Adventure Magazine

Adventure was an American pulp magazine first published in November 1910 by the Ridgway company, a subsidiary of the Butterick Publishing Company. The magazine was notably successful, becoming one of the most profitable and critically acclaimed of all American pulp magazines, with a total of 881 issues published.Image:adventure-magazine-sample-cover

Its first editor was Trumbull White, succeeded in 1912 by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (1876–1966), who would remain the editor until 1927. Over the years, Adventure showcased fiction from distinguished writers such as Rider Haggard, Rafael Sabatini, Gouverneur Morris, Baroness Orczy, Damon Runyon, and William Hope Hodgson. The magazine nurtured a core group of authors, referred to by Hoffman as his "Writers' Brigade". Each member of the brigade had their own specific areas of fictional focus, ranging from colonial India to the South Seas, from medieval Europe to the Western frontier.

In 1912, Hoffman, along with his assistant, novelist Sinclair Lewis, created a popular identity card with a serial number for readers. This card served a unique purpose: if the cardholder were to die, a finder of the card would notify the magazine, which would then notify the individual's next of kin. The popularity of this initiative among travellers led to the formation of the Adventurers' Club of New York, which inspired the establishment of similar clubs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and Honolulu.

The magazine took an unsuccessful detour in 1915, attempting to appeal to women readers with a new title (Stories of Life, Love, and Adventure), but reverted to its original title and male readership in 1917.

Hoffman also served as secretary of an organization named the "Legion", which counted Theodore Roosevelt Jr. as one of its vice presidents. This group played a significant role during World War I, with membership cards detailing members' skills and specialties being forwarded to the War Department. The information was used to create two regiments of aviation mechanics and provided a model for the American Legion's organization after the war.

Adventure had an interactive relationship with its readership. Its letters page, "The Camp-Fire", not only featured Hoffman's editorials and background information from authors about their stories, but also discussions by the readers. Hoffman encouraged the establishment of Camp-Fire Stations, meeting places for Adventure readers, which were so popular that by 1924, they had been set up across the United States and in several other countries, including Britain, Australia, Egypt, and Cuba.

The magazine also featured several notable columns, including "Ask Adventure", which utilized the expertise of 98 specialists to answer various questions, ranging from the status of slavery in Ethiopia to the fighting prowess of lions versus gorillas. Several of Adventure's fiction writers contributed to this column, providing insights based on their respective areas of expertise. Other columns included "Lost Trails", which aided people in finding missing relatives and friends, and "Old Songs Men Have Sung", a column dedicated to the discussion of American folk songs.

Adventure continued its publication until 1971, undergoing several format changes and outlasting all its major rivals. The period of Hoffman's editorship from 1912 to 1927 is widely regarded as the high-water mark in the magazine's history, in terms of both its quality and popularity.{{Categories}}

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