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Date Added: July 12, 2007 03:16:23 PM

Magazines were first introduced way back in the eighteenth century and back then magazines never looked the same. There was not much of a distinction between the books and magazines. The commercial selling of magazines began the most after the Second World War. Magazines were nothing better than the soap boxes when they first came into existence. There were a few literate and profound people who got together and expressed their views and reviews about the day to day happenings in life. The first magazine was started by an English gentleman called Daniel Dafoe and it was named the “Review”. He started circulating this paper which contained stories about his imprisonment in the offence of criticizing the Church. In those days, all those who went against the rules of the church were imprisoned and punished for their acts. His purpose was to bring awareness amongst the masses in the form of a critical review against the wrongs existing in the society and he often presented his work in the form of a satire. However, in those days, the people who read these magazines were from the same community of the learned men who were responsible for writing it.

Over the passage of time, the others started taking this book of reviews more seriously and started depending on it for reviews on almost everything. The ancient British journals usually had reviews that were four pages long, had pictorial illustrations and was printed in some really dense material and all of them typically had borders that would match with the font. All those who read, relied mostly on the negation that was contained in the magazines of those days. A series of critics were born during this era and all of them contributed heavily in popularizing the magazines. Then a periodical called “Tatter” came into existence. After the tatter, there came the oldest and one of the most famous British journals and it was called the “Spectator”. The spectator looked more like the modern day newspaper. It had the same size and one on each side was printed. The format of the spectator is still followed by the modern day news journals. This magazine only had some content in tiny words with no pictures and it contained a few advertisements or the recently called classified ads. The “spectator” was still called the magazine and not a newspaper for the reason that it still contained only comments and not the news and moreover it was solely handled by two biggest critics called Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. There were sometimes a few columns written by outsiders too.

It was Joseph Addison who played an important role in introducing short essays and fictional stories into the English literature through his editorial. This magazine lasted three long years and soon there was a lot of cut throat competition in the magazine world. After the Europeans, the Americans came up with their magazines. Nevertheless, Joseph Addison and his team could not make the Spectator very popular but his magazines were known to contain some highly influential stuff. Though a lot of other magazines started printing in the same style, their magazine still kept on doing well for itself. The number of magazines that existed in the ancient era kept on increasing and gradually there came a trend in which separate magazines were dedicated to different subjects. There came magazines that were dedicated to more of the in depth subject like arts and architecture and since then, there has been no looking back!


With the increasing popularity of the magazines, suddenly advertisers or business owners started showing a lot of interest in the circulation of these magazines. During those centuries even the most popular magazines contained nothing but the content and only a few parts of the advertisements or the classified ads. But, around the thirties, all the hype about these magazines died down and then these periodicals had to depend largely on the advertisements for their survival. This brought a revolution in the history of magazines and there after, they never remained the same. These magazines took a large shift from providing useful content and entertainment to the readers to providing a steady and a targeted audience to their advertisers.


There was a great explosion as far as advertising is concerned and it is not only because of the magazine. There were a lot of technological advances when it came to means of transport and as a result, the magazine network could grow at its best. That brought in the idea that large scale magazines can be published can circulated even in the rarest parts of the globe. The discovery of glass windows actually turned out to be the boon on the news industry as anyone who passes by the glass can have a look at the magazine stand and eventually go about buying it. But magazine history contains an interesting combination of mass media intersecting with the advertising world. With more and more advertising, the cost of manufacturing magazines really went down and in turn it grabbed a lot of people giving a good time to the advertisers in satisfying their needs of exposure. The smart breed of advertisers believed that besides the content on the magazine, there is a lot of room for pictures, illustrations, pictorials demos and slogans. Thus, this brought about another important aspect in today’s world and it was called graphic designing. The advertising agencies started its association with the magazines in the end of the nineteenth century. These ad agencies did a great deal of work by looking after the circulatory part as well as an authentic research. A more organized approach is taken today when it comes to an important piece of magazines and advertisements in it!

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