The Wasp (magazine)

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This article is about the nineteenth century magazine. For the nineteenth century newspaper published in Nauvoo, Illinois, see The Wasp (newspaper).

The Wasp was a weekly satirical magazine based in San Francisco.

Railroad monopoly cartoon from The Wasp, 1882.


The Wasp was founded as a weekly satire magazine by the Bohemian expat Francis Korbel and his two brothers in San Francisco in 1876.[1][2] The first issue was published on August 5, 1876.[3] The magazine was somewhat unique at the time, owing to the Korbels' expertise in mass-producing color lithographs in print, a process they had come to master in their first business, the manufacture of labeled cigar boxes. The magazine was sold in secret in 1881 to Charles Webb Howard, who hired Edward C. Macfarlane as publisher. Ambrose Bierce was hired as editor soon afterward, serving in that role from January 1, 1881 until September 11, 1885. During Bierce's editorial tenure, The Wasp published his column "Prattle" and several serialized installments of his satirical definitions later collected as The Devil's Dictionary.

Political cartoons from The Wasp are often cited in Asian-American anti defamation materials as an example of early stereotyping of Chinese immigrants.[3]

With the following name changes the magazine ran from August 5, 1876 to April 25, 1941.[4]

  • The Wasp, August 5, 1876 – January 20, 1877.
  • The Illustrated Wasp, January 27-September 22, 1877.
  • The San Francisco Illustrated Wasp, September 29, 1877-1 December 1, 1880.[2]
  • The Wasp, December 17, 1880 – October 5, 1895.
  • The Wasp: The Illustrated Weekly of the Pacific Coast, October 12, 1895 – April 3, 1897.
  • The Wasp: A Journal of Illustration and Comment, April 10, 1897 – August 25, 1928.
  • The Wasp News-Letter: A weekly Journal of Illustration and Comment, September 1, 1928 – July 27, 1935.
  • San Francisco News- Letter Wasp, August 3, 1935 – April 25, 1941.

Cartoons from The Wasp[edit]


  1. ^ The Wasp: Stinging Editorials and Political Cartoons
  2. ^ a b "The San Francisco Illustrated Wasp". T. Nast Cartoons. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Nicholas Sean Hall (2013). "WASP: Racism and Satire in the 19th Century". California History. 90 (2). Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Edward E. Chielens, American Literary Magazines: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Greenwood Press, 1986), 437

External links[edit]