W. & R. Chambers and the Market for Print

in Steam-Powered Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226276519
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276540 | DOI:
W. & R. Chambers and the Market for Print

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This chapter assesses the activities of W. & R. Chambers in the early days of their history. William Chambers and his younger brother Robert were booksellers who used the dead time in their shops to pursue other interests. They were among the small number of younger publishers who concentrated on the needs of readers with only a basic education and very limited spare cash. Six weeks before the Penny Magazine was launched, and four hundred miles further north, William Chambers had already begun his second attempt at a cheap magazine. The Chambers's Edinburgh Journal—later called just Chambers's Journal—would eschew party politics and religious sectarianism in its efforts to appeal to the broadest possible audience. To readers, the most obvious distinction between Chambers's Journal and the Penny Magazine would have been their visual appearance. Chambers's Journal successfully defended its niche in the magazine market into the twentieth century.

Keywords: Chambers; William Chambers; Robert Chambers; Penny Magazine; Chambers's Journal

Chapter.  5581 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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