Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The first American women's magazine, The Lady's Magazine and Repository of Entertaining Knowledge , appeared in Philadelphia in 1792. Between 1806 and 1849, women founded and edited 25 women's magazines, and before the Civil War, about 100 national and regional women's periodicals were published. Aimed at the elite, most were modeled on English magazines and focused on fashion, manners, and literature. Godey's Lady's Book (1830–98) is considered the first popular modern women's magazine. In the 1890s, Congress lowered postal rates, printing technology was revolutionized, and manufacturers sought outlets to advertise their mass-produced goods. Consequently, publishers dropped magazine prices, circulation skyrocketed, and middle-class homemakers replaced upper-class “ladies” as the magazines' readers. Women's magazines have played an important historical role. At a time when few women attended college, they educated readers about a wide range of topics and offered correspondence classes and even scholarships. During the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment ...