Colour pin-ups – in 1867

Stef Penney’s ‘Tenderness of Wolves’ prompts a query in its description of a Hudson Bay Company outpost in the outback of Canada. In one room, ‘Pinned to the walls are coloured pictures of race-horses and prizefighters, cut from magazines.’ Colour pin-ups? In 1867? Sounds a tad early, I said to myself, as I sat on a jet back from Spain. However, probably not. The Illustrated London News began printing its colour Christmas plates in 1855. And David Reed (‘The Popular Magazine’) discusses colour being used for promotions as ‘a common event’ by 1871 among US magazines.

Magazines timeline



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