TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE Magazine Profile

We don't know much about this magazine. According to Clear, in Old Magazines / Identification and Value Guide, TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE was a new title for what had been TODAY'S MAGAZINE (published by the Canton Magazine Co., Canton, Ohio; May 1905 to January 1917). As TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE it was published by the Geiger-Crist Co., Cooperstown, New York (February 1917 to May 1927); it changed title to TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE AND WOMAN AND HOME (May to December 1927), changing its name finally to TODAY'S WOMAN AND HOME (published in New York, New York; January to September 1928). (During the first part of 1927 the title had been TODAY'S WOMAN / devoted to / WOMAN and HOME. A slow changeover process.)

Further information on its origin from Dan Sorensen [private communication]: "In 1910, a magazine with the 8th largest circulation (1,000,000) in the country was published in our little town of Warren, Pennsylvania. It was called TO-DAY'S MAGAZINE, and was published by the Daterson Publishing Company. Between 1911 and 1912 the magazine appears to have been sold to the Canton Magazine Company, and moved to Canton Ohio. I have not been able to determine exactly what year it began publishing in Warren. There is a complete scanned copy of a 1909 issue published in Warren, online at, as well as a couple of later issues that were printed in Canton, Ohio." Our thanks to Internet Archive user "drkilmer" for posting those issues, as well as nearly 200 other full magazines and ephemera.

The March, 1919 issue announced a new editor-in-chief, Mrs. Della Thompson Lutes, for the previous eleven years editor of AMERICAN MOTHERHOOD. Publishing staff at that time was Arthur H. Crist, Chairman; G. A. McClellan, President; John N. Garver, Vice President; Charles F. White, 2nd Vice President and Secy., Everett A. Rounds, Treasurer, W. A. Sturgis, Advertising Manager, and Henry L. Vonderlieth, Circulation Manager, in New York City. The editorial in this issue goes on to say that Miss Sarah Field Splint, the Editor for the previous five years (i.e. 1914-19) had left for "a very desirable and lucrative opportunity in the business world."

Here's the Table of Contents for the March 1919 issue (articles ar, short stories ss, miscellaneous ms):

2 * Give Me Today * The Editor * ed
3 * Learning the Judge a Few * Dorothy Culver Mills * ss
5 * This Democracy Stuff * Ellison Bogardus * ss
6 * The Problem Solved * George Gilbert * ss
7 * The Girl in the Mirror * Elizabeth Jordan * ss
8 * The Mouse * Lucy Lincoln Montgomery * pm
9 * The Carmelite Nun * Maurice Level * ss
10 * The Things That Count * Richard Brook Field * ss
11 * The Personal Page * not credited * ms
12 * The Community Page * not credited * ms
13 * Considering Spring Clothes for the Home * Josephine W. How * ar
14 * The Care of Contagious Diseases * S. Josephine Baker, M.D. * ar
15 * A Practical Nursery * Emma Butler Gass * ar
16 * Furnishing the Home * Emma Gary Wallace * ar
18 * Creating a Rose Boudoir * not credited * ar
20 * Birds for Your Flowers * Josephine W. How * ar
22 * New Dishes for Fish Day * Amy Smith * ar
23 * Foods for Lenten Days * Martha Allen Gray * ar
24 * Are Your Rooms Right? * not credited * ar
25 * Making an Old House Into a Home * not credited * ar
26 * Preparing for the Spring Sewing * not credited * ar
27 * Where Soldiers Rest and Play * Carl Holliday * ar
28 * A Bit of Summer Lingerie * Laura I. Baldt * ar
29 * Today's Shopping Agent * Edith Shaw * ar
30 * Long Distance Shopping * Helen Christine Bennet * ar
31 * Entertainment for the Merry Month of March * not credited * ar
32 * A Helpful Word of Praise * Jane Moore * ar
32 * Dressing Up Old-Fashioned Pie * Frances C. Adney * ar
33 * Smart Spring Syles * not credited * ar
35 * Today's Girl * Dorothy Culver Mills * ar
36 * Woman's Exchange * not credited * ms

Before Lutes took over, the editor for five years had been Sarah Field Splint, well known as a suffragist and feminist activist. Here's another picture of her, working while seated near a print of the cover of an issue of THE WOMAN'S MAGAZINE. OK, here's Margaret Atwood's commentary on the effect Splint's book the Art of Cooking and Serving had on her life. It's worth noting that Atwood's book Moral Disorder: and Other Stories, which contains the story based on the reading of the cookbook, even borrows the photos of a maid's day and evening outfits from Splint's book, and uses them as the cover illustrations. For that matter, many books by Splint are available at e.g. Amazon. The NEW YORK TIMES talks about Colton Hall, an unusual midtown apartment building from 1927, where she was a tenant; it tells us she "was editor or assistant editor of The Delineator, Today's Housewife, McCall's and Women's Home Companion and wrote at least one cookbook." Indeed, she went from the editorship of this magazine to active participation—one hopes it was indeed lucrative—for many years in improving women's lives.

