The American Magazine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The American Magazine
John E. Sheridan (1880–1948) illustration of Joseph Cotten (September 1931)
First issueJune 1906 (1906-June)
Final issueAugust 1956
CountryUnited States

The American Magazine was a periodical publication founded in June 1906, a continuation of failed publications purchased a few years earlier from publishing mogul Miriam Leslie. It succeeded Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (1876–1904), Leslie's Monthly Magazine (1904–1905), Leslie's Magazine (1905) and the American Illustrated Magazine (1905–1906).[1] The magazine was published through August 1956.


Under the magazine's original title, Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, it had begun to be published in 1876 and was renamed Leslie's Monthly Magazine in 1904, and then was renamed again as Leslie's Magazine in 1905.[2] From September 1905, through May 1906, it was entitled the American Illustrated Magazine; then subsequently shortened as The American Magazine until publication ceased in 1956. It kept continuous volume numbering throughout its history.[2]

In June 1906, muckraking journalists Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens and Ida M. Tarbell left McClure's to help create The American Magazine. An "Editorial Announcement" published in 1907 lead with Tarbell's coverage of tariff policy.[3] Baker contributed articles using the pseudonym David Grayson. Under John Sanborn Phillips, who served as editor until 1915, the monthly magazine departed somewhat from the muckraking style and focused on human interest stories, social issues and fiction. Initially published by his Phillips Publishing Company of Springfield, Ohio, it later was taken over by Crowell Publishing Company in 1911,[4] and later merged with Collier's. The American Magazine was published by Crowell-Collier until it folded in 1956.[5]


With the changes in 1915, John M. Siddall (1915–23) was appointed as editor of the periodical, which expanded its market considerably by concentrating on a female readership. The cover of the September 1917 issue announced: "This Magazine's Circulation Has Doubled in 20 Months." The September 1922 cover stated circulation had reached 1.8 million.

Merle Crowell served as editor of The American Magazine from 1923 until 1929 when Sumner Blossom took over. Blossom, who had been editor of Popular Science, was there for the last 27 years of the magazine's existence. Fictional serials and short stories were a popular feature, and the magazine published several winners of the O. Henry Awards. High-profile writers contributed articles on a variety of topics.

During his editorship, Blossom adopted the unusual policy of hiding the author's name on all works of fiction during the selection process as a way to encourage new fiction writers. The magazine's staff learned the author's identity only once they accepted or rejected a manuscript.

The last issue of The American Magazine was displayed on newsstands in August 1956.[6]


In 1934, The American Magazine ran a story called "Uncle Sam Grows Younger" that praised Alger Hiss: "In his twenties, he is one of the men chiefly responsible for the plan to buy $650,000,000 worth of commodities to feed the unemployed. He has too much spirit for his bodily strength and is in danger of working himself to death."[7]

Notable contributors[edit]


  1. ^ "The commercial. (Union City, Tenn.) 190?-193?, January 11, 1907, Image 5". 11 January 1907.
  2. ^ a b Online Books Page, University of Pennsylvania
  3. ^ "Editorial Announcement" . The American Magazine. 64. 1907.
  4. ^ "ELEVATED AGENTS ROBBED.; Lone Highwayman Holds Up Two Station -- Gets All Receipts In one". The New York Times. 1911-02-02. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  5. ^ David E. Sumner (2010). The Magazine Century: American Magazines Since 1900. Peter Lang. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-4331-0493-0. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  7. ^ Hiss, Tony (1999). The View from Alger's Window: A Son's Memoir. Alfred E. Knopf. p. 16 ("Prossy"), 35 (courtship), 36 ("Hill"), 37 (Quakerisms, Roberta Murray Fansler), 89 (Buttenweiser, Bernard), 132–134 (clerks), 142 (American Magazine). ISBN 9780375401275.

External links[edit]