Monday, April 12, 2010

The Only One in the World! A Unique and Important Kansas Magazine

One of the best parts of collecting magazines is the pleasure of finding unique and interesting items for a mere pittance (unlike the more pedestrian avocations of Philately and Numismatics).

A great example is this magazine Push, published in Topeka, Kansas between September 1902 and January 1904. I paid a grand total of $61.05 for what I believe to be the complete run of this monthly. The first seven issues are on slick paper, with top-notch illustrations by art editor, Albert Turner Reid, an illustrator of high repute for a number of important national publications.

After this the paper quality deteriorated and Reid's work no longer appeared, a telltake sign of financial difficulty.

The editor was Thomas Allen McNeal, a prominent Republican newspaperman. The only reference to the magazine on the web is one the website of the Kansas Historical Society, which does not own a copy, as being continued as Household, another Topeka publication, whose first copy is October 1904, Volume 4. No. 2. They were not aware when the title changed. The last issue of Push in my run is Volume 3 No. 1 for January 1904. Since the Kansas Historical Society doenst own a copy, nore is it listed in the Union List of Serials, its a good bet that my 61 dollar acquisition represents pretty much all thats out there.

The first issue bemoans the demise of the important Kansas Magazine. Content includes articles by the vaunted newspaper editor Willam Allen White and many interesting articles, including one on Boston Corbett, the man who shot John Wilkes Booth.

The magazine is too large to fit entirely on my scanner but here's a few of Reid's cover illustrations.

I'm happy to once again reinforce the joy and importance of collecting and perhaps share a little insight into the research behind these wonderful pieces of Americana.
Have a few great ideas for some exciting posts to appear shortly. Also, and perhaps most exciting to this blogger, by virtue of this blog I have been contacted by a major publisher who is interested in the collection and might consider my dream project, a coffee table book on the great American magazine!
Enjoy the beautiful springtime. As they used to say on the Mickey Mouse Club, see ya real soon!

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