Fortune Magazine – 80th Anniversary

Fortune Magazine was created as part of Henry Luce’s Time, Inc. publishing empire in February 1930, four months after the Stock market crash that started the Great Depression. It was created as an expanded and specialized publication drawn from the business section of Time magazine, written and designed with big executives and upper level managers in mind. The original prospectus stated that “business is the single common denominator of interest among the active leading citizens of the U.S . . . Fortune’s purpose is to reflect Industrial Life in ink and paper, and word and picture as the finest skyscraper reflects it in steel and architecture”.  Fortune’s annual listing of the 500 leading corporations, “the Fortune 500”, as it is known, became an American institution, against which all other businesses are measured.  Among its many innovative editorial approaches was to publish a standard feature article that examined different aspects of a single corporation, much like a biographical portrait. Henry Luce believed that all business was invested with a public interest, more »

Early 1900s DIY

Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes (not pre-fabricated) 1906-1981 The popularity of DIY “do-it-yourself” home improvement and decorating projects began in the early 20th century. The North American Construction Co., later known as the Aladdin Co., was founded in 1906 by the William and Otto Sovereign Brothers. They got the idea from a Michigan company that was selling pre-cut, pre-fitted boats for consumers to assemble themselves. The Sovereign Bros. took the idea a few steps further and offered boats, homes, and garages and advertised that “Anyone who can drive a nail can put together an Aladdin House.” Once they sold a “kit” by mail order, they contracted out the specifications for the wood in the kit to local lumberyards, which would then pre-cut the sections of the houses for shipping and final assembly by the consumer. Aladdin claimed that “A saw is practically unnecessary in the erection of one of our houses. We supply the entire house for you to fit and nail together in a few days.” In 1910 they coined the more »

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