American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview
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Publication History


Appleton's Journal of Literature, Science and Art, 1869-June 1876; Appleton's Journal: A Monthly Miscellany of Popular Literature, July 1876-1878.


Weekly, 1869-26 June 1876; monthly, July 1876-1881. Vol. 1, 3 April-14 August 1869; vol. 2, 21 August-25 December 1869; vols. 3-15, 1870-26 June 1876. New series: vols. 1-11 (16-26), July 1876-1881.


Edward Livingston Youmans, 1869-1870; Robert Carter, 1870-1872; Oliver Bell Bunce and Charles Henry Jones, 1872-1881.



Sandra Wenner


"Architectural Digest", today's number one magazine in the world of interior design, has been a family-run business since its establishment in 1920. Owned and operated by the Knapp Communications Corporation of Los Angeles, the publication is controlled by Cleon T. Knapp, the grandson of the magazine's founder, John C. Brasfield. "Architectural Digest's" evolution and growth from a small family-owned regional trade directory to the internationally acclaimed design periodical of today is primarily due to the foresight and perspicacity of its present owner.

When John Brasfield moved to southern California in the early 1900s, he found a community just beginning to grow. He was convinced that California's climate and casual way of life were going to draw many people to the state, and as a result he envisioned a publication that would record the growth and development of architectural style as well as feature the works of fledgling architects: "Land promoters, builders and retailers of course wanted this development publicized. Therein lay the nucleus for a publication." 1 The result was a pictorial digest for the professionals.

For forty years, the Architectural Digest: A Pictorial Digest of Outstanding Architecture, Interior Decoration and Landscaping featured the exteriors and interiors of homes and commercial buildings in black-and-white photography. No text accompanied these photos, but the names of the owners and architects appeared for identification. Issues of the magazine were published biannually and circulation was small. However, throughout this early period, the publication was recording changing styles and growing communities.

By the 1960s the "Architectural Digest", as it was still then called, began to emphasize home interiors. Residences of such celebrities as Clark Gable, Eartha Kitt, and Laurence Harvey were featured together with those of important and


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American Mass-Market Magazines
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