Regarding Della Thompson Lutes, according to the introductory material in the magazine she was "a native of Michigan, moving from Detroit to Cooperstown, N. Y., to take up her first work as magazine editor. Previous to this time she had become a steady contributor to magazines, her articles appearing in such publications as DELINEATOR, LADIES' WORLD, LADIES' HOME JOURNAL, DESIGNER and other well known magazines." / "She is also the author of several books, the best known of which is My Boy in Khaki, brought out by Harper & Brothers last May." Once again, Amazon can give us a good cross-section of books by Lutes. A collection of her books (written by or owned by?) can be found at the Jackson district library in Hanover, MI (Lutes was born near Jackson). JACKSON MAGAZINE wrote, "Village life in Horton still retains the same charm as it did in the early part of the 20th century when it was the focal point of the novels and cookbooks of Della Thompson Lutes." It's not clear how long she remained editor of TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE, but by 1924 she was working for MODERN PRISCILLA. For more on her, see the Wikipedia Article.

Further on down the time stream, the masthead of the March, 1927 issue [Vol XXIII, No. 3] tells us,

"TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE / Devoted to / WOMAN AND HOME / A monthly magazine containing useful information on Modern Housekeeping, Needlework, Home Decorations, Household Helps. Published since 1883 as THE HOUSEWIFE, and since 1917, as TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE.

"All subscriptions payable in advance, 10 cents per copy, 50 cents per year in the United Sates and possessions, 75 cents per year in New York City, Canada and foreign countries."

"John H. Wright - - - - Publisher
Anne M. Griffin, Editor and Art Director

"Entered as second-class matter August 22, 1922, at the Post Office at New York, N.Y., under the Act of March 3, 1879. Address all subscriptions, letters, orders, inquiries, etc., to TODAY'S HOUSEWIFE. 18 East 18 Street, New York City."

We haven't been able to find out anything yet about Anne M. Griffin or John H. Wright.

Library of Congress has it listed, but only as TODAY'S MAGAZINE, continued by TO-DAY'S HOUSEWIFE.
Here's a summary of what they say:

LC Control Number: 06031027
Type of Material: Serial (Periodical, Newspaper, etc.)
Main Title: To-day's housewife.
Published/Created: Yonkers, N.Y., Daterson publishing co.; [etc., etc.] 1905-
Related Titles: [Today's magazine. [from old catalog]]
Description: v. illus. 29-41 cm.
Current Frequency: Unknown
Notes: Serial.
PREMARC/SERLOC merged record
Subjects: Domestic economy--Periodicals. [from old catalog]
LC Classification: TX1 .T6
Serial Record Entry: To-day's housewife. 06-31027

With regard to the publishing location, your choice. Cooperstown, NY? Canton OH? Yonkers, NY? Oh, um, New York City? Further examination of the magazines may yield data for those who are obsessive in their needs.

As for THE HOUSEWIFE, the Library of Congress has an incomplete set on microform. They list it as having been published 1882-1917, by the Housewife Publishing Company, New York City. Many of the issues themselves, however, in the period 1900-1915 (at the very least) indicate that the A. D. Porter Co. of New York City was the publisher.

Here are some cover images. The earlier ones look like those any any number of large-format "slick" magazines aimed at women in the 20th century, but the 1927 issues appear to be printed cheaply on newsprint. Our thanks to Mariangela Buch and Sharon Marek for the high-resolution images.

We have some images from TODAY'S MAGAZINE and TODAY'S WOMAN AND HOME in this online album. We also have some images of THE HOUSEWIFE, and we've put these up in a separate album, with a link to this one, just to keep things straight.

If you have copies of these magazines and would be willing to scan them or let us scan them for you, please contact us.

Update history:

  • 24 April 2021: Added Warren, Pennsylvania information and Internet Archive links, courtesy Dan Sorensen
  • 1 September 2020: Updated links and made compatible with new display system software.
  • 22 August 2007: Updated with more information.
  • 30 July 2007: This page created.