International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
About Archives Practices Contribute Contacts Search


Periodical: Nautilus

Summary:   From Pat Deveney's database:

Nautilus, The.
Journal of Practical Ideality / Self Help through Self Knowledge / Devoted to the Practical Application of Mental Science in Every Day Living / Devoted to the Art and Science of Self-Expression / Magazine of New Thought
The Organ of no School, bound by no Creed. "Consistency" and "Conformity" clipped from its vocabulary. Growth and usefulness, Good and Joy of all, its object / This Magazine is an Investment, not an expense; and it Pays Dividends in proportion as it is used / Self-Help through Self-Knowledge
1898--1951 Monthly
Portland, OR, 1898-99; Sioux Falls, SD, 1899- 1900; Holyoke, MA, 1900-1951. Publisher: Elizabeth Struble/Towne. Editor: Elizabeth Lois Struble; Elizabeth Towne and William E. Towne; Chester Holt Struble, managing editor.
1/1, November 1898-53/10, August 1951. Fifty cents-$2.00 a year. 4-64+ pages of text.

This was the most long-lived and influential of all New Thought journals. It clearly marks the transition from the New England educated class's view of New Thought as a movement with some pretensions to be the intellectual heir of Emerson and the German idealists, to New Thought as the teacher of the freedom of the "I AM" and the path to health, wealth, and success. It is a gazetteer of the twilight world of mages, healers, prophets, and cranks in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and it would impossible to study New Thought and its permutations or the occultism of the time without some familiarity with the journal--and especially the advertisements that crowded its pages.

Elizabeth Lois Jones Struble (later Towne) (1865-1960) was born in Portland, Oregon. For several years beginning in the mid-1890s she taught classes in her ideas locally and practiced mental healing, and she started the journal in November 1898 after she left her husband of 16 years, took her two children, and set out to practice the freedom she had read about in New Thought. She is said, on what basis is unknown, to have taken classes from students of Emma Curtis Hopkins, but her real debt, both philosophically and in the design of the journal, was to Helen Wilman and her emphasis on success and the freedom of the self as the real author of the everyday world. Struble wrote Wilmans' Freedom, December 21, 1898, to announce her new journal: "So well has Freedom taught and so well have I learned to put in practice the principle of success that here the little Nautilus bobs up serenely and maybe a bit saucily alongside of Freedom . . . ."

With a $30 loan from her father (and the promise of similar loans for six months), she started the journal as a four-page, three-column magazine written largely by herself, with a small column of text advertisements on the last page for the likes of J.C.F. Grumbine. The name of the journal was taken from Oliver Wendel Holmes's "Chambered Nautilus"" ("Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul . . ."). It was offered at 50 cents a year, though for $1.00 a year the subscriber would get the journal and be included in Struble's Success Club and in her daily success and healing thoughts. From the testimonials published at the time it is clear that the Club was a major factor in the journal's survival and success, and the price of the Club alone was soon increased to $1.00 a year, with special treatments for "harmony in the home life" for $1 to $10, "according to your financial ability." The journal broke even from the first and soon became a profitable behemoth: 2,800 subscribers for its first issue, 4,500 in 1900 and 90,000 eventually. In 1907, when subscriptions were at 45,000, Towne estimated that in the nine years of the journal's existence 2.25 million issues had been mailed. In 1902 the journal was increased to eight pages, two of which were devoted to advertising, in 1905 to 32 pp. with an equal number of pages of advertising, and in its heyday, the journal carried more than 100 pages, half of which were advertisements (at a page cost of $80.00 in 1905).

In its first years the journal was explicitly expounded Struble's "desire philosophy"--"omnipotent desire." Desire is what nature urges, and what it urges is both possible and achievable--and good--if the student embraces the desire.

"Believe in the fruition of your desires. Nothing is too great for you--nothing too far away for realization. You are daily gaining new ideas. All your experiences are but kindergarten methods of teaching you ideas that in their ultimate arrangement will be the thing you desire. All experiences are working for your good--all the Mind of the universe is aiding you in your efforts. Trust the good Mind; trust your desires and yourself, and go on your way rejoicing. Rejoice, for joy is power. There is need of rejoicing, for you need power. There is cause for rejoicing, for the way grows brighter and brighter, even unto the perfect day of realization."

"Desire is the supreme builder and ruler of the universe; the one God."

