ARGOSY Magazine Profile

ARGOSY was the first pulp magazine. You can click here to go directly to the gallery of cover images. Frank A. Munsey had been publishing a story paper for boys, to declining circulation and revenue. In the 1890's, he decided to give the title one more chance. He cut expenses to the bone, eliminted the artwork, and printed on the cheapest paper he could find. He gave the public the greatest number of stories per dime they had ever had, and they bought the magazine by the tens and hundreds of thousands.

Even though it was now a great success story, ARGOSY remained a monthly until the Autumn of 1917, when it suddenly went weekly. In July, 1920 it absorbed ALL-STORY and was published as ARGOSY ALL-STORY WEEKLY (with the words ALL-STORY appearing in successively smaller type as the years went by) until it became "ARGOSY / ISSUED WEEKLY" in October of 1929. As the years went by it featured adventure yarns of various types in preference to drawing-room comedies and other general works of fiction. In August 1940 is remade itself as a "men's adventure magazine," with a new cover design featuring static art and a display shield of the stories contained within the current issue. The format and frequency changed again at various times in the period after 1941, but it was still printing some fiction up into the 1960's.

You can find a short history of ARGOSY on the Pulp Rack site, and a much more detailed history of ARGOSY, along with a visual checklist of many of its 2500 issues, at Phil Stephensen-Payne's wonderful magazine website.

We have a stub (starting point) for a thematic listings of covers and artists on our All-Title Artists Listing Page, but this is only updated on occasion. Instead, see the Reference Information fields we have for the magazine iself, below the image.

We would like to thank Hartmuth Freihoff for his excellent work in restoring these first issues, from inadequate photographs to something very close to their original brilliance.

Specialist bookseller "Somewhere In Time" graciously allowed us to photograph their inventory of early ARGOSY issues, on display at the 2006 World Science Fiction Convention.

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Update history:

  • 11 January 2007: New version of this document, for new website version.
  • 14 October 2006: Created this section and uploaded the first examples of ARGOSY.