Ladies' Home Journal

Ladies' Home Journal
U.S. monthly magazine, one of the oldest in the country and long the trendsetter among women's magazines.

Founded in 1883 as a supplement to the Tribune and Farmer (1879–85), it began an independent publication in 1884. Under the editorship (1889–1919) of Edward Bok, its circulation surpassed that of any other U.S. publication. Bok revolutionized the women's magazine field by offering high-quality fiction and nonfiction, establishing service departments that answered letters from readers, and conveying a sense of intimacy. After the mid-20th century Ladies' Home Journal was overtaken in circulation by its rival, McCall's. It was acquired in 1986 by the Meredith Corporation, which also publishes Better Homes and Gardens.

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▪ American magazine
      American monthly magazine, one of the longest-running in the country and long the trendsetter among women's magazines. It was founded in 1883 as a women's supplement to the Tribune and Farmer (1879–85) of Cyrus H.K. Curtis (Curtis, Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar) and was edited by his wife, Louisa Knapp. The Journal began independent publication in 1884 with a sentimental literary diet and a circulation of 20,000. Curtis boosted circulation to more than 400,000 with an innovative multiple subscription “club” and a large advertising campaign.

      Edward W. Bok (Bok, Edward) became editor in 1889, and under him the Journal attracted great writers from Europe and the United States, offering quality fiction and nonfiction articles for women. By the turn of the century, its circulation surpassed all other American publications. As editor, Bok gave the magazine a sense of intimacy and established service departments to answer letters from readers. His innovations contributed to the Journal's outstanding success and revolutionized the women's magazine field.

      The Journal instituted an advertising code to eliminate fraud and extravagant claims by advertisers and was noted for its attention to social causes. It refused, for example, to advertise patent medicines, and its subsequent muckraking campaign against those products helped bring about the passage of the U.S. Federal Food and Drugs Act in 1906. Its features on residential architecture, fine arts, and domestic life won renown. The Journal was often imitated, and it was long the leader of all American women's magazines in circulation, but at the mid 20th century it was overtaken by its older rival, McCall's (1873). The magazine was purchased by Meredith Corporation in 1986. With a circulation of more than four million, Ladies' Home Journal ranked among the top 10 paid-circulation magazines in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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