Detroit newspaper and magazine kiosk, 1937

THE WAY IT WAS
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Photograph courtesy of The Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

1937Kiosks were at one time a common sight in large cities, offering both local and out-of-town newspapers and magazines. Commuters liked having something to read on streetcars, buses, trains, and subways, and outdoor newsstands provided a convenient and wide selection of reading material. In 1937, a new face joined the legion of periodicals that crowded newsstands. It was an oversized biweekly publication with the catchy name of Look, which got prominent display space at this kiosk at Michigan and Woodward. Like its competitor Life, Look relied heavily on gripping photography and less on the written word. Film director Stanley Kubrick was a staff photographer in the 1940s and early ’50s. The magazine got a boost in 1963 when illustrator Norman Rockwell, who had enjoyed years of vaulting popularity designing covers for The Saturday Evening Post, moved over to Look. The publication enjoyed a long run, but folded in 1971 after suffering mounting losses in ad revenue, joining in literary death such other once-prominent periodicals as Liberty, Collier’s, Holiday, Saturday Review, and The Smart Set. Even its old nemesis, Life, is limited today to an online presence and occasional special issues.

 


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