Coupled with this was "the omnipotent Word" ("I AM"), whose vibrations fill the universe. "There is but one Word to speak. Its meaning is ‘I AM what I desire.' When one knows this Word it is spoken spontaneously within him for each separate thing, and he is unconscious of the speaking. He simply ‘knows instinctively' that he will get what he wants."

"I AM spirit, soul and body. Spirit, soul, body, mind, nerves, bones, earth and ether are all phases of I AM, of me. I AM all there is, was or ever will be. I AM all space, all peoples and things that exist in all space. I AM all power. I AM the Whole Darned Thing.

When I assert I AM I assert my oneness with All Things and the Source of All. When I call upon the I AM I call upon all the forces of the universe." Etc.

This desire philosophy, with all of its unexplored problems, ran in the first issues of the journal and then was published as 12 lessons in a pamphlet under the name "The Constitution of Man." In August 1899, Struble moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota--then renowned as having the shortest residency requirement in the United States--to get a divorce. She continued the journal from there, and there some of the problems of her philosophy came home to roost. A reader wrote in to inquire about the "desire" of a young man to bed her 13-year old daughter, and in January 1900, "X.Y.," whose work took him on the road away from his family for long periods, wrote to ask whether her teaching that "passion should be gratified" applied to his "desire for what is considered improper indulgence with the other sex." Struble replied that she believed "in the gratification of desire at all times and places as the quickest and only way to grow," but hedged her bets with cautions on circumstances and caution, and compounded her indiscretion by instructing "X.Y." about "magnetation"

"The exchange of sex magnetism is absolutely essential to life and health. That does not mean that the sex act is a necessity. Magnetism is exchanged in a glance of the ye, a conversation, or a caress, just as in the sex act itself. The more freely men and women associate upon the affectional and intellectual planes, the less will be the demands of ‘nature' upon the passional plane. A man who associated freely with many good women would be satisfied, and never desire passional expression with but one woman he loved best. That is the natural state. But we have restrained desire so long and persistently that it is perverted. So it happens that when a man does loose desire he is apt to go to extremes, but in a short time he would come to the normal condition above described."

The ever-watchful Post Office was not amused and promptly had her indicted for sending obscene materials through the mails. In March she pleaded guilty and, when she refused to pay the $200 fine, was jailed. After serving 30 days (and being released on taking the "Pauper's Oath") in May 1900 she boarded the train for Holyoke, Massachusetts, where she was met by William Elmer Towne, who, according to the stories, had a marriage license for her in his pocket. Towne, was had been running a small New Thought book business in Holyoke and writing for Charles W. Close's Free Man and other journals. He had written Struble, praising her journal and asking advertising rates, and then submitted articles to the journal and advertisements for the likes of his own "Do You Want Health, Happiness, Success? Practical Mind Science" and for Elizabeth's "Constitution of Man," and for Harry Gaze's "Science of Physical Immortality," Dr. Taber's "Suggestion: The Secret of Sex," and Albert Chavannes's "Magnetation"--all of which focused on the central role of sexual energy in personal development. The two were made for each other, and together they published Nautilus from Holyoke. It continued for than 50 years.

Struble had apparently leaned her lesson, and gradually her explicit philosophy with the decidedly sexual overtones of the "Open Secret" of sex as the motive force of personal and spiritual development that dominated New Thought at the time, was moved to the background. While the journal under the Townes' guidance continued to discuss desire philosophy, her book on The Solar Plexus, and topics like man's innate powers, soul mates, physical immortality, telepathy and the like, it was in muted tones and its principal focus increasingly became providing comfort and uplift and on teaching in simple terms the power to overcome fears and live a harmonious (e.g., "How to be Happy Though Married") and successful life--all of which was reinforced by the publication of regular "Success Letters" from contented students, with prizes for the best letter, and monthly uplifting poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Its chatty style and Elizabeth's habit of addressing correspondents as "Sweetheart" make the journal in many ways the predecessor of newspaper advice columnists and radio psychologists, and it was clearly directed to women especially, and to their problems.

