News and Feature Magazines


Figure 1.--.

While fashion magazines were the publications of greatest intrest to us HBC, we note a number of illustrated news and feature magazines that are of interest to HBC. While not dealing with fashion per se, the illustrations and photographs provide many images of children and the clothing that they were wearing over time. A great of information can be gleaned from these magazines. There were even advertisements in these magazines that offered insights into children's clothing. Many of the titles are still well known to us. Others are less well known, but were of consideral importance in their day. We are most familiar with the American and British magazines. Hopefully our readers will provide information on important publications in their country. Some magazines are especially associated with contemprary illustrations. By the 1920s many of these magazines began rountinrly running photographs. Some like featured illustrations and photographs. The most famous American publication with illustrations is the Saturday Evening Post, in no small part because Norman Rockwell drew for the Post. There were of course many other illustarors who drew for the Post, as well as many other magazines and other publications of some impotance. Some of the other important American magazines included: Century, Collier's Weekly, Good Housekeepin, Ladies' Home Journal, Leslie's, Harper's, McClure's, Scribners, and Woman’s Home Companion. Other publications became notable for their photographs, especilly the London Illustrated News, Life, and Look. Some of these publications were specifically fashion publications. Others were publications which included fashion information or illustrations and photographs which indirectly illustrated fashion trends. There were also a variety of childrens publications. Here some of the English periodical publications were especially notable.

(The) American Magazine (US, 1906- )

McClure Magazine at the turn of the 20th century shifted from a literary format to a crusading journal addressing social and politucal issues of the day. It became perhaps the most acclaimed crusading magazines of the progressive era. Some of McClure's leading muckraking journalists (Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell and William A. White) left and formed their own publication--The American Magazine (1906). We are unsure why they left McClure's. It was at the heigth of the progressive crusading era. The magazine soon established itself as an important vouce for reform and conducted important investigations into social and political issues. Conservatives objected to many of these investigations and charged that the magazine and others were "muckrakers". The term was used variously with pride or to question the professinalism of the journalists involved. Muck means variously mud or barnyard dung. The term meant that the investigative journalists working to uncover corruption or abuses were digging up mud. The Term wa popularized by President Roosevelt (1906). The American Magazine was an illustrated magazine. Although perhaps not up to the srandard of view of early 20th century America. It was, however, the investigative reports for which the magazine is known. Ray Stannard Baker focused on race relations with articles like: "The Colour Line in the North" (February 1908), "The Negro's Struggle for Survival, in the North" (March, 1908), "Lift Man From the Gutter? Or Remove the Gutter? Which?" (July, 1909). Upton Sinclair submitted a provocative piece on the invidual and modern industrial society: "The Metropolis" (January, 1908). Lincoln Steffens looked into American journalism with: "Hearst, the Man of Mystery" (November, 1906). Ida Tarbell continued her crudade against John D. Rockefeller with "Roosevelt vs. Rockefeller" (December, 1908). She also looked into tariffs and Wall Street finance with: "The Mysteries and Cruelties of the Tariff" (November, 1910) and "The Hunt for the Money Trust" (May, 1913).

Good Housekeeping (US, 1885- )

Good Housekeeping first appeared May 2, 1885. It was one of of several popular women's magazines established suring the 1880s and 1890s. The magazine provided information about running a home and raising children. This the modern Good Housekeeping conytinues today. The Good Housekeeping seal of approval was developed to assure housewives of a product's value. Letters from readers were an important facet. The early magazine, however, also included a broad range of literary offerings. Good Housekeeping was founded by journalist-businessman Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The magazine moved to Springfield, but by 1911 the circulation was only 0.3 million. This changed when it was purchased by the William Randolph Hearst and moved to New York. The citculation was soon in the millions of copies. Many well known writers have contributed to Good Housekeeping, including Somerset Maugham, Edwin Markham, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frances Parkinson Keyes, and Evelyn Waugh. Following the death of President Calvin Coolidge his widow, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, memorialized him in its pages. In an efforts to stay close to its audience, Good Housekeeping accepts articles by ordinary readers who are not professional writers. No one individual is more associated with Good Housekeeping than famed American children's illustrator Jesie Wilcox Smith. Over two decades, Good Housekeeping brought her work into millions of Americans homes every month (1917-33). In all she did more than 200 covers for the magazine.

Graphic (England, 1869-9??)

