That same year the Frank Munsey Company sold New Argosy, along with six other magazines, to Popular Publications, a large pulp publisher. In 1943 the new publisher changed it from pulp to slick and returned to its all-fiction format. No improvement resulted from these changes.
In 1945 Argosy, whose full title was now Argosy: The Complete Men's Magazine, became a slick general magazine. Retaining some fiction, it also ran factual articles about adventures, sports, crime, and science. Nonfiction pages became double those of fiction. As Henry Steeger of Popular Publications put it, "The tendency today is toward more realism. After the second world war the 15 million veterans were no longer content to accept the whimsy and phoniness of fiction." 7
A department that brought the Argosy much publicity was the Court of Last Resort, which investigated cases of persons Argosy believed to be unjustly imprisoned. The investigating team consisted of a private detective, a criminologist, a former prison warden, and Erle Stanley Gardner, the detective story writer. Several men serving prison sentences were freed as a result of these investigations.
The new formula worked. By 1953, riding a period of rapid growth for men's magazines following the war, Argosy had a guaranteed circulation of 1.25 million and was asking $5,250 for a full-page color ad. By 1962 advertising revenues approached $2 million.
In 1965 an Argosy editor described its typical reader as "factory-bound, desk- bound, work-bound, forced by economics and society to abandon his innate maleness and individuality to become a cog in the corporate machine. We try to give him a sense of identity as a man in a world which has almost destroyed identity." 8 Apparently they were successful. Circulation remained well over a million until the economics of the magazine publishing industry forced the termination of Argosy in 1979.
Britt, George. Forty Years--Forty Millions. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1935.
Cassiday, Bruce. "When Argosy Looks for Stories." Writer, August 1965, p. 25.