Monday, June 29, 2009
Cupples and Leon Earliest Juvenile Series
Cupples and Leon was an active book publisher from 1902-1956. Although best known for their juvenile series, they also published numerous hard cover comics with Little Orphan Annie being the most popular. In total this firm sold more than 30 million comic strip books.
The company was founded by Victor Cupples and Arthur T. Leon. Early on Cupples worked for Houghton, Miflin as well as the Lothrop Publishing Company. He also helped found Cupples, Upham and Company . Arthur Leon had worked at Laird and Lee. Their partnership was very successful. With the founding partners retirements and subsequent deaths the company was eventually sold to Platt and Munk. This occurred in 1956.
The earliest Cupples and Leon juvenile series were published in 1906. The eight books published at that time have an interesting characteristic that other Cupples and Leon juvenile series books do not have. The classic Cupples and Leon logo is a circle surrounding the publisher's name at the base of the spine. In these 1906 books there is no circle. The sans circle books are among the most difficult to find Cupples and Leon books-especially with dust jackets.
Of the 8 books the Horatio Alger first edition of Joe, The Hotel Boy is clearly the most sought after especially if it has a dust jacket. The others though are quite uncommon and serious series book collectors are always looking out for them.
The eight titles are:
The Motor Boys- Clarence Young
The Motor Boys Overland-Clarence Young
The Motor Boys in Mexico- Clarence Young
The Young Express Agent-Allen Chapman
Two Boy Publishers- Allen Chapman
Four Boy Hunters- Captain Ralph Bonehill
Joe, The Hotel Boy- Horatio Alger
Through the Air to the North Pole- Roy Rockwood
Some examples are shown here.