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Reader's Digest First Edition

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New Acquisition to Museum
Recently the Fox Island Museum acquired a first edition of the Reader’s Digest. It is on display in the new Lila Acheson and Dewitt Wallace Exhibit. The 64 page first edition is pocket size and contains “THIRTY-ONE ARTICLES EACH MONTH FROM LEADING MAGAZINES – EACH ARTICLE OF ENDURING VALUE AND INTEREST, IN CONDENSED AND COMPACT FORM”.

From the February 1922 circulation of 5,000 to a readership of 100 million in 163 countries, the editorial format remains fairly constant. Each issue contains tributes to women, an inspirational profile; animal stories, pointers on how to get ahead in life and work; and that common sense and a grasp of facts are society’s great equalizer. There was little humor in the early editions but eventually, humor – jokes, double entendres, one-liners, and a play on words - became a signature feature.

Of his financial success, DeWitt Wallace said, “My wife and I discovered many years ago that there are more satisfying uses for money than simply accumulating it.” Locally, Lila donated to the Fox Island Museum and to art and dance organizations in Washington. Between 1965 and 1985, $200 million was contributed in New York City, spanning Museums, Conservation/Horticulture, The Arts, Medicine and Health, Youth, Employment and Training, Education, Libraries, and Social Welfare. Internationally, Lila supervised the restoration of Monet’s gardens at Giverny and funded $1 million to save the art work of The Temple of Dendur built in 15 BC from flooding by the Aswan high dam. Today the Wallace Foundation continues its work with assets of approximately $1.26 billion.

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Fox Island Historical Society
Fox Island Historical Society
1017 9th Avenue,
PO Box 242
Fox Island, WA 98333

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