24 Palmer St. was the address where Edward Stratemeyer wrote his first fictional works. Our press takes its name from that location in honor of Stratemeyer. If he had not written Victor Horton’s Idea and other early stories, we would probably not have Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys to influence generations.
Edward Stratemeyer was one of the most influential writers for young people of the Twentieth Century. However, his name is little known today because even among the 160 books he wrote, his name appeared on only several dozen volumes.
His most popular series to use his own name was the Dave Porter series (1905-1919) of 15 volumes which was reprinted in popular editions for at least another decade after the last new volume was published. Even more successful was his Rover Boys series (1899-1926) of 30 volumes published under the “Arthur M. Winfield” pseudonym.
Stratemeyer is better known for establishing the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1905. This is essentially what would be called a “book packager” today. The organization arranged with publishers to issue new series with volumes written by ghostwriters from outlines crafted by the Syndicate, either Edward Stratemeyer or later his daughters, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Edna Camilla Stratemeyer (Squier). Between 1905 and 1985 the Stratemeyer Syndicate produced some 1,400 series book volumes. This includes Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins, among others.
Edward was a very astute creator of stories and ideas for stories. He had a good sense of what would interest both his publishers and readers. A great many of his series were successful, selling the requisite thousands and tens of thousands of copies needed to make them profitable. Of course some series did not achieve the desired success and were soon discontinued.
Now, some 150 years after his birth (October 4, 1862), 24 Palmer Street Press is pleased to issue several early and scarce stories personally written by Edward Stratemeyer in book form for the first time. This effort makes these stories available to readers and scholars that are either very difficult to find in their periodical form or ones that exist only in manuscript. We also plan to reprint some very scarce Stratemeyer books in this series.
For an author who was responsible for creating books read by millions of children, it seems fitting that his own work be made available, including some of his early and scarce material.