Tom Swift

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 […]

31 Broad Street at the corner of Washington was the location of Maurice Stratemeyer's music shop shown in this 1889 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.

Location—31 Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ

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 […]

"Victor Appleton II" signature in a presentation to a Syndicate consultant in 1966.

Series Book Autographs

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 […]


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