One of the more popular magazines in the pulp genre that ever graced the American shelves was the Argosy magazine. It had its run from 1882 to the year 1978 and had Frank Munsey as the publisher. It is considered as the very first pulp magazine in America and was actually based in New York City.
It was Munsey that had the idea of publishing the Golden Argosy to a publisher in New York. He was successful enough to convince him to have the magazine published. He was also hired as an editor. It was on the 2nd of December 1882 that the first issue of the magazine came out. It was for a weekly publication. The first issue was made up of eight pages and the cost was five cents. The first issue included stories from Edward S. Ellis and Horatio Alger Jr. these stories were serialized ones.
Around December of 1888, the magazine’s title was changed into ‘The Argosy’. Instead of getting published on a weekly basis, it was shifted into monthly in April of 1894. It was also around this time that the magazine has then started shifting its attention towards publishing stories that are considered as pulp fiction. It was in the year 1896 that the magazine successfully published its first issue that contains all fiction stories.
This is considered a milestone since this has actually led to the introduction and the launching of a new brand of magazine. The magazine is also considered as a very crucial pioneer when it comes to the pulp genre. The magazine did switch back to publishing weekly in the year 1917. Among the notable writers that the magazine has seen include Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, and William Wallace Cool among many others.
The magazine is considered to be the showcase of many a popular fiction in venous genre. From romance to western, from crime to war, from adventure to crime, and there are even science fiction. All these stories were able to find a welcoming home at the Argosy. Popular pulp authors Edgar Rice Burroughs, Malcolm Nicholson, Max Brand, and Fred MacIssac among others were just few of the numerous authors that were able to see their works published by the magazine.
Preceding Pearl Harbor though, the magazine started shedding off its persona relating it to all-fiction, it then shifted its attention towards incorporating stores that are considered to be real-life ones. This includes those that depict attacks by the Germans on New York, or even publishing such stories that show the atrocities committed by the Japanese when they occupied China.
By 1942, the magazine was acquired by Popular Publications. This is the same publication that owns the chief rival of the Argosy, the Adventure. As a result, this action has resulted into a considerable number of editorial augmentations to the way the Argosy was run and published.
By the year 1950s, the publication became known as a men’s magazine. This has also resulted to the diminishing of the quality of the fiction that is published on it. Still, the title stirred general interest periodically in the 60s and the 70s. The publication finally ceased operation though in the 1979, 97 years from its founding.