Join 3,368 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"The Lower Depths"
May 2, 2013 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Before the National Enquirer, TMZ, Globe, The Star and other gossip tabloids, there was the National Police Gazette. Founded in 1845, it originally covered "highwaymen and suchlike malefactors, the thought being that the public would get on to the evil-doers and fix their wagons." Thirty years later a new owner transformed 'the oldest weekly in America' into a full-on tabloid covering "murders, Wild West outlaws, and sport... well known for its engravings and photographs of scantily clad strippers, burlesque dancers, and prostitutes, often skirting on the edge of what [was] legally considered obscenity." Some even consider it "America’s first popular men’s magazine." The Gazette shut down in 1977, but has now been resurrected.

Google's image search turns up some fun engravings.

A small archive of articles from the original Gazette

Interview with the magazine's current owner.
posted by zarq (9 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
These engravings are amazing. I suspect I would have subscribed to this magazine. SNAKES!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:28 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Resurrected in a brave Web 1.2 style, which feels quite suitable for an old publication of this sort.

I don't quite understand why it's being resurrected, especially as it seems more like an alt.weekly than a muckraker type tabloid. For example, Ska! (PDF) Semi-artistic nudity! (PDF)
posted by filthy light thief at 3:10 PM on May 2, 2013


It seems more like a lark than homage, really, like a funky band name (e.g. "Black Rebel Motorcycle Club", no disparagement intended).

I'm a little curious how resurrecting a publication works. It doesn't seem to me like they would have much recourse if someone else were republishing the long-out-of-copyright originals, even with asserting current trademark exclusivity.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on May 2, 2013


After a 20-year hiatus, it's back on the World Wide Web (W3).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:37 PM on May 2, 2013


I guess the site makes more sense if you think of it as an alt-weekly for a metro of 100k (Binghamton/Ithaca).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:42 PM on May 2, 2013


Ha! I love these engravings.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:46 PM on May 2, 2013


Seanbaby weighs in on the Police Gazette
posted by ShutterBun at 4:35 PM on May 2, 2013


I don't know who Seanbaby is, but wow, that Cracked article was misogynystic as hell. Yeesh.

The Gazette was a bigoted, racist and sexist magazine, but it was also a product of its time. That's no excuse, but still.
posted by zarq at 6:52 PM on May 2, 2013


Yup, Seanbaby hasn't changed. That article read just like Seanbaby articles of old, which in turn, were actually precursors to the Cracked list of late.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older She steps in, takes off the bathrobe...  |  'Well, could we get some respi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments