Louisa Knapp Curtis

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Louisa Knapp Curtis (October 21, 1851 – February 25, 1910),[1][2] sometimes known only as Louisa Knapp, was the author of a column, and later, the separate supplement included with the magazine, Tribune and Farmer, that in 1883 would become a separate magazine, the Ladies' Home Journal, which is still published.

Early copy of Ladies Home Journal, founded by Louisa Knapp Curtis - March 1886

Her column in the Tribune and Farmer was entitled, Women at Home.[3] The original name of the separate magazine that arose from the popularity of that column was The Ladies Home Journal and Practical Housekeeper, but she dropped the last three words from its title in 1886. The magazine became one of the most popular magazines published in the United States, reaching a circulation of one million within ten years.

Curtis remained as the editor of the monthly magazine from its first edition of February 16, 1883 until she turned over the editorship to Edward Bok in 1889, after which she continued to author one featured column and provided a certain amount of oversight, as promised to her readers.

In 1875, Louisa Knapp married Cyrus Curtis when he was the publisher of The Peoples Lodge in Boston. After a fire destroyed that business, they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876 where her husband founded the Tribune and Farmer and, in 1890, the Curtis Publishing company, which published several magazines. He also published three national level newspapers for a time, through his newspaper company, Curtis-Martin Newspapers, Inc.

Louisa and Cyrus Curtis had one child, Mary Louise Curtis, who married her mother's successor at the Ladies' Home Journal in 1896 (and with whom she founded Bok Tower Gardens).[4] Mary Louise founded the Curtis Institute of Music in 1924 as well as, after the death of her father in 1933, the Curtis Hall Arboretum at the family residence, and the Curtis Center in the building from which her mother's magazine was published. In 1930 Edward Bok died and in 1943 she married the director of the Curtis Institute of Music that she had founded, the renowned violinist, Efrem Zimbalist.

Today a facility on Queen Street in Philadelphia is known as the Mary Louise Curtis Branch.[5]


  1. ^ Anonymous. After Curtis Time magazine, Monday, Jul. 17, 1933. TIME.com
  2. ^ Stoddard, Maynard Good (1 January 2000). "A Legacy of Music. The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia". The Saturday Evening Post.
  3. ^ PSU.edu
  4. ^ Hamersly, Lewis R. (1904). Who's who in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries. L.R. Hamersly & Co. p. 66.
  5. ^ Anonymous. "The History of Settlement Music School". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009.

External links[edit]

Louisa Knapp Curtis at Find a Grave