Advertising Booklet and Illustrated Envelope for The Woman’s Magazine and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Unlisted but probably Edward Garner Lewis.
Advertising Booklet and Illustrated Envelope for The Woman’s Magazine and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
Advertising Booklet and Illustrated Envelope for The Woman’s Magazine and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition

Advertising Booklet and Illustrated Envelope for The Woman’s Magazine and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition

St. Louis: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1904. Staplebound wraps. The illustrated advertising envelope features an image of the cover of The Woman’s Magazine and a rectangular promotion for the St. Louis World’s Fair. It is franked with a 1-cent green Franklin stamp (Scott #300) and postmarked with a “World’s Fair St. Louis” machine cancel.

The advertising booklet has eight pages and is titled, “Banking by Mail. The Postal Bank and trust Company of The Woman’s Magazine and the Woman’s Farm Journal ” The booklet cover is illustrated with small images of both magazines and an architect’s model of the Woman’s Magazine Building (now the city hall of University City, Missouri). A larger photograph of the building is on the rear cover and one of the building under construction appears inside.

The envelope has some minor soiling, several small pieces of tape and pencil docketing on the reverse, and is missing part of its back panels. Very good. Item #008723

Lewis was a St. Louis entrepreneur and champion of women’s rights. He purchased a local publication which he renamed The Woman’s Magazine and, taking advantage of “penny-per-pound postage” and Rural Free Delivery, quickly built its circulation to 1.5 million, mostly rural and mostly female readers. His success infuriated Postmaster General George Cortelyou who tried unsuccessfully through the courts to extract more revenue from Lewis by claiming the magazine contained too much advertising to qualify for inexpensive rates.

In 1902, Lewis purchased 85 acres of land adjacent to the planned site of the S. Louis World’s Fair and established a headquarters including his Woman’s Magazine Building, a People’s University, and an Arts Academy that attracted several premier ceramists and potters. To increase subscriptions, he founded the American Woman’s League, a popular nationwide organization that sold subscriptions and used its profit to fund women’s education programs.

A People’s Bank (which is advertised in this brochure) was to be a key component of the League, providing, by mail, otherwise unavailable savings opportunities for his magazines’ rural female readers. Still bitter from his earlier legal defeat, Cortelyou again took Lewis to court to shut down the bank before it began. This time he prevailed because Lewis's mail-order services were judged to be in direct competition with U. S. postal money orders.

By 1912, Lewis's League had morphed into the American Woman’s Republic, an organization that focused on teaching women about government and politics. At its first convention, it ratified a Declaration of Equal Rights, and its members became active in nation-wide suffrage organizations.

Price: $150.00