Speedwell Boys

The Speedwell Boys series is about boys who like to go very fast, whether it is in a submarine, power launch, automobiles, motorcycles, or ice racers.

This Stratemeyer Syndicate series was published under the pseudonym Roy Rockwood, the same pen name as a number of adventure stories like Bomba the Jungle Boy.

Blog Posts About the Speedwell Boys series:

Public Domain Day 2021

Thanks to a copyright extension introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and endorsed by Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA) in 1998 encouraged by big media companies including Disney, there was a 20 year delay in adding anything to the public domain. What had been a 75-year single term for works for hire became an innovation-stunting 95 […]

Anthony Comstock and Traps for the Young

Banned Book Week

The last week in September is considered to be Banned Book Week.  In 2019 this is Sept. 22-28. While you will see lists of many books that have been “challenged” or “censored” over the years, most of the time our juvenile series books are not listed. Yet, the librarians who wanted to impress fellow librarians, […]


Happy Birthday Edward Stratemeyer

Celebrating the life and career of Edward Stratemeyer on the 155th anniversary of his birthday.

Nancy Drew Radio spoof article

April Fool’s 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. […]

A pair of Tom Swift shoes.

Artifact — Tom Swift Shoes

Although there is no known connection with the books, Tom Swift Shoes were offered for sale at the same time as the Tom Swift Jr. books.

Hybrid Airship Inspirations: Santos-Dumont

Photographs and articles in popular science publications influenced the Syndicate stories. The Santos-Dumont No. 14bis seems to have made an impression on Stratemeyer, Garis, and their artists.

Examples of Wanderer series produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and Archway and Minstrel books produced by MegaBooks.

Ghostwriting in the Mega-Books era

With all of its secrets, more is known about the Stratemeyer Syndicate than is known about the book packager that followed them, Mega-Books, after Simon & Schuster bought the Syndicate.

tom swift airship

Combined Airplanes and Dirigible Balloons in Tom Swift

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 magazines and newspapers. […]

tom swift airship

The Red Cloud

Tom Swift invented many remarkable vehicles that carried him and his friends on their adventures. The Red Cloud was used in many of the early stories of the Tom Swift Sr. series.