Each of these precious issues from the first decade of publication is a delight and a surprise! They are packed with original pen-and-ink style illustrations by a wide variety of artists, including a lovely two page center spread artwork in each issue (very framable).
In fact, these early Life magazines are a treasure trove of early and
little known works by illustrators and cartoonists who later became
house-hold names. For example, Charles Dana Gibson was a frequent contributor to Life, starting as early as 1887 when he was only 20 years-old.
Historical Highlights from 1883 – 1889:
- Thomas Edison’s first electric lighting system using overhead wires begins service in New Jersey.
- LIFE magazine is founded.
- Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
- The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
- Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.
- The Eiffel Tower opens in Paris.
- George Eastman patents his camera and registers the trademark Kodak.
- In Punxsutawney, PA, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
- The Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta, GA. Later becomes The Coca-Cola Company.
- The Wall Street Journal is established.
issues average 16 pages. I have listed only a fraction of the content,
illustrations, and advertisements in each issue. It may be assumed that
almost every bit of content of the earliest issues is short, tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic humor and highly opinionated.
It makes for fun reading! Artists who signed their names legibly are
most likely to be listed, artist names may be listed in full or
abbreviated, e.g. Oliver Herford = O. Herford = Herford. While I often list an illustration as a “cartoon” if it is humorous, they are almost always highly detailed works of art.
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Life Magazine – March 8, 1888 (# 271)$18.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – March 22, 1888 (# 273)$28.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – April 18, 1888 (# 329) – Charles Dana Gibson$30.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – May 10, 1888 (# 280)$16.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – October 4, 1888 (# 301)$28.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – October 11, 1888 (# 302)$22.00 Add to cart
Life Magazine – December 6, 1888 (# 310)$49.00 Add to cart