Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy birthday, Edward Stratemeyer.

Edward Stratemeyer, creator of the Stratemeyer Syndicate that gave us Tom Swift (who bears some similarity to aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss), the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and many other books with adventurous young people, was born today in 1862. A list of some of the syndicate pseudonyms follows at the bottom of this post.*

Stratemeyer began his career at the dime novel publisher Street & Smith as a writer and editor, creating the popular "Rover Boys" series in 1899. He began the syndicate in 1905, figuring out that "house names" plus armies of ghostwriters could spell profit. Peak periods for the syndicate were between 1912 and 1917 and 1922 and 1927, when it was producing approximately 50 series. Stratemeyer died in 1930, and the syndicate was taken over by his daughters, Harriet Adams and Edna Squier, and in time by Adams alone. Gradually, only the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew remained and were sold to Simon & Schuster after Adams's death in 1982. The syndicate records are now found in the New York Public Library.

*Nick Carter; Alice B. Emerson; Franklin W. Dixon; Mabel C. Hawley; Carolyn Keene, Arthur M. Winfield; Ralph Bonehill; Manager Henry Abbott; Horatio Alger, Jr.; Philip A. Alyer; P. T. Barnum, Jr.; Theodore Barnum; Emerson Bell; Captain Ralph Bonehill; Franklin Calkins; Louis Charles; Jim Daly; Theodore Edison; Julia Edwards; Albert Lee Ford; Ralph Hamilton; Hal Harkaway; Harvey Hicks; Captain Lew James; Peter Pad; Ned St. Meyer; E. Ward Strayer; Ed Ward; Tom Ward; Edna Winfield; Nat Woods; Oliver Optic; Clarence Young; Roy Rockwood

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