Arthur Gorfain and 'The Silver Jacket', Australia's legendary 1950s story paper.
Australia's own (and finest) boy's story paper of the 1950s!
Just ONE page on the Collecting Books and Magazines web site based in Australia.
Did you have a letter published in the SJ? If so, we'd like to hear from you.
Readers write and copies wanted or for sale
Scenes at the SILVER JACKET office!
Contents index of the first 5 issues
The Editorial Team
Page updated 14th February, 2015.

bc 38 issues of THE SILVER JACKET saw the light of day before it folded in May, 1956. It was of a size similar to American comics of the period, rather than the larger British comics such as 'Lion', 'Knockout' and 'Film Fun'. 'The Silver Jacket' featured an eye-catching silver-edged cover, which surrounded a full-colour illustration. The title usually appeared in red within a yellow box. Originally a monthly, it eventually appeared every second week. Published by the legendary Arthur Gorfain, the first four issues featured 'Biggles' on the cover and started off a serialisation of 'Biggles Works it Out'. Charles Hamilton, famous for his 'Billy Bunter' books (see FRANK RICHARDS/CHARLES HAMILTON) supplied an original school series featuring Carcroft School, now believed to have been based on pre-WW2 GEM stories.

Issues varied in length from 28-36 pages. Contents included short stories, true-life articles, a quiz or crossword, a trading post (fascinating as all ads and letters contained full names and addresses of readers), comics, gags and usually editorial comments (in issue 7 the editor mentioned receiving 8000 letters from readers since the first issue went on sale).

FREE GIFTS similar to those given away with English story papers were included with some issues. #1 came with a colour card of the BOAC Comet Jetliner (see cover of #1 above) and #2 came with a colour card of the Orient Liner 'Oronsay'.


Dave Westaway
Date: 29/08/2000

I was pleased to come across your article on Silver Jacket. Having had a number of copies as a youth I'd like to try and get a set, or at least a part set. If you know of anybody who has any to sell or maybe to swap for British comics. / Just one small point. The Carcroft stories had already appeared in a small quarterly magazine called Pie. The name was preceded by the season; Summer Pie, Autumn Pie etc. I have here Christmas Pie 1945 with 'Turkey For Christmas' and Christmas Pie 1946 has 'Christmas Present for Roger'. Mind you I don't know for sure that even those were the original source!

John McGregor
Date: 9/01/07
By pure chance I happened across your site, with people talking about “The Silver Jacket”. What a magnificent publication that was. I started collecting it from the issue (if I remember), with Tom and Jerry on the cover. As far as I remember, I collected it from then onwards, right up to the last issue. I still have them, and every now and again I go through them and read them again. / Even after all these 50 odd years, I still regard it as a classic publication. / Originally it was noted just under the title as being “ A Magazine For Boys”, until a reader wrote in and said that it should be called “THE Magazine For Boys”, which was subsequently done by the publishers. / Another magazine which was brought out by the same people was “The Experimenter”, which showed you how to build, and do all sorts of things. Reading through its pages I built many crystal sets, and even a flame thrower made out of an insect spray atomiser, an ink bottle, and a few bits and pieces! It really worked too…shooting out a flame about twenty feet long! Luckily my parents didn’t see that little “experiment”, or they would have banned the magazine! / I also collected “Chucklers’ Weekly” from the first to the last issue, but those have long gone. It was good value for money too, as it was a very thick magazine with no glossy pages or fancy cover, and I think it sold for twopence.

Lawrie Bryant
Date: 21/04/07
From: L.Bryant@xtra.co.nz
What a thrill to find that others also remember this magazine with fondness and appreciation. It was the only periodical my parents allowed me to subscribe to and I used to cycle to Whitcombe and Tombs in Invercargill NZ each month to collect it. I have thought of it many times over the years, always remembering it as a source of information and excitement. How pleasing to find that I’m not alone in holding it in high esteem, even after more than 50 years. I will now try to buy some copies.

