Australasian Post

Australasian Post
Wq Australasian Post.jpg
Cover of the Australasian Post for 29 January 1953.
Frequency Weekly
Year founded 1864
Final issue 2002
Country Australia
Based in Melbourne
Language English
ISSN 0004-8437

The Australasian Post, commonly called the Aussie Post, was Australia's longest-running weekly picture magazine.

History and profile

Its origins are traceable to Saturday, 3 January 1857,[1] when the first issue of the publication Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (probably best known for Tom Wills's famous 1858 Australian rules football letter) was released.

The weekly publication was based on the format of Bell's Life in London, which was produced by Charles Frederic Somerton in Melbourne, with a Sydney version having been published since 1845.[2]

On 1 October 1864, the weekly newspaper The Australasian was launched in Melbourne, Victoria by the proprietors of The Argus. It supplanted three unprofitable Argus publications: The Weekly Argus, The Examiner, and The Yeoman, and contained features of all three.[3] A competitor, The Age, gloated that as it was printed on coarse heavy paper, its weight exceeded the maximum for concessional postage, adding to its cost to country subscribers.[4]

Its format was similar to the Bell's Life papers, but with much less sport content. As a result, the local papers Bell's Life in Victoria and Bell's Life in Sydney were gradually phased out of publication. On Saturday, 4 January 1868, the last Melbourne issue appeared (no. 504), while the last Sydney issue (No. 731) came out on Saturday, 31 December 1870 (no. 731).[5] The Australasian adopted locally based editions during the transition.

The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil, which was founded by The Argus in April 1873, merged with The Australasian after its last issue of 26 December 1889.[6]

Editors

Transition to Post

The final edition of The Australasian appeared on 6 April 1946, published by the Argus and Australasian Limited, 365 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne,[12] with an announcement that "Next week, this magazine becomes The Australasian Post in an entirely new format, with modern enlarged content."[13]

The Australasian Post was read by millions at the height of its popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and featured a uniquely Australian mix of scandal, sensationalism, human interest stories, fashion, politics, culture and entertainment, being the staple of barber shops across the country.[14]

One of its features was its focus on Australiana, with pages of jokes and cartoons, including the Ettamogah Pub series by cartoonist Ken Maynard.[15][16]

In the late 1960s and 1970s, the magazine's covers and content included illustrations and stories focused on sex and nudity.[17]

In 1982, The Sun News-Pictorial features editor Feyne Weaver was appointed Australasian Post editor: he immediately doubled the number of articles in the magazine and, while keeping the bikini-clad cover girl, got rid of all the "tit 'n' bum" inside. The circulation rose to an all-time high, overtaking the then market leader People before Weaver resigned in mid-1984 to move to the United States.

Post's trademark bikini-clad cover girl began to look old-fashioned in the late 1980s, and it suffered a rapid decline in popularity. The execution was stayed momentarily when knockabout Herald Sun columnist Graeme "Jacko" Johnstone took the helm, took the bikini girl off the cover, and focused on its knack for telling uniquely Australian stories. The magazine was renamed Aussie Post in 1997, but it was not enough and it closed its doors on 2 February 2002, after 138 years.

At the time of its last edition, it was the longest-running continuously published magazine in Australia.

References

  1. ^ National Archives of Australia
  2. ^ Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 - 1860) at Trove
  3. ^ "Advertising". The Australasian. Victoria, Australia. 1 October 1864. p. 1. Retrieved 3 September 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "The News of the Day". The Age (3, 102). Victoria, Australia. 6 October 1864. p. 4. Retrieved 3 September 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Bell's Life in Sydney, final issue Publication, 31 December 1870, at Trove
  6. ^ "The Australasian". National Library of Australia, Canberra. 2014.
  7. ^ Woods, Carole. "Haddon, Frederick William (1839–1906)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 25 October 2013 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  8. ^ Jordens, Ann-Mari (1976). "Smith, James (1820–1910)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 25 October 2013 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  9. ^ "Gullett, Henry (Harry) (1837–1914)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 25 October 2013 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  10. ^ Hurst, John. "Watterston, David (1845–1931)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 25 October 2013 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  11. ^ Chisholm, Alec. "Chisholm, Alexander Hugh (Alec) (1890–1977)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 5 May 2020 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  12. ^ Publishing note page 3 The Australasian, 6 April 1946, at Trove
  13. ^ Announcement: Next Week page 12 The Australasian, 6 April 1946, at Trove
  14. ^ Murphy, Wayne Lawrence & Murdoch University. School of Humanities. Master of Arts in Literature and Communication Programme (1990). In Reading Post a study of the general interest magazine, Australasian Post. Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A
  15. ^ Maynard, Ken (1978). In Ken Maynard cartoons: A nostalgic look back on Ken's cartoons as appearing in Australasian Post. K. Maynard, Palm Beach, Qld
  16. ^ Maynard, Ken & Northover, Robin (1990). In Tales from the Ettamogah Pub: Australasian Post. Southdown Press, Melbourne
  17. ^ Australasian Post at Paper World (commercial site). Accessed 2 May 2017

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