Quick, a vintage news weekly magazine, promoted itself on page 65 of the July 31, 1950 issue, with quotes from readers (along with a subscription form, should you so be moved), which illustrate that the “quick” news blurbs and short “frequent,” “accurate,” and “up-to-the-minute” information was “invaluable” to professionals, such as John L. Gary, Superintendent of Schools, La Center, Washington, and Margaret Webster, “distinguished Shakespearean director.”
Then people were thrilled to receive “digests” of “what is going on in the world,” to have “short-cuts” assisting them, helping them save time in a rapidly moving world — just as those of us who use Twitter do now. Well, at least that what Quick wanted you to think so you’d be moved to clip that subscription form and send it in.
I had just scanned the page from Quick magazine so that I could make the pithy comparison and add this 1950’s update to your history of Twitter (see also: Robot Messenger Displays Person-to-Person Notes In Public, Aug, 1935), when what do you suppose happened?
Just a few days later, presumably after finding & reading my article about the vintage publication, Clyde Hostetter, Professor Emeritus at California Polytechnic State University, emailed to ask if I have a copy of Quick published about 1948 “with a cover photo of sick women lying in a hospital corridor as the result of a mass food poisoning in Topeka, Kanas.” Seems Mr. Hostetter, then a writer/photographer for what was then the Topeka Daily Capital, is the one who took the photo of the woman suffering from food poisoning and, it being his first & only cover photo on a national magazine, he was eager to have a copy of it.
This is not the first time I’ve been delighted to make connections with people over my old magazines & ephemera; for example, I’ve helped provide images for the new walking tour of the Hingham Shipyard Historical Exhibit & helped family of legendary poodle trainer, instructor, & author Blanche Saunders find out more about “Great Aunt Blanch.” So it was with sincere regret that I wrote back to Hostetter to inform him that I did not own the copy he was looking for (even though I write about things found in Quick quite often, I currently only have three issues of that magazine). I told him if & when I discover a copy, I’d be sure to let him know.
Hostetter did have a great gem to share about the good old days of journalism — and it’s equally applicable to today’s discussion of Twitter & blogging:
I forgot to mention the joke that went around in the newsrooms when Quick first hit the newsstands with its acutely shallow summary of the week’s news. It was said that Fleur had another idea for a magazine called WORD. It would be published weekly like Quick. Every week the editorial staff would gather and chose a word for the total content of that week’s issue.
I find it very interesting (and, I’ll admit, somewhat amusing) to consider those days of print journalism, the old guard & the new guard competing against the assault of that new menace, television, discussing integrity & worthiness. Its comparisons to newspapers and magazines today and their view of the internet and digital media cannot be underestimated. And the super news is that Mr. Hostetter seems willing to continue sharing his memories of those days… So stay tunned to read more in the future.