Everybody knows about LIFE, the magazine of photojournalism that first appeared in 1936 and still is with us today in various printed forms. But LIFE was also the name of the foremost American humor magazine of the period 1890-1930, and LIFE (the humor magazine) was an important and influential magazine in its time.br> When the founders of TIME wanted to start a new magazine that would show America the world, they decided that the title had to be "Life." Someone was already using that title; so they bought it from them. LIFE, which hadn't been doing well during the Depression, was combined into JUDGE. And That was That.

The later covers of LIFE resemble nothing so much as the first covers of THE NEW YORKER. The magazines even overlapped in time, publishing many of the same artists months apart. Yet many LIFE covers looked totally unlike the cover of the preceding issue, or the next one; and sometimes not like anything ever published on any other magazine. It must have been a challenge to find it on the newsstand.

For a fuller discussion of LIFE, read the profile page. The first 80 volumes of the magazine are online at Hathi Trust.

In the period 1895-1920 a number of hardcover collections of material from the magazine were published, and sometimes turn up. In a couple of cases there were also regular magazine-like instalments of favorite images etc., and we try to include those as periodicals here. Here are some examples of the book versions, from Warren Bernard's collection as posted online by Christopher Wheeler.

Brenda Wiard, at 2Neat Magazines, has an extensive list of artists who drew for LIFE. They sell back issues of LIFE, and have provided us with numerous cover scans.

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