The Illustrated London News
Front-page of the first edition
|Format||Broadsheet News Magazine|
|Owner(s)||Illustrated London News Group|
The Illustrated London News appeared first on Saturday 14 May 1842, as the world's first
The Illustrated London News founder
Ingram rented an office, recruited artists and reporters, and employed as his editor
Its circulation soon increased to 40,000 and by the end of its first year was 60,000. In 1851, after the newspaper published
Competitors soon began to appear: Lloyd’s Illustrated Paper was founded later that year, while
Ingram's other early collaborators left the business in the 1850s. Nathanial Cooke, his business partner and brother-in-law, found himself in a subordinate role in the business and parted on bad terms around 1854. 1858 saw the departure of William Little, who, in addition to providing a loan of £10,000, was printer and publisher of the paper for 15 years. Little's relationship with Ingram deteriorated over Ingram's harassment of their mutual sister-in-law.
Herbert Ingram died on 8 September 1860 in a
By 1863, The Illustrated London News was selling more than 300,000 copies every week, enormous figures in comparison to other British newspapers of the time. The death of Herbert and his eldest son left the company without a director and manager. Control passed to Ingram's widow Ann, and his friend Sir Edward William Watkin, who managed the business for twelve years. Once Ingram's two younger sons, William and Charles, were old enough, they took over as managing directors, although it was William who took the lead.
It was also a period of expansion and increased competition for the ILN. As reading habits and the illustrated news market changed, the ILN bought or established a number of new publications, evolving from a single newspaper to a larger-scale publishing business. As with Herbert Ingram's purchases in the 1850s, this expansion was also an effective way of managing competition: dominating markets and buying out competing ventures. As too with the acquisitions of the 1850s, several similar illustrated publications were established in this period by former employees of The Illustrated London News.
Serious competition for the ILN appeared in 1869, with the establishment of
William Ingram became chief proprietor of
In 1893, the ILN established
In 1899, ILN editor
Bruce Ingram was editor of The Illustrated London News and (from 1905) The Sketch, and ran the company for the next 63 years, presiding over some significant changes in the newspaper and the publishing business as a whole.
Photographic and printing techniques were advancing in the later years of the 19th century, and The Illustrated London News began to introduce photos as well as artwork into its depictions of weekly events. From about 1890 The Illustrated London News made increasing use of photography. The tradition of graphic illustrations continued however until the end of World War I. Often rough sketches of distant events with handwritten explanations were supplied by observers and then worked on by artists in London to produce polished end-products for publication. This was particularly the case where popular subjects such as colonial or foreign military campaigns did not lend themselves to clear illustration using the limited camera technology of the period. By the 1920s and 1930s, the pictures which dominated each issue of the magazine were almost exclusively photographic, although artists might still be used to illustrate in pictorial form topics such as budgetry expenditure or the layout of coal mines.
In 1928, a major business merger saw Illustrated London News move to new headquarters at Inveresk House, 1 Aldwych, (also known as 364 Strand), London. Here the Illustrated London News and the Sketch were united with six of their former competitors under the parent company, Illustrated News Ltd. As eight of the largest titles in illustrated news, these were newly dubbed the 'Great Eight' publications. The Illustrated London News, the flagship publication, was supported by sister publications The Sketch, The Sphere, The Tatler, The Graphic,
The centenary of The Illustrated London News in 1942 was muted due to wartime conditions, including restrictions on the use of paper. The occasion was marked in the paper with a set of specially commissioned colour photographs of the Royal Family, including the future Queen Elizabeth. By the time of his death in 1963, Ingram was a major figure in the newspaper industry, and the longest-standing editor of his day.
In the post-war period, print publications were gradually displaced from their central position in reporting news events, and circulation began to fall for all the illustrated weeklies. Many of the Great Eight publications were closed down after the
In 1961, Illustrated Newspapers Ltd was bought by International Thomson, headed by
In 1985, The Illustrated London News and the archives of the Great Eight publications were sold to
In 1994, publication of The Illustrated London News was reduced further to two issues a year, and the publishing activity of the Illustrated London News Group focused increasingly on the Orient Express magazine. After publishing its last Christmas number in 2001, The Illustrated London News was relaunched in 2003 under the editorship of Mark Palmer, which ran for one issue before finally ceasing publication for good.
The Illustrated London News Group underwent a management buy-out in 2007, and was re-established as Illustrated London News Ltd. From 2007, it has continued its activity as an independent content and creative agency. In 2007, the former Orient Express magazine was relaunched as Sphere, a luxury lifestyle and travel magazine. In addition to its independent publications, Illustrated London News Ltd now acts as a content agency for various other luxury and heritage organisations.
Illustrated London News Ltd also manages and curates the newspaper and business archive of The Illustrated London News and the Great Eight publications, publishing short books and magazines of historical content from the Great Eight publication archives. In 2010 the company digitised the entire back catalogue of The Illustrated London News, and in 2014 began digitalizing the remaining seven publications in the Great Eight. To mark the centenary of the
The company operates at 46–48