Posts Tagged ‘pin-ups’

This month in magazines: 1950s glamour magazines

February 18, 2017

Beautiful Britons brought girl-next-door glamour to readers (February 1956)

Beautiful Britons  (February 1956)

Spick glamour magazine cover from February 1956, issue 27

Spick magazine from February 1956

Last issue of Span in 1976 Toco number 266

Last issue of Span in 1976, issue  266

Town and Country Publishing (Toco) exploited the demand for men’s magazines in the mid-1950s by launching pocket-format titles that brought girl-next-door glamour to their readers.

Spick, Span and Beautiful Britons were three of the company’s titles. Spick was the first to come out, in December 1953, and was followed by Span the next September. Spick used professional models at first, but encouraged readers to send in photographs of wives and girlfriends. It soon introduced Beautiful Britons pages, which obviously inspired the third magazine of the trio.

However, they slowly lost sales in the second half of the Sixties in the face of competition from more aggressive launches, such as ParadeMayfair and Penthouse.

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design



Joan Collins a dame after 50 years on magazine covers

December 31, 2014
Debut magazine cover: Joan Collins on the front of Tit-Bits in 1951 – she was 18 at the time

Debut magazine cover: Joan Collins on the front of Tit-Bits in 1951 – she was 18 at the time

It must have been the publicity for Joan Collins on Magforum that did it – at 81 she joins the ranks of the nation’s dames (and we’re not talking pantomimes here) in the New Year’s Honours list. Though they say it was for services to charity, we all know it was for services to magazine covers over 53 years (which is as long as she’s been an actress, and a lot longer than she’s been writing books or doing charitable works). According to IMDB, her first role was in Facts and Fancies, a 17-minute short about ‘by-products resulting from the carbonisation of coal’ in 1951.