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    Posted on May 8, 2013

    25 Women's Magazine Covers From The Forties

    They didn't have Photoshop back then.

    Once upon a time, before Photoshop existed, women's magazines did more than make you wish you were Jennifer Lawrence's best friend. After the fall of France in 1940, Hollywood drove fashion in the US almost entirely, with just a few trends coming from a wartorn Britain. But alongside fashion tips, women's magazines presented career women with knitting patterns and practical family advice. It was a pivotal decade for women's magazines, and one that produced some gorgeous magazine covers.

    1. Harper's Bazaar

    The '40s - or the Vreeland years, as they're affectionately known at Harper's Bazaar - saw Diana Vreeland take on the role of Fashion Editor after she caught Editor Carmel Snow's eye with her iconic "Why Don't You...?" column.

    2. Vogue

    Edna Woolman Chase edited America's fashion bible in the '40s, having started work at the magazine in its mail room. She edited Vogue for almost 40 years, a tenure which saw her put on the magazine's first fashion show and nurse its readership after a dip during the Second World War.

    3. Columbia

    This much-loved craft journal provided women with stylish patterns for items that were in trend, like knitted pullovers, blouses and crocheted hats.

    4. Mademoiselle

    Famous for publishing short stories by writers including Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin, Mademoiselle was edited by Betsy Blackwell in the '40s. Betsy famously shifted the publication's audience to career women and introduced its literacy section.

    5. Charm

    Launched in the '40s, Charm dedicated itself to the BG (read: Business Girl). By offering women practical advice on issues such as inflation, war bonds and ceiling prices, it soon became known as "the magazine for women who work".

    6. Woman

    A British magazine, Woman focused on function. Filled with pictures of lean women in tweed suits, it was aimed at the style-conscious working woman.

    7. Everywoman

    Another British magazine, Everywoman published articles such as "Budget for the wartime bride" and included features about: fashion; fiction; embroidery; cookery and homemaking.

    8. Britannia and Eve

    Launched in the UK in 1929, Britannia and Eve was a monthly, high-end women's magazine which frequently featured works by Italian artist Fortunino Matania.

    9. Women's Weekly

    Launched in 1911 and still going, Women's Weekly focuses on the homes and family lives of more mature, working women.

    10. Redbook

    Edited first by Edwin Balmer and then Wade Hampton Nichols in the '40s, Redbook is a magazine for homemakers. The rise of the television saw the title struggle in the 1940s, despite its reputation for publishing high-standard non-fiction.

    11. Picturegoer

    Bi-weekly British movie magazine Picturegoer was sold in theater kiosks throughout the '40s.

    12. Household

    Containing advice on cooking, cleaning and keeping your husband happy, Household magazine was a firm favourite among stay-at-home wives in the '40s.

    13. True Romances

    Focussing on real life issues, and often written with a touch of erotica, True Romances published stories that women could relate to. It tackled issues such as ageing parents, divorce, stress and health problems.

    14. Ebony

    A monthly magazine for African-American women, Ebony was launched in 1945. Focussing on popular culture and lifestyle journalism, Ebony addresses African-American issues in an upbeat manner.

    15. Seventeen

    Aimed at 12-19 year old girls, Seventeen was first published in 1944. Encouraging teen girls to become role models and work in citizenship, Seventeen tackles issues regarding fashion, health and love.

    16. Glamour

    Originally called Glamour of Hollywood, Glamour was edited by Alice Thompson and then Elizabeth Penrose in the '40s.

    17. Movie Stars Parade

    A Hollywood fan magazine, Movie Stars Parade focussed on popular movies and celebrity culture.

    18. Photoplay

    Another movie fan magazine, Photoplay is credited with being a catalyst to America's fascination with celebrity life.

    19. Woman's Day

    With a focus on homemaking, nutrition and fitness, Woman's Day was sold exclusively in A&P stores in the '40s, when it was edited by Mabel Hill Souvaine.

    20. Modern Beauty Shop

    Modern Beauty Shop was designed to be distributed to beauty salons and hair stylists, and featured images of women with fashionable hairstyles.

    21. Marie Claire

    Initially just published in France, Marie Claire combined real-life stories with health, beauty and fashion features.

    22. The American Magazine

    A periodical publication, The American Magazine was edited by Sumner Blossum in the '40s and exclusively produced short stories.

    23. Housewife

    Published in London, Housewife offered wives of working men advice on how to maintain a happy husband and home.

    24. Woman and Home

    Woman and Home is weekly London-based magazine that focussed on women's duties during the war years in the '40s.

    25. ELLE

    Fashion and lifestyle magazine ELLE was founded in 1945 by Pierre Lazareff and his wife Hélène Gordon. Although it only existed in France in the '40s, it now boasts 43 international editions.

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