Street & Smith book department in 1906
|Founder|| Francis Scott Street |
Francis Shubael Smith
|Successor||Condé Nast Publications|
|Country of origin||United States of America|
|Headquarters location||79 Seventh Avenue, Manhattan|
|Key people||Ormond Gerald Smith|
|Publication types||Paperbacks, Magazines, Comics|
|Fiction genres||Pulp magazines|
Street & Smith or Street & Smith Publications, Inc. was a New York City publisher specializing in inexpensive paperbacks and magazines referred to as dime novels and pulp fiction. They also published comic books and sporting yearbooks. Among their many titles was the science fiction pulp magazine Astounding Stories , acquired from Clayton Magazines in 1933, and retained until 1961. Street & Smith was founded in 1855, and was bought out in 1959. The Street & Smith headquarters was at 79 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan; it was designed by Henry F. Kilburn.
Francis Scott Street and Francis Shubael Smith began their publishing partnership in 1855 when they took over a broken-down fiction magazine.They then bought the existing New York Weekly Dispatch in 1858. Francis Smith was the company president from 1855 until his 1887 retirement; his son Ormond Gerald Smith taking over his role. Francis Street died in 1883. Francis Smith died on February 1, 1887. The company, which owned a six-story building at 79 Seventh Avenue (just above 14th Street), became a publisher of inexpensive novels and weekly magazines starting in the 1880s and continuing into 1959. In the early decades of the 20th century, Ormond V. Gould was the company secretary. Ormond Smith remained company president until his death in 1933.
In 1933, Street & Smith bought titles from Clayton Magazines, including Astounding Stories . In 1934 they put out 35 different magazines, looked after by about a dozen editors, including John Nanovic, Frank Blackwell, Daisy Bacon and F. Orlin Tremaine. The company paid one cent a word, which was standard base rate among the major publishing groups, though fringe publishers paid less. In 1937, Street & Smith discontinued a number of their pulp titles, including Top-Notch and Complete Stories, the start of a long-term shrinking of their pulp line. In 1938, Allen L. Grammer became president. He had spent more than twenty years as an ergonomics expert for Curtis Publishing Company, and made a small fortune inventing a new printing process. He moved the offices into a skyscraper.
Street & Smith published comic books from 1940–1949, their most notable titles being The Shadow , from their pulp magazine line, Super-Magician Comics, Supersnipe Comics , True Sport Picture Stories, Bill Barnes/Air Ace and Doc Savage Comics , also from pulp magazine line.
Street & Smith stopped publishing all their pulps and comics in 1949, selling off several of their titles to Popular Publications. Sales had declined with the advent of television.Street & Smith continued to publish Astounding Science Fiction well into the late 1950s.
Condé Nast Publications, a subsidiary of the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, bought the company for more than $3.5 million in 1959. The company's name continued to be used on the sports pre-season preview magazines until 2007 when Advance division American City Business Journals acquired the Sporting News , originally The Sporting News, and merged Street & Smith's annuals into TSN's annuals. However, in 2017, American City Business Journals revived the Street & Smith name for its sports annuals.
The Street & Smith name survives as the named publisher of Sports Business Journal , a Condé Nast periodical.
Pulp magazines were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.
Murray Leinster was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an American writer of science fiction and alternate history literature. He wrote and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays.
The dime novel is a form of late 19th-century and early 20th-century U.S. popular fiction issued in series of inexpensive paperbound editions. The term dime novel has been used as a catchall term for several different but related forms, referring to story papers, five- and ten-cent weeklies, "thick book" reprints, and sometimes early pulp magazines. The term was used as a title as late as 1940, in the short-lived pulp magazine Western Dime Novels. In the modern age, the term dime novel has been used to refer to quickly written, lurid potboilers, usually as a pejorative to describe a sensationalized but superficial literary work.
Argosy, later titled The Argosy and Argosy All-Story Weekly, was an American pulp magazine from 1882 through 1978, published by Frank Munsey until its sale to Popular Publications in 1942. It is the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a children's weekly story–paper entitled The Golden Argosy. In the era before the Second World War, Argosy was regarded as one of the "Big Four" pulp magazines, - the most prestigious publications in the pulp market, that many pulp magazine writers aspired to publish in. John Clute, discussing the American pulp magazines in the first two decades of the twentieth century, has described The Argosy and its companion The All-Story as "the most important pulps of their era."
Unknown was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.
Frederick Orlin Tremaine was an American science fiction magazine editor, most notably of the influential Astounding Stories. He edited a number of other magazines, headed several publishing companies, and sporadically wrote fiction.
Nick Carter is a fictional character that began as a dime novel private detective in 1886 and has appeared in a variety of formats over more than a century.
