Scientific American: The country’s oldest continuously published magazine

From The Writer’s Almanac:

On this date 175 years ago, the first issue of Scientific American was published. It’s the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, and it started as a four-page weekly newsletter.

It was founded by Rufus Porter, son of a wealthy New England family and a painter and inventor in his own right. The first issue focused on improvements to the quality of passenger railway cars. Under Porter’s direction, Volume I frequently featured reports from the U.S. Patent Office; the issues also served up poetry and religious news.

Porter sold the magazine 10 months later, for $800, to 22-year-old Orson Munn and 19-year-old Alfred Beach. They took over with the publication of Volume II, doubling the page count and dropping the reports on temperance and religion as being unsuitable for a science publication. They kept the poetry, though.

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