Edward Stratemeyer‘s first amateur printing in the mid-1870s attempted to replicate the larger story papers he read.  In the 1880s he returned to this field with a semi-professional story paper called Our American Boys that lasted for three issues at the beginning of 1883.

His first stories were published in story papers like Golden Days (James Elverson, Philadelphia), Argosy (Frank A. Munsey, New York), and Good News and Street & Smith’s New York Weekly (Street & Smith, New York).  On occasion he was an associate editor of some of these publications.

Cover of issue 3 of Bright Days.

In 1896-1897 Stratemeyer had his own story paper called Bright Days that was issued monthly and later on a more frequent basis.  The story contained reprints or first-publications of several of his short stories and serial stories.

The typefaces used for the headings and story titles gave Bright Days a distinctive look.

The wide typeface used for many story titles and in some of the ads was called Unique Celtic and was designed for MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan Company of Philadelphia.  It was later distributed by the American Type Foundry, an amalgamation of several independent type foundries.

Unique Celtic typeface from two type specimen books, 1892 and 1896.

On many of the story titles and the ads there is a second narrower typeface that is used.  It is also used for the date and volume-issue information at the top of the cover.  This one was more elusive and a thanks must be extended to Sean O’Reilly of the Letterpress group on Facebook who provided a lead to specimen books by Palmer & Rey of San Francisco and Portland.

Obelisk typeface from the Palmer & Rey type specimen book of 1887.

Several of these typefaces were used on the ads in the issue.

Back cover ad page from issue 3 of Bright Days, 1896.

Another typeface used for headers is Rubens.  Visitors to the Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will recognize it as the main font used for the posters and signage.

The available computer fonts called either Rubens or Ravenscroft are close to the vintage design of the Rubens typeface but there are often small differences.  For example, Ravenscroft has the correct shape for the capital-M but the capital-W is merely an inversion of the shape rather than the shape of the original typeface design.

Page 31 with ads from issue 3 of Bright Days, 1896.
Rubens typeface from Palmer & Rey type specimen book, 1887.

Most of the body text appears to be DeVinne, the same typeface used for older Nancy Drew books published by Grosset & Dunlap and discussed in this post.