As National Geographic celebrates its 125th year of journalism, it is interesting to see how small things, like the magazine covers and the information they conveyed, have changed. In the photo above, the November, 1960 issue (far left) was priced at $1.00; the July, 1954 issue (second from left) at 65¢; and from then backwards each magazine was a whopping 25¢. Today’s magazines don’t disclose their individual price, but a yearly subscription at $15 is not too shabby considering it was $8/yr in 1960, up from $6.50 in 1954.
The July, 1954 issue’s first featured article is titled, “Triumph on Everest,” and the last, “Everyone’s Servant, the Post Office”; July, 1898 (far right in the photo above), on the other hand, saw “American Geographic Education” and “The Geologic Atlas of the United States” as the first and last articles.
Other notable titles in the covers above include “The Chinese ‘Boxers'” from July, 1900, about the Boxer Rebellion; “Forecasting the Weather. Illustrated” from July, 1904; and “The Treasure Chest of Mercurial Mexico” from July, 1916. The National Geographic Museum has a rich, glossy hallway leading to their exhibit of exploration and discovery over the years, where the walls are lined with the hundreds of magazine covers they’ve published, including those in the photo above. If memory serves, the left-hand wall contained the odd years of publication, while the right-hand wall displayed the even years, and the issues were organized by month, which explains why 5/6 of my individual cover shots are of the same month. As you can see in the photos on the left and below, the effect of this hallway was quite impressive, especially given NatGeo’s trademark frame of gold.
You can check out some of National Geographic’s featured photos and stories celebrating their 125th anniversary on their website.