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Hobby Directory

Owning Institution: GLBT Historical Society

About this Collection

Hobby Directory (1946-circa 1952) was a small publication in which male hobbyists could publish personal ads and meet friends who shared their interests. The magazine quickly acquired a large gay male readership, and gay men used their ads to connect with one another. The men's descriptions of their hobbies -- for example, ballet, interior decorating, or collecting photographs of weightlifters -- were designed to signal that they were gay, as well as genuinely describing themselves to romantic prospects. Hobby Directory was a fairly mainstream publication which was sold in craft stores and advertised in the magazines Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Its reasons for ceasing publication are unknown, but historians have suggested that it may have fallen victim to enforcement of the Comstock Laws, which forbade sending "obscene" materials through the mail. View this collection on the contributor's website.
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