masthead: Happy Hours Magazine -- The Link Beteen the Collector and the Old-Time Periodical

Happy Hours Magazine -- Index to issues #1-68

Note: Happy Hours Magazine was the predecessor of Dime Novel Round-Up; the Happy Hours membership lists in DNRU are a carry-over from the earlier publication. Edited and published by Ralph P. Smith from 1925 until mid-1930 and again from 1931 until 1936, the magazine served both as a vehicle for information about dime novels and as advertising for the many items available from the R. P. Smith Magazine Co.

The July-August 1930 issue informed subscribers that Ralph Cummings would take over publication (and, presumably, editorship) of the magazine. That situation lasted through the November/December 1930 issue, which announced that Happy Hours Magazine would become Dime Novel Round-Up in January 1931. There is no January issue of HHM, but it was back in March, with no break in the numbering and "Smith's Old Reliable" printed above the masthead for that issue. Ralph Smith had resumed control, while Cummings continued DNRU. (See Michael L. Cook's Dime Novel Roundup: Annotated Index 1931-1981 [Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1983] for contents of early DNRU issues.) The last known issue of HHM appeared five years later, in May/June 1936 (#68).

Most HHM issues are only four pages. Early numbers generally had an unsigned article, presumably by Ralph P. Smith, on the first page. The second page consisted primarily of an assortment of untitled newsy items, each usually one paragraph long, related either to dime novels or their writers or collectors, or articles in contemporaneous publications on any of those topics. Most issues also listed some members of the Happy Hours Brotherhood (HHB) (i.e., subscribers). The final two pages carried a selection of ads.

The index below includes most of the titled articles in HHM. Except in unusual cases, the newsy notes are not indexed here. (As an example of those contents, #4 had six paragraphs of information: 1) a member was trying to compile a list of Beadle publications; 2) W. Bert Foster was writing for Ace High and his biography and photo appeared in its April issue; 3) Edward Stratemeyer edited Good News; 4) Jim Cummins was working on an account of the James boys for the Brotherhood; 5) photos of Burt L. Standish and "NoName" ran in Collier's; 6) the new Nick Carter movie was a disappointment.)

An asterisk (*) following an item in the index below indicates the piece is very short -- often only one or two paragraphs. Obituaries are not asterisked but are also usually brief.

1925 (vol. 1)

#1 Jan-Feb 1925
History of the Dime Novel's Life

#2 March-April 1925
Merriwells to be in the Movies; The Badman's Requieum (poem by R. R. Barney, reprinted from Flynn's Magazine)

#3 May-June 1925
"Noname"- Who He Was and What He Does Today [Lu Senarens]; Help a Good Thing Along [urging support for the HHB] (poem by Robert M. Rowen)

#4 July-Aug. 1925
Nick Carter's Influence-Good or Bad?; H. Rider Haggard Dead*; A Novelmaniac [praising Ralph Smith] (poem by Robert H. Smeltzer)

#5 Sept.-Oct. 1925
Retrospect-Francis Worcester Doughty (by R. H. Smeltzer); Deadwood Dick: Old Home Week; Too Much Mystery (poem by James J. Montague, reprinted from More Truth Than Poetry)

#6 Nov.-Dec. 1925
A Famous Collection of Novels [Frank O'Brien's collection]; Diamond Dick Alive [Richard J. Tanner in parade]*; Hoards (poem by Berton Braley, reprinted from unidentified source);

1925 (vol. 2)

#7 Jan-Feb 1926
The Death of Wild Bill [letter imagining the event] (by Diamond Dick/Richard Tanner); Ballade of Dead Dime Novels (poem by California Pelican)

#8 March-April 1926
A Dime Novelist Who Became Great [Frank A. Munsey]; untitled item against practice of stamping seller's information on dime novels*; From One Novel Collector to the Others (poem by Bob Rowan, credited in #9)

#9 May-June 1926
Irvin S. Cobb and Old Cap. Coller; Novel Season (poem by R. P. S.); Last Numbers [issued in dime novel series]*

#10 July-Aug. 1926
Burt L. Standish Takes Up the "Merry" Pen Again; A Tribute to Standish (by Ralph F. Adimari)*; untitled summary of Frank Merriwell's career in Tip Top Weekly