After the move to Holyoke, the journal regularly included articles beside those of Elizabeth and over time had contributions from everyone who was anyone in New Thought: Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Edwin Markham, Anne Warner, Edward B. Warman, A.M., Horatio W. Dresser, Orison Swett Marden, William Walker Atkinson (who later helped edit the journal), Sinclair Lewis, ("The City Shadow," "Captains of Peace"), Florence Morse Kingsley, J.C.F. Grumbine (an original advertiser and frequent contributor), Benjamin Fay Mills, Albert Chavannes, Lucy A. Mallory, Uriel Buchanan, Robert J. Burns ("The Man From Venus, M.I of H.H."), Paul Ellsworth, Rufus M. Rees, "Salvarona" (Henry Guy Walters), Cora M. Daniels, Grace M. Brown, Edgar Wllace Conable, Swami Vivekananda, Alice B. Stockham, Brown Landone, Hereward Carrington, Elbert Hubbard, Julia Seton, Wallace D. Wattles, Edgar L. Larkin (the pet astronomer and scientist of the New Thought movement), Ralph Waldo Trine, Cora Linn Daniels, Annie Rix Militz, Floyd B. Wilson, Orison Swett Marden, Lilian Whiting, Brown Landone, Horatio Dresser, Eleanor Kirk, and many others. Coupled with these articles, and frequently dwarfed by them, were the advertisements for quack cures and devices ("Wouldn't You Like to be Taller? The Cartilage Company, Rochester," "Eyesight Restored," "The Hindu-Yogi Practical Water Cure," "Spiritual Nerve Treatment," "Renewal of Vital Forces," "Control Your Vital Essence," "New Ox-O-Na-Ter" ("The Only Natural Way"), "No Cure, No Pay," "Autology," etc.); for promoters of dubious stock and get-rich-quick schemes ("A Good Investment and a Safe One, The Florence Oil Company"), First 10% Year, La Luisa Plantation Association," "Last Chance on this Stock, The Flower Health Cigar Company, A Smoke for Healing," "Voice Placing by Correspondence, Carl Young, Chicago," "Wonders Will Never Cease, Kada-Yaga Company, New York," "Mystic Talisman, spiritual and psychometrically magnetized by the First Council of the Order of the White Temple and the Chief Shriners of the Circle of Gloria, S. Christian Greathead, Battle Creek, Michigan," "Alba Occult Society, Carthage, Missouri," "An Income for Life, the Motozorongo Company," etc.); and especially for swamis, teachers, metaphysical school and psychic institute of the time and for their methods, devices and especially lessons ("Mystic Talismans," "Sexual Law," "Astro-Biochemistry, A.J. Straughan, Pittsburg," "Auto-Magnetism," "The Hindu Method, Jasper Golden, Chicago," Seek Your Center, At-One-Ment, Jessie Rogers, Battle Creek, Michigan," "Vital Magnetic Power," "Full Psychic Reading," "Practical Mind Reading," "Essenology," "Your Fortune Free," "Opulence for You," "Are Our Minds Magnets? Order of the Iron Cross, Buffalo," "Derolli's Famous Lucky Days," "Divine Healing," "Consult the Noted Trance Medium," Uriel Buchanan's "Practical Methods to Insure Success Taught by Mail," H.H. Bridgewater's "Mental Science Institute in Chicago," "Radio-Mentation, Katherine Jarvis Cheney," "Oriental Mysticism, Philosophers of the Living Fire, Union City, Michigan," J.M. English's "Mind Cure--The Greatest Healing Power on Earth," "The Albert School of Astro-Phrenology," "A.C. Goodwin's Institutional, Inspirational Classes in Scientific Magnetic Healing and Mind Sciences, also Occult Teaching," "A. Victor Segno, The Secret of Memory, Los Angeles," etc., etc.)--all holding out the enticing prospect that the expected course of everyday life might be altered in some favorable way. The advertisers are a who's who of the seamy twilight world of the New Thought mages.

The Townes also published during the life of this journal Points, The Helper, American New Life (strongly astrological), and New Thought: A Monthly Magazine of Personal Helpfulness, and ran a publishing house under Elizabeth's name that published a wide variety of New Though authors between 1910 and 1940. Buffalo and Erie County Public Library; NY Historical Society; Los Angeles Public Library; Yale University; LOC; Tulane University; Auburn University microfilm (1910-11, 1917-1922); etc.

