Munsey's Magazine

Munsey's Weekly, later known as Munsey's Magazine, was a 36-page quarto American magazine founded by Frank A. Munsey in 1889 and edited by John Kendrick Bangs.[1] It is credited with being the first mass-market magazine. Frank Munsey aimed to publish "a magazine of the people and for the people, with pictures and art and good cheer and human interest throughout". Soon after its inception, the magazine was selling 40,000 copies a week. In 1891, Munsey's Weekly adopted a monthly schedule and was renamed Munsey's Magazine.

In October 1893, Munsey reduced the price of the magazine from 25 cents to 10 cents, which was greatly successful. By 1895, the magazine had a circulation of 500,000 a month. It included numerous illustrations (including many by the illustrator Charles Howard Johnson) and was attacked for its "half-dressed women and undressed statuary". Some outlets refused to stock the magazine as a result, but circulation continued to grow and by 1897 had reached 700,000 per month.

Circulation began to fall in 1906 and by the 1920s was down to 60,000. In October 1929, Munsey's was merged with Argosy. It immediately thereafter demerged with Argosy All-Story to form All-Story, which continued on a monthly schedule under a variety of similar titles until May 1955.[2]

Munsey's Magazine
Munseys Magazine May 1911
Munsey's Magazine May 1911
FounderFrank Munsey
Year founded1889
Final issueOctober 1929
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City


Charles M. Relyea was among the illustrators whose work appeared in Munsey's.[3]

Tod Robbins' short story "Spurs" was published by Munsey's in 1923. It was loosely adapted into the film Freaks (1932).

Mazo de la Roche, the author of the popular Jalna series, had her first story published in 1902 in Munsey's Magazine.

Robert William Service published the poem "Unforgotten" (also called "Apart and yet Together") in December 1903.[4]


  • John Kendrick Bangs (January–June, 1889)
  • Richard H. Titherton (Jul 1889 – ?)
  • Robert H. Davis (fiction editor 1904–1905)
  • Isaac Frederick Marcosson (1910–1913)
  • William Marcus MacMahon, Editor-in-Chief (??? - ???)

Back issues

Full-text on-line versions available via Google Books (last accessed 2012-01-02):

  • Vol XXX: October 1903 to March 1904
  • Vol XXXI: April 1904 to September 1904
  • Vol XXXII: October 1904 to March 1905
  • Vol XXXIII: April 1905 to September 1905
  • Vol XXXIV: October 1905 to March 1906
  • Vol XXXV: April 1906 to September 1906
  • Vol XXXVI: October 1906 to March 1907
  • Vol XXXVII: April 1907 to September 1907
  • Vol XXXVIII: October 1907 to March 1908
  • Vol XXXIX April 1908 to September 1908
  • Vol XL: October 1908 to March 1909
  • Vol XLI: April 1909 to September 1909
  • Vol XLII: October 1909 to March 1910
  • Vol XLIII: April 1910 to September 1910
  • Vol XLIV: October 1910 to March 1911 (not found)
  • Vol XLV: April 1911 to September 1911
  • Vol XLVI: October 1911 to March 1912
  • Vol XLVII: April 1912 to September 1912
  • Vol XLVIII: October 1912 to March 1913 (not found)
  • Vol XLIX: April 1913 to September 1913 (not found)
  • Vol L: October 1913 to January 1914
  • Vol LI: February 1914 to May 1914
  • Vol LII: June 1914 to September 1914

See also


  1. ^ Tassin, Algernon (December 1915). "The Magazine In America, Part X: The End Of The Century". The Bookman: an Illustrated Magazine of Literature and Life. XLII (4): 396–412. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  2. ^ "The Argosy & related magazines".
  3. ^ Walt Reed (2001). The illustrator in America, 1860-2000 (third ed.). pp. 114–115. ISBN 9780823025237.
  4. ^ "Biographie". Robert Service.


Further reading

External links

Anne O'Hagan Shinn

Anne O'Hagan Shinn (August 8, 1869 – June 24, 1933) was an American feminist, suffragist, journalist, and writer of short stories, regularly contributing to publications such as Vanity Fair, and Harper's. In particular, she is known for her writings detailing the exploitation of young women working as shop clerks in early 20th Century America.

