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The Old Tower Mansion - the site of the first adventure The Hardy Boys' adventures began in 1927 with the publication of the first three books by Grosset & Dunlap. Frank and Joe are America's normal teenage boys - almost! Courageous, daring, and bold - these are the qualities that have made them loved by generations of readers. The teen sleuths were children of Edward Stratemeyer, a man who owned many children's series of the day - from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Tom Swift and Cherry Ames. Stratemeyer created the series name, characters, and story ideas, then hired "ghostwriters" through his Stratemeyer Syndicate. Seeing a need for a good detective series for boys, he created Frank and Joe, then hired Leslie McFarlane, a young Canadian. Stratemeyer would sent Leslie a short outline of the plot, and McFarlane would write up an approximately 210-page novel. The first three Hardy Boys books, published under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon, were released in 1927 - the same year that Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic.

  Edward died in 1930, only three years after the Hardy Boys were first published. His daughters Harriet Adams and Edna Squier carried on the work of supervising the Syndicate series. Edna later moved to FloridaHarriet Stratemeyer Adams - Courtesy of Ilana Nash and became a silent partner in the Syndicate.

  In the late 1950s, Disney contracted with the Syndicate to produce two Hardy Boys TV shows. In 1955, The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure was made, based on The Tower Treasure. The Mystery of the Ghost Farm, released in 1957, was the second of the serials, and was shown on the Mickey Mouse Club. Ghost Farm wasn't based on any previous story. These two serials produced many collectible items, including a coloring book, comic books, a board game, a ring, and more.

  In 1967, an hour-long pilot of a new Hardy TV show was aired on CBS, but  the show bombed and the series wasn't continued. The pilot was closely adapted from The Mystery of the Chinese Junk.

   In 1969, The Hardy Boys solved mysteries and played rock 'n' roll in their new cartoon that aired on Saturday mornings. They had their own band, The Hardy Boys Plus Three, and performed original songs each week in their mystery/adventure-cartoons.

  In late 1977, The Hardy Boys were picked up for another TV adventure, this time starring Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson. This series was very popular, running for three seasons. This show also created plenty of items for us collectors.

Frank and Joe solve The Clue of the Broken Blade    In 1979, Harriet Adams became unsatisfied with Grosset and Dunlap and moved all of the Stratemeyer series to a new publishing company, Simon & Schuster. The 'new' Hardy Boys series was continued off the G&D one - proven by the fact that it was started with number fifty-nine. The move to Simon & Schuster also marked the beginning of the paperback Hardy Boys books.

   After Harriet Adams's death, Simon & Schuster purchased the Syndicate. After a brief hiatus in 1985, the Hardy Boys have been published under the Simon & Schuster name at the rate of six per year (except for some hiccups in 2000).

   In 1991, Applewood Press began publishing facsimile editions of the original Hardy Boys novels from the twenties and thirties. The first three books in this series included introductions; Leslie McFarlane for the first two, and William Taply for the third. As of April 2002, thirteen volumes have been reissued. The latest editions, however, are not exactly original - originally, only volumes 1-11 came with a red cover and 1-12 with a white spine. Applewood is continuing to use the red cover / white spine format on all books, even past number eleven.

   In 1995,  Nelvana and New Line Television started a new Hardy Boys series in Canada - Colin Gray starred as Frank and Paul Popowich as Joe. The series only lasted one season and was not successful, although it was well written and the acting was good. This series didn't produce many collectibles.Frank and Joe solve The Shore Road Mystery

   In 2001, volume 166 was released in "e-book" format, where the story is downloaded onto your computer, as well as traditional paperback. Recently 168 was issued in the same format.

   The Hardy Boys have enjoyed adventures with their pals, too! They've teamed up with Nancy Drew in the Be A Detective stories, as well as the Campfire, Super Sleuths, and Supermystery stories. They also teamed up with Tom Swift for two books in the Ultra-Thriller series.

   The Hardys have had three solo paperback series: the Casefiles, the Digests (the continuation of the hardbacks), and the Clues Brothers. The Casefiles were published from 1987-1998 and aimed at a much older audience. In this series, Iola, Joe's long-time girlfriend, is blown to bits in the first volume, Dead on Target. The Clues Brothers were the exact opposite. Published from 1997-2000, they recounted Frank and Joe's early days in Bayport, when they were eight and nine. The Digests, the heart of the Hardy Boys books, continue to be published six times a year under Simon & Schuster's Aladdin imprint.

   The Hardy Boys are famous world over and have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Dutch.

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