First Issue of "Playboy" Magazine Featuring Marilyn Monroe w/Monroe Nude Centerfold
Hugh Hefner, in 1953, demonstrated that ribaldry need not be incompatible with legitimacy. At the fringes of the First Amendment there had long pulsated smoke shop porn. But by the early 1950s there emerged a need for discreet admiration for things tantalizing - that is, via publication. Enter, the first issue of Playboy. Gracing the cover of this inaugural work was the universally acclaimed beauty of the ages, Marilyn Monroe. The flavor of Playboy right from the start was a sharing of measured lust - tempered with generous servings of leisurely material pleasures. The distinct bunny, a delightful symbol of verility, punctuates these pages, as do the oblique artistries of Milton Caniff and Virgil Partch ("VIP"). The focus here, though, is the import of this offered publication's being - "1st Issue", as it's trumpeted on the cover. The 42 pages are firmly bound by the original staples; and, with minor corner wear, and a couple superficial creases on the covers,good + comdition this glorious piece would be welcomed Ms. Monroe, incidentally, radiates from page 19 as an inviting playground for the yearning eye. (This color feature is a full-page format pre-dating the publication's signature "centerfold.") Similarly, the singularly-showcased beauties in Playboy's early releases were identified as "Sweethearts of the Month" (as opposed to the celebrated "Playmates"). Marilyn was the first, and we do pity the lovely showcased in the second issue - after all, Monroe was a tough act to follow. A treasure in preservation, this debut issue of Playboy is a monument to the genre - now an institution in the American experience.
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