Great Moments In Magazine History… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 9

May 7, 2019

After the catfish fry, after the ice cream, after the mingling and talking and cocktail hour, Stephen Lomazow is going to walk us through the great moments in magazine history. He’s been collecting magazines since 1974 (americanmagazinecollection.com). The word “magazine has a military origin, meaning a “storehouse”; these publications were seen as a storehouse of information, and continue to be so.

America’s first magazine idea might have come from Benjamin Franklin, but he was scooped by Andrew Bradford; however, the first successful one was called The American Magazine, launched in 1745. Benjamin Franklin did sell it. The first American political cartoon was published in this magazine in 1758, a pro-British, anti-French advertisement.

The Royal American Magazine, published between 1774 and 1775, was one of the great inciters of revolutionary passion; its engravings were done by Paul Revere.

Thomas Paine’s Pennsylvania Magazine was the only magazine printed in 1775 and 1776; the June 1776 issue contains the first printed notice of independence, referencing the date of July 2nd. In April 1776 a black ex-slave, Phillis Wheatley, published an ode to George Washington as the first literary work in an American magazine.

In 1812 The War was the first magazine published to share contemporary reports of war.

The most important magazine in the second decade of the 1800s was the Analectic Magazine, published by Washington Irving of Rip Van Winkle fame. It published the poem which became America’s national anthem, sung to the tune of an old English drinking song.

Herman Melville published a series called Authentic Anecdotes of Old Zack (Zachary Taylor) in Yankee Doodle Magazine.

Leading up to the Civil War, the Anti-Slavery Almanac of the 1830’s published exposes of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Jennings. The most important anti-slavery magazine was The Liberator, published throughout the Civil War. The African-American Frederick Douglass published the North Star in the 1850s, along with Martin Robinson Delaney, an African American who graduated from Harvard Medical School and published the first novel by a black man in America.

The magazine that started the Civil War was The National Era, in which Uncle Tom’s Cabin was serialized. The two most widely circulated periodicals in the North were Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Illustrations included The Sharpshooter by Winslow Homer. Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader correctly predicted Lincoln’s assassination. The South’s equivalent publication was Southern Illustrated News.

The Spanish American War was the journalists war. They commissioned an artist to create The Yellow Kid and wrote sensationalist articles featuring him; hence the term “yellow journalism.” Hearst sent Remington to Cuba saying, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”

The famous iconic image of Uncle Sam by James Montgomery Flagg was adapted from a 1914 British poster of Lord Kitchener.

Norman Rockwell began his magazine covers during World War 1.

As a sign of unity and resolve, every magazine published in America in July 1942, had an American flag on the cover. Disney published a magazine with a racy centerfold illustration and sent it to all their employees fighting in the war; and Norman Rockwell adapted Rosie the Riveter from a Michelangelo. Amerasia magazine published leaked a top-secret state memo.

To watch Dr. Stephen Lomazow’s presentation please click on the video below.

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