John Grave
Date: 4/07/07

Wanted copies of The Silver Jacket (1950's) Australian boys magazine. Email John at plateproviders@bigpond.com or write John Grave, PO Box 217, Ringwood Victoria 3134

John Leah
Date: 19/08/07

I think it was partly the influence of The Silver Jacket” that led me to produce my first class “magazine” at high school and later edit the school magazine. That in turn seduced me into “the media”, including 30-odd years (on and off) in print media, plus other stints in radio, TV, video and film production. But it’s hard to grow a “big name” unless you can disregard your family’s needs and/or can be an “artistic bastard” (or a bitch in some circles) in the professional sense! So my career never really reached the foothills, let alone the heights. A foot soldier rather than a field commander. / I recall “The Silver Jacket” peddled a story that the magazine was so named because in the publishing industry the cover was called a “jacket”, Well in 30 years in the periodical publishing industry, I never encountered that use of the word! Covers were always just “covers”. Although I did sometimes encounter it in the book publishing industry, although other terms were much more common. There were indeed some very odd words, like “dinkus”, for example, that only a few oldies in the publishing game still know… But “jacket”? Unlikely, although it has to be said that there was some kind of dialect that differed a bit between the states. But not much, and I did work in all the eastern states and my Dad worked on the Launceston Examiner and I had access to the Gordon & Gotch culture in Tasmania, which operated out of the Examiner building… So I think they invented the “Jacket” myth but I stand to be corrected by anyone old enough to remember!

John Gehring
Date: 21/2/08
As I own the set of the Silver Jacket's bound in their covers, including a 4th edition which was manufactured to look like the three covers available
the the time. I have attached a photo of them which you may be interested including on your web site. / Being 55 years old they have survived the years very well. I loaned my copies to a Jim Dickinson from Arizona for 12 months, who had them professionally bound in the USA, then he returned them to me in Australia. / They are now beautifully bound and a real pleasure to handle. / I am 68 y.o this year and reading The Silver Jackets again takes me back to when I was a 13 - 14 year old boy.
Thanks for the photo, John. I've pasted it in below.

Terry O'Neill
Date: 6/09/08

I surfed across your site while researching an Australian boy's comic book my father purchased for me back in the 1950's. It was titled "The SilverJacket" and was a favourite of mine because it was almost entirely hand-drawn from cover to cover. I had all issues but unfortunately my
collection was ruined when I lent it to a wayward son who left them out in the rain. I now have only one issue, because I still read them occasionally
and that one was not with the collection. If anyone has a full collection have they considered having them scanned and made into PDF files to sell on
disc? I don't know who owns the rights to The Silver Jacket now, but I'm sure there is an opportunity for someone here to do just that. Let's hope it
eventually happens. Thanks for this opportunity to relive some wonderful moments in time.

Date: 15/05/12

Last weekend, I was reading an old Silver Jacket while cleaning up the garage. For the few years when it was published from about 1953 till 1956, it was a sensation and almost every kid used to read it. At school, in our class of about 30 boys, I would say at least 20 would buy each issue. It was cool to say you had the latest copy. It remains a mystery why it stopped being published. Does anyone know the reason? A technical point is that the photo referred to the office at the G.U.I.O.O.F. building. It was actually 149 Castlereagh Street, Sydney which was the Grand United Order of Oddfellows building, ie GUOOF. Back to the topic and I suppose it was the lack of TV, the top 40 music hadn’t yet started and the shortage of local magazines for boys that caused its brief success. I often wonder why crazes start. When the Queen came to Australia in 1954, many kids, including me, put up signs in their windows saying things like “Welcome Your Majesty”. No one told us to do it and if someone asked me whether I thought the Queen would be coming down our street, I would have to say “No”. I guess it was like putting up Christmas decorations. The magic has gone and it is inconceivable that kids would do that now. It was part of the thinking at the time and the Silver Jacket was part of this, suddenly appearing and just as suddenly ending. It was still a great magazine.

Brian Rich
Date: 12/2/2015
I typed in silver jacket and there was a site. I bought a few copies of the silver jacket at our little corner newsagents in Croydon England, not quite sure when but I suppose I was about 12 or 14, I thought it was very good, I couldn't tell you which edition it was but I remember a poem "when your pants begin to go" it has always stuck in my memory, and I found how true it was. A good comic/ magazine, how on earth it got into our corner shop I cannot think.


