Although the town of Eureka, and Eureka County as a whole was heavily involved in the mining industry in its early days, the people there were not intellectual infants and rowdies, isolated from anything of culture in the rest of the county. Most were law abiding citizens who worked hard for their daily keep. And they enjoyed some for the finer things of life too, when available, just as much as anyone else.
For some, that very likely included reading some of the popular periodicals and monthly magazines that a family could subscribe to by mail. There were number of them. Some of the wives and homemakers in Eureka might also have been partial to the Ladies Home Journal.
Another example: the Saturday Evening Post. No doubt some of the stores in Eureka and other towns around the county offered it for sale.
The Post published current event articles, editorials, human interest pieces, humor, illustrations, a letter column, poetry (with contributions submitted by readers), single-panel gag cartoons (including Hazel by Ted Key) and stories by the leading writers of the time. It was known for commissioning lavish illustrations and original works of fiction. Illustrations were featured on the cover and embedded in stories and advertising. Some Post illustrations became popular and continue to be reproduced as posters or prints, especially those by famed artist Norman Rockwell.
Some historians claim the origin of the magazine go as far back as 1729, when Ben Franklin published The Universal Instructor for All Arts and Science and the Pennsylvania Gazette.
However, it started under the name Saturday Evening Post in 1821 and was published as a weekend paper. Its list of early contributors included such names as Edgar Allen Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Stephan Crane, Bret Harte, Jack London, and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin).
However, even with these giants of American literature, the Post did not fare well and in 1897 was sold to Cyrus Curtis who also published the Ladies Home Journal.
A new managing editor, George Horace Lorimer, created a weekly magazine that even tackled national news with depth and seriousness in the editorial pages. Advertising sales skyrocketed along with ever greater national readership, including Nevada, topping 1 million readers in 1909.
Lorimer ran the magazine until he retired in 1936. Some the best writers for the magazine included F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ring Lardner. Also introduced was the artwork of Norman Rockwell, whose sentimental homespun covers made him one of America’s favorite illustrators. Most anyone of today’s Baby Boomer generation, wherever he or she may live, can remember a favorite Norman Rockwell cover or enjoys seeing a collection of them.
The Saturday Evening Post was extremely popular nationwide during World War II.
By 1968 though, America’s reading habits had slipped and in January, 1969, the Saturday Evening Post quit publishing, citing competition from television and more specialized magazines.
But in June, 1971, it was revived as a quarterly magazine, and still exists today being published six times a year.