There was an interesting comment by Gianni
on a previous discussion thread about zines being made as far back as the 19th century.
Most discussion at this site seems to be about zines made in the 80s, 90s and 00s. I know a few ziners who started making during the 70s, possibly the 60s. Science fiction writer Michael Moorcock edited an Edgar Rice Burroughs fanzine in the 1940s, when he was a kid.
And I can think of possible earlier examples too - scrapbooks, diaries written for friends, etc. But I know little about the early-20th/late 19th century history of zines - can anyone enlighten me?
The more that I think about it, the further back you could date zines. For instance, the earliest copies of mass-circulation magazines like The Spectator or The Tatler were just small essays closely printed on a sheet of paper and sent out like letters to a small (but growing) market. Were these more of a 'zine' or a 'magazine'?
There are more recent examples of a 'zine' changing to a magazine. F'rinstance, Reason magazine was once a regular letter distributed amongst a few economics geeks. 'Rolling Stone' magazine, I think, began as a fanzine as well, in the 60s.
Anyone able to fill in some of the gaps in zine history? Is it possible, or even desirable, to make a clear distinction between magazines, newspapers, and zines?