I took a brief respite from my preoccupation with where magazines are now and where they are headed when I accidentally surfed into The Grand Magazine of Magazines – Issues August – December, 1750, published in London and digitized by Google.
It’s a fascinating cornucopia of articles across many disciplines – literature, poetry, economics and business, foreign affairs, science, and DIY. Compare to what we might read today in Astronomy magazine about Pluto dethroned to the article on page 254 about the solar system then – known only out to the planet Saturn. Martha Stewart and fans might enjoy the article on page 257 entitled A New Method of Making Pictures of Birds with their Natural Feathers. There were stock prices in London for each month and a curious Bill of Mortality at the end of each issue showing the number of christenings (about 1,400 per month) and burials (about 2,500 per month) – sadly more than 700 under the age of terrible two.
The diversion was well worth my attention and reminded me to reach out to the folks at Readers Digest to add the magazine to our literacy portfolio.