International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
About Archives Practices Contribute Contacts Search

   

Periodical: American Phrenological Journal

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

American Phrenological Journal and Miscellany.
A Repository of Science, Literature, and General Intelligence / Devoted to Phrenology, Physiology, Magnetism, Education, Mechanism, Agriculture and to all Those Progressive Measures which are Calculated to Reform, Elevate and Improve Mankind / Devoted to Ethnology, Physiology, Phrenology, Physiognomy, Sociology, Psychology, Education, Mechanism, Agriculture, Natural History, and to all those Progressive Measures wheich are calculated to Reform, elevate, and Improve Mankind, Spiritually, Intellectually, and Socially / An Illustrated Magazine of Human Nature / A Monthly Devoted to the Study of Man in his Mental and Physical Relations / An International Magazine of Mental Science, Health, and Hygiene.
Other titles: American Phrenological Journal, and Repository of Science, Literature and General Intelligence (January 1851-1860); American Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated (May 1861-1869); Phrenological Journal and Packard's Monthly (1870); Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated (Jan. 1871-1881); Phrenological Journal and Science of Health (1882-1896); Phrenological Journal and Science of Health, Incorporated with the English Phrenological Magazine (1897)
1838--1911
Philadelphia, PA, then New York, NY. Publisher: A. Waldie, printer, Philadelphia; O.S. Fowler, Fowler's Phrenological Press, New York; O.S. & L.N. Fowler, proprietors, New York; Fowler & Wells Co.; Samuel R. Wells; Fowler & Wells Co.; Fowler & Wells Co. (New York) and L.N. Fowler & Co. (London). Editor: Nathan Allen, A.M., M.D.; Orson Squire Fowler (editor 1841-1855); Nelson Sizer (editor, 1859-1863); Samuel R. Wells; H.S. Drayton and N. Sizer; Charlotte Fowler Wells and Jessie Allen Fowler.
Succeeds: Life illustrated (absorbed May 1861); Packard's Monthly (absorbed April 1870); Science of Health (absorbed July 1876); Phrenological Magazine (London, absorbed January 1897)
1/1, October 1838-124/862, January 1911. $1.00-$2.00 a year. 32 pp. in a single column originally, rising to 80 pp. in dense double columns in 1871.

This was the longest lived phrenological journal and a marvel of adaptability in its ability to expand its fields of interest to new areas as phrenology declined in popularity.

The journal began as the American Phrenological Journal and Miscellany. The inclusion of "American" in the title was to distinguish it from the Phrenological Journal published in Edinburgh and the title showed both the journal's recognition of its roots in European (primarily British) phrenology and its conscious attempt to distinguish its own more popular version of the new science from the more "scientific" and medical views of phrenology prevalent in Britain.

The journal was originally published for anonymous proprietors in Philadelphia, who were soon revealed as O.S. and L.N. Fowler. The "Phrenological Fowlers" were the product of a fad for phrenology among the students of Amherst College in the early 1830s. Orson Squire Fowler (1809-1887) borrowed George Combe's Elements of Phrenology (1824) from his classmate Henry Ward Beecher, learned the science and devised a practical, easily understood method of delineations and a simplified chart of faculties, and went on the road to lecture and delineate to eager crowds while awaiting his entry into the seminary. His success prompted his younger brother Lorenzo Niles (1811-1896) to join the business and the brothers, aided by their sister Charlotte (1814-1901), opened offices in New York and then in Philadelphia, where the journal was started. In 1841, O.S. became sole owner and editor and moved the journal to New York. In 1843 they were joined by Samuel R. Wells (1820-1875), a student of the Fowlers, who with them started Fowlers & Wells in 1846. This became Fowler & Wells after the retirement of O.S. in 1855, and thereafter Wells was publisher under his own imprint until after his death in 1875 when his widow, Charlotte, at first under her own name and then as Fowler & Wells, became proprietor and Drayton and Sizer editors. LN left for Britain in 1860 where he established L.N. Fowler & Co. in London and, in 1880, started the Phrenological Magazine, which was consolidated with this journal in 1897. His daughter Jessie Allen Fowler first edited the Phrenological Magazine and then, beginning in 1896, helped edit this journal.

