Biography

Tom Swift Jr. Book Series Collector’s Guide

Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts #33
Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts #33. First edition.

From 1954 to 1978 Grosset & Dunlap published another Edward Stratemeyer series of Tom Swift books. This set was called The New Tom Swift Jr. Adventures and was “by Victor Appleton II.” In the stories, Tom Jr. is the son of the original Tom Swift; the author is presumably the son of the original Victor Appleton, as this was still in the era when the identities of Stratemeyer ghostwriters were well kept secrets. The original outlines for the Tom Swift Jr. books are supposed to have been created by Edward Stratemeyer’s daughter Harriet and Syndicate writers filled in the details. In the second Tom Swift series the plots concentrate on Tom’s fantastic inventions and his explorations all over the earth and into outer space. The titles of the books in the series show what sort of inven­tions Tom came up with. His best friend Bud Barclay, who dated Tom’s sister Sandy, accompanied Tom on his adventures. Another character who went along on these expeditions is the comical Texan Chow Winkler, the cook.

The American Space Program of the 1950s and 1960s no doubt inspired the adventures that Tom Swift Jr. had. Tom got to the moon in 1958; real astronauts had to wait another eleven years. It is amazing that the Tom Swift Jr. series ended shortly after the American Moon Landing, as there should have been great interest at the time in a high quality boys’ series about space explo­ration, like the new Tom Swift one.

James Duncan Lawrence was the author of most of the Tom Swift Jr. books. He wrote twenty-four of the thirty-three titles. Graham Kaye painted the pictures for the first seventeen books that came with dust jackets and several other artists did them for the picture cover books that followed. The logo picture of Tom Jr. on the spine of the books is Kaye’s work.

After the Tom Swift Jr. series of hardback books ended in 1971, Grosset & Dunlap attempted to continue it with the publication of a set of paperback books in 1972 and another paperback set in 1977. Grosset & Dunlap published the paperback books under a company division called Tempo, which also printed other series books, such as Judy Bolton, Cherry Ames, and Connie Blair, to prolong them in an economical way. These Tempo books attempted to play down the “Jr.” clement of Tom Swift’s name. All the paperback Tom Swift Jr. books are printed with the same plates as the original hardback books.

There were also foreign editions of the Tom Swift Jr. series. Among them were volumes from France, Denmark, and Iceland, translated into these respective languages.

Tom Swift Jr. Book Formats

Grosset & Dunlap

I. 1954 – 1961, including first printings #1 — #17

  • Volumes #1- #17
    • Blue tweed composition binding
    • Blue and white eps showing Tom in his lab
    • Frontis and eight to eleven black and white line drawings
    • Full color Dust jacket (see Ghostwriter/Illustrator for illustrators)

II. 1961

  • Volumes #1- #18, including first printing #18
    • Blue spine picture cover; composition binding
    • #18 has wrap spine picture, like wrap spine Dust jackets Illustrations same as Format I

III. 1962 — 1971, including first printing #19 — #33

  • Volumes #1 – #33
    • Yellow-orange spine picture cover; composition binding, as Format II

Tom Swift Jr. Series Books List

YearVolume/TitleGhostwriterIllusttratorPages
19541. Tom Swift and His Flying LabWilliam DoughertyGraham Kaye208
19542. Tom Swift and His JetmarineJohn AlmquistGraham Kaye208
19543. Tom Swift and His Rocket ShipJohn AlmquistGraham Kaye208
19544. Tom Swift and His Giant RobotRichard SklarGraham Kaye211
19545. Tom Swift and His Atomic Earth BlasterJames LawrenceGraham Kaye210
19556. Tom Swift and His Outpost in SpaceJames LawrenceGraham Kaye210
19567. Tom Swift and His Diving SeacopterJames LawrenceGraham Kaye214
19568. Tom Swift In the Caves of Nuclear FireThomas MulveyGraham Kaye214
19569. Tom Swift on The Phantom SatelliteJames LawrenceGraham Kaye214
195710. Tom Swift and His Ultrasonic CycloplaneJames LawrenceGraham Kaye182
195811. Tom Swift and His Deep-Sea HydrodomeJames LawrenceGraham Kaye184
195812. Tom Swift in The Race to the MoonJames LawrenceGraham Kaye180
195813. Tom Swift and His Space SolartronJames LawrenceGraham Kaye183
195914. Tom Swift and His Electronic RetroscopeJames LawrenceGraham Kaye184
196015. Tom Swift and His Spectromarine SelectorJames LawrenceGraham Kaye184
196016. Tom Swift and the Cosmic AstronautsJames LawrenceGraham Kaye184
196117. Tom Swift and The Visitor from Planet XJames LawrenceGraham Kaye184
196118. Tom Swift and the Electronic HydrolungJames LawrenceCharles Brey188
196219. Tom Swift and His Triphibian AtomcarJames LawrenceCharles Brey188
196220. Tom Swift and His Megascope Space ProberJames LawrenceCharles Brey176
196321. Tom Swift and The Asteroid PiratesJames LawrenceCharles Brey178
196322. Tom Swift and His Repelatron SkywayJames LawrenceCharles Brey179
196423. Tom Swift and His Aquatomic TrackerJames LawrenceCharles Brey178
196524. Tom Swift and His 3-D TelejectorJames LawrenceCharles Brey177
196525. Tom Swift and His Polar-Ray DynasphereJames LawrenceEdward Moritz177
196526. Tom Swift and His Sonic Boom TrapJames LawrenceEdward Moritz178
196627. Tom Swift and His Subocean GeotronJames LawrenceCharles Brey178
196628. Tom Swift and The Mystery CometJames LawrenceRay Johnson178
196729. Tom Swift and the Captive PlanetoidJames LawrenceRay Johnson174
196830. Tom Swift and His G-Force InverterThomas MulveyRay Johnson175
196931. Tom Swift and His Dyna-4 CapsuleRichard McKennaRay Johnson175
197032. Tom Swift and His Cosmotron ExpressRichard McKennaRay Johnson180
197133. Tom Swift and The Galaxy GhostsVincent BuranelliBill Dolwick180

Source: All About Collecting Boys’ Series Books. John Axe, 2002.

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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