To be identified but probably including Arthur Gorfain, artists John L Curtis, George Roots, David Whittam and receptionist Esther Collard.


1. These are uncorrected and won't match Steve Holland's on the Story Paper Index, where you'll find many other issues fully indexed. To be corrected soon.

2. If you have any queries on the contents, please contact the page editor.

3. Cover scans will be found in the SILVER JACKET Folder, in the PHOTOS section of the CB&M Yahoo group.

The Silver Jacket [#1 V1, October 1953] (1/-, 36pp, cover by ?) free gift
3 * Gorfain, A D * Hello Boys * ed
4 * Johns, Capt W E * Biggles Works it Out * [Part 1 of ?] * sl
6 * Curtis, John L * The Backwoodsman * cs
8 * Richards, Frank * Just Like Turkey * ss [Carcroft]
11 * Anon. * How the Rubber Tree came to Malaya * cs
12 * Lawson, Henry * Out Back * poem [ilust. by John L Curtis]
13 * Curtis, John L * The Story of Robert Baden-Powell * cs [Ben and his Books] *
14 * Anon. * Station in Space * illust.article
16 * Neville, Ken * The Monsters of Lake Callabonna * illust. article
18 * Anon. * The Gag Bag * jokes
20 * Anon. * A Four Cylinder Engine * illust. article [How to Make]
21 * Anon. * Smash and Grab * quiz
22 * Roots, George * Muscles Cockle * cs
24 * Anon. * The BOAC Comet Jetliner * article re free gift card
26 * Anon. * Trading Post * ads
26 * Connors, Alan * Here's a Quiz on the Spot * qz
32 * Anon. * The Sinking of the Titanic * article

The Silver Jacket [#2 V1, November 1953] (1/-, 36pp, cover by ?) free gift
3 * Gorfain, A D * No Letters Yet * ed
4 * Johns, Capt W E * Biggles Works it Out * [Part 2 of ?] * sl
6 * Curtis, John L * Adventures of John Slaughter * cs
8 * Richards, Frank * Turkey on the Warpath * ss [Carcroft]
11 * Anon. * The Most Valuable Stamp in the World * cs
12 * Paterson, Banjo * The Traveling Post Office * poem [ilust. by John L Curtis]
13 * Curtis, John L * Barnum the Great * cs [Ben and his Books]
14 * Anon. * Rocket Ship to the Moon * ar
15 * Connors, Alan * Here's Another Sports Quiz * qz
16 * Anon. * The Amazing Story of Pelorus Jack * ar
18 * Anon. * The Gag Bag * jokes
20 * Anon. * A Four Cylinder Engine * illust. article [How to Make]
21 * Anon. * Chromium Plated Crossword * qz
22 * Roots, George * Muscles Cockle * cs
24 * Anon. * The 28,000 Ton Orient Liner Oronsay * article re free gift card
26 * Anon. * Trading Post * ads
32 * Anon. * The Day the Earth Blew Up * ar

The Silver Jacket [#3 V1, December 1953] (1/-, 36pp, cover by John L Curtis)
3 * Gorfain, A D * Over 2000 Letters * ed
4 * Johns, Capt W E * Biggles Works it Out * [Part 3 of ?] * sl
6 * Curtis, John L * Sam Adams and the Boston Tea Party * cs
8 * Richards, Frank * Turkey for Christmas * ss [Carcroft]
11 * Curtis, John L * The Conquest of Yellow Jack * cs
12 * Paterson, Banjo * Song of the Artesian Water * poem [ilust. by John L Curtis]
13 * Curtis, John L * The Tower of London * cs [Ben and his Books]
14 * Anon. * Frogmen of the Future * ar [ilust. by John L Curtis]
16 * Anon. * The Gag Bag * jokes
18 * Saunders, G K * World without Weight * ar
20 * Anon. * Double Deck Chair is Easy to Make * ar
21 * Anon. * Muscle Maulers * qz
22 * Roots, George * Muscles Cockle * cs
24 * Anon. * Letters to the Editor * ?
26 * Anon. * Trading Post * ads
32 * Neville, Ken * The Mystery of the Mary Celeste * [Part 1 of 2] ar

