Total Issues: 602
Began as a magazine for teenagers and even as a pulp concentrated mostly
on sports stories, switched to a men's adventure magazine in the 1930s;
published Jack London, F. Britten Austin, William Wallace Cook, Bertram
Atkey, Johnston McCulley in early days; later H. Bedford-Jones, Antony
Larry Estep comments:
"Volume 1 has 7 issues. These were the dime novels. The pulp
began with v2 n1 (October, 1910).
From May, 1914 through December, 1914 there were three issues per month.
In January, 1915 there was only one issue, dated January 15, 1915.
Beginning with February, 1915 they went back to two issues per month.
A very strange thing happens in September, 1914. Instead of three
issues, there are actually SIX issues. After publishing three issues
dated September 10th, 20th, and 30th, Street & Smith published an
additional three issues with the same dates! They effectively inserted
an extra month into the year.
The strangeness from this time from was not over with. Volume 24
contained only 5 issues rather than the standard 6. The December 15,
1915 issue was v24 n5. My best guess here is that the missing issue in
January threw off their volume numbering and someone at Street & Smith
wanted to start the new year with a number 1 issue.
Street & Smith did another strange thing in 1920. There was only one
issue each for February and March. They were dated "February 1st & 15th"
and "March 1st & 15th", respectively. These were not double issues like
we sometimes see today. They just had two dates on them. The AH guide
shows two issues in February, 1920, but this is incorrect.
The magazine was mistakenly cancelled following the 2nd issue of September 1928.
The mistake was quickly overturned by the owner of Street & Smith who maintained
this was one of his favorite titles. The title resumed publication with the 1st
November 1928 issue.
The last issue of Top-Notch is the September-October, 1937 issue. It is
v101 n2. With an average of 6 issues per volume, this comes out to 602
However, Monte Herridge has determined that there were actually four
issues in May 1914.
Issues & Index Sources
Street & Smith Publications, Inc.
Burt L. Standish (Gilbert Patten) (first 4 issues)
Henry Wilton Thomas
Apr-1930? J. I. Lawrence
Nov-1931? – Feb-1933?: Ronald Oliphant
Oct-1933 – Sep/Oct-1937: F. Orlin Tremaine
1-Mar-1910 – Oct-1910: "nickel library" format
Nov-1910 – Sep/Oct-1937: standard pulp
1-Mar-1910 – Oct-1910: 5c
Nov-1910 – ?: 10c
1917 – 1934: 10c (briefly 20c in 1921)
1936 – Sep/Oct-1937: 10c
1-Mar-1910 – Oct-1910: 36pp
Nov-1910 – Sep/Oct-1937: 192pp
twice-monthly, shifted to thrice-monthly in 1913; monthly in 1930s
The Pulp Magazines Project
The Adventure House Guide to the Pulps, Ultimate Guide to the Pulps