Series Books-Edward Stratemeyer

"Write" Off the Assembly Line

Cover of Shorthand Tom the Reporter

By Edward Stratemeyer, Grosset and Dunlap, 1903

Writer-entrepreneur Edward Stratemeyer was the singular mastermind behind an impressive array of American juvenile fiction series, generating a number of all-time best sellers. Between 1910 and 1930, his Stratemeyer Syndicate employed an army of ghostwriters, editors, and stenographers dedicated to turning out "slam-bang," 50-cent tales of the youthful adventures of the Rover Boys, Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew.

Stratemeyer amassed a fortune by marrying the fast-paced, character-driven storytelling of his mentor, Horatio Alger, Jr., with the assembly-line production techniques of his other lifelong hero, Henry Ford. (One Syndicate veteran referred to the exacting, formula-based writing process as "fitting the pipes.") High-minded librarians shunned the Syndicate's standard-issue chapter books as subliterary and "cheap," but a 1926 American Library Association survey of 36,000 young people told a different story: fully 98% of respondents placed a Stratemeyer title at the top of their list of all-time favorite books.

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Cover of Ragged Dick or Street Life in New York with the Boot-blacks

By Horatio Alger Jr., Pennsylvania, 1895

Ragged Dick

Written by Horatio Alger Jr.



Cover of Der Schatz im Silbersee

By Karl May, Karl-May-Verlag, 1952

Der Schatz im Silbersee

Written by Karl May


Edward Stratemeyer

Syndicate Response to Fan Mail


Other titles by Edward Stratemeyer

How Children Get Their Books
Series Books-Edward Stratemeyer