#11 Sept. - Oct. 1926
Dime Novels of England [Boys of the Empire; Boys Champion Journal; others] (by Henry Steele); Tip Top Weekly Synopsis (cont'd from #10); Dime Novel Sketches No. 1: Brave and Bold*

#12 Nov-Dec [1926]
The Descendents [sic] of the James Boys; Deadwood Dick on Deck [acquaintance with Diamond Dick]*; Dime Novel Sketches No. 2: Do and Dare*

1927 (vol. 3)

#13 Jan-Feb 1927
Dedicated to the Old Time Story Writers (poem by P. C. Maroske); To Bracebridge Hemyng, Author of the Harkaway Tales (poem by P. C. Maroske); The Link Boy of Old London (poem by Henry Steele); paragraph noting that William J. Benners is a new member*; Dime Novel Sketches No. 3 Comrades*

#14 March-April 1927
Jim Cummings: Sole Survivor of the Jesse James Boys Outlaw Band ("furnished . . . courtesy of Ralph Cummin"); Ned Buntline ("courtesy of W. J. Benners")*; Seven Redskins Bit the Dust (poem); Dime Novel Sketches No. 4 Motor Stories*; untitled item against practice of stamping seller's information on dime novels*

#15 May-June 1927
Samuel Bracebridge Hemyng (by Will J. Benners); Young Frank Merriwell*; Will J. Benners, Jr.*

#16 July-Aug. 1927
The Old Cover Illustrations; George C. Jenks*; The Early Illustrations (poem by Henry Steele) ; Frank Fries Scores Again! [by reformatting and reprinting Frank Reade's Steam Man]*

#17 Sept.-Oct 1927
The Penny Bloods of Great Britain (by Henry Steele); Wild West Weekly Sold [to Street & Smith by Tousey]; Pawnee Bill Joins Up [G. W. Lillie becomes a member of the Happy Hours Brotherhood]*; Frank Merriwell's Exiles [Merriwell in Sport Story Magazine]*

#18 Nov-Dec 1927
Friends of the Old West [biographical information on Western figures such as Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane] (by Diamond Dick); J. Edward Leithead*; Frank Merriwell's Secret [summary of serial in Sport Story]

1928 (vol. 4)

#19 Jan-Feb 1928
The Warring Authors of Jack Harkaway ("from an old newspaper; courtesy Wm. M. Kreling"); Doc Carver's Last Journey (by Robert H. Smeltzer)*

#20 Mar-Apr 1928
Memories of an Old Novel Reader (by L. H. Lahmon); Buckskin Bill (poem by Col. Chas. D. Randolph); Never Forgotten (reprinted poem by Harry Lee Marriner)

#21 May-June 1928
Doc Middleton--Outlaw (by Dr. Richard Tanner)*; Horatio Alger, Jr.*; California Joe (poem by J. W. Crawford [Captain Jack]); Captain Jack (poem by Col. Charles D. Randolph)

#22 July-Aug 1928
Howard L. Wheeler (by Lewis H. Lahmon); George Bernard Shaw and Dime Novels*; Frank Reade's Steam Horse (by Ralph P. Smith); California Joe, pt. III (poem by Capt. Jack Crawford); A Lasting Impression (poem by Henry Lee Marriner); Paragraph reminiscence of Ross Crawford (by Col. Chas. D. Randolph)*

#23 Sept.-Oct. 1928
Gilbert Patten and Cap'n Wiley (by W. M. Burns) [correction in #24]; Our Dime Novel Heroes (by Henry Steele)

#24 Nov.-Dec. 1928
Something about Reprints [dime novels' use of material from earlier dime novels or story papers]; (by Ralph P. Smith); Elijah Kellog [sic] [primarily list of titles in various series by Elijah Kellogg] (by P. C. Maroske)*; Diamond Dick's Dream (poem by Buckskin Bill)

1929 (vol. 5)

#25 Jan-Feb 1929
Diamond Dick's Tiger Hunt: A True Story of the West (by Diamond Dick [Dr. Richard J. Tanner]); Deadwood Dick Meets the President; Death of Ezra Meeker [obituary]; From Our Oldest Member [letter from Lewis H. Lahmon, includes some reflections on dime novels]; The New Merriwell Stories [in Fame and Fortune Magazine]*

