The covers of Ladies' Home Journal have provided a panoramic picture of life in the United States since 1883, when Cyrus Curtis, then the owner, described his new magazine as a "ladies' journal" to his engraver, who decided to add the word (and sketch of) "home" to the logo -- for what he thought was clarity's sake. Confusion ensued when readers wrote to "Ladies' Home Journal," but Curtis let the name stick. With his wife, Louisa Knapp Curtis, as its first editor, the magazine was an immediate success, reaching a then-record-breaking circulation of 1 million in 1903. For the past 125 years Ladies' Home Journal has served as a chronicler of American life in its glories and challenges, through world wars and cultural earthquakes, all through the lens of a woman's ever-shifting experience and perspective. To celebrate our anniversary, we take a look every month at how Ladies' Home Journal has covered the arenas of family, marriage, work, home, beauty ,and more throughout our illustrious history.
This is our very first cover, December 1883. Magazines then looked more like newspapers, and a year's subscription cost 50 cents.