History and profile
The magazine's first editor was
Herman Umbstaetter (1851–1913). It is best known for publishing the story "A Thousand Deaths" by Jack London in the May 1899 issue. Umbstaetter's magazine also carried material by Rupert Hughes, Susan Glaspell, Ellis Parker Butler, Alice Hegan Rice, Holman Day, Rex Stout, O. Henry, Charles Edward Barns, and Octavus Roy Cohen. Although most of its fiction was nonfantastic, The Black Cat occasionally published science fiction stories by authors such as Frank L. Pollack,
Don Mark Lemon and
Harry Stephen Keeler. It is notable for publishing, in May 1902, an early and uncharacteristically "weird" story by O. Henry entitled "The Marionettes." It also printed the horror story "The Mysterious Card" (1896) by Cleveland Moffett. Clark Ashton Smith contributed two adventure stories to The Black Cat. One noted writer who appeared in the magazine's later years was Henry Miller.
The covers were illustrated by Umbstaetter's wife, Nelly Littlehale Umbstaetter until at least 1920.