Cheerful Moments

Cheerful Moments was an American monthly mail-order magazine from 1892 until 1908, primarily a vehicle for advertising and light stories of the day, and one of a number of similar publications.

1893 issue
1899 publishers' advertisement

The magazine was founded in Boston in 1892. It was later acquired by George W. Willis of New York,[1] who worked in the field of mail order publications for over 25 years.[2][3][4] It claimed an average monthly circulation that reached up to claims of 500,000 copies by 1903.[5][6][7]

In December 1901, Advertising Experience described the most recent issue as "pretty much all advertising" where the "reading matter is simply an incidental but what there is of it is good."[8]

A contemporary textbook on advertising listed Cheerful Moments in a list of typical mail-order magazine of the day:

The American Farm World, Cheerful Moments, Woman's World, Homefolks, Comfort, The Gentlewoman, Good Stories, the Metropolitan and Rural Home, Spare Moments, the American Nation, and the Fireside Visitor are a few of the long list of low-priced monthly publications of large circulation that are filled with stories and reading matter of general character and that reach the great rural and semiurban field.[9]

It appears that Gaylord Wilshire took over the magazine by mid-1906, and it ceased publishing after its subscription list was absorbed into his Wilshire's magazine in March 1908.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ Letter from R.E. Hicks to Assistant Postmaster (27 December 1986), in Congressional Record - House, January 6, 1897, pp. 515-16
  2. ^ (13 January 1923). News Notes of Circulators, The Fourth Estate, p. 21 ("George W. Willis, for twenty-five years in the mail order field, has been appointed circulation manager and assistant editor of the New Idea Publishing Company, publisher of New Ideas.")
  3. ^ National Newspaper Directory and Gazetteer (1899)
  4. ^ Rowell's American Newspaper Directory, p. 696 (1898)
  5. ^ Roll of Honor, Printer's Ink (March 30, 1904)
  6. ^ Lord & Thomas and Logan Pocket Directory of the American Press, p. 564 (1900) (advertisement claiming circulation of 200,000)
  7. ^ Advertiser's Rate Book, p. 395 (1904) (advertisement claims monthly circulation of 250,000)
  8. ^ Advertising Experience, p. 30 (December 1901)
  9. ^ I.C.S. Reference Library: Advertisement Display, Mediums, Retail Management, Department-Store Management, p. 25 (1909)
  10. ^ (26 September 1906). Notes, Printer's Ink, p. 25 ("Cheerful Moments, which is now controlled by the Cheerful Moments Publishing Company, Gaylord Wilshire, president, is represented in the advertising field by H.G. Sommerman.")
  11. ^ Wilshire's (entry), National Library of Australia ("Absorbed: Cheerful moments, Mar. 1908."), Retrieved 26 July 2017
  12. ^ (7 March 1908). Literary Notes, Fourth Estate, p. 15 ("Beginning with the March number Wilshire's magazine will take over the subscription list of Cheerful Moments and will have, according to the publishers, a guaranteed circulation of 400,000, all paid-in-advance subscribers")