Blanche Massey

Blanche Massey (c. 1878? – 1929) was a Gaiety Girl and actress best known for her stage appearances in London and the United States in the 1890s. Among her appearances in many productions with the George Edwardes company, especially in Edwardian musical comedies, she was perhaps most remembered for A Gaiety Girl.

Camilla Kenyon

Camilla E. L. Kenyon (May 15, 1876 – September 25, 1957) was an American author of two novels and several short works. Her first novel was Spanish Doubloons, originally published in 1919 by Bobbs Merrill, also serialized in Munsey's Magazine and republished in a less-costly hardback edition by the A. L. Burt Company. This lively story of a group of treasure hunters on a Pacific island is told from the first person viewpoint of the heroine. It is widely available today as a free e-book from numerous sites, and it has also been reprinted in a paperback edition.

Charles Howard Johnson

Charles Howard Johnson (1867 or 1868 – July 3, 1896) was an American illustrator and newspaper artist, best known for his sparse illustrations of the 1890 U.S. edition of The Princess by the English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Little is known of Johnson's life. He has been reported born in Kansas City, and came to New York City in about 1889 after studying art for a year in Cincinnati, Ohio. He worked for a number of magazines including Life, Truth, Munsey's Magazine, and on some of the daily newspapers. He illustrated more than ten books.

He was particularly effective in decorative work, often making the pictures fantastical.

He was engaged to be married to the actress Elita Proctor Otis, before he died at his apartment in the Union Square Hotel of brain fever on July 3, 1896, after an illness of ten days. His wife had died two years earlier, with whom he had a daughter

F. M. Howarth

Franklin Morris Howarth (1864–1908) was an American cartoonist and pioneering comic strip artist.

Howarth was born in Philadelphia on September 27, 1864. He was the oldest of four children of William and Sarah (Iseminger) Howarth. His father was a pattern maker and an English immigrant, his mother a native Philadelphian. Howarth attended Central High School.By age 19 Howarth was drawing for the Philadelphia Call and other papers, after which he began to be employed by national periodicals such as Munsey's Magazine, Life, Judge, and Truth. He joined the staff of Puck in 1891, and moved to the New York World in 1901.Howarth, whose style for figures frequently featured big heads on little bodies, was among the first generation of cartoonists to create serial cartoons, which came to be called comic strips. According to author Jared Gardner, "F. M Howarth's work is representative of the development of sequential graphic narrative during this period... Howarth fractured the single panel that had previously dominated in the United States".Among Howarth's strips are the critically acclaimed courtship strip The Love of Lulu and Leander created in 1902 for the New York American, and eternal con-man target Mr. E. Z. Mark, created in 1903 for the American Journal-Examiner and which ran at least until his 1908 death (it might have been continued by another cartoonist). He also created the strip Ole Opey Dildock in 1907, which was taken over by W. L. Wells on Howarth's death and continued to 1914.Howarth died September 22, 1908, in Germantown, Philadelphia, at age 43, of pneumonia.

Forrest Halsey

Forrest Halsey (November 9, 1877 – September 30, 1949), born William Forrest Halsey, was an American author and screenwriter.

Halsey's novels included Fate and the Butterfly (1909), The Bawlerout (1912), and The Shadow on the Hearth (1914). From 1907 to 1918, he published more than one hundred short stories in popular magazines including Young's Magazine, The Argosy, The Cavalier, and Munsey's Magazine.As a screenwriter, he wrote for 66 films between 1913 and 1942. He was born in Roseville, Newark, New Jersey, and died in Los Angeles County, California.

Francis Pollock

Francis Lillie Pollock (February 4, 1876 – 1957) was an early twentieth-century Canadian science fiction writer. He was born in Huron County, Ontario, Canada in 1876. He wrote 'commercial fiction' under the pseudonym Frank L Pollock and literary fiction under his own name. Some of Pollock's early commercial fiction can be found in The Youth's Companion. He also regularly published short stories and poetry in Munsey's Magazine, The Smart Set, The Atlantic, The Bookman (New York) and The Blue Jay (renamed in 1905 as Canadian Woman Magazine).The sale of a serialised novel, The Treasure Trail, enabled him to leave his job at the Toronto Mail and Empire in 1907 to pursue a full-time writing career. Pollock's writing career was pursued in tandem with a life of beekeeping. Many of his fictions are influenced by bees. Pollock kept an apiary in Shedden, Ontario and farmed commercially. He and his second wife, Zella Taylor retired to Georgetown, Ontario.

