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Children and Teen Magazines Of 1953. The Magazines And I: Chapter 7 Part 2.

May 26, 2021

Children and Teen Magazines … is the 7th chapter from the serialized book I am writing on the magazines of 1953, specifically March 1953, the month I was born.  This is chapter seven, part two.  Feel free to back track for chapters one, two, three, four, five and six in previous blogs.  Enjoy.

CHILDREN’S PLAYMATE

The tagline for Children’s Playmate was “The Favorite Magazine of Boys and Girls” and with stories and poems, puzzles and riddles, pages that belonged to the children themselves, one could definitely see why it might be a favorite among children. From fun contests to things to make and do, this gem of a magazine was published monthly by the A.R. Mueller Publishing and Lithograph Company. 

The March 1953 issue was a spring edition that had a cover illustration featuring a boy and girl on roller skates, their dog, umbrellas and the ever-present March winds. There were stories dedicated to Irish skits, Irish parties and many other great stories and poems. It was a children’s magazine that offered fun activities and much, much more. 

HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN

Since 1946, Highlights for Children has been creating “Fun With A Purpose” for children of all ages. The very first issue of Highlights sold fewer than 20,000 copies, but 40 years later, Highlights was the most popular children’s magazine in the United States, having close to two million subscribers, with 95 percent of the copies mailed to homes. The magazine accepted no advertising and shied away from single-issue sales, but could be found in most doctors’ and dentists’ offices in the United States.

The March 1953 issue is an extremely “March” issue, with the cover a deep green in color and two inquisitive children staring into a telescope up into the sky. The stories are whimsical, yet have a lesson hidden beneath the magic: “A Bear Scores,” “The Eisenhower Brothers,” and “Knuckle Down,” among many others. There are many “Things To Do,” and great poetry for kids. In usual Highlights style, the March 1953 issue captivates. 

HUMPTY DUMPTY’S

Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine for Little Children has been publishing with the mission to promote the healthy physical, educational, creative, social, and emotional growth of children ages 2 to 6. In March of 1953 Humpty Dumpty the magazine was still an infant, it was issue six of this new magazine published 10 times a year by the same folks who were publishing Parents magazine. Now, the magazine is part of the Children’s Better Health Institute,  the magazine is another extension of the Saturday Evening Post Society.

The March 1953 issue featured stories for beginning readers, several read-aloud stories, along with drawings and illustrations that would bring smiles to adults, never mind the little ones. The cover featured Humpty himself plus a few of his cohorts. The masthead lists Humpty Dumpty as editor in chief. And indeed the magazine reflects the nursery rhyme character’s tenacity, good spirit and fun nature.

On a different note, the magazine offered its readers an explanation about the type of paper and binding it uses. “Humpty Dumpty’s magazine is printed on what is known as “eye-ease” tinted paper. This light green paper is easier on the eyes than white or any other tinted paper.

Out binding, called the Rumflex Binding, is designed to eliminate the use of staples. As a result, the magazine lies flat when opened, and is easier for children to handle.”

JACK AND JILL

Jack and Jill is a bimonthly magazine for children ages 6 to 12 years old that takes its title from the nursery rhyme of the same name. It features stories and educational activities, along with nonfiction, poems, games, comics, recipes, crafts, and more. The magazine has been continuously published for 80 years, and is one of the oldest American magazines for kids.

As part of the Children’s Better Health Institute, which is a division of the Saturday Evening Post Society Inc., Jack and Jill is nonprofit and has a very important mission that it strives to accomplish even today: to promote the healthy physical, educational, creative, social, and emotional growth of children in a creative way that is engaging, stimulating, and entertaining for children ages 6 to 12.

The magazine was launched in 1938 by Curtis Publishing Company and was the first thing that they had added to their portfolio since Country Gentleman in 1911.

The March 1953 issue features an illustration on the cover of a girl jumping rope, while a young boy swings it up and over for her. It would appear one or both of the children’s mother is looking on with a slight smile. To complement the cover of the magazine, the inside features rhymes for jump roping, titled Rope-Jumping Rhymes and Playground Rimbles. It’s a fun and thoughtful thing to include for the children reading the magazine. 

The stories, drawings and pictures are entertaining and educational. It’s a magazine that was a wonderful companion for the children of March 1953 and still is today.

JUNIOR SCHOLASTIC

The Scholastic Corporation was founded in 1920 and has become a top publisher of magazines for children and youth. There are many extensions of Scholastic for children which are attainable through schools, online and retail. Scholastic is an important part of children’s magazines and still very relevant and available today.

Junior Scholastic was and is focused on middle schoolers and offers a wide variety of stories and articles. The entertainment value and the educational facet of the magazine is clear (it is Scholastic, after all) and the March 11, 1953 issue is no exception to the brand’s value. The cover is filled with how people in Vermont work to make maple sugar. It’s filled with more articles explaining interesting and fun things that people from all over the country and the world know how to do. It’s a great magazine and brings back many memories for many people, even today.

MOVIE TEEN

Movie Teen magazine was a bit of  a spinoff of “Teen” magazine only about screen stars. All the teenaged stars and starlets could find themselves on the pages of this magazine. And in turn, all the teenaged girls buying it were enthralled with their favorite actors and actresses, dreaming one day of meeting them or possibly even dating them

The March 1953 issue featured actress Pier Angeli on the cover with articles written by Tab Hunter and Piper Laurie, two screen teens of the 1950s, in the cover lines. From a feature about a young Robert Wagner to a fan club registry for all your favorites, this publication had to be a young girl’s dream-come-true when it came to info on the stars of the small and large screens. 

Up next part three of the Children and Teen magazines of 1953… Stay tuned.

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