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First covers of famous magazines

From The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 to Wired in 1993, here’s a fascinating look at the covers of the first issues of famous magazines, including, I’m sure, at least one of your favorites. It’s kind of amazing to see how these magazines have evolved over the years. Some are radically different in terms of design, focus and content, while others – most notably The New Yorker, whose first issue stars Eustace Tilley, or New York Magazine, with its breathtaking photo of the most beautiful skyline in the world – look as timeless and instantly familiar then as they do today.

However, as drastically as some magazine may have changed over the years, it’s interesting to note how the DNA embedded  in these bellwether covers continues to have an impact today. For example, the current issue of Rolling Stone looks nothing like its predecessor, which has a newspaper layout, and yet the spirit of provocative investigative journalism still remains (some of the time, anyway). On the other hand, I’m glad to see the industry move away from things like cover of the 1944 issue of Seventeen, which reminds me of a unicorn vomiting up a rainbow.