A Short History of Magazines
With Gazette Magazine Issue No. 2 about to “go international” it seemed like a good time to take a quick look at the history of magazines.
Records suggest that the first magazine-like publication came about in 1586 when Swiss painter Jost Amman published plates illustrating the trending fashions of the time. He called his collection Gynasceum, sive Theatrum Mulierum (Theatre of Women) and it could be considered the very first fashion magazine.
It wasn’t untiI 1731 in England that Edward Cave launched The Gentlemen’s Magazine. It is usually defined as the first modern magazine. Cave created the word “magazine” from the Arabic word makhazin, which means storehouse. His magazine included everything from essays and poems to stories and political musings. He was the first publisher to successfully execute a wide-ranging publication. A decade later American Magazine started in the United States.
In 1821 The Manchester Guardian was launched, followed in 1828 by Modern Spectator. Le Charivari, an illustrated, satirical magazine published in France, started in 1832. This magazine influenced the creation of the British magazine Punch in 1841, the German magazine Simplicissimus in 1896 and eventually The New Yorker in 1925.
The Economist was founded in 1843 to campaign for free trade. In 1886 Cosmopolitan was launched in the United States as a fiction magazine. Women’s magazines began emerging, and in 1887 publisher John Cassell launched The Woman’s World, with Oscar Wilde as the editor. Five years later Arthur Turnure and Harry McVickar created the iconic Vogue.
Then in 1909 Condé Nast purchased Vogue and gave it a facelift. He then went on to acquire the rights to the name Vanity Fair, which stated in 1922, and launched Esquire in 1933. All but The Woman’s World still have strong circulation.
A number of other popular U.S. magazines had their start in the late 1800’s – the Atlantic in 1857, National Geographic in 1888, and Billboard Advertising (later shortened to Billboard) in 1897. Time Magazine was first published in 1923, Sports Illustrated in 1954, and Rolling Stone in 1967.
The magazine industry thrived for decades. Then somewhere in the early 1990’s the Internet began to rapidly change this centuries old industry. Many magazines disappeared and it seemed as though magazines were in peril. However, along with the vast unregulated access to mass communication came a resurgence of appreciation for story and quality of craftsmanship and the subsequent debut of more and more specialty magazines.
Gazette Magazine is one of those specialty magazines. The first issue, derived from the online Gastown Gazette, was launched in 2014. The magazine was the result of sleepless nights, a wing and a prayer, and a collection of favours from Vancouver’s talented artistic community. It garnered the attention of a number of industry professionals and Vancouver business people as well as the residents of Gastown.
A year later Gazette Issue No. 2 was released. With 192 pages Issue No. 2 feels more like a book than a magazine; its contents carefully crafted by both local and international artists and featuring two different covers. This issue was aimed at a wider audience with the intention of taking what was learned from ‘the hood’ and relating it to the similar experiences of people around the world.
With Issue No. 2 hot off the presses Gazette signed on with Coast to Coast Magazines. They went to work finding strong distribution channels for Gazette Magazine throughout Canada and the United States.
As of March 1st, 2016 Gazette will be available at Hudson News in Canadian airports, Whole Foods throughout Vancouver, and at 648 Barnes & Noble locations across the US.
Please pick-up a copy this week and support North America’s newest independent international arts and culture magazine.
By Dani Kremeniuk
Top Image: This image was featured on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic Magazine. It is regarded by many as the most relevant photograph of the 21st century. Image courtesy Steve McCurry