#26 Mar-Apr 1929
[erroneously labeled v15] Edward Stratemeyer (by Ralph P. Smith); Col James Elverson, Jr. [obituary] (by or from Robert H. Smeltzer); The Passing of Cowboy Charlie [Charlie Siringo] (by Robert H. Smeltzer); Death of Wyatt Earp*; Farewell to Dime Novels [Pluck and Luck ends] *; Excerpt from a Lovelorn Column [wife complains about her husband reading Nick Carter]*

#27 May-June 1929
Frederick Van Rensalaer Dey, Originator of "Nick Carter" (by Lewis H. Lahmon); Quantrell or Quantrill (by Ray W. Thorp)*; Something about the "Message to Garcia" [a little on Elbert Hubbard and Major Rowan] (by Robert H. Smeltzer)*; Deadwood Dick and the Pilot*; Tony Pastor (by S. Nathan)*; Nothing to Worry About (reprint of poem by James J. Montague);

#28 July-Aug 1929
More about Reprints [dime novel series that reprinted earlier titles] (by W. M. Burns); Bill Anderson-Guerilla (by Wm. Burton McCafferty); Sandy Griswold dies [obituary]; A Golden Anniversary [Boys Own Paper]*; paragraph from W. J. Benners with brief information about W. I. James, Jr., Arthur L. Meserve, Frank Corey

#29 Sept.-Oct. 1929
[erroneously labeled vol. 5, No. 4] Dime Novels of America (by Ralph F. Cummings [Reckless Ralph]); obituary notices: Jim Cummins and W. D. Boyce; White-Man-Runs-Him (obituary by W. B. McCafferty); To "Buckskin Bob Smeltzer" from "Buckskin Bill" Randolph (poem); History from Dime Novels [British history in British dime novels: King Arthur, Guy Fawkes] (by Henry Steele)

#30 Nov. Dec. 1929
Golden Hours (by Robert H. Smeltzer); Complete List of Members [in] 1929 Happpy Hours Brotherhood; Rothwell (poem by Henry Steele)

1930 (vol. 6, identified as "Sixth year")

#31 Jan.-Feb. 1930
Penny Dreadfuls That Became Dime Novels (by Ross Crauford); Gilbert Patten on Deck! [Merriwell stories in Top Notch Magazine]; To Diamond Dick (poem credited to Sterling NE Sun)

#32 March-April 1930
Golden Hours Again (by Robert H. Smeltzer); Merriwell History [part 1] (by Raymond L. Caldwell); Buffalo Bill's Duel with Yellow-Hand (by Wm. Burton McCafferty)

#33 May-June 1930
Historical Characters in English "Bloods" (by Henry Steel) ; Golden Hours Departments (by Robert Smeltzer); Merriwell History, Part 2 (by Raymond L. Caldwell)*

#34 July-Aug. 1930
Thrillers of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow [mostly an opinion piece] (by Ralph F. Cummings); Golden Hours (by Robert Smeltzer)*; letter from Ralph P. Smith announcing that Ralph F. Cummings will take over publication of Happy Hours Magazine

#35 Sept.-Oct. 1930
Farewell: "Deadwood Dick of Deadwood" (by Robert F. Smeltzer); A Rendezvous of the James Boys (by W. B. McCafferty)*; The Old Order Changeth (recognition of Ralph Smith's work on HHM) (by Ralph F. Cummings)*; Novel Sktches No. 1-Bob Brooks Library*; To Poker Alice (poem by W. B. McCafferty)

#36 Nov.-Dec 1930
Beadle's Dime Library: The Ace of Black and Whites (by Robert H. Smeltzer); Members of the Happy Hours Brotherhood [1930]; 83 Degrees North Latitude; or, The Secret of the Frozen North (by W. B. McCafferty)*; Novel Sketches No. 2-The Owl Library (pub. G. W. Studley)*; note about Patten's new publications-Swift Story Magazine and The Dime Novel*; announcement that HHM will become Dime Novel Round-Up in Jan. 1931

1931 (vol. 7, identified as "Seventh year")

#37 Mar-Apr 1931 [apparently no Jan/Feb issue; Smith resumes publishing and editing the periodical]
Wild Dreams of the Past Coming True (by Ralph P. Smith); Highwaymen, Old Journals, and Music (by Henry Steel); How To Start a Dime Novel Collection (by Ralph P. Smith)