Pollock is the author of the short story "Finis", published in the June 1906 issue of The Argosy magazine, and his work has been anthologized several times. Briefly, "Finis" is the story of a new star that is discovered which turns out to be a new, hotter sun. It is a short hard hitting story which shows a man and woman, who stay up the night to watch the expected new star arise. Though written in 1906, it is set in the future of the mid 20th century. Pollock also wrote several science fiction stories for The Black Cat magazine as well as sea stories for magazines such as Adventure.In 1930, he was living in Shedden, Ontario, Canada.

Frank Munsey

Frank Andrew Munsey (21 August 1854 – 22 December 1925) was an American newspaper and magazine publisher and author. He was born in Mercer, Maine, but spent most of his life in New York City. The village of Munsey Park, New York is named for him, along with the Munsey Building in downtown Baltimore, Maryland at the southeast corner of North Calvert Street and East Fayette Street.

Munsey is credited with the idea of using new high-speed printing presses to print on inexpensive, untrimmed, pulp paper in order to mass-produce affordable (typically ten-cent) magazines. Chiefly filled with various genres of action and adventure fiction, that were aimed at working-class readers who could not afford and were not interested in the content of the 25-cent "slick" magazines of the time. This innovation, known as pulp magazines, became an entire industry unto itself and made Munsey quite wealthy. He often shut down the printing process and changed the content of magazines when they became unprofitable, quickly starting new ones in their place.

George Metcalf Johnson

George Metcalf Johnson (February 13, 1885 – December 14, 1965) was an American writer of mystery and western stories. Many of his westerns were published under the name George Metcalf.He was born in Yankton, South Dakota and was educated at Yale University. He taught school in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1910, two of his stories Surelock Homes' Waterloo, a Sherlock Holmes parody, and The Crimson Call were published in Top-Notch Magazine. In 1911, his stories At Rattlesnake Pool and Jumbo - Catching Fish with Brains appeared in The American Boy. Other stories were published in various pulp magazines such as Popular Detective, Soldier of Fortune, Rangeland Love Stories, Romance Round-Up, Riders of the Range, People's Magazine, Munsey's Magazine. Dime Sports Magazine, Ace-High Magazine and Thrilling Ranch Stories. He married Marjorie Thatcher in 1917.Johnson published his first book The Gunslinger in 1927. This was followed by Jerry Rides the Range and Riders of the Trail in 1927. Open Range in 1935 and The Saddle Bum in 1936. He also continued to produce short stories.His story Shadow Ranch was the basis for a 1930 film of the same name directed by Louis King.

Grace Filkins

Grace Filkins (June 3, 1865 – September 16, 1962) was an American stage actress.

Grace Kimball

Grace Kimball (February 18, 1868) was an American stage actress, known for playing leading roles opposite to E. H. Sothern, including in the first play adaptation of The Prisoner of Zenda.Kimball was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1868. She moved to New York City to pursue acting and studied under David Belasco. She first appeared on stage playing a maid in A Possible Case around 1888.She first acted in Sothern's company in 1893, appearing in the role of Fanny Hedden in a revival of Letterblair.In 1897 she married Laurence McGuire, and left the stage for a few years before returning. She continued to appear on stage through at least 1913, when she was in the cast of The Passing Show of 1913.

