13th January 1869

The People’s Friend is published for the first time

The People’s Friend is the world’s longest-running women’s weekly magazine, says the BBC, and launched with the intention of providing “fireside reading… with a preference given to Scotch stories”.

Speaking to ITV on the magazine’s 150th anniversary, editor Angela Gilchrist said, “the famous founding statement which was in the first issue talks about ‘nothing in the columns intended to corrupt the morals of young or old’, and that is very much the principle of the magazine. There will be nothing to upset or offend. The Friend is all about entertainment, so people feel better for reading it, not saddened, upset or frightened in any way.”

Published in Dundee

An issue usually carries around seven short stories, along with advice and crafts. The People’s Friend is published in Dundee by DC Thomson. Each issue has a painting as its main cover and, although these are provided by a range of artists, they are published under the pseudonym J Campbell Kerr. The first illustrated cover was a scene of Edinburgh Castle.

Over the years, the magazine has given away several gifts to readers, including barometers and tea towels but, reported The Sunday Post in January 2019, “none, surely, was as warmly welcomed and deeply treasured as one of the popular giveaway tea caddies. The Friend reported the story in 1929 that a cameraman in the Congo tripped over the tea caddy as he was being chased by a rampaging rhino. Luckily for him the fall meant [he] avoided being trampled to death.”



Other events that occured in January

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