Harper’s Bazar, 1924

Today most people consider Vogue to be the queen of the fashion monthlies, but there was a time when Harper’s Bazar (later Bazaar) was the equal of any other fashion publication.  It is always a great treat to find older copies of Bazar, but these three just happily landed at my doorstep.

Back in the winter reader Susan Maresco wrote to ask my if I’d like to take some 1920s magazines off her hands.  I have a feeling she already knew I’d say yes.  In a few days two packages arrived, packed full of magazines from 1924 and 1925.  Among them are issues of The Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, and these three issues of Harper’s Bazar.

Susan explained that these magazines came to her from her 84 year old friend, Tish.  When her stepmother, Meta Redden Thomas, died around thirty years ago, Tish took the magazines from Meta’s home.

From Susan:

Meta was a highly educated black woman who was probably born in the 1890s.  She had a law degree from Howard University and a master’s in math from Columbia University.  She took her degrees and returned to her home town of Baltimore where she taught at Douglas High for 40 years.  She remained single into her 40s when Tish’s father, Clarence Young, asked her to marry him and help him raise Tish, an only child.  Clarence was a busy lawyer in Washington, D.C. and wanted his daughter raised right after his beloved first wife died when Tish was only 7.  He knew Meta and liked her, considered her a kind, bright, good person, so he asked her to be his wife.  She loved Tish and raised her right. 

I love how Meta wrote her name on many of the magazine covers.  Perhaps she loaned them to friends and wanted to make sure she got them back.

Many thanks to Susan for the incredible gift, and to Tish for sharing Meta’s story.


Filed under Collecting

21 responses to “Harper’s Bazar, 1924

  1. What a great story to wake up to! And how interesting to learn about another successful version of “family”. Plus of course those mag covers are divine, so modern.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarahc

    McCalls was big too in the 20’s in terms of fashion. My grandmother Helen Mulford Washburn was its fashion editor in the mid 20’s, one of the first graduates of what is now FIT.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A beautiful gift and story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I happen to think that Harper’s Bazaar was a better magazine than Vogue in the thirties, forties, and fifties. You are so lucky to get this treasure chest…and a treasured story to go with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Terri H.

    What a prize … I wonder what other wonderful things Meta left behind. Great story, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Those covers are pieces of art.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The christmas cover is fantastic.
    Here in england lots of mags have names written on them (often right across the forehead!!) by the newsagent who had them delivered.

    Liked by 1 person

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