THE NEW YORKER will be a reflection in word and picture of metropolitan life. It will be human. Its general tenor will be one of gaiety, wit and satire, but it will be more than a jester. It will be not what is commonly called sophisticated, in that it will assume a reasonable degree of enlightenment on the part of its readers. It will hate bunk.
So opens Harold Ross's 1924 prospectus for The New Yorker, which was to first hit newsstands this week in 1925. Note that Rea Irvin's famous magazine logo was already finalized and Irvin is listed among the fledgling magazine's ten advisory editors. The prospectus is most famous, though, for its concluding paragraph;
THE NEW YORKER will be the magazine which is not edited for the old lady in Dubuque. It will not be concerned in what she is thinking about. This is not meant in disrespect, but THE NEW YORKER is a magazine avowedly published for a metropolitan audience and thereby will escape an influence which hampers most national publications. It expects a considerable national circulation, but this will come from persons who have a metropolitan interest.
Would you invest in the New Yorker in 1924? Or might you be dissuaded by that talk of the old lady in Dubuque? Today, would you invest in a nice copy of the 1924 prospectus? One in very good condition was sold last year on eBay:
|eBay Listing ended March 4, 2016|
|eBay Item Description|
|eBay Bid History|
Two fairly lackluster bids
More readable scans of the prospectus are published on Magazine History: A Collector's Blog.
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