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.
This is our very first cover, December 1883. Magazines then looked more like newspapers, and a year's subscription cost 50 cents.