By Victor G. Durham




"A voyage in an undersea boat! What boy has not done so time and time again in his youthful dreams? The Submarine Boys did it in reality, diving into the dark depths of the sea, then, like Father Neptune, rising dripping from the deep to sunlight and safety. Yet it was not all easy sailing for the Submarine Boys, for these hardy young "undersea pirates" experienced a full measure of excitement and had their share of thrills, as all who sail under the surface of the seas are certain to do. The author knows undersea boats, and the reader who voyages with him may look forward to an instructive as well as lively cruise."
--- Altemus advertisement

"These splendid books for boys and girls deal with life aboard submarine torpedo boats, and with the adventures of the young crew, who, by degrees, become most expert in this wonderful and awe-inspiring field of modern naval practice. The books are written by an expert and possess, in addition to the author's surpassing knack of story-telling, a great educational value for all young readers."
--- Altemus advertisement


I dunno about "educational value," but the preposterous premise of these books is a hoot and a half. Three teenaged boys, Jack Benton, Eph Somers, and Hal Hastings come together and begin to work their way upward in the world of submarine boating. Joining the Pollard Submarine Boat Company, along with inventor David Pollard and shipbuilder/president Jacob Farnum, they help as the company's first submarine boat, the "Pollard," is constructed. The boys become world-famous as sub experts, and the government takes an interest in buying the Pollard. At sixteen, the young friends secure a prize detail at Annapolis where they "serve as instructors in submarine work for the young midshipmen of the naval academy. Nor was this accomplished without serious and even sensational opposition from the representatives of a rival submarine company."  By the fourth book, three submarines have been built, Jack Benton has been installed as the captain of the latest boat, and the party is in Florida, showing it off to government representatives and fending off French, Russian, and Japanese spies left and right. I haven't read any of the later books in this series, but I expect that by book 8, the sixteen year olds are appointed as Joint Chiefs of Staff, or something....

  1. THE SUBMARINE BOYS ON DUTY; or, Life on a Diving Torpedo Boat -- 1909. Altemus, Saalfield.

  2. THE SUBMARINE BOYS' TRIAL TRIP; or, "Making Good" as Young Experts -- 1909. Altemus, Saalfield.

  3. THE SUBMARINE BOYS AND THE MIDDIES; or, The Prize Detail at Annapolis -- 1909. Altemus, Saalfield.

  4. THE SUBMARINE BOYS AND THE SPIES; or, Dodging the Sharks of the Deep -- 1910. Altemus, Saalfield.

  5. THE SUBMARINE BOYS' LIGHTNING CRUISE; or, The Young Kings of the Deep -- 1910. Altemus, Saalfield.

  6. THE SUBMARINE BOYS FOR THE FLAG; or, Deeding Their Lives to Uncle Sam -- 1910. Altemus, Saalfield.

  7. THE SUBMARINE BOYS AND THE SMUGGLERS; or, Breaking up the New Jersey Customs Frauds -- 1912. Altemus, Saalfield.

  8. THE SUBMARINE BOYS' SECRET MISSION; or, Beating an Ambassador's Game -- 1920. Altemus, Saalfield.


Altemus advertising in Grace Harlowe's Junior Year in High School and Meadow-Brook Girls on the Tennis Courts

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