Issues:Nautilus V1 N1 Nov 1898
Nautilus V1 N2 Dec 1898
Nautilus V1 N3 Jan 1899
Nautilus V1 N4 Feb 1899
Nautilus V1 N5 Mar 1899
Nautilus V1 N6 Apr 1899
Nautilus V1 N7 May 1899
Nautilus V1 N8 Jun 1899
Nautilus V1 N9 Jul 1899
Nautilus V1 N10 Aug 1899
Nautilus V1 N11 Sep 1899
Nautilus V1 N12 Oct 1899
Nautilus V2 N1 Nov 1899
Nautilus V2 N2 Dec 1899
Nautilus V2 N3 Jan 1900
Nautilus V2 N4 Feb 1900
Nautilus V2 N5 Mar 1900
Nautilus V2 N6 Apr 1900
Nautilus V2 N7 May 1900
Nautilus V2 N8 Jun 1900
Nautilus V2 N9 Jul 1900
Nautilus V2 N10 Aug 1900
Nautilus V2 N11 Sep 1900
Nautilus V2 N12 Oct 1900
Nautilus V3 N1 Nov 1900
Nautilus V3 N2 Dec 1900
Nautilus V3 N3 Jan 1901
Nautilus V3 N4 Feb 1901
Nautilus V3 N5 Mar 1901
Nautilus V3 N6 Apr 1901
Nautilus V3 N7 May 1901
Nautilus V3 N8 Jun 1901
Nautilus V3 N9 Jul 1901
Nautilus V3 N10 Jul 1901
Nautilus V3 N11 Sep 1901
Nautilus V3 N12 Oct 1901
Nautilus V4 N1 Nov 1901
Nautilus V4 N2 Dec 1901
Nautilus V4 N3 Jan 1902
Nautilus V4 N4 Feb 1902
Nautilus V4 N5 Mar 1902
Nautilus V4 N6 Apr 1902
Nautilus V4 N7 May 1902
Nautilus V4 N8 Jun 1902
Nautilus V4 N9 Jul 1902
Nautilus V4 N10 Aug 1902
Nautilus V4 N11 Sep 1902
Nautilus V4 N12 Oct 1902
Nautilus V5 N1 Nov 1902
Nautilus V5 N2 Dec 1902
Nautilus V5 N3 Jan 1903
Nautilus V5 N4 Feb 1903
Nautilus V5 N5 Mar 1903
Nautilus V5 N6 Apr 1903
Nautilus V5 N7 May 1903
Nautilus V5 N8 Jun 1903
Nautilus V5 N9 Jul 1903
Nautilus V5 N10 Aug 1903
Nautilus V5 N11 Sep 1903
Nautilus V5 N12 Oct 1903
Nautilus V6 N1 Nov 1903
Nautilus V6 N2 Dec 1903
Nautilus V6 N3 Jan 1904
Nautilus V6 N4 Feb 1904
Nautilus V6 N5 Mar 1904
Nautilus V6 N6 Apr 1904
Nautilus V6 N7 Apr 1904
Nautilus V6 N8 Jun 1904
Nautilus V6 N9 Aug 1904
Nautilus V6 N10 Aug 1904
Nautilus V6 N11 Sep 1904
Nautilus V6 N12 Oct 1904 Supplement
Nautilus V7 N4 Feb 1905
Nautilus V7 N6 Apr 905
Nautilus V7 N11 Sep 1905
Nautilus V7 N12 Oct 1905
Nautilus V8 N1 Nov 1905
Nautilus V8 N2 Dec 1905
Nautilus V8 N3 Jan 1906
Nautilus V8 N4 Feb 1906
Nautilus V8 N4 Feb 1906 Ver2
Nautilus V8 N5 Mar 1906
Nautilus V8 N6 Apr 1906
Nautilus V8 N7 May 1906
Nautilus V8 N8 Jun 1906
Nautilus V8 N8 Jun 1906 Ver2
Nautilus V8 N9 Jul 1906
Nautilus V8 N11 Sep 1906
Nautilus V8 N12 Oct 1906
Nautilus V9 N10 Aug 1907
Nautilus V9 N11 Sep 1907
Nautilus V9 N12 Oct 1907
Nautilus V9 N1 Nov 1906
Nautilus V9 N2 Dec 1906
Nautilus V9 N3 Jan 1907
Nautilus V9 N4 Feb 1907
Nautilus V9 N5 Mar 1907
Nautilus V9 N6 Apr 1907
Nautilus V9 N7 May 1907
Nautilus V9 N8 Jun 1907
Nautilus V9 N9 Jul 1907
Nautilus V10 N1 Nov 1907
Nautilus V10 N2 Dec 1907
Nautilus V10 N3 Jan 1908
Nautilus V10 N4 Feb 1908
Nautilus V10 N5 Mar 1908
