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Zines: 1940

Zines: 1940

March 1940. Washington, D.C. "National Press Club Building newssstand." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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The newspapers displayed on the floor are the long-since-defunct Washington Times-Herald, the edition of Friday, March 8, 1940.

McCall's cover

What a coincidence! Some time ago I had found this picture on the web and saved it.

The newspapers

Can anyone date this photo? My father was born March 2, 1940.

OK, I get it ...

... it's Moose Malloy, and he's outta the can, on his way up to Philip Marlowe's office, lookin' to find his Velma, a dame who gave you looks you could feel in your hip pocket. OR ... might this be Jay Leno's dad, Iron Jaw?

Glamourous Spring

Say, isn't that the great Spring Byington on the cover of Glamour magazine hanging up on high? (Brings to mind "The Contest" episode of Seinfeld where George makes an improper use of Glamour). And as for paying for things with coins anymore, we still do quite a lot of that up here in cold Canada, what with the loonies and the twoonies and all!

Nickel Nibbles

Nice selection of 5-cent packets of cashews and rolls of mints. And Nestle chocolates in the cabinet, gotta keep your strength up while reading all the movie-star gossip.

Between the Lines

No one has commented on the newspaper buyer. C'mon now. Look at him. Who's he about to moider?

Obviously he is buying that paper only to hide his gun until he is close enough to his prey.


I work in this building, which was gutted and redone in the 1980s. It's a shame. Are there any other photos of the interior?


Wow, remember when you could actually buy anything with just coins?

Real Life hasn't changed

What fun it was to browse through Life again. The cars are different but still make the same outrageous claims as do most of the other ads. Imagine! Fending off a cold by using a laxative! All of the ads for men's shoes surprised me -- pretty snazzy at that, and all under $7 (roughly just under 10 percent of a good week's wage). Wars, crime, gossip -- yawn! Been there, doing that.

Thanks, Mikey-D.


I find it amusing that a 1940 picture of Tyrone Power (on the cover of Photoplay) from the eyebrows up can be identified by a reader today. Is there anyone else (other than John L. Lewis, who nobody alive but me remembers) who could be immediately recognized from just his brow?


There on the floor! Those are called (I think) "newspapers." My grandfather told me all about them, crude and sometimes messy wood-pulp derivatives that could be purchased at places like this, or delivered with a thud to your doorstep each morning.

Familiar Titles

Surprising how many of these magazines are still around after 70 years. I wonder what happened to "Friday" magazine? That's a great name.

The New Yorker

Click to enlarge.

Old Standards

I am struck by a few things: (1) The sheer number of movie magazines -- Screenland, Modern Screen, Screen Life, Screen Guide, Screen Romances, etc., etc. Looks like America's prurient fixation on celebrity isn't exactly a new phenomenon. (2) The number of old standards that have gone by the boards since those prewar days -- Look, Life, Saturday Evening Post, McCall's, American Mercury. But finally, (3) the number of old standards that are still managing to hang in there, although the clock may be ticking on them, along with many other forms of print media -- Time, Newsweek, New Republic, New Yorker, The Nation.

Life Magazine

Here's that issue of Life, if anyone's interested in browsing.

I miss newsstands

Nice photo. In my part of the world there aren't many newsstands left (and they were pretty much gone way before the Internet). Too bad.


That is Alice Fay on the cover and Tyrone Power has his forehead on Photoplay.

Those Aflac ads are getting a bit old, though.

Cover Guys 1940

On the cover of Time is Securities and Exchange Commission chairman (and future judge) Jerome Frank, described within as "a warm-blooded, quick-witted, supersensitive, argument-loving man of 51 with a bald sloping brow, bulging eyes, and the slightly travel-worn air of a shambling, sub-leonine cat." On the cover of Life is an ordinary French Poilu (or infantryman). Both are dated March 11.

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