Microtext Subject Guide: Popular Culture
American Popular Culture, 1897-1949 MFM 1152
The four mass market magazines in this collection provide students of American fiction, journalism, film, radio, and advertising a compendium of information on the mass culture phenomenon in the first half of the 20th century. Smith's Magazine featured fiction and articles on fashion, theater, science and invention in early issues but began targeting women as its audience during and after World War I, thus providing materials for women's studies. Success Magazine began in 1897 as a nonfiction monthly featuring biographical sketches and articles espousing the virtue of success. After a year it began to include fiction, and after 1906 an editorial shift brought it to join the popular muckraking movement. In 1911 it merged with The National Post but ceased five months later. The Shadow (1931-1949), created to exploit the success of the popular radio character of the same name, provides information on the impact of early radio on the day's popular culture. The first issue included the full-length novel "The Living Shadow" by Walter B. Gibson writing under the pen name Maxwell Grant. Pic, a pictorial magazine which began in 1937, emphasized photographic series of famous figures except during the war years when it specialized in sensationalism and "cheesecake" photos. This collection is equivalent to 123 volumes.