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


Ralph of the Railroad covers

The Ralph of the Railroad series was the Stratemeyer Syndicate’s first series produced under the Syndicate method. The first ghostwriter, Weldon J. Cobb, was advised to consult a series of articles that were published in McClure’s Magazine.

The Railroad series (aka Ralph of the Railroad).

Once Edward Stratemeyer decided to formalize the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1905, he began to use the elements that would define its operation.

He would contract with a publisher to produce and provide a series.

He would propose titles that would be approved by the publisher.

From the selected titles, he would create outlines to provide to a writer.

When the manuscript was turned in, he would read the MS, approve it, pay the writer, and then forward to the publisher.

The first series so produced was the Ralph series about a young man working his way up in the railroad field.

Stratemeyer suggested to the writer of the early volumes, Weldon J. Cobb, that he look at a series of articles that ran in McClure’s Magazine.

The first two volumes were published by Mershon and Chatterton-Peck. Reprints of these and the rest of the series were published by Grosset & Dunlap.

A 4-in-1 volume was published containing the first four books in the series.

1. Ralph of the Round House (Mershon, 1906)
2. Ralph in the Switch Tower (Chatterton-Peck, 1907)
3. Ralph on the Engine (Grosset & Dunlap, 1909)
4. Ralph on the Overland Express (Grosset & Dunlap, 1910)
5. Ralph the Train Dispatcher (Grosset & Dunlap, 1911)
6. Ralph on the Army Train (Grosset & Dunlap, 1918)
7. Ralph on the Midnight Flyer (Grosset & Dunlap, 1923)
8. Ralph and the Missing Mail Pouch (Grosset & Dunlap, 1924)
9. Ralph on the Mountain Division (Grosset & Dunlap, 1927)
10. Ralph and the Train Wreckers (Grosset & Dunlap, 1928)

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