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Wright, Jack. Jack Wright was created by “Noname,” the pseudonym of Luis Senarens, and appeared in 120 stories in Boys' Star Library, Boys of New York, and Happy Days from 1891 to 1904, beginning with “Jack Wright, the Boy Inventor; or, Hunting for a Sunken Treasure” (The Boys' Star Library #216, 18 July 1891).

Jack Wright is a teenaged inventor and explorer. He lives in Wrightstown, an hour north of New York City, but his adventures take him around the world. He creates numerous SCIENCE! vehicles, from his super-submarine, the Sea Spider, to an animal-shaped “electric demon of the plains,” to a flame-breathing “electric dragon,” to an electrically-generated and controlled whirlwind Wright calls the “wheel of the wind.” Wright is assisted by two men, Tim Topstay (an elderly, one-legged sailor) and Fritz Schneider (a stout young Dutchman). With them, he finds treasure, is robbed by Jesse James, finds Lost Races, and fights bizarre enemies: Native American cults, the pirate Blackbeard, voodoo cultists in the Great Dismal Swamp, sea monsters, the descendants of Vikings, the descendants of Aztecs, Thugs, and hostile Atlanteans. In Wright’s second story he accompanies Stephen Decatur and the American Navy on the 1803 expedition against the Barbary pirates. (There is no time travel in the story; the 1803 expedition takes place in the 1880s).

* I'm including the Jack Wright stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their imaginative content. The Jack Wright stories are Edisonades, which means they are full of prejudice and bigotry and racism and should only be studied by academics rather than read for pleasure. They aren't recommended at all. But it is worth nothing that Luis Senarens' approach to new vehicles and equipment for Jack Wright is actually quite inventive; every issue had a new vehicle for Jack Wright and his crew to pilot, and usually they aren't merely dirigibles but are things like the "electric dragon" and the "wheel of the wind." 

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