The Fold-Out Ad

A little-known fact about the Tom Swift Jr. Series is that the first edition of the book Tom Swift and his Aquatomic Tracker (#23 in the series) have a fold-out ad at the end of the book. Copies of the edition with the fold-out ad are very hard to come by. However, recently I was able to find a copy, and I decided to post some information and scans.

The ad is located right after page 178, the last page in the book that has text. The ad is folded three times, and when it is folded it is about an inch shorter than the pages it is between. The ad itself has two sides. Side A (to see a scan of Side A, click here) has an interesting 19-question Who's Who quiz on it, and challenges you to identify people like:

  1. Teen-Age Scientist: The son of a world-famous scientist leaves his home on Spindrift Island, to track down danger in trouble-spots all over the world. (Rick Brant)
  1. Newspaper Reporter: While handling routine reporting assignments for his father's newspaper, this boy becomes involved in a world of intrigue. (Ken Holt)

K) Space Explorer: This young man lives in the world of tomorrow and makes thrilling voyages to Venus and Mars with his Space Academy friends. (Tom Corbett)

O) Teen-Age Inventor: All of this young scientist's amazing inventions are based on engineering facts. They predict the marvels of our atomic age! (Tom Swift)

The other side of the ad (to see a scan of it, click here) has a listing of various series books. It lists Tom Swift Jr. up to #21, Rick Brant up to #18, Ken Holt up to #17, Chip Hilton up to #20, the Hardy Boys up to #42, and many others. Each title listing has an ID and a check box next to it. The idea seems to be this: you check the boxes next to the books you want, and then you send the card to the bookstore. If the bookstore doesn't have them, you can write a letter to Grosset and Dunlap who will then "see that your store gets them."

I don't know why so few books were printed with the ad, or why no other Tom Swift books ever came with one. Perhaps there was little response to the ad, or maybe the ad was too difficult and expensive to print for the limited response it received. As far as I can tell, the ad is only located in first-edition copies of the title; as the back of the book only lists to #22 (Tom Swift and his Repelatron Skyway), it seems logical to conclude that the ad was issued with the first printing, and was then discontinued.

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