Magazine Mastheads Have a Nautical History

January 12, 2011 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

By Kaye Nemec

At the beginning of most magazines and newspapers, somewhere near the editorial page, you’ll find the masthead — the page of a publication that lists who is responsible for the magazine “behind the scenes.”  Everyone from editors and writers to advertising staff and designers are listed on the masthead. It may also include history of the publication, advertising rates, subscription and circulation information, contact names and numbers. So, why does this source of information have a clearly nautical name?

The term masthead did indeed derive from a nautical origin. Specifically, it came from a tradition within the shipping industry where brass plates were commonly displayed on the main mast of ships to showcase the owner of the ship, information about the ship and/or the location of its home port.

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Photo: hans s (cc)

Sources: WiseGeek, Wikipedia

Entry filed under: History and Origins. Tags: , , , .

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