The Fowlers were reformers to the bone, advocates of woman suffrage, temperance, the water cure, anti-slavery (despite the inherent racialist tendencies in the new science that characterized intelligence and virtue in decidedly Northern European terms). Phrenology, despite the seeming determinism of its fundamental belief in a physical basis for character and behavior, easily provided a foundation for free will and personal development through the careful development of certain faculties and the repression of others under the guidance of phrenology. This was exemplified by O.S. Fowler's Self-Culture and Perfection of Character (1847) and a variety of books on self-help, general life advice (Wells' Wedlock, 1870, for example), etc. For years the masthead carried the engraving of a studious man in his cluttered study with an angel holding a crown of victory over his head. As the fad for phrenology declined the journal easily moved to include fad foods ("purified Solidified Cacao," etc.) and generally the "Restoration of Health, on Hygienic Principles; Nature's Remedial Agencies are Light, Air, Temperature, Electricity, Diet, Bathing, Sleep, Exercises and Rest," and also drew within its compass physiognomy, magnetism, Delsartean Physical Culture, character reading, medical electricity, psychometry, clairvoyance, thought transference, Mental Science, etc. Spiritualism, while not formally connected to phrenology, also found a place in the journal and Fowler & Wells and, especially, Wells (under his Samuel R. Wells imprint) were prominent publishers of spiritualist literature.

The journal was profusely illustrated with drawings (replaced in later years by photographs) to illustrate phrenological types and examinations and every issue carried an extensive biography, with picture, of a prominent person, including John D. Rockefeller, Mary Baker Eddy, Annie Besant, Robert E. Lee, Bayard Taylor, and many more. The journal carried phrenological contributions by a great variety of now unknown practitioners and theoreticians of the science but also carried contributions by the likes of Alexander Wilder (including children's fiction by him). There were an enormous number of "departments" and columns on a variety of subjects, mostly of supposedly general interest and intelligence (the migration of squirrels, the ethology of the Mormons, why do bald people disproportionately frequent churches, cures for near-sightedness, book reviews, etc.). The journal carried advertisements from its earliest years, with the number increasing over time as the publishers realized that the profit in magazines was not in the subscriptions but in the advertisements, and offered impressive premiums to entice readers. Prominent in the advertisements were their own American Phrenological Institute in New York (founded in 1866 by Wells, Horace Greeley, A. Oakley Hall, Russell T. Trail, et al.) and the Fowler Institute in London, which taught phrenology and supplied the literature and accoutrements helpful to the practice. By the mid-1850s the journal claimed a circulation of 24,000.

NYPL; University of Michigan; Cornell University; University of Illinois; Harvard University; University of Minnesota, etc.

Issues:American Phrenological Journal V1 1839
American Phrenological Journal V2 1840
American Phrenological Journal V3 1841
American Phrenological Journal V4 1842
American Phrenological Journal V5 1843
American Phrenological Journal V7 1845
American Phrenological Journal V8 1846
American Phrenological Journal V9 1847
American Phrenological Journal V10 1848
American Phrenological Journal V11 1849
American Phrenological Journal V12 1850
American Phrenological Journal V13-14 1851
American Phrenological Journal V25-26 1857
American Phrenological Journal V27-28 1858
American Phrenological Journal V29-30 1859
American Phrenological Journal V31-v32 1860
American Phrenological Journal V33-v34 1861
American Phrenological Journal V35-v36 1862
Phrenological Journal V41-42 1865
Phrenological Journal V43-44 1866
Phrenological Journal V45-46 1867
Phrenological Journal V47-48 1868
Phrenological Journal V49 1869
Phrenological Journal V50-v51 1870
Phrenological Journal V52-v53 1871
Phrenological Journal V54-v55 1872
Phrenological Journal V56-v57 1873
Phrenological Journal V60-v61 1875
Phrenological Journal V62-63 1876
Phrenological Journal V64-65 1877
Phrenological Journal V66-v67 1878
Phrenological Journal V68-v69 1879
Phrenological Journal V70-v71 1880
Phrenological Journal V72-v73 1881
Phrenological Journal V74-v75 1882
Phrenological Journal V76-v77 1883
Phrenological Journal V78-v79 1884
Phrenological Journal V80-v81 1885
Phrenological Journal V82-v83 1886
Phrenological Journal V84-v85 1887
Phrenological Journal V86-v87 1888
Phrenological Journal V88-v89 1889
Phrenological Journal V89-v90 1890
Phrenological Journal V92-v93 1891
Phrenological Journal V94-v95 1892
Phrenological Journal V96 1893
Phrenological Journal V97-v98 1894
Phrenological Journal V99-v100 1895
Phrenological Journal V101-v102 1896
Phrenological Journal V103-v104 1897
Phrenological Journal V105-v106 1898
Phrenological Journal V107-v108 1899
Phrenological Journal V109-v110 1900
Phrenological Journal V111-v112 1901
Phrenological Journal V113-v114 1902
Phrenological Journal V115-v116 1903
Phrenological Journal V117 1904
Phrenological Journal V118 1905
Phrenological Journal V119 1906
Phrenological Journal V120 1907
Phrenological Journal V121 1908
Phrenological Journal V122 1908
Phrenological Journal V123-v124 1910-1911

Archival material rights reserved under Creative Commons license.   .
IAPSOP respects user and member privacy and personal data rights.