In the 1920s and ’30s, The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (est. 1873) prosecuted a long war against the so-called “girlie” pulps, a burgeoning field of mildly risqué pulp-paper magazines featuring sex-themed stories, scantily clad women, and sometimes nude photography.
In 1930, the NYSSV forced pulp publisher Harold Hersey to suppress depictions of violence and lawlessness in his new line of gang pulps.
In 1934, the organization raided magazine shops to confiscate four new magazines with the titillating titles Real Boudoir Tales, Real Temptation Tales, Real Forbidden Sweets, and Real French Capers….
For 2013, let’s hope it all goes better for these long lost, and much maligned step-children of popular 20th century print culture history:
The Pulp Magazines Project has posted 8 new scans, feat. representative issues of the snappy, spicy, & girlie varieties (shown above) of semi-slick or pulp-paper magazines from the 1930s and 1940s.
They include 10 Story Book (Jul. 1934), Follies (Winter 1933), Gay Life Stories (c. 1939), Hollywood Nights (May 1937), La Paree (Nov. 1935), Night Life Tales (Winter 1940), Pep Stories (Apr. 1932), and Spicy Stories (Sept. 1936).
To access these issues, just click here.
Also available now at the Pulp Magazines Project, from Lauren Gibson (The University of West Florida), a history of George T. Delacorte’s “I Confess” (1922 – 1932).
And from Beau Collier (Darwination Scans), an illustrated history of the “girlie” pulps (1912 – 1946). Just see “Birth of the Girlie Pulps.”
The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Pulpscans and Digital Pulp Preservation.