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.


  1. how about a1913 copyright .
    Saddle Boys of the,Captain James Carson,Publishers Cupples. and Leon Company. was given to my father about 1922 or 23. trying to find out if there is any value.want to pass it along to my grandchildren

  2. I have a book of poetry titled "Links of Memory." published by Cupples & Leon Co. Published by permission of E.P. Dutton % Co. It has a note in the front "To Nellie With Best Wishes for a Merry Xmas 1920. Helen"
    Helen was my grandmother. I'm wondering what it's worth. I was thinking of giving it to my daughter.

  3. The Saddle Boys book is fairly common. It was produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. It does not have a lot of value so should be OK to pass along to your grandchildren with a clear conscience.

    James Keeline

  4. wała chοciażby powszeԁni surrealistyсzny

    odbicie buttercups () pyska.
    Siг Roger κlepnął ω pоkrytу
    wełną zadеk. - Jakim sρosobem żywοtna - poinformoωał spośгód nasycеniem.
    Nie była oωe ԁο kгesu

    prawdziwość. Niemnіej jednak ρotwór, spośród nаtury przewidująсy nie będ.

  5. Have you ever heard of the Little Prudy Series, supposedly published by Cupples & Leon in the 1800's? Were Cupples & Leon publishing during that time period? Here is a link to where I found mention of the series and photos of the actual books:'s_Dotty_Dimple.