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Periodical: The Business Philosopher


From Pat Deveney's database:

Business Philosopher, The.
A Magazine Devoted to the Philosophy of Business and the Effort to Help Men andd Women to Increase Their A+R+E+A Development--Their Ability, Reliability, Endurance, and Action--The Four Elements of true Success.
All the Past is Here to Help Us; the Present to Work In (varies)
Other titles: Sheldon's Business Philosopher and Salesmanship / Business Philosopher and Both Sides / Both Sides and the Business Philosopher
1904--1923? Monthly
Chicago, then Libertyville, then Chicago, IL, and then (by 1919), "General Offices" in Memphis, TN. Publisher: The Science Press; Sheldon University Press; International Business Science Society. Editor: Arthur Frederick Sheldon; Charles Clinton Hanson, Sam Spalding, associate editors; Thomas Dreier, business manager (1908-1909), Arthur W.Newcomb, business manager (1910-1913).
Corporate author: Official Organ of The International Business Science Society (1918); Official Organ of the Q.Q.M. Quota League (1918); Official Organ of the Business Science Society (1922)1/1, December 1904. 48-80 pp., 10-20 cent a copy, $1.00-$2.00 a year.

The journal appeared at the beginning of 1909 as Sheldon's Business Philosopher and Salesmanship. In January 1918 as Business Success and The Business Philosopher, which may indicate a merger with the former, and from December of that year until August 1919 was called Both Sides and the Business Philosopher -- a title that, as an eminent historian has surmised, may refer to the non-socialist unity of the two sides (capital and labor) in their common goal of providers of goods and services to the public. "[W]e may league the two great productive forces of mankind, Labor and Capital, into a mighty army that shall make democracy safe for the world, as our armed hosts have made the world safe for democracy." In August 1919 the journal returned to its original title. It lasted until at least 1922 but may have continued or been resumed for a time in the 1930s. This was the exponent of "Sheldonism" and was the work of Arthur Friedrick Sheldon (1867-1931). Although the journal increasingly turned to practical business advice and away from its original roots, its origins lay in the wave of "scientific" self-improvement that swept America in the 1890s on and easily combined with elements of New Thought, auto-suggestion, hypnotism, and a generic, non-denominational "christian" notion of service to mankind ("Appled Christianity"), exemplified by Sheldon's role in the Rotary Club (he wrote the Rotary motto: "He profits most who serves best"). Sheldon was, unusually for the field, college-educated. He began as a book and encyclopedia salesman, but by the early 1900s had realized that teaching others the secrets of salesmanship by mail-order lessons offered greater potential than salesmanship itself, a realization that may have come from his close association with Helen Wilmans (he was a nephew of her husband C.C. Post). On her see the note under Freedom. By 1900 he was listed among Wilman's students in the formation of the Home Temple of the Mental Science Association in Sea Breeze, Florida, and later served on its Executive Committee. Wilmans had proclaimed that "there is no strength but self strength, and no salvation but self salvation. You have got to declare your personal power and stand alone in the majesty of your own intelligence. You have got to declare your ability to do without help. It is in this attitude that the divinest strength imaginable pours in on you like a river and you begin to realize what a godlike creature a human being is." For Sheldon, this doctrine of the freedom and power of the individual will became: "There is Gunpowder in every Man. . . . There is Latent Power . . . . All you Need to Do to light the flame of enthusiasm, is to show him his own opportunities . . . And the hidden gunpowder within him will cause him to explode with sudden and irresistible power and keep it up." And what better object for the persuasive hidden gunpowder than the science of persuasion (salesmanship) itself? "The essence of the science of salesmanship is that it is a science of persuasion," and auto-suggestion is "the architect and sculptor in this business of man-building." With this realization, Sheldon in 1902 began the Sheldon School of Scientific Salesmanship in Chicago, a mail-order "scientific" school of success and salesmanship that lasted until at least 1939. The journal was begun in December 1904 with the intention of "dealing with the fundamental science of Getting There -- Staying There, and the specific arts based upon that science, such as Brain-Building, Health Culture, Character Development, Training of the Will," etc. It was to be the "first and only periodical which has for its specific mission, the awakening of the business-world to the conscious work of the soul, as the one factor that marks a man either for success or failure," and was devoted to "showing how thought force may be used in business" and how the student could learn to "make YOUR PRESENCE in the world of business a factor to be reckoned with by every competitor." In 1906 Sheldon moved his business (said to employ some 200 office workers) to a large parcel of land in Libertyville, Illinois, northwest of Chicago (now Mundelein). The town at the time was calling itself "Rockefeller" in hopes of some benefaction from Rockefeller, and agreed to change its name to "Area" in expectation of some similar result from Sheldon, but the Post Office refused to recognize the name. AREA was an anagram of the cornerstones of Sheldonism: "The word Area is made up of the initials of the four channels of expression of the four-square man -- Ability, Reliability, Endurance, and Action, which correspond to the four-fold endowment, Intellectual, Moral, Physical, and Volitional, without which complete success is impossible. And this Four-fold capacity of the individual functions expresses itself in what we term his Q Q M -- that is, in the Quantity, Quality and Mode of Conduct which characterize his Service and determine his worth." The journal was widely advertised ("Will you be a Little Man or a Big Man?") and seems to have been a great success. It functioned as promotion for the Sheldon School (Sheldon University after 1911) and the lessons and books of his publishing business, and in 1920 claimed a circulation of 12,000. In 1915, Sheldon was said to been making $10,000 a year from the businesses – and to have been making another $5,000 from European sales before the War. The same year, however, was committed to a mental asylum for a period. Although he continued to write for the journal and continued to own it, the journal thereafter seems to have been actively managed by other, which may account for its gradual turn away from New Thought and toward purely practical business advice. Even as such it was notably influential: Sheldon is now credited as being the forerunner of AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action), the standard business school acronym for the requirements for sales success. The journal featured articles by Eugene del Mar ("The Spiritual Significance of Money"), N.N. Riddell, Grace M. Brown, Orison S. Marden, James Allen, Katherine M.H. Blackford ("How to Size up Men"), Anna G. Sheldon (who wrote on prenatal culture and supplied a regular column for mothers and children, T. Sharper Knowlson, Bernarr MacFadden, et al. Although the Sheldon School under one name or another continued to function until 1939, by the mid-1920s Sheldon was operating as the Sheldonian Institute of Human Engineering. From 1910 to 1913 the business manager of the journal was Arthur W.Newcomb, who, with his wife Katherine Melvina Huntsinger Blackford, brought character reading and analysis to the amalgam represented by the Business Phlosopher. Newcomb had been the head of John Alexander Dowie's publishing ventures and then reinvented himself as an "efficiency expert." Noted in Frances Maule Björkman, "The Literature of 'New Thoughters," The World's Work 19, no. 3 (January 1910): 12471-12475. INTA collection; LOC; NYPL; University of Chicago.

Issues:Business Philosopher V2 N7-12 Jul-dec 1906
Business Philosopher V3 N7-12 Jul-dec 1907
Business Philosopher V4 1908
Business Philosopher V5 N1-7 Jan-jul 1909
Business Philosopher V6 1910
Business Philosopher V7 N1-9 Jan-sep 1911
Business Philosopher V9 1913
Business Philosopher V10 N1-7 Jan-jul 1914
Business Philosopher V11 1915
Business Philosopher V15 N1-6 Jan-jun 1918
Business Philosopher V16 N1-12 Dec 1918-nov 1919
Business Philosopher V17 N1-12 Dec 1919-dec 1920
Business Philosopher V18 1921
Business Philosopher V19 1922

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