Printing history: Edward Stratemeyer published The Bobbsey Twins: or, Merry Days Indoors and Out in 1904. Publishers: Mershon. Stratemeyer was using the psuedonym Laura Lee Hope. Most collectable copies of this book are published by the later publishers Grosset and Dunlap.
The publishers employed ghost writers for later books in the popular series: the longest running series of books for children.
Stratemeyer created and managed about a dozen book series. The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift are among the best known.
The two sets of twins: The Bobbsey family of Lakeport has two sets of twins that don't age normally after the first four books in the series, and who have all sorts of adventures. The oldest couple is about 8 years old and the youngest about 4 in the first book. Later, after seventy-five years, the oldest couple has become twelve and Flossie and Freddie are six. And, as it is said, "no one ever needs to use the bathroom in a Bobbsey book".
In most of the Bobbsey books the cheerful and irrepressible Bobbsey Twins are solving mysteries. Bert and Nan, the oldest pair, have dark brown hair and brown eyes. Flossie and Freddie are younger with light hair and blue eyes. They live in an upper middle class neighborhood in the eastern city of Lakeport on Lake Metoka, somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Their father Richard is a lumber merchant and their mother a housewife with two black servants. They are the family cook Dinah and the "all-rounder" Sam. In the early books, Dinah and Sam speak with a broad, stereotypical "Negro" dialect attributed to African Americans during this era. The first 20 books underwent revisions to remove this and other racial stereotypes.
Nothing bad ever happens to the Bobbsey Twins. They enjoy days of sunshine and love with their playmates Grace, Nellie, Charlie and Dannie. Their dog Snap and the cat Snoop take part in many of their adventures. Snoop the cat is introduced in the very first book, where he is a male, but he changes sexes from book to book, sometimes within a book (It is a sad inconsistency). The dog only changes his name, and that is only in one book.
The twins take trips to visit uncles in other places. Some of their adventures include riding on a houseboat, camping and taking a trip to the west.
Publishing history. Each new volume that came out usually had a short summary of the previous adventure, which helped in case the reader had missed the previous one.
Few or no one knows exactly how many Bobbsey Twins books are written, because publishing conditions in the early years were at times not neat and orderly.
Around 1979 the book series of the Bobbsey Twins died out - no new books were written about them from then on.