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The first magazines were published in the 1600s, often aimed at young intellectuals. The first popular entertainment magazine, "Le Mercure Galant," was published in 1672. It was created by French playwright Jean Donneau de Vizé and contained news, gossip, poetry, and songs.

The word "magazine" was first used in 1731, when Edward Cave, an Englishman, published "The Gentleman's Magazine." He came up with the word magazine from the Arabic word "makhazin," which means storehouse. Cave's magazine was also the first to appeal to a broad audience, as it contained a little bit of everything.

"The Illustrated London News" was the first illustrated magazine. First published in 1842 by Herbert Ingram, the magazine contained colorful woodcut illustrations that helped to boost sales. This magazine was also the first to include photographs.

First issues tend to be prized by collectors of vintage magazines, and some first issues have become famous. Examples include the first issue of "National Geographic," published on September 22, 1888, and the first issue of "Playboy," published in December 1953, which featured Marilyn Monroe on the cover.

Quick Facts

  • The oldest magazine continuously published in the English language is "The Spectator," a British conservative magazine. It was first published on July 6, 1828
  • James Hyman, founder of The Hyman Archive of London, owns the largest collection of magazines in the world. His collection has about 68,000 unique titles
  • The magazine most sought after by collectors is "The All-Story" from October 1912. This issue features the first appearance of Tarzan

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