January 13, 2011

Vintage 365: Slide show celebrates 125 years of Ladies Home Journal magazine

Day 13 of Vintage 365


Ladies Home Journal is a rather venerable American magazine that has been gracing everything from Victorian parlours to flour-covered kitchen tables since it emerged on the scene in 1883 (back when it had the lengthier name of "The Ladies Home Journal and Practical Housekeeper"). Though I can't honestly say that I frequently read this magazine in its modern form, in my vintage journeys over the years, I have chanced upon a number of mid-twentieth century copies that always struck a resounding cord with me (old school women's magazines as a whole are something that I adore!) - a few have even found their way onto my vintage magazine shelf.

Yesteryear magazines are one of the most effective and splendid ways to get a quick snapshot of an exact moment in time, especially those that span a range of topics like fashion, lifestyle tips, home decor, parenting and cooking, such as Ladies Home Journal. Even a magazine cover alone can tell you a great deal, while at the same time often being a beautiful piece of art. To that extent Ladies Home Journal has a wonderful slideshow on their website that shows thirty different covers that span the first several decades of the magazine’s nearly thirteen decades of life.

From the timeworn black and white (now elegantly cream with age) cover from 1883 to the highly colourful illustrations of the 1930s Depression years that were intended to inspire hope and happiness in readers, these magazine images are an engaging look at at the history and social relevance of Ladies Home Journal.

Naturally, I'm partial to those spanning the 30s and 40s (such as the stellar March 1943 "girl power" cover above that depicts a mom and daughter hard at work repairing a car), but each cover is deeply intriguing and lovely in its own terrific right, and I enjoyed viewing these magazines so much that I wished they'd included far more than just 30!


  1. I am simply giddy over here at their matching hairstyles!! Vintage magazines are so fun. I always forget to look for them when I'm on the lookout for vintage knitting booklets. Those too are wonderfully reflective of their time.

  2. This is a fabulous cover. I love it!! Like you, I am partial to the 30's and 40's. While I claim the 40's as my favorite decade, the 30's aren't far behind. Besides the fact that my beloved Gary Cooper was making great movies in the 30's, I just think the people of the Great Depression are amazing people to read about and learn from. I truly believe the people of that generation were of a sturdier stock than we are today...we could learn alot from them!

    Anyhow, this magazine cover is tremendously fun for me, as I love the World War II homefront.