The History of Magazines

         At Magazine Jukebox, we have created a unique digital magazine experience. While we’re all about innovating the magazine trade, we still love paper magazines that inspired this whole thing! Let’s take a look back at the history of magazines and where it all began.

         Magazines have been a tradition since the mid-1600’s. What is considered to be the first modern magazine was published in 1663 by Johann Rist. The periodical only lasted for five years, but it was readily received by young scholars and readers. The first American magazine was published in 1741 by Andrew Bedford and, three days later, the second was published by Benjamin Franklin. Bedford’s magazine was disbanded after three months and Franklin’s followed suit only three months later. While neither met with much success at that time, magazines did eventually become more popular with the people, as evidenced by the fact that there were over 100 magazines in the United States by the end of the 18th century. By the end of the 1800s, magazines were all the rage.

         In the beginning of the magazine trade, they were sold on the street at newsstands and by newsboys. Subscriptions eventually usurped that method, however. Who would want to walk all the way to a newsstand or find a newsboy when it could simply be left on your doorstep with the newspaper and the mail? Magazines are now available with online subscriptions. Well, today, the magazine trade is going through yet another stage of its evolution. Many first world countries are going digital in all the ways that they can. From streaming sites for movies and TV to books to music to even classrooms, there are so many examples of different industries going digital in order to reach a wider audience. Often, the resources are significantly cheaper when they aren’t hard copies.

         Magazines are such an influential part of our history. We at Magazine Jukebox want to preserve something as influential and historically important as the magazine trade. Like every other thing in the world, if something doesn’t change and evolve, it dies out and fades away. We have created a way for the customers in a waiting room to take part of an old custom in a modern way. Once upon a time, magazines were the newfangled brainwave. Now, they are a respectable institution. Well, Magazine Jukebox is just another step in the life cycle of news and media.