#38 May-June 1931
Meet Shorty and the Kid, and Ginger (by Fred T. Singleton); Hot Off the News-stands in 1888 (by Fred T. Singleton); The Flag of Our Union

#39 July-Aug. 1931
Dandy Dan of Deadwood (by Fred T. Singleton)*; Brave and Bold (By. W. M. Burns); Happy Days Last Gasp (by Robert H. Smeltzer); Vale-Deadwood Dick (poem by C. J. Dennis, from Literary Digest)

#40 Sept.-Oct. 1931
Black Bess (poem); Repeated Reprints [information on dime novel sources for later dime novel reprints] (by W. M. Burns and Ralph P. Smith); Beadles New Dime Novels (by Ralph F. Cummings)

#41 Nov.-Dec. 1931
The Lone Robber of the Rock (by W. D. McCafferty); Frank Tarbeaux [praise for The Autobiography of Frank Tarbeaux]*; Some Old Story-Paper Thrillers [British, especially "Ne'er-do-Well" from Emmett's Young Englishman and Boys' Standard and "Edward the Martyr" from Boys of the Empire] (by Henry Steele); letter by Harry A. Weill (supplementing Smeltzer's Golden Hours HHM pieces)*

1932 (vol. 8, identified as "Eighth year")

#42 Jan-Feb 1932
Dime Novel Catalogues [issued by publishers; some description of Street & Smith 1909 and Tousey 1904 catalogues] (by Ralph P. Smith); Little Cayuse (by W. M. Burns); obituary Rev. E. T. Tomlinson; The Clayton Corral [Clayton magazines] (by The Corral Boss)

#43 Mar-Apr 1932
Nooses, Blackjacks, Poison and Fire (by Henry Steele); Reprints-Some Were and Some Were Not [more discussion on reprinted dime novels; also on those that weren't reprinted] (by W. M. Burns and Ralph P. Smith); obituary notices: John Munro, Red Tomahawk

#44 May-June 1932
Phantom Dime Novels [dime novels fading in popularity] (by Ralph F. Cummings); Some Interesting Discoveries [two different dime novels with the same cover; two Old Sleuth issues, one an abridged version of the other] (by Robert H. Smeltzer)*; Beadles' Boys Library, Pocket, Popular, Etc. (by Wm. M. Burns); The Clayton Corral [Clayton magazines] (by The Corral Boss)

#45 July-Aug 1932
The Buffalo Bill Stories: Best of Old-Time Weeklies about the Indian-Fighting West, pt. 1 (by J. Edward Leithead); The Clayton Corral [Clayton magazines] (by The Corral Boss)

#46 Sept-Oct 1932
Libraries Devoted to War Stories (by W. M. Burns and Ralph P. Smith); The Buffalo Bill Stories: Best of Old-Time Weeklies about the Indian-Fighting West, pt. 2 (by J. Edward Leithead)

#47 Nov.-Dec. 1932
"The Clock: An Incident from "Blueskin" (poem by Henry Steele); Libraries Devoted to War Stories, pt. 2 [Army and Navy Library; Red, White, and Blue; Starry Flag; Paul Jones Weekly; Young Glory; Yankee Doodle; Blue and Gray Weekly] (by Wm. M. Burns and Ralph P. Smith); The Clayton Corral [Clayton magazines] (by The Corral Boss)

1933 (vol. 9, identified as "Ninth year")

#48 Jan-Feb. 1933
Science-Fiction in Dime Novels [Frank Reade, brief mention of Jack Wright and Tom Edison, Jr.] (by Ralph P. Smith); What I Collect and Why (by Wm. M. Burns)

#49 Mar-Apr 1933
Beadles' Frontier Series and Deadwood Dick Library (by "Deadwood Dick, Jr."); H Rider Haggard and His Novels (by Wm. M. Burns); brief mention of death of writer Frederick W. Davis and publisher John W. Lovell*

#50 May-June 1933
That Matchless Detective, Nick Carter, pt. 1 [of 5] (by J. Edward Leithead)

#51 July-Aug. 1933
The Steam Man's Origin [Ellis's Steam Man & Frank Reade] (by Charles Bragin); That Matchless Detective, Nick Carter, pt. 2 (by J. Edward Leithead); obituary Ormand G. Smith

