One of Edward Stratemeyer‘s favorite authors as a youth was Horatio Alger, Jr. Late in the elder author’s life, the two men corresponded and helped each other where they could. Alger provided stories for publications that Stratemeyer edited and Stratemeyer helped with some publisher arrangements. Stratemeyer also wrote / completed / edited 11 stories as Horatio Alger Jr. in addition to writing books of an Alger theme himself.
Although Alger’s stories are sometimes thought of as “series books,” there is not a lot of cases where a character appears in multiple volumes. Usually they were published in publisher libraries with similar binding and branding to assist with sales. Sometimes the protagonist from one book will make a cameo appearance in the next book to provide some help or advice to the hero of the second book.
The Boys of Business series had elements of the Alger “success” story and this feature of the characters from one story helping the characters of the next volume.
This series was begun in 1906 in the initial wave of Stratemeyer Syndicate volumes for Cupples & Leon. As such, the first printing of the first volume did not have a circle around the publisher’s name on the spine. They were published with the pen name of Allen Chapman.
After the first four volumes were published, they were reissued with the fifth volume as the Boys of Pluck series.
In 1917 Cupples & Leon reissued the books in the Boys’ Pocket Library. The titles were swapped with the subtitles of the books.
A few years later the printing plates and publishing rights went to Goldsmith for cheap dime store reprints on pulp paper. By this point, it was no longer a Stratemeyer Syndicate property. The yellow jacket in the image below is of this type.
This is a relatively little-known Stratemeyer Syndicate series.
1. The Young Express Agent; or, Bart Stirling’s Road to Success (1906)
2. Two Boy Publishers; or, From Typecase to Editor’s Chair (1906)
3. Mail-Order Frank; or, a Smart Boy and His Chances (1907)
4. A Business Boy; or, Winning Success (1908)
5. The Young Land Agent; or, the Secret of the Borden Estate (1911)
The 1930 Goldsmith reprints used many of the subtitles as the foretitles:
1. Bart Stirling’s Road to Success; or, the Young Express Agent
2. Working Hard to Win; or, Adventures of Two Boy Publishers
3. Bound to Succeed; or, Mail-Order Frank’s Chances
4. The Young Storekeeper; or, a Business Boy’s Pluck
5. Nat Borden’s Find; or, the Young Land Agent