A Brief History of Magazines in First Covers

Ernest Hemingway wrote a story for the inaugural issue of Esquire in 1933. The debut of Rolling Stone in ’67 featured John Lennon in military garb. Gracing the first cover of People in 1974 was Mia Farrow, promoting her new film “The Great Gatsby” (deja vu?).

Recently the blog at The Week put up 17 first covers of famous American magazines, including Time (1923), Newsweek (then News-Week, 1933), Life (1936), New York (1968) and Wired (1993).

On February 21, 1925, Eustace Tilley came to life as a cover icon for The New Yorker (note the cover price: 15 cents. In 1965 it was 25 cents; in 1991, $1.75; and today, $6.99).

The first cover photo of Sports Illustrated in 1954 featured a swinging Eddie Matthews (career stats: .271 batting average, 512 home runs, 2 World Series titles, debuted for the Boston Braves, before they moved to Milwaukee and then Atlanta, and long after they were known as the Boston Beaneaters).

And how about that first cover of The Atlantic Monthly., which sent its first issue to press in 1857 to crowd the newsstands with Harper’s, which had launched seven years earlier.

Check out all 17 covers and their stories.

A couple of years ago the Magazines Canada blog started posting first covers of Canadian magazines, featuring National Magazine Award winners like The Beaver (1920), Chatelaine (1928), The Fiddlehead (1945), THIS Magazine (1966), Cottage Life (1988), The Walrus (2003) and more.

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