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Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Magazine Day ► Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

First issue of Rolling Stone
First issue of The Atlantic
DATELINE November 9 - On this date in 1967, Rolling Stone published its first issue in San Francisco. On this date in 1857, The Atlantic Monthly was founded in Boston, Massachusetts.

A lot of magazines have folded in the 155 years since the first issue of The Atlantic Monthly, or the 45 years since Rolling Stone first came out. Yet both magazines are still essential reading and important cultural touchstones.

We know tend to know about the founding of Rolling Stone by Jann Wenner and Ralph J. Gleason of Rolling Stone Magazine. While Wenner came out of nowhere, almost, Gleason had already carved a reputation. By contrast, most of the founders of The Atlantic are names you would still recognize: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell.

Current front page of Rolling Stone
Current front page of The Atlantic
In 1977 Jann Wenner moved Rolling Stone to New York City. The Atlantic Monthly published, err, monthly until 2001. After a year in which The Atlantic published 11 issues, it settled down to producing 10 issues a year and dropped the word "Monthly" from its name.

Both magazines remain important and vibrant today, and both currently have a strong electronic presence. However, with Newsweek already deciding to kill its analog version, how much longer will magazines be around?