On this day, in 1888, Peter Collier first published Collier’s Once a Week – a weekly periodical of “fiction, fact, sensation, wit, humor, [and] news”.
An Irish immigrant, Collier was a pioneer in investigative journalism. By 1892 Collier’s little magazine was amongst the largest selling in the United States. A few years later the name was changed to Collier’s Weekly: An Illustrated Journal and the focus turned to news. James H. Hare, a pioneer of photojournalism, was hired to take the reins in the area of halftones. And Collier’s Weekly became a major proponent of social reform – or “muckraking journalism” as Theordore Roosevelt would call it.
Through the years, many a great name graced the pages of the Weekly. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Earnest Hemmingway, Winston Churchill, Willa Cather, Zane Grey, J.D. Salinger, and Kurt Vonnegut are just a few of the writers; illustrators included Maxfield Parrish, Stan and Jan Berenstain, Joseph Barbera, A.B. Frost, and William Steig.
Articles covered everything from the Spanish Civil War to the concentration camps of WWII. They helped form child labor laws; they paved the way for slum clearance and women’s suffrage, as well as the Meat Inspection and the Pure Food and Drug Acts of 1906.