was founded by Hugh Hefner to manage the Playboy magazine empire. It was created in 1953 as the HMH Publishing Co., Inc. for the purpose of publishing the Playboