Monday, November 9, 2015

Birmingham's Magazine in 1916

Like most cities Birmingham has publicized itself in various ways over the decades. One of those methods has been via a magazine that explores the positive aspects of life in the city. Birmingham Magazine was published briefly before World War I. Another similar publication, Birmingham, began in 1918 but ceased during the Great Depression. In 1961 Chamber of Commerce revived that magazine; it is currently published by Birmingham News Multimedia. The articles linked in this paragraph sort out the details of the two publications.

Below are the cover and table of contents for the January 1916 issue of the original magazine. That issue had an impressive 72 pages. As we learn from the cover, the issue cost 10 cents and an annual subscription was $1.00. The cover announces "The Dawn of Prosperity" which is reinforced in the statement of purpose below. The editors also announce their intention to "give the people of Birmingham and elsewhere correct facts about Birmingham and Alabama, of which the people know so little." I suppose that declaration could easily be made today as well.   

Some of the articles listed in the table of contents deserve a close read, and I may cover them in future posts. Articles on the Panama Canal and the Birmingham area, concrete's contribution to civilization, good roads and highways and library news are to be expected in such a publication. But the issue also carried articles on women's suffrage and the convict lease system in Alabama. Those topics were controversial and not exactly typical chamber of commerce material.

The entire issue is available via the Birmingham Public Library at the link below.

Source: Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

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