Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

10 Fun Magazine Facts to Share Over Coffee

By Kristin Garnero The world of magazines is a vast one, with a history that goes back to the 18th century and continues to evolve and reshape itself to this day, so (maybe it’s just the geek in us) there’s something exciting about uncovering (and, for some, re-discovering) its little gems.

From the first magazines ever published to the best day of the week for newsstand sales  (and some prominent title changes along the way), read on to see just how much you know about the industry and some of its key players.

1.The first American magazines are said to have been published in 1741 by Andrew Bradford and Benjamin Franklin, rivaling printers in Philadelphia. Both folded within the span of six months but, by the end of the 18th century, there were over 100 magazines in the U.S.

2. The Scots Magazine, first published in 1739, is considered the oldest consumer magazine still in print today. The People’s Friend, first published in 1869, is considered the longest-running women’s magazine, having celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2009.

3. Harper’s and The Atlantic (founded in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly) were the first periodicals to branch out from news. According to reports, Harper’s was the home of early famous works from the likes of Moby Dick beyond.

4. William Randolph Hearst, owner of several American newspapers at the time, appeared in the early 20th century as one of the most influential publishing icons and became embroiled in a fierce competition against mentor Joseph Pulitzer for readers.

5. Cosmopolitan was originally published in 1886 in the U.S. as a family magazine titled The Cosmopolitan. It later evolved into a literary magazine until eventually becoming a women’s magazine in 1965.

6. The first issue of Vogue, published in 1892 as a weekly for “men of affairs,” cost only 10 cents. It was bought by Condé Montrose Nast in 1905 and later became a bi-weekly, eventually becoming a monthly in 1973.

7. Glamour was originally introduced in 1939 as Glamour of Hollywood. It eventually changed its name to Glamour in 1943, with a tagline that read “for the girl with the job.”

8. Seventeen became the first American magazine created for teens when it was founded in 1944 (later joined by magazines like Teen Vogue and CosmoGirl). Apparently, Sylvia Plath submitted nearly fifty pieces before her first short story was published to the mag in 1950.

9. Fortune is regarded for inventing photo-journalism but, apparently as a result of increasing printing costs, went through a redesign in 1948 and became the business magazine it’s known as today.

10. Saturday is apparently the best day of the week for magazine newsstand sales, coming second to Sunday only during July. The slowest month for sales overall tends to be November (though trends show a big uptick on Thanksgiving Eve).

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