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Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Amusing Journal

(* A friend of mine loaned me a box of old magazines some while back and I've just been going through the notes I made at the time. These were rather patchy and I only had time to scan a few covers, so these little sketches are really just a taster of some of the magazines that used to fill our newsstands.)

The Amusing Journal

Printed by The Economic Printing and Publishing Company, Limited, 30 Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, E.C., and Published by Mr. S. H. Burrows, at 46 Fleet Street, London, E.C.

The Amusing Journal was launched with No.1 Vol.1 on Saturday, October 8, 1892. Tall (36½ x 21¼ cm), and headlined "The Laughing Side Of Things", it was a humour magazine, introduced by the unnamed editor—presumably the publisher S. H. Burrows—thus:
Every attempt to add to the gaiety of nations out to be welcomed in these dull times. Hence The Amusing Journal, which aims to show the bright side of life, will doubtless receive that amount of public favour which it so obviously deserves. Well-nigh everything has its humorous aspect. When one slips up on a piece of orange peel and sits down violently on the pavement, there is an aumusing as well as an aching side to the performance. It will be our constant endeavour to depict the amusing to the exclusion of the aching side of all the minor episodes in the drama of life that come within our weekly purview.
The magazine was filled with columns of drolleries, waggeries and the occasional serious piece, such as a column on “Some Secrets of Swindling” by Ex-Inspector Walker. Mostly anonymous stories, cartoons, jokes and verse filled out the pages, the only credit going to a verse by Edward Markwick.

The jokes have mostly dated to the point where they are no longer funny, although the occasional space-filler still offers some interest although I’m not quite sure why readers would want to have information on how to wash coloured tennis flannels (in water at room temperature using good white soap) or feel safe in the knowledge that 22,000 stray cats and dogs were put down in Philadelphia using charcoal fumes.

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