Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 200



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 200

and the periodical was rapidly taking its place as one of the largest successes of the day.

Mr. Curtis’s single proprietorship of the magazine had been changed into a corporation called The Curtis Publishing Company, with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars, with Mr. Curtis as president, and Bok as vice-president.

The magazine had by no means an easy road to travel financially. The doubling of the subscription price to one dollar per year had materially checked the income for the time being; the huge advertising bills, sometimes exceeding three hundred thousand dollars a year, were difficult to pay; large credit had to be obtained, and the banks were carrying a considerable quantity of Mr. Curtis’s notes. But Mr. Curtis never wavered in his faith in his proposition and his editor. In the first he invested all he had and could borrow, and to the latter he gave his undivided support. The two men worked together rather as father and son—as, curiously enough, they were to be later—than as employer and employee. To Bok, the daily experience of seeing Mr. Curtis finance his proposition in sums that made the publishing world of that day gasp with sceptical astonishment was a wonderful opportunity, of which the editor took full advantage so as to learn the intricacies of a world which up to that time he had known only in a limited way.

What attracted Bok immensely to Mr. Curtis’s methods was their perfect simplicity and directness. He believed absolutely in the final outcome of his proposition: where others saw mist and failure ahead, he



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