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1903-11 The Popular
1933-11 Nick Carter
1906-08 Smith's Magazine
1933-12 Pete Rice
1916-05 Detective Story
1936-03 Love Story
1931-03 Detective Story
1938-07 Crime Busters
1932-07 The Shadow
1955-02 Air Trails
1933-03 Doc Savage
1959-04 Charm Magazine








































Street & Smith was founded by Francis Scott Street (October 20, 1831 - April 15, 1883) and Francis Shubael Smith (December 29, 1819 - February 1, 1887). They both worked at a newspaper, The New York Weekly Dispatch, until 1855 when they joined in partnership to buy the company from the owner for a loan of $40,000. When the loan was repaid in 1859 the name of the newspaper was changed to Street & Smith's New York Weekly. It featured serialized stories, many of which were written by Francis S. Smith.

In 1880 they began to produce affordable paperback books that reprinted their previously-published serialized stories as Dime Novels, such as The Burt L. Standish Library, The Log Cabin Library, and The Nugget Library.

In 1891 Street & Smith introduced the first Dime Novels that only contained stories about a single heroic character, such as Nick Carter, Diamond Dick, Deadeye Dick, Horatio Alger, Buffalo Bill, and Frank Merriwell.

In 1896 Street & Smith introduced another innovation, the first color covers on Dime Novels. This was so successful that every publisher in the industry soon followed their example.

When Francis S. Street died in 1883 at the age of fifty-two, his interest in the company, which was estimated at more than $1,000,000, was sold to Francis S. Smith.

In 1887, when Francis S. Smith died at the age of sixty-eight, his youngest son, Ormand Gerald Smith (1860-1933), who had graduated from Harvard (Class of 1874), took control of the company, while his older brother George Campbell Smith (1858-1933) became vice-president.

In 1898 Ormand G. Smith hired seventeen-year-old Henry William (Rothstein) Ralston (November 8, 1881 - November 18, 1968), who stayed with the company and eventually became vice-president.

In the 1890s Frank A. Munsey (1854-1925) was producing the first pulp magazine, The Argosy, and the eventual success of this new format revolutionized the publishing industry.

In 1898 Street & Smith bought Ainslee's Magazine from Howard, Ainslee & Company. After taking over production their first issue was dated January 1899. In 1903 Street & Smith produced it's first pulp magazine, The Popular, the success of which led the company to produce Tip Top Weekly, New Nick Carter Weekly, and Top-Notch Magazine.

In 1905 the company bought a seven-story building at 79 Seventh Avenue, on the corner of 14th Street. Their new "Fiction Factory" had printing presses on the second floor, which ran twenty-four hours a day, and where William "Pop" Hines (-) ran the Art Room.

By 1915 Dime Novels began to lose their audience to silent film cliffhangers, such as "The Hazards of Helen" and "The Perils of Pauline," so materials that would have appeared in The Frank Merriwell Weekly were instead used in a new pulp magazine, Detective Story, most issues of which had covers painted by John F. Coughlin.

In 1919 Street & Smith produced The Thrill Book, the first eight issues of which were edited by Harold Hersey.

In 1923 the company began to produce Sport Story Magazine, which became their longest running pulp magazine.

In 1925 Street & Smith still offered a wide selection of Dime Novels, but thie pulp division had grown to be their major production.

In 1926 Street & Smith bought Wild West Weekly from the Tousey Publishing Company, which was founded by Frank Tousey (1853-1902), who was the nephew of Sinclair Tousey (1815-1887), the founder of ANC, which had monopoly control over American distribution of periodicals.

During the 1920s Street & Smith produced Detective Story Magazine, Love Story, Sea Stories, Wild West Weekly, Western Story, Top-Notch, Complete Stories, Top-Notch, The Popular, and Picture-Play Magazine.

In 1928 the company sent a promotional letter to retailers that described their production of pulp magazines as well as paperbacks and cloth-bound books.

Ormand G. Smith died at the age of 73 on April 17, 1933. Eleven days later, his brother George Campbell Smith died at the age of 75 on April 28, 1933. After their deaths the company was re-organized by their sons under the leadership of Henry W. Ralston, whose top editors were John Nanovic (1906-2001), Frank Engs Blackwell (1877-1951), Daisy Bacon (1899-1986), and Francis Orlin Tremayne (1906-1983).

In 1933 the company bought several magazines from the bankruptcy auction of William Mann Clayton, including Astounding Stories and Cowboy Stories.

During the Great Depression the company produced Doc Savage, The Shadow, Nick Carter, Pete Rice, The Skipper, Unknown, Love Story, Romance Range, Bill Barnes, Air Trails, Crime Busters, The Avenger, The Whisperer, Mystery Story, Clues, and The Wizard. Covers were painted by freelance artists Walter Baumhofer, Robert G. Harris, Graves Gladney, Nick Eggenhofer, Harold Winfield Scott, Lawrence Toney, George Rozen, Jerome Rozen, Modest Stein, Remington Schuyler, and Norman Saunders.

In 1937 the company ceased publication of Top-Notch and Complete Stories.

In 1938 Allen L. Grammer (1889-1969) became company president, after which they sold their milestone building and moved into a modern skyscraper.

In 1940 Street & Smith expanded into the lucrative and booming field of comic books with a line of titles derived from their best-selling pulp magazines, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Bill Barnes. The contents were subcontracted to the Jack Binder Comic Shop, which produced lackluster products that failed to thrive. Artists who worked at the Binder Shop included Kurt Paul Schaffenberger (1920-2002), Munson Leroy Paddock (1886-1970), Victor Eugene Dowd (1920-2010), Charles Coll, Harry V. R. Anderson, Arnold Hicks, David Moneypenny, Walter Popp, Gustav Schrotter, Jimmy Thompson, and E. C. Stoner.

In the 1940s 1941 Street & Smith produced several magazines for women, such as Charm, Living, and Mademoiselle. When Life magazine became successful, Street & Smith created their own periodical of photo-journalism, Pic Magazine.

In 1949 Street & Smith ceased publication of their pulps and comic books, and instead focused on women's magazines, such as Mademoiselle, Picture Play, Woman's Modern Home Almanac, Charm and Living. They also continued to produce several magazines for young men, such as Young Men, Air Progress, Air Trails Model Annual, Air Trails Hobbies, Football Annual, Baseball Yearbook, and Astounding Science Fiction. They also sold a few of their pulp titles to Popular Publications, such as Western Story.

In 1955, on the one-hundredth anniversary of the company's founding, Street & Smith published "The Fiction Factory" by Quentin Reynolds to document their long history "From Pulp Row To Quality Street."

On August 26, 1959 The New York Times reported that S. I. Newhouse (1895-1979), a newspaper publisher and owner of Condé Nast Publications, bought Street & Smith for more than $3,500,000. The new publisher primarily wanted the monthly magazine, Charm, which had a circulation or 650,000, and also continued to use the name "Street & Smith" for a line of sports magazines.

According to Ernest Chiriacka, "Street & Smith was the grandaddy of all pulps!"

                               © David Saunders 2018

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