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Guide to the Time Inc. Time Publishing and Business Records
 MS 3009-RG 24

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Holly Deakyne and Melanie Rinehart

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 22, 2021
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

Time is the first magazine created by Time Inc. with the first issue published on March 3, 1923. Time Inc. cofounders Henry R. Luce and Briton Hadden shared the masthead as Editors until Hadden's death in 1929. At this time, John S. Martin became the first Managing Editor of  Time with Luce still over him as Editor. According to the Ownership Statements in the General Administrative Files, the earliest publisher of  Time was Time Inc., not an individual.

According to Time Inc., Time pioneered the news magazine, at least the modern news magazine.  Time's format of short articles summarizing news events and other items of interest and importance became the standard for later news magazines. Magazine sections included national and international affairs, business, education, science, medicine, law, religion, sports, books, and the arts.

Time published several foreign-language editions, the first launched in 1941 delivered by air service to Latin America; special issues including the popular  Time Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year); and  Time for Kids, a children's magazine.

For the majority of Time Inc.'s existence, the company maintained a strict separation of editorial from the publishing and business side of each magazine, colloquially called the separation of "church" (editorial) and "state" (publishing). Publishing and Business Management includes the publisher, general manager, business manager, advertising sales, marketing services, letters, circulation, and public relations. Cofounder Henry Luce structured Time Inc. this way so that the business side could not (in theory) influence the editorial content of the publications. For example, the advertising sales people could not interfere with a magazine's decision to run an article on the dangers of cigarette smoking, even though it might mean losing millions of dollars in tobacco ads.


The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Time," Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 2018.

Elson, Robert T. 1968. Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise, 1923-1941. New York: Atheneum.

Hooper, Bill. Email to Holly Deakyne, 10 June 2016.