McClure's Magazine ran from 1893-1929. Founded by Samuel McClure, was a political and Literary Magazine which was able to become popular due to the incredible success of the magazine industry of the time. New photo-engraving methods made pictures inexpensive, and advertisers were willing to pay small fortunes for ads. This allowed McClure's Magazine to hit the shelves at the incredible price of fifteen cents per copy. Contemporaries of McClure's were Life, Ladies' Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan.
So what is so remarkable about McClure's? McClure's is important for one main reason. In 1902 McClure's Magazine began publishing a high number of muckraking Journalism articles. Samuel McClure sent Lincoln Steffens out. He did not send him anywhere in particular; he sent him out. He told Lincoln that things were changing in America and that he expected Steffens to find out what it was.
Steffens ended up in St. Louis and met Joseph W. Folk, A district attorney, who was beginning to uncover a trail of corruption between politicions and businessmen. Steffens wrote "Tweed Days in St. Louis," which appeared in the october 1902 issue of McClure's. Muckraking was born.
McClure's employed many muckraking journalists, including Ida Tarbell and Ray Stannard Baker with such articles as History of the Standard Oil Company, New Jersey: A Traitor State, and How Railroads Make Public Opinion. McClure's is a predecessor of Investigative Reporting in politics, Muckrarking, and the Sleazy Tabloid.
More importantly, it was present at the spark of the Progressive Era.