In her later years she resided with her husband in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Henry Payson Dowst

Henry Payson Dowst (1876–1921) was an American novelist and short-story writer active in the early twentieth century. Born on December 15, 1876, in Bangor, Maine and educated at Bangor High School, Dowst was a graduate of the Harvard class of 1899, and lived briefly in Calais, Maine, before becoming General Manager of the Boston publishing house Maynard & Co. In 1916 he went to work for a New York advertising agency, Frank Seaman, Inc., where he remained until his death at age 45.Despite his day-jobs, Dowst was a prolific contributor of short stories and novelettes to magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, People's Favorite Magazine, and Argosy All-Story Weekly. One bibliography has identified 35 Dowst stories published between 1913 and 1923, though the list is not exhaustive. He also wrote at least two novels in the same period, Bostwick's Budget (Brooklyn, ca. 1920) and The Man from Ashaluna (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., ca. 1920), the second of which was produced as a film in 1924 (entitled On the Stroke of Three) starring Kenneth Harlan. Four Dowst short stories were also filmed in his lifetime: An Honest Man (1918), The Redhead (1920, starring Alice Brady), The Dancin' Fool (1920, starring Wallace Reid), and Smiling All the Way (1920, from the story Alice in Underland). Dowst died at the very height of his writing career, his last novelette, The Hands of Man, being published posthumously in Munsey's Magazine in 1923.

At least one of Dowst's stories was co-authored with his wife Margaret Starr Dowst, a graduate of Wellesley College, whom he married in 1900.Dowst died in New York but was buried in Bangor.

Johnstone Bennett

Johnstone Bennett (1870 — April 14, 1906) was an American actress and vaudeville performer.

Margaret Dale (actress)

Margaret Dale (March 6, 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – March 23, 1972 in New York City) was an American stage and film actress. Many sources give her birth year as 1880. She performed on Broadway for over fifty years and occasionally did films in the 1920s. She appeared in a large number of Broadway hits over the course of her years as an actress.

Born Margaret Rosendale, she later shortened her surname legally to 'Dale'. Her father was Julius Rosendale, a physician who died in 1911. She began her career in Charles Frohman acting company in 1898, often in support of the leading actors such as Henry Miller. She was interviewed in Munsey's Magazine in 1903 where a brief rundown of her career was written and that she was single and living with her mother. She became the leading lady of John Drew from 1902 to 1905. Dale performed with George Arliss in the long running play Disraeli, 1911 to 1917. In the mid-1920s she was part of an ensemble cast that included Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver, Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Hackett and Gene Raymond in the popular play The Cradle Snatchers.

Richard Ganthony

Richard Ganthony (1856-1924) was an actor and playwright. He is best known as the author of the drama A Message from Mars, which premiered in 1899.

Spurs (short story)

"Spurs" is a short story by Tod Robbins. The story was published in February 1923 in Munsey's Magazine and included in Robbins' 1926 anthology Who Wants a Green Bottle? and Other Uneasy Tales. In 1932 the story became the basis for the Tod Browning produced film Freaks.

The Coming of Bill

The Coming of Bill is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse.

It was first published as Their Mutual Child in the United States on 5 August 1919 by Boni & Liveright, New York, and as The Coming of Bill in the United Kingdom on 1 July 1920 by Herbert Jenkins Ltd, London. The story first appeared in Munsey's Magazine in May 1914 under the title The White Hope.

The novel tells the story of Kirk Winfield, his wife Ruth, and their young son, Bill. Bill's upbringing is interfered with by Ruth's busybody aunt, Mrs. Lora Delane Porter, who is an author of books intended to uplift the public mind.

Unlike most of Wodehouse's novels, it is not a comic novel.

A silent film version of Their Mutual Child was made in 1920.

The Girl from Hollywood

The Girl from Hollywood is an Edgar Rice Burroughs contemporary fiction novel. The Girl from Hollywood was published as a serial by Munsey's Magazine from June to November, 1922. The book version was first published by Macaulay Co. on 10 August 1923.The working title was "The Penningtons."

The Little Nugget

The Little Nugget is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse. It was first published in Munsey's Magazine in August 1913, before being published as a book in the UK on 28 August 1913 by Methuen & Co., London, and in the US on 10 January 1914 by W.J. Watt and Company, New York. An earlier version of the story, without the love interest, had appeared as a serial in The Captain between January and March 1913 under the title The Eighteen-Carat Kid; this version was not published in the US until August 1980, when it appeared in a volume entitled The Eighteen-Carat Kid and Other Stories. The Little Nugget was reprinted in the Philadelphia Record on 12 May 1940.

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