Old West Magazine, a quarterly western magazine, produced its first edition in the fall of 1964. Published by Western Publications, Inc. of Austin, TX, it was a sister publication to Frontier Times (started in 1910) and True West (started in 1953). Old West featured true accounts of the frontier west and specialized in the reprinting of rare books, pamphlets, and stories about Western Americana.
Old West began as a 100-page magazine that sold for 50 cents on newsstands and by subscription. Its front cover always featured a full-color reproduction of a western painting or photograph. The back cover initially featured a frameable copy of the same painting or photograph, but later issues featured a frameable reproduction of a painting of a Native American chief or warrior whose biographical sketch was presented on the inside back cover.
Old West contained no advertising until the Spring 1968 issue when the back cover featured a full-color ad for Zane Grey books. Although the back cover of the Summer 1968 edition once again featured a frameable painting reproduction, all subsequent back covers contained advertising.
The magazine changed its format with the Fall 1970 issue. “Old West” now occupied two lines rather than one on the front cover and the Contents page was moved from the inside front cover to page 2. Beginning with this issue, the inside front cover and page 1 always contained advertising.
Old West decreased to 84 pages in Spring 1971 and to 76 pages in Fall 1971. Its price increased to 60 cents in Fall 1973. Nevertheless, Old West had an international circulation of almost 130,000 in 1974. The price further increased to 75 cents by Spring 1975 and to $1.00 by Spring 1978.
In 1979, Old West, along with Western Publications, Inc. was sold to Krause Publications, but the magazine continued publication for another 20 years. The Fall 1999 issue appears to be the final edition.
Early editions of Old West Magazine are today eagerly sought after by collectors and history buffs alike. Santa Fe Trading Post is proud to offer an extensive collection of vintage Old West editions from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that are chronologically intact from:
- Volumes 1-22 (Fall 1964 - Winter 1969)
- Volumes 24-27 (Summer 1970 - Spring 1971)
- Volumes 29-40 (Fall 1971 - Summer 1974)
- Volumes 42-48 (Winter 1974 - Summer 1976 – including the infamous Fall 1975 error edition)
- Volumes 54-57 (Winter 1977 - Fall 1978)
and numerous other editions as well.