The Graphic magazine was on of the most notable publications of Victorian England. The magazine was an illustrated weekly publication edited by the social reformer, William Luson Thomas. One of the most important artist working for Graphic was Luke Fildes. Thomas believed that the inherent power of visual images could be ued to affect public opinion. He was interested in moving public opinion on issues such as poverty and injustice. The first edition of the Graphic magazine appeared in December 1869. Thomas asked Fildes to illustrate an article on the Houseless Poor Act, a new law that permitted some of the unfortunate people in a work house out for a night. Fildes illustration showed a line of homeless people applying for tickets to stay overnight in the workhouse. The engraving was entitled "Houseless and Hungry" was noted by rtist John Everett Millais. He mentioned it to Charles Dickens who was very impressed. Dickens commissioned Fildes to illustrate his newest novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The magazine was not entirely devoted to articles with social relevancy, but was a general news magazine. There were many features about notable individuals, such as in this case deLesseps. The illusrrations in Graphic were engravings. Until the turn of the 20th century, it was not possible to print a photographic. Thus the illustrations in the magazine were engravings like the one seen here. The Graphic magazine did continue printing into the 20th century and began illustrating its articles with photographs after the turn of the century.

Harper's Weekly

Harper'Weekly was one of the Harper & Brothers periodical publications.

Life (US, 1936- )

Life Magazine is one of the iconic American periodical publications. It was a weekly news magazine founded in Henry Luce (1936). There was an earlier Life, but the only connection between the two magazines is that Luce wanted the name of the magazine. The first issue of Luce's Life was published on November 23, 1936. The magazine was primarily a vehicle for photojournalism. There were of course arrtiles, but they were illustrated with photographs. In the days before televosion, it used photography to introduce Americans to the visual world including art, dance, fashions, politics, sports, travel, world affairs, and much more. The first issue had articles about Fort Knox (the U.S. gold depository), San Francisco Chinese, and New Deal Depression relief work. It proved to be just what the public wanted. In the days before television, people wanted to see pictures to go with the news they were hearing about over the radio. Life was the first all-photographic American news magazine. It was emensely popular and dominated the market American market for over 40 years. The publication run peaked at 13.5 million copies a week. President Harry S. Truman, Sir Winston Churchill and General Douglas MacArthur serialized their memoirs in Life. Some of the most famous phiotographs of the 20th century appeared in Life, including the Marines raising the flag on Mt. Suibachi and the sailor kissing the girl on VJ Day. Life was published weekly until until (1972). Interest began to decline as Americans could now see the news on tekevisdion. Special appeared intermittent until (1978). The magazine was revived as a monthly (1978-2000). Even after regular publication ended, photo issues on special themes continue to appear.

London Illustrated News (England)


Look (United States)


McClure's Magazine (US, 1893-1929)

McClure's Magazine was a leading an American literary and political magazine duting the late 19th and early 20th century. Samuel McClure founded the magazine during June 1893. The prive was set low at only 15 cents so virtually anyone could afford it. McClure was an illustrated magazine. It included the stories and serialized novels by some of the most popular authors of the day, mostly American and British writers. McClure carried the work of luminaries like Willa Cather, Arthur Conan Doyle, Herminie T. Kavanagh, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mark Twain. The initial focus was on literature, but after the turn of the 20th century, McClure's began to increasingly focus on political and social issues. McClure's evolved into perhaps the preeminent American muckraking magazine. McClure's became a voice for progrssive issues and ran articles by the most notable muckracking journalists of the day. Perhaps the most famous was Ida Tarbell, a young woman that fundamentally changed American journalism. Her career began quietly enough with two well received, but hardly controversial biographical series on Lincoln and Napoleon. She then comenced a personal crusade against oul tycoon John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. Tarbell exposed his unethical business practices. One of the major progressive issues was the fight against monopolies and Rockefeller's Standard Oil was one of the most powerful monopolies in America. Tarbell's book History of the Standard Oil Company (November, 1902 - October, 1904). This was followed by "John D. Rockefeller: A Character Sketch" (July, 1905). Her work was so devestating that Rockefeller's son John D. Rockefeller, Jr. spent much of his life working to redeem the family name through philanthropy. Lincoln Steffens wrote a series of telling articles: "Enemies of the Republic" (March, 1904), "Rhode Island: A State for Sale" (February, 1905), "New Jersey: A Traitor State" (April, 1905), amd "Ohio: A Tale of Two Cities" (July, 1905). Ray Stannard Baker tacked some of the most important progressive issues, monopolies, railroads, trade unions, and lynching. Some of his articles included: "What the United States Steel Corporation Really Is?" (November, 1901), "The Right to Work" (January, 1903), "Reign of Lawlessness" (May, 1904), "What is Lynching" (January, 1905), "Railroads on Trial" (January, 1906), and "How Railroads Make Public Opinion" (March, 1906). The lynching issue was an especially inflamatory one as the early 20th century was a particular brutal wea of racial suppression in America. Extral legal action, especially lynching, was a primary tool used to supress blacks, largely but not entirely in the South. Race was an issue used to divide progressive forces. Much of the progressive program was enacted into law during the T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson presidencies. Enactment of an anti-lynching law was one of the signal failures. These articles brought a critival eye to the behavior of the major corporations that helped to build America into an industrial giant. The quality of the articles declined after much of the writing staff left to form The American Magazine (1906). Many readers switched to the new magazine and readership declined. S. S. McClure had to sell his magazine when it went into debt. With the achievement of many of their major goals, the strength of the progressive movement waned with the prosperity and industrial expansion of the 1920s. The new owners which bought the magazine in 1911 changed McClure's into a women's magazine. The last issue was published at the end of the decade (March 1929) just before the stock market crash (October 1929) and the Great Depression would launch the New Deal and another wave of progrssive (liberal) reform under President F. Roosevelt's New Deal.