#52 Sept.-Oct. 1933
Novels of Short Life [series such as Dick Dobbs Weekly; Gem Library] (by Ralph P. Smith); That Matchless Detective, Nick Carter, pt. 3 (by J. Edward Leithead); obituary: William Wallace Cook

#53 Nov.-Dec. 1933
A Check List of Dime Novels [and number of issues-"flat type novels only"][correction in #55]; That Matchless Detective, Nick Carter, pt. 4 (by J. Edward Leithead); paragraph identifying Bill Brown as author of Dick Dobbs Detective Weekly stories*

1934 (vol. 10, identified as "Tenth year")

#54 Jan-Feb 1934
The Preservation of Novels (by Robert H. Smeltzer); That Matchless Detective, Nick Carter, pt. 5 (by J. Edward Leithead)

#55 Mar-Apr 1934
Muldoon, The Solid Man (by Wm. M. Burns)

#56 May-June 1934
The Diamond Dicks, Father and Son, pt. 1 (by J. Edward Leithead); paragraph on Frank Merriwell radio show*

#57 July-Aug 1934
Dime Novel Fotes [photos] (by George French); issue also includes list of French's "dime novel-fotes"; The Diamond Dicks-—Father and Son, pt. 2 (by J. Edward Leithead)

#58 Sept.-Oct. 1934
The Ivers Edition of Beadles' Boys Library (by William M. Burns); Dime Novel Parlance [terms for describing dime novels] (by Ralph P. Smith); paragraph on Frank Merriwell movies and Nick Carter movies*

#59 Nov.-Dec. 1934
King of the Wild West, pt. 1 [Young Rough Riders Weekly] (by J. Edward Leithead)

1935 (vol. 11, identified as "Eleventh year")

#60 Jan-Feb 1935
What Made Dime Novels Popular? (by Ralph P. Smith); King of the Wild West [Rough Rider Weekly], pt. 2 (by [J.] Edward Leithead)

#61 Mar-Apr 1935
Buffalo Billiana (collected by J. Edward Leithead); Magazine Genealogy [title changes & evolutions] (by Ralph P. Smith)

#62 May-June 1935
Something about Oll Coombs (by P. J. Moran); When to be Chagrined [recollection about reading a dime novel with a typo] (by Harold C. Holmes)*; Journals of My Youth [British, including Boys of England, Boys of the Empire, some by Fox] (by Henry Steele); The Raising of the Standard (poem by Henry Steele)

#63 July-Aug. 1935
Just What Is a Dime Novel (by Ralph F. Cummings); Rambunctious Rube (by George French); Jesse James Alive? (anon)

#64 Sept-Oct 1935
Bob Smeltzer's Budget: Being a number of vastly interesting items discovered and jotted down [Medal & New Medal Library; Golden Hours covers; others] (by Robert H. Smeltzer); New News of Nick Carter (by J. Edward Leithead); Add "Buffalo Bill" (by Harold C. Holmes)*; note about Agnes Cody, niece of Buffalo Bill, acting in a play with W. J. Benners (by W. J. Benners)*

#65 Nov.-Dec. 1935
Old Story Paper Answer Columns (by Ralph P. Smith)

1936 (vol. 12, identified as "Twelfth year")

#66 Jan-Feb 1936
The Great Five Cent Wide Awake Library (by Roy Patterson) [correction in #67]

#67 Mar-Apr 1936
Work and Win-The Fred Fearnot Tales (by Ralph P. Smith); An Artist Recalls Nickel Novel Days [Charles J. Wrenn reflects on Street & Smith] (by J. Edward Leithead)

#68 May-June 1936
W. Bert Foster, Master Fictioneer (by J. Edward Leithead); My Star File [collecting] (by Robert H. Smeltzer)*; [Note: #68 is highest number seen, but carries notice that #69 will include an article on The Medal Library by Roy Patterson]

Photocopies of issues are available from DNRU's editor, Marlena E. Bremseth. (No original copies remain.) Direct queries about price to Marlena E. Bremseth, Dime Novel Round-Up, P. O. Box 2188, Purcellville, VA 20134

(And a sincere thank you to Marlena for providing photocopies of many issues to enable completion of this index.)

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