The Silver Jacket [#4 V1, January 1954] (1/-, 36pp, cover by John L Curtis)
3 * Gorfain, A D * Join with Me in sending a message to Our Queen * ed
4 * Johns, Capt W E * Biggles Works it Out * [Part 4 of ?] * sl
6 * Curtis, John L * Custer's Last Stand * cs
8 * Richards, Frank * Turkey knows how * ss [Carcroft]
11 * Curtis, John L * Courage in the Air * cs
12 * Lawson, Henry * The Lights of Cobb and Co * poem [ilust. by John L Curtis]
13 * Curtis, John L * The Voyage with Captain Bligh * cs [Ben and his Books]
14 * Saunders, G K * Space Rockets - How they work * ar
16 * Anon. * The Gag Bag * jokes
18 * The Secrets of Cinemascope * ar [ilust. by John L Curtis]
20 * Anon. * Letters to the Editor * ?
22 * How to Make a Kaleidoscope * ar
23 * Anon. * Aircraft Identification * qz
24 * Roots, George * Muscles Cockle * cs
26 * Anon. * Trading Post * ads
32 * Neville, Ken * The Mystery of the Mary Celeste * [Part 2 of 2] * ar

The Silver Jacket [#5 V1, February 1954] (1/-, 36pp, cover by John L Curtis)
3 * Gorfain, A D * Some Interesting News * ed
4 * Johns, Capt W E * Biggles Works it Out * [Part 5 of ?] * sl
6 * Curtis, John L * The Exploits of Wild Bill Hickok * cs
8 * Richards, Frank * Turkey's Picnic * ss [Carcroft]
11 * Curtis, John L * Cleopatra's Needle - How it came to London * cs
12 * Paterson, Banjo * Mulga Bill's Bicycle * poem [ilust. by John L Curtis]
13 * Curtis, John L * The Wizard of Menlo Park * cs [Ben and his Books]
14 * Saunders, G K * Stars and Planets * ar
16 * Norton, C B * Australia's Century of Naval Defence - from Wooden Ships to Aircraft Carriers * ilust ar
18 * Anon. * The Gag Bag * jokes
20 * Connors, Alan * The Story of the Sheffield Shield * ar
22 * Anon. * A Bed-Table is always useful * ar [How to Make]
23 * Roots, George * Can you draw a comic strip? * qz
24 * Roots, George * Muscles Cockle * cs
26 * Anon. * Letters to the Editor * ?
32 * Bonwick, John * How I found the New Cave at Jenolan * ar
34 * Anon. * Trading Post * ads


The page author gratefully acknowledges the help give by Frank Morris of THE PRESS BOX, a newsletter for collectors and researchers of print media and associated memorabilia, Suite 1, 6 Shaw St, Bexley North NSW 2207, Australia.

1920s PALS - usually found in yearly bound volumes 1- 6. Was there a 7th?

1930s THE BOY - number of issues not known.

1934 THE FATTY FINN WEEKLY ("...launched by Syd Nicholls." FM)

1936 THE COMET ("..good layout, racy stories, lots of action." FM)

1938 CROSS ROADS ("A fortnightly, promoted 'outstanding short stories and serials.
Cost 3d, editor: K Wallace-Crabbe." FM)

1946 PASTIME Cost 6d

1940s ADVENTURE Cost 6d ("...boxing, mystery and detectives." FM)


1954 THE CHUCKLERS WEEKLY (edited by Molly Dye FM)

Also THE JUNIOR DAILY TELEGRAPH ("A tabloid with green masthead.." FM)

1970s LIVING WORLD Launched by Frank Morris in association with the Nicholas Chemical Company, manufacturers of 'Akta-Vite'.


Back to the Collecting Books & Magazines index page

Contact the page editor John at chiefchook@gmail.com .