From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Frank Andrew Munsey (21 August 1854 – 22 December 1925) was an American newspaper and magazine publisher and author. He was born in Mercer, Maine but spent most of his life in New York City. The city of Munsey Park is named for him.
Munsey is credited with the idea of using new high-speed printing presses to print on inexpensive, untrimmed, pulp paper to mass produce affordable (typically ten cent) magazines, chiefly filled with various genres of action and adventure fiction and targeted at working-class people, who could not afford and were not interested in the content of, the twenty-five cent "slick" magazines of the time. This innovation, known as pulp magazines, became an entire industry unto itself and made him quite wealthy. Munsey often closed down or changed the content of magazines when they became unprofitable, quickly starting new ones in their place.
The first "pulp" is considered to be Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896, about 135,000 words (192 pages) per issue on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no illustrations, not even on the cover. While the steam powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels, prior to Munsey, no-one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to working-class people. In six years Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.