Startling Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1955 by publisher Ned Pines' Standard Magazines. It was initially edited by Mort Weisinger, who was also the editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories, Standard's other science fiction title. Startling ran a lead novel in every issue; the first was The Black Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum. When Standard Magazines acquired Thrilling Wonder in 1936, it also gained the rights to stories published in that magazine's predecessor, Wonder Stories, and selections from this early material were reprinted in Startling as "Hall of Fame" stories. Under Weisinger the magazine focused on younger readers and, when Weisinger was replaced by Oscar J. Friend in 1941, the magazine became even more juvenile in focus, with clichéd cover art and letters answered by a "Sergeant Saturn". Friend was replaced by Sam Merwin Jr. in 1945, and Merwin was able to improve the quality of the fiction substantially, publishing Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night, and several other well-received stories.
Frank Andrew Munsey was an American newspaper and magazine publisher and author. He was born in Mercer, Maine, but spent most of his life in New York City. The village of Munsey Park, New York is named for him, along with the Munsey Building in downtown Baltimore, Maryland at the southeast corner of North Calvert Street and East Fayette Street.
Fiction House was an American publisher of pulp magazines and comic books that existed from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was founded by John B. "Jack" Kelly and John W. Glenister. By the late 1930s, the publisher was Thurman T. Scott. Its comics division was best known for its pinup-style good girl art, as epitomized by the company's most popular character, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
Popular Publications was one of the largest publishers of pulp magazines during its existence, at one point publishing 42 different titles per month. Company titles included detective, adventure, romance, and Western fiction. They were also known for the several 'weird menace' titles. They also published several pulp hero or character pulps.
Francis Shubael Smith I partnered with Francis Scott Street and started the publishing firm of Street & Smith.
Detective Story Magazine was an American magazine published by Street & Smith from October 15, 1915 to Summer, 1949. It was one of the first pulp magazines devoted to detective fiction and consisted of short stories and serials. While the publication was the publishing house's first detective-fiction pulp magazine in a format resembling a modern paperback, Street & Smith had only recently ceased publication of the dime-novel series Nick Carter Weekly, which concerned the adventures of a young detective.
The Popular Magazine was an early American literary magazine that ran for 612 issues from November 1903 to October 1931. It featured short fiction, novellas, serialized larger works, and even entire short novels. The magazine's subject matter ranged over a number of genres, although it tended somewhat towards men's adventure stories, particularly in the waning years of the publication when the vogue for hardboiled fiction was strong. The Popular Magazine touted itself as "a magazine for men and women who like to read about men." The magazine had its headquarters in New York City.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science fiction magazine published under various titles since 1930. Originally titled Astounding Stories of Super-Science, the first issue was dated January 1930, published by William Clayton, and edited by Harry Bates. Clayton went bankrupt in 1933 and the magazine was sold to Street & Smith. The new editor was F. Orlin Tremaine, who soon made Astounding the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, publishing well-regarded stories such as Jack Williamson's Legion of Space and John W. Campbell's "Twilight". At the end of 1937, Campbell took over editorial duties under Tremaine's supervision, and the following year Tremaine was let go, giving Campbell more independence. Over the next few years Campbell published many stories that became classics in the field, including Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, A. E. van Vogt's Slan, and several novels and stories by Robert A. Heinlein. The period beginning with Campbell's editorship is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Top-Notch Magazine is an American pulp magazine of adventure fiction published between 1910 and 1937 by Street & Smith in New York City.
The Thrill Book was a U.S. pulp magazine published by Street & Smith in 1919. It was intended to carry "different" stories: this meant stories that were unusual or unclassifiable, which in practice often meant the stories were fantasy or science fiction. Some stories were encountered to be of the highest most unique stories of it's time. The first eight issues, edited by Harold Hersey, were a mixture of adventure and weird stories. Contributors included Greye La Spina, Charles Fulton Oursler, J. H. Coryell, and Seabury Quinn. Hersey was replaced by Ronald Oliphant with the July 1 issue, probably because Street & Smith were unhappy with his performance.
Comet was a pulp magazine which published five issues from December 1940 to July 1941. It was edited by F. Orlin Tremaine, who had edited Astounding Stories, one of the leaders of the science fiction magazine field, for several years in the mid-1930s. Tremaine paid one cent per word, which was higher than some of the competing magazines, but the publisher, H-K Publications, was unable to sustain the magazine while it gained circulation, and it was cancelled after less than a year when Tremaine resigned. Comet published fiction by several well-known and popular writers, including E.E. Smith and Robert Moore Williams. The young Isaac Asimov, visiting Tremaine in Comet's offices, was alarmed when Tremaine asserted that anyone who gave stories to competing magazines for no pay should be blacklisted; Asimov promptly insisted that Donald Wollheim, to whom he had given a free story, should make him a token payment so he could say he had been paid.
Louis Horace Silberkleit was an American publisher of magazines, books, and comic books; together with Maurice Coyne and John L. Goldwater, he co-founded MLJ Magazines, and served as its publisher for many years.
Science-fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science-fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science-fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.