Monday, September 14, 2009

Newsweek. First issue, Dummies and Repros

Newsweek, then known as News-Week was founded in 1933 by a Thomas J.C. Martyn, a former Time editor. The first issue, dated February 17, had a print run of 50,000 copies.
The initial format was to publish seven captioned photos, one for each day of the week, on the cover. Here is an authentic first issue, note especially the captions for Saturday and Sunday on the bottom two pictures.

Here is a later reproduction, almost always confused for the original. As you can see, the bottom two captions are cropped off. Also, the back cover if the original is pink, while the back cover of the repro is orange.

Obviously what happened here is that the repro was made from a cropped, bound copy and, for the sake of time and expense, only one color ink was used. I make a point of informing eBay sellers that they are not selling the real McCoy most of the time. Some are rather indignant but most have made an honest mistake and rapidly withdraw the item as original. Its fooled a lot of people. Every image of the first issue presently on the web is of the repro!
I have seen perhaps a dozen authentic first issues (I own three) over the years and they are quite scarce, worth at least $300, if not more. Repros are worth the paper they are printed on.

There are two pre-publication dummy issues. They were made to work out the kinks of publication and to show advertisers what they were about to spend their money on.

The first dummy is very rare. I've only seen one copy, which I bought with a number of other issues at a bookfair for a total of $100 in the 90's. It is dated January 14, 1933. I'd assess its value at $1000+.

The second dummy is quite scarce. I've owned two and seen one other. It is dated inside as February 10, 1933 and identified as Vol 1 No A. The inside covers are blank. As you can see the captions are now incorporated in the photos, just like those on the first issue a week later. I would value it at $500+.
As I've said all along, knowledge is power. Enjoy!

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