Nautilus V10 N6 Apr 1908
Nautilus V10 N7 May 1908
Nautilus V10 N8 Jun 1908
Nautilus V10 N9 Jul 1908
Nautilus V10 N10 Aug 1908
Nautilus V10 N11 Sep 1908
Nautilus V10 N12 Oct 1908
Nautilus V11 N1 Nov 1908
Nautilus V11 N2 Dec 1908
Nautilus V11 N3 Jan 1909
Nautilus V11 N4 Feb 1909
Nautilus V11 N5 Mar 1909
Nautilus V11 N6 Apr 1909
Nautilus V11 N7 May 1909
Nautilus V11 N8 Jun 1909
Nautilus V11 N9 Jul 1909
Nautilus V11 N10 Aug 1909
Nautilus V11 N11 Sep 1909
Nautilus V11 N12 Oct 1909
Nautilus V12 N1 Nov 1909
Nautilus V12 N2 Dec 1909
Nautilus V12 N3 Jan 1910
Nautilus V12 N4 Feb 1910
Nautilus V12 N5 Mar 1910
Nautilus V12 N6 Apr 1910
Nautilus V12 N7 May 1910
Nautilus V12 N8 Jun 1910
Nautilus V12 N9 Jul 1910
Nautilus V12 N10 Aug 1910
Nautilus V12 N11 Sep 1910
Nautilus V12 N12 Oct 1910
Nautilus V13 N1 Nov 1910
Nautilus V13 N2 Dec 1910
Nautilus V13 N3 Jan 1911
Nautilus V13 N4 Feb 1911
Nautilus V13 N5 Mar 1911
Nautilus V13 N6 Apr 1911
Nautilus V13 N7 May 1911
Nautilus V13 N8 Jun 1911
Nautilus V13 N9 Jul 1911
Nautilus V13 N10 Aug 1911
Nautilus V13 N11 Sep 1911
Nautilus V13 N12 Oct 1911
Nautilus V14 N1 Nov 1911
Nautilus V14 N2 Dec 1911
Nautilus V14 N3 Jan 1912
Nautilus V14 N4 Feb 1912
Nautilus V14 N5 Apr 1912
Nautilus V14 N6 Mar 1912
Nautilus V14 N7 May 1912
Nautilus V14 N8 Jun 1912
Nautilus V14 N9 Jul 1912
Nautilus V14 N10 Aug 1912
Nautilus V14 N11 Sep 1912
Nautilus V14 N12 Oct 1912
Nautilus V15 N1 Nov 1912
Nautilus V15 N2 Dec 1912
Nautilus V15 N3 Jan 1913
Nautilus V15 N4 Feb 1913
Nautilus V15 N5 Mar 1913
Nautilus V15 N6 Apr 1913
Nautilus V17 N10 Aug 1915
Nautilus V17 N12 Oct 1915
Nautilus V18 N6 Apr 1916
Nautilus V25 N5 Mar 1923
Nautilus V25 N8 Jun 1923
Nautilus V25 N10 Aug 1923
Nautilus V25 N11 Sep 1923
Nautilus V26 N6 Jul 1924
Nautilus V26 N9 Jul 1924
Nautilus V27 N1 Nov 1924
Nautilus V27 N2 Dec 1924
Nautilus V27 N3 Jan 1925
Nautilus V27 N6 Apr 1925
Nautilus V27 N12 Oct 1925
Nautilus V28 N4 Feb 1926
Nautilus V28 N6 Apr 1926
Nautilus V28 N7 May 1926
Nautilus V28 N9 Jul 1926
Nautilus V29 N1 Nov 1926
Nautilus V29 N2 Dex 1926
Nautilus V30 N12 Oct 1928
Nautilus V35 N3 Jan 1933
Nautilus V35 N4 Feb 1933
Nautilus V35 N5 Mar 1933
Nautilus V35 N7 May 1933
Nautilus V35 N8 Jun 1933
Nautilus V35 N9 Jul 1933
Nautilus V35 N10 Aug 1933
Nautilus V35 N11 Sep 1933
Nautilus V35 N12 Oct 1933
Nautilus V44 N12 Oct 1942
Nautilus V45 N2 Dec 1942
Nautilus V45 N8 Jun 1943
Nautilus V45 N9 Jul 1943
Nautilus V45 N12 Oct 1943
Nautilus V46 N2 Dec 1943

Creative Commons License
IAPSOP materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
IAPSOP respects people's privacy and personal data rights.