The Golden Argosy, Volume 3

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Frank A. Munsey Company, 1885 - Children's literature
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The Golden Argosy was the direct forerunner for what historians agree was the very first pulp magazine, The Argosy. GA was devoted in the main to stories for children and young adults (mostly adventure stories, lots of them set in the Wild West), and heavily slanted toward serial stories (unobjectionable at the time just because it was a weekly periodical). It started around 1882, and continued (in one form or another) until the 70s--not a bad record for a periodical that was both thick and weekly for most of its run.
This is a Google Scan of a bound edition of volume 3 (the magazine started, as did most periodicals back then, with a yearly Volume that could be collected into a bound book after the volume was complete). No effort was made to make the images nicer-looking or easier-to-read; the Google Scan team did some really amateurish things in preparing this digital copy.
But considering that even individual issues from this volume (it was a LONG time ago) rarely show up for sale, a complete volume--all the issues for that year--is a wonder in spite of Google.
In the main, each issue has fiction. Lots of Rags-to-Riches (or Riches-to-Rags-to-Riches) stories by authors like Mary Denison, Horatio Alger and John Gingold, as well as a metric ton of short snippets or articles (the ones on Japan are a hoot) by house authors, most of whom appear to have been Frank Munsey, the publisher, fill out each issue. A couple of the stories in Volume 003 started late in Volume 002 (no issues of which I've ever seen), but there's usually a synopsis of earlier parts sooner or later, so you don't miss much. This volume also has an article on the history and building of the then-newish Washington Monument, always fun from a historical view.
If you like young being fiction (like Tom Swift or the Hardy Boys or even the Bobsey Twins), you'll love these issues; they harken back to a simpler (less politically-correct!) time. If you just want a snapshot of the way popular media painted America back then, again, this is the volume for you.
The Google Scan team really did a number on this volume; most pages are poorly scanned, and one issue (number 09) they managed to mis-scan to the point of missing the bottom of two pages (pity; there was an interesting story on that page). Still, everythingn is readable, and you can do yourself much worse than to give it a try. If only other libraries that have over volumes of this would make them available...
 

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Unable to read the print is next to unlegable

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