National Geographic (US)


Newsweek (US)


Punch Magazine (England, 1842-1992)

Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landell founded Punch (1841). It had the alternative title London Charivari. This was a reference to a Paris satirical magagazibne, Le Charivari. But from the behining the simple title "Punch" caught on with the British pulic. This was a reference to the irreverent Punch of Punch and Judy puppet theater fame. Punch was jointly edited by Mayhew and Mark Lemon. Mayhew at an early withdrew from the magazine. Punch began when photography was still at a very early stage--limited to Daguerreotypes. The techology of printing photographs was a half a century in the future. Images by the 1840s could, however, be printed theough engraving. And it was these illustrations that made Punch famous--most notably the political cartoon. In fact, the modern meaning of "cartoon" was coined in Punch. (Previously cartoon had mean a sketch or painting used to produce a tapestry.) Illustrator Archibald Henning designed the first cover. Richard Doyle designed the magazine's masthead (1849). The magazine had a rocky start finacially, but soon developed a British staple. Punch took a conservative editorial position. For two decades it competed with Fun which took a liberal editorial position (1860s-70s). It developed a relationship with the staid Times of London. One of its most important cartoonists was was F.H. Towsend. He was appouinted the magazines first art director (1905). Upon his death while play golf, he was replaced with Frank Reynolds who had worked for the London Illustrated News (1920). The circulation of Punch peaked during the 1940s at 175,000. After that it slowly declined. The famed magazine finally had to close (1992). It left an incredible historical record.

St. Nicholas Magazine (US, 1873-1939)

St. Nicolas Magazine was published from 1873 to 1939. During that long run, the magazine exerted an influence on young Americans rivaled only by that of The Youth's Companion. Editorial guidance was provided by Mary Mapes Dodge, who had earlier written the classic Hans Brinker: or, "The Silver Skates" in 1865). It was in St. Nichiolas that Frances Hogdsen Burnett's Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1885. St. Nicholas attracted some of the best known writers in America and England, including Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bret Harte, Rudyard Kipling, and the writer featured in this issue, L. Frank Baum, who had already achieved fame with his "modernized fairy tale", The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900. Most important American illustrators had their work published in St. Nichiolas Magazine, including Maxfield Parrish and ???.

Saturday Evening Post (US, 1897- )

No publication is so closely linked with the traditions of 20th century America as the The Saturday Evening Post. Cyrus Curtis founded The Ladies Home Journal (1883). With the succes of the Journal he founded the Curtis Publishing Company (1890). A few years later he happened upon a sixteen-page, un-illustrated weekly with a readership of less than 2,000 and virtually no paid advertising 1897). The paper's lineage indicated it was descended from Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette. Curtis turned it into one of the most important periodical magazines in America. It was the most popular American magazine in the first half of the 20th century. The Post included political cartoons, artwork, literary works, and much more. The Post was especially known for its covers which were done by important illustrators like Norman Rockwell. The work of popular authors appeared in The Post. It was in The Post that Lassie first appeared. Although mundane at the time, even the advertisements make issues of the Post fascinating to modern readers. The Post came to compete wuth Look and Life. The Post was a bit different than these two magazines. It did not have the focus on current news and photography like the other two publications had.

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Created: December 5, 2003
Last updated: 1:23 AM 12/26/2010