Saturday Evening Post

INDEX of Theme Pages:

Saturday Evening Post

Publication Dates: 1821 - 1969; 1976 - present

Publication Info:

The Saturday Evening Post was a weekly magazine published in the United States from August 4, 1821 to February 8, 1969. Since roughly 1976 - after having ceased pub,ication for some years - the magazine came under the domain of the Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, which operates the magazine today.

In its early days, the Saturday Evening Post was published by Curtis Publishing Co. which claimed that the magazine was founded by Benjamin Franklin. This has been a matter of some debate since Franklin died in 1790. However, information has emerged which supports the claims.

Cyrus H.K Curtis arrived in Philadelphia in 1876 after having successfully published The People's Lodge for six years in Boston.

At that time, Curtis founded the Tribune and Farmer. The women's column of the publicaton, under the editorial direction of his wife Louise Knapp Curtis, became so successful that in 1883 it expanded to become Ladies' Home Journal. Guided by the editorial genius of Edward W. Bok, Ladies' Home Journal rapidly became the leading magazine of its type reaching a circulation of more than one million copies in ten years.

Curtis then turned his attention to launching a men's magazine. In 1897, he paid $1,000 for a weekly with a limited readership and virtually no advertising. It did have a history, though; it was once Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette.

Curtis revamped the magazine and called it The Saturday Evening Post. Curtis and his editor, George Lorimer, correctly reasoned that men's primary interest was earning a livelihood, so they filled the pages with business stories. Surrounding all that manly content, though, was advertising geared to the shoppers of the house: the women.

The Saturday Evening Post became one of the outstanding successes in periodical history with circulation reaching one million copies a week in 1909; two million in 1913; three million in 1937; four million in 1949; nearing five million in 1954; and setting an all-time high of seven million copies 1961.

The magazine is best-known for its covers, which featured the work of artist Norman Rockwell, sporadically from 1916 to 1963.


    Consecutive run estimates (ranges from good to mint):
Key Issues:

Volume 1, #1: August 4, 1821