Cyrus Curtis founded Curtis Publishing in 1885 in Philadelphia. His first publication was Ladies’ Home Journal. In 1897, he acquired the Saturday Evening Post, begun by Benjamin Franklin in 1728 as the Pennsylvania Gazette.

A magazine cover with an illustration of a carriage, two liveried footmen, and military dignitary holding his hat up.
Saturday Evening Post, 1903 Credit: Illustrated by George Gibbs (1870-1942), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons View Source

In 1971, Indianapolis’ Beurt Servaas bought Curtis Publishing, eventually acquiring all its stock. His purchase included Country Gentleman, Jack & Jill, Holiday, and rights to the Post, which had ceased publication in 1969. SerVaas brought Curtis to his Review Publishing Company site on Waterway Boulevard, merging Review operations into Curtis. The Post resumed publication in 1971.

In 1982, SerVaas conveyed all the company’s consumer magazines to the Benjamin Franklin Medical and Literary Society, a foundation formed in 1976 and headed by his wife, Indianapolis physician Cory Servaas. The society has two divisions: the Saturday Evening Post Society publishes just the Post; the Children’s Better Health Institute published a number of children’s magazines, including Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Child Life, Children’S Digest, and U.S. Kids (The Weekly Reader). The foundation is not part of Curtis, but Curtis retains rights to pre-1982 magazine material.

The Post is published 6 times a year. In 2013, the Post returned to its original mission to celebrate “America, past, present, and future.” The magazine includes “good storytelling, fiction, and history.” Humpty Dumpty and Jack And Jill continue as publications of the Children’s Better Health Institute. In 2018, the {Saturday Evening Post} Archives, including material dating back to 1821, was digitized and made available online.

Curtis Magazine Group publishes other special-interest magazines such as Indiana Business Magazine and Trap & Field. Curtis also licenses art and editorial work, including its own and that of other publishing companies, and licenses names and likenesses of famous people, dead and alive. Some estates represented are those of Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin, and James Dean. Additionally, Curtis deals with engineering, pharmaceutical, and other technological licenses. The company operates factories in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Curtis became a privately held company in 1991 and was renamed Curtis International. It is under the umbrella of SerVaas, Inc., with independent companies in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, construction, and other fields. Curtis International imports and manufactures consumer electronics and appliances.

Revised March 2021

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