Physical Culture magazines
SPEC.018

Summary Information

Repository

Ball State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections

Creator

Macfadden, Bernarr, 1868-1955

Title

Physical Culture magazines

ID

SPEC.018

Date

1918-1951

Extent

3.3 Cubic feet4 boxes

Language

English

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Preferred Citation

Physical Culture Magazines, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries

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Historical Note

Physical Culture began publication in March 1899, the first publication in what would become Bernarr Macfadden’s publishing empire. Under the slogan “Weakness is a crime; don’t be a criminal,” the magazine trumpeted the virtues of healthy diet, exercise, and natural healing and published articles, fiction, advice columns, testimonials, and a wide array of advertisements. Macfadden wrote much of the magazine’s content himself using a variety of male and female pseudonyms and illustrated it with photographs (often featuring himself) of scantily clad men and women in “classical poses” to demonstrate the health and beauty of a “built” physique. The magazine also published articles by other “health reformers” and devotees of “physical culture,” some of whose doctrines were at best original and at worst dangerous, and articles lambasting traditional medical theory and practice. A 1907 series on the dangers of venereal disease resulted in Macfadden’s conviction for obscenity under the Comstock Law. He was fined $2000 and sentenced to two years in prison, but was pardoned by President William Howard Taft.

Physical Culture’s circulation grew rapidly, from 5,000 readers in 1899 to 100,000 in 1901 to 500,000 by 1919. In 1941 Macfadden withdrew from Macfadden Publications—publisher of Physical Culture and 26 other magazines as well as books and newspapers—and the new owners transformed Physical Culture into Beauty and Health. Outraged at the fate of his flagship magazine, Macfadden bought it back in 1943 and published it in a smaller format. In 1950 he changed its name to Bernarr Macfadden’s Health Review and, in 1954 its circulation was approximately 20,000. Physical Culture ceased publication after Macfadden’s death in 1955.

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes 97 issues of Physical Culture magazine dated between February 1910 and August-September 1951. There are also duplicate copies of some of the issues. Also included are Volumes II and V of Macfadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, both published in 1920 by Macfadden himself.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from David Pearson in 2006 and 2007. An additional issue was received on 2009/12/09.

Accruals

No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2006/11 by Jane Gastineau. Finding aid created 2006/11 by Jane Gastineau. Finding aid revised 2007/10 Alexandra Lawrence. Finding aid revised 2008/3 by Amanda Hunt. Finding aid revised 2008/9 by Lajmar Anderson. EAD finding aid created 2009/12/09 by Maren L. Read.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of Physical Culture Magazine are available electronically through the Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository (http://libx.bsu.edu).

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • magazines
  • Series (Publications)

Subject(s)

  • Health
  • Hygiene
  • Physical education
  • Physical fitness

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Collection Inventory

Physical Culture magazine

Box Folder

Physical Culture, Vol. XXXIII, no.2, 1910 Feb.

1 1

Physical Culture, Vol. XXV, no. 1, 1911 Jan.

1 2

Physical Culture, Vol. XXVI, no. 4, 1911 Oct.

1 3

Physical Culture, Vol. XXVII, no. 3, 1912 Mar.

1 4

Physical Culture, Vol. XXXVIII, no. 4, 1917 Oct.

1 5

Physical Culture, Vol. XL, no. 2, 1918 Aug.

1 6

Physical Culture, Vol. XL, no. 4, 1918 Oct.

1 7

Physical Culture, Vol. XL, no. 4, 1918 Oct.

1 8

Physical Culture, Vol. XLIII, no. 3, 1920 Mar.

1 9

Physical Culture, Vol. XLIII, no. 4, 1920 Apr.

1 10

Physical Culture, Vol. XLIII, no. 5, 1920 May

1 11

Physical Culture, Vol. XLV, no. 2, 1921 Feb.

1 12

Physical Culture, Vol. XLVI, no. 5, 1921 Nov.

1 13

Physical Culture, Vol. XLVIII, no. 2, 1922 Aug.

1 14

Physical Culture, Vol. LII, no. 1, 1924 July.

1 15

Physical Culture, Vol. LII, no. 6, 1924 Dec.

2 1

Physical Culture, Vol. LIV, no. 2, 1925 Aug.

2 2

Physical Culture, Vol. LVII, no. 4, 1927 Apr.

2 3

Physical Culture, Vol. LVII, no. 5, 1927 May

2 4

Physical Culture, Vol. LVII, no. 6, 1927 June

2 5

Physical Culture, Vol. LVIII, no. 3, 1927 Sept.

2 6

Physical Culture, Vol. LIX, no. 2, 1928 Feb.

2 7

Physical Culture, Vol. LIX, no. 4, 1928 Apr.

2 8

Physical Culture, Vol. LIX, no. 6, 1928 June

2 9

Physical Culture, Vol. LX, no. 2, 1928 Aug.

2 10

Physical Culture, Vol. LX, no. 3, 1928 Sept.

2 11

Physical Culture, Vol. LX, no. 4, 1928 Oct.

2 12

Physical Culture, Vol. LXI, no. 4, 1929 Apr.

2 13

Physical Culture, Vol. LXII, no. 3, 1929 Sept.

2 14

Physical Culture, Vol. LXII, no. 5, 1929 Nov.

2 15

Physical Culture, Vol. LXII, no. 6, 1929 Dec.

3 1

Physical Culture, Vol. LXII, no. 6, 1929 Dec.

3 2

Physical Culture, Vol. LXII, no. 6, 1929 Dec.

3 3

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIII, no. 6, 1930 June

3 4

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIV, no. 1, 1930 July

3 5

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIV, no. 3, 1930 Sept.

3 6

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIV, no. 4, 1930 Oct.

3 7

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIV, no. 5, 1930 Nov.

3 8

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIV, no. 6, 1930 Dec.

3 9

Physical Culture, Vol. LXV, no. 1, 1931 Jan.

3 10

Physical Culture, Vol. LXV, no. 1, 1931 Jan.

3 11

Physical Culture, Vol. LXV, no. 6, 1931 June

3 12

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIX, no. 1, 1933 Jan.

3 13

Physical Culture, Vol. LXIX, no. 4, 1933 Apr.

3 14

Physical Culture, Vol. LXX, no. 6, 1933 Dec.

3 15

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXI, no. 2, 1934 Feb.

3 16

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXI, no. 6, 1934 June

3 17

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXIII, no. 2, 1935 Feb.

3 18

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXIV, no. 2, 1935 Aug.

3 19

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXIV, no. 2, 1935 Aug.

3 20

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXV, no. 3, 1936 Mar.

3 21

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXV, no. 3, 1936 Mar.

3 22

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVI, no. 4, 1936 Oct.

3 23

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVI, no. 6, 1936 Oct.

3 24

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVII, no. 1, 1937 Jan.

3 25

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVII, no. 2, 1937 Feb.

3 26

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVII, no. 3, 1937 Mar.

3 27

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVII, no. 5, 1937 May

3 28

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVII, no. 6, 1937 June

3 29

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 1, 1937 July

3 30

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 2, 1937 Aug.

3 31

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 3, 1937 Sept.

3 32

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 4, 1937 Oct.

3 33

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 4, 1937 Oct.

3 34

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 5, 1937 Nov.

3 35

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXVIII, no. 6, 1937 Dec.

3 36

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXI, no. 1, 1939 Jan.

3 37

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXI, no. 5, 1939 May

3 38

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXI, no. 6, 1939 June

3 39

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXII, no. 6, 1939 Dec.

3 40

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXIV, no. 1, 1940 July

3 41

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXIV, no. 3, 1940 Sept.

3 42

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 1, 1941 Jan.

3 43

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 2, 1941 Feb.

3 44

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 3, 1941 Mar.

3 45

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 4, 1941 Apr.

3 46

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 5, 1941 May

3 47

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXV, no. 6, 1941 June

3 48

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVI, no. 1, 1941 July

3 49

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVI, no. 2, 1941 Aug.

3 50

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVI, no. 4, 1941 Oct.

3 51

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVI, no. 6, 1941 Dec.

3 52

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVII, no. 1, 1942 Jan.

3 53

Physical Culture, Vol. LXXXVII, no. 4, 1942 Apr.

3 54

Physical Culture, Vol. 91, no. 3, 1947 Mar.

3 55

Physical Culture, Vol. 91, no. 6, 1947 Apr.

3 56

Physical Culture, Vol. 92, no. 8, 1948 Oct.

3 57

Physical Culture, Vol. XCII, no. 10, 1948 Dec.

3 58

Physical Culture, Vol. 93, no. 4, 1949 Aug.

3 59

Physical Culture, Vol. 93, no. 4, 1949 Oct.-1949 Nov.

3 60

Physical Culture, Vol. 94, no. 1, 1950 Jan.-1950 Feb.

3 61

Physical Culture, Vol. 94, no. 2, 1950 Mar.-1950 Apr.

3 62

Physical Culture, Vol. 94, no. 3, 1950 May-1950 June

3 63

Physical Culture, Vol. 94, no. 4, 1950 Sept.-1950 Oct.

3 64

Physical Culture, Vol. 94, no. 6, 1950 Nov.-1950 Dec.

3 65

Physical Culture, Vol. 95, no. 1, 1951 Feb.-1951 Mar.

3 66

Physical Culture, Vol. 95, no. 4, 1951 Aug.-1951 Sept.

3 67

MacFadden's Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, Volume II

4 1

MacFadden's Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, Volume V

4 2

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