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Beyond The Wardrobe => 19th Century Life => Topic started by: BetsyConnolly on December 21, 2015, 07:36:12 PM



Title: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: BetsyConnolly on December 21, 2015, 07:36:12 PM
This is a really random question, and as such, I'm having a hard time finding answers...

Today, monthly magazines are delivered a little bit before the month for which they're labelled. March issues arrive in the second half of February, etc. I'm wondering when ladies' home magazines, like Godey's and Peterson's and Arthur's, were expected in-home in the 1860s. Were they delivered before the first of the month? Or were they delivered during the month for which they were labelled?

Does anyone have any idea? I've stumped myself.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Jessamyn on December 22, 2015, 10:03:52 AM
I do not know the answer to this for certain, but I suspect it was a similar lead time to current publications. I'm basing this on two things:

1. The way they talk about fashions for the month, it sounds like they mean the month coming up for which you are preparing.

2. Lag time on descriptions of events. For example, there was a huge ball held for the Prince of Wales in New York on October 12, 1860. In the December issue of Frank Leslie's Monthly Magazine, there appears the following:

"At the time our last issue went to press the Prince's Ball was still in futuro, and though the subject has been well-nigh exhausted in the daily and weekly journals, yet, for the benefit of distant lady-readers and our duty, as faithful chroniclers of the world of fashion, requires from us a condensed account of that brilliant event in our social history."

That means that the November issue went to press before October 12. That doesn't tell us when it was mailed, but I can't believe that it took more than a week or so to print and process those issues. It sounds to me as if this were being written around two weeks after the event, and that the December issue went to press sometime between, say, October 26 and November 11.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: BetsyConnolly on December 22, 2015, 04:20:00 PM
You're backing up a lot of what I was thinking. If one of the reasons that modern magazines are in-home before the actual month for which they are labeled is to keep "ahead of the trends" (thinking of fashion magazines like Glamour, Vogue, Elle, etc) and remain timely, surely fashion publications of the 1860s may have operated on the same principle.

Thanks for finding the examples - definitely helpful and firming things up in my mind!



Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Jessamyn on December 22, 2015, 06:27:54 PM
 As a former magazine editor, this is of great interest to me, so that Frank Leslie's example really stuck in my mind and was easy to locate.  :)

I remember thinking as a child that the early arrival of magazines was really weird, and I also remember hearing the "stay ahead of the trends" idea, but I think it's really simpler than that. Magazines operate on long lead times, and function in a completely different way than daily newspapers and weeklies.

Newspapers are labelled with the date that they're printed, but magazines are labelled with the date (month) that they're FOR. So you get a December magazine to help you deal with December, whether that's events, clothes, cooking, whatever. And of course, you need to get it before December arrives, so that you can use it to plan ahead. Yes, there is a reporting aspect ("here's what people are wearing"), but as an editor you have to be constantly aware of what will still be true by the time the thing comes out, and it's not unusual to hold pieces the better part of a year so that they can be printed in the right season. (Obviously that doesn't work for fashion, but there are many items even in La Mode Illustree that are simply seasonal.)


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: EKorsmo on December 22, 2015, 07:29:43 PM
Thanks Jessamyn, that's really interesting.

Edited to add: If it helps, The Genesse Farmer (https://books.google.com/books?id=5WkXAQAAIAAJ&q=petticoat%2C+insertion#v=onepage&q=insertion&f=false)'s advertisement deadline in 1862 was for the 15th of the previous month.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: BetsyConnolly on December 24, 2015, 01:40:12 PM
As a former magazine editor, this is of great interest to me, so that Frank Leslie's example really stuck in my mind and was easy to locate.  :)

I remember thinking as a child that the early arrival of magazines was really weird, and I also remember hearing the "stay ahead of the trends" idea, but I think it's really simpler than that. Magazines operate on long lead times, and function in a completely different way than daily newspapers and weeklies.

Newspapers are labelled with the date that they're printed, but magazines are labelled with the date (month) that they're FOR. So you get a December magazine to help you deal with December, whether that's events, clothes, cooking, whatever. And of course, you need to get it before December arrives, so that you can use it to plan ahead. Yes, there is a reporting aspect ("here's what people are wearing"), but as an editor you have to be constantly aware of what will still be true by the time the thing comes out, and it's not unusual to hold pieces the better part of a year so that they can be printed in the right season. (Obviously that doesn't work for fashion, but there are many items even in La Mode Illustree that are simply seasonal.)

This is basically what I was trying to say, but clumsily :) When one is writing seasonally/thematically, it works better to put out the publication a little bit early to stay timely. When one thinks of it as different from a newspaper or news publication, the difference becomes clear. Thanks for the thoughtful response!


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Liz Richardson on January 03, 2016, 12:27:53 PM
I've been doing some local newspaper research to better understand the context in which my site's civilians lived, and I've found a number of advertisements that might help. Here in Frederick, fashion magazines tended to be advertised a week or two before the end of the previous month. (ex: The 23 May 1860 edition of Frederick's Examiner, a weekly newspaper, included an advertisement for Smith's News Depot stating that the June editions of Godey's, Peterson's, Harper's, Graham's, and other magazines were available.) Other magazines, such as reviews, seem to have been advertised the month of or even the month after.

However, I am nowhere near the end of this research project and have only been researching what was available in Frederick, MD. Even after the publisher released an edition, I imagine the speed of access would have depended on where one lived, whether they had railroad access, how often they went into town to buy the magazine if they didn't have a subscription, etc.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Jessamyn on January 03, 2016, 04:02:55 PM
That's a great data point, thank you!


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Anna Worden Bauersmith on January 21, 2016, 09:34:57 AM
In a similar train of thought on weekly publications.....

I've been trying to track the pattern and timing to the letters for the Ladies' Section in the Rural New Yorker. This would be the read > write response > mail > receive & read > format > publish > distribute > repeat. There is a definite over lap of responses and a gap between initial letter and response letters of a couple weeks in this weekly publication. Some of the gaps seem to be a matter of months not weeks. I am finding I need an improved, color coded chart to really get it figured out right. One challenge is not every response letter is clear about which letter in a long discussion she is writing in response to.



Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: BetsyConnolly on January 21, 2016, 11:52:47 AM
I've been doing some local newspaper research to better understand the context in which my site's civilians lived, and I've found a number of advertisements that might help. Here in Frederick, fashion magazines tended to be advertised a week or two before the end of the previous month. (ex: The 23 May 1860 edition of Frederick's Examiner, a weekly newspaper, included an advertisement for Smith's News Depot stating that the June editions of Godey's, Peterson's, Harper's, Graham's, and other magazines were available.) Other magazines, such as reviews, seem to have been advertised the month of or even the month after.

However, I am nowhere near the end of this research project and have only been researching what was available in Frederick, MD. Even after the publisher released an edition, I imagine the speed of access would have depended on where one lived, whether they had railroad access, how often they went into town to buy the magazine if they didn't have a subscription, etc.

I just knew that if I put such a random question out here, someone would have the answer! I'm always astounded by the breadth of knowledge in this group. Thanks for your help!


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: BetsyConnolly on September 06, 2016, 11:04:54 AM
I inadvertently found the answer to this question while researching something completely different! On January 22nd, 1862 in the Mankato Semi-Weekly Register of Mankato, Minnesota, there was an article which mentioned that the February issue of Godey's had recently arrived. Mankato was (is) a rural town in southern Minnesota, without access to a nearby railroad, but located on the Minnesota river which provided transport for goods, people and news - not exactly a booming metropolis, but its location allowed for movement.

Isn't that always the way - you set out to research one thing and find something else entirely.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Sue Leurgans on September 07, 2016, 05:29:16 PM

Isn't that always the way - you set out to research one thing and find something else entirely.

So true!

And finding the previous lost/misplaced thing while looking for the currently lost/misplaced thing.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: EKorsmo on September 10, 2016, 05:37:59 PM
Nice find!  Now I apparently need to start trawling the local newspapers for WA Territory in re: arrival of periodicals.  The newspapers do relay regional, national and international news (often noting the date of the most recent intelligence, so we might be getting three-week-old news out of California, or 6-week-old out of New York), but I've been wondering how many issues behind we were on magazines...


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Stephanie Brennan on September 19, 2016, 07:39:08 AM
     Hi Liz welcome to the forum. I live next door to Frederick County in Washington County.  Washington County Library does not have a  historic newspaper on line but has a newspaper index that is easy to use if you would like to continue your research in this area.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Liz Richardson on October 06, 2016, 07:17:18 PM
Thank you, Stephanie. I apologize for taking so long to respond; somehow I missed seeing your note! I've been thoroughly enjoying this project so far; there's so much information that we (the battlefield) hadn't yet tapped into. The editors didn't even pretend to be unbiased in their non-editorial articles, which makes for some interesting reading about perspectives in the time period, but the advertisements are just as valuable. For example, I was surprised at how many different manufacturers' sewing machines were being sold in Frederick immediately before and during the war years. It's not a rare occurrence for me to think I'll spend an hour or so on my project, and then the next thing I know it's 2 a.m. and I've been at it for several hours.   :D


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: EKorsmo on November 30, 2016, 08:17:54 AM
I believe this topic has been settled, but I was reading the January 1860 issue of Godey's and noted that their "Plain Dishes for Winter" list included suggested menus for Christmas and New Year dinners. 


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: Elizabeth on December 05, 2016, 02:56:13 PM
Which would totally make sense if it's being available a month ahead. Very cool! Thanks!


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: EKorsmo on September 26, 2017, 12:14:04 PM
And another late tidbit: The Pioneer and Democrat (Olympia, W.T.), reports on September 28, 1855, that the August issue of Harper's Magazine is now available, having been forwarded from San Francisco.  So, the farthest west is running about two months behind on physical delivery of periodicals.


Title: Re: Godeys...when was it delivered?
Post by: EKorsmo on December 04, 2017, 08:47:33 PM
And another (Peterson's Magazine (https://books.google.com/books?id=LH_NAAAAMAAJ&q=patchwork#v=onepage&q=christmas&f=false), December 1860, page 484):

"The January Number will be ready by the first of December, and will outshine anything, in the Magazine line, ever seen. Be early with your clubs!"