Judge (magazine)

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Judge August 11 1900 Bryan Against American Imperialism.jpg
CategoriesSatirical magazine
First issueOctober 29, 1881; 140 years ago (1881-10-29)
Final issue1947
Based inNew York City

Judge was a weekly satirical magazine published in the United States from 1881 to 1947. It was launched by artists who had seceded from its rival Puck. The founders included cartoonist James Albert Wales, dime novels publisher Frank Tousey and author George H. Jessop.

History and profile[edit]

Cover of October 4, 1924 issue

The first printing of Judge was on October 29, 1881, during the Long Depression. It was 16 pages long and printed on quarto paper. While it did well initially, it soon had trouble competing with Puck. William J. Arkell purchased the magazine in the middle 1880s. Arkell used his considerable wealth to persuade the cartoonists Eugene Zimmerman ("Zim") and Bernhard Gillam to leave Puck. A supporter of the Republican Party, Arkell persuaded his cartoonists to attack the Democratic administration of Grover Cleveland. With G.O.P. aid, Judge boomed during the '80s and '90s, surpassing its rival publication in content and circulation. By the early 1890s, the circulation of the magazine reached 50,000.

Under the editorial leadership of Isaac Gregory, (1886–1901), Judge allied with the Republican Party and supported the candidacy of William McKinley largely through the cartoons of cartoonists Victor Gillam and Grant E. Hamilton. Circulation for Judge was about 85,000 in the 1890s. By the 1900s, the magazine had become successful, reaching a circulation of 100,000 by 1912.[1] Edward Anthony was an editor in the early 1920s. Anthony was later co-author of Frank Buck's first two books, Bring 'em Back Alive and Wild Cargo.

Harold Ross was an editor of Judge between April 5 and August 2, 1924. He used the experience on the magazine to start his own in 1925, The New Yorker.[2]

The success of The New Yorker, as well as the Great Depression, put pressure on Judge. It became a monthly in 1932 and ceased circulation in 1947.

Judge was resurrected in October 1953 as a 32-page weekly. David N. Laux was President and Publisher with Mabel Search as editorial director and Al Catalano as art director. Contributors included Arthur L. Lippman and Victor Lasky. There were sections with light essays on sport, golf, horse racing, radio, theater, television, bridge and current books, along with submissions from college magazines, a crossword puzzle, single-panel cartoons and humorous pieces. There were several political sections; one-liners, cartoons and longer essays with mostly a conservative bent, in a style foreshadowing Emmett Tyrrell of today's The American Spectator.

A collection of Judge and Puck cartoons dating from 1887–1900 is maintained by the Special Collections Reference Center of The George Washington University. The collection is located in GW's Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library and is open to researchers.[3]

Judge magazine and the invention of air conditioning[edit]

Walter Timmis, a consulting engineer, paid a visit to J. Irvine Lyle, the head of Buffalo Forge's sales activities in New York, in the spring of 1902. Timmis' client, Sackett & Wilhelms, found that humidity at its Brooklyn plant wreaked havoc with the color register of its fine, multicolor printing. Ink, applied one color at a time, would misalign with the expansion and contraction of the paper stock. This caused poor quality, scrap waste and lost production days, Timmis said. Judge magazine happened to be one of the important clients whose production schedule was at risk. Timmis had some ideas about how to approach the problem but would need help. So, Lyle accepted Timmis' challenge and sent the problem to Willis Carrier, the first step in a long and prosperous collaboration.

Carrier then tried his own experiment, replacing steam with cold water flowing through heating coils, balancing the temperature of the coil surface with the rate of air flow to pull the air temperature down to the desired dew point temperature. Even as he worked, Carrier knew that every part of the process—from metal coils prone to rust, to inexact Weather Bureau tables—could be improved. Nonetheless, he and his team moved steadily forward, completing drawings and sending them to Lyle to be implemented.

The first set of coils was installed at the Sackett & Wilhelms plant late in the summer of 1902 along with fans, ducts, heaters, perforated steam pipes for humidification, and temperature controls. Cooling water was drawn from an artesian well that first summer and supplemented by an ammonia compressor in the spring of 1903 to meet the demands of the first full summer of operation. This system of chilled coils was designed to maintain a constant humidity of 55 percent year-round and have the equivalent cooling effect of melting 108,000 pounds of ice per day.[4]



  1. ^ "Judge Magazine Illustration Collection" (PDF). Delaware Art Museum. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Yagoda, Ben (2000). About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made. Scribner. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-684-81605-9.
  3. ^ Guide to the Samuel Halperin Puck and Judge Cartoon Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University
  4. ^ .http://www.williscarrier.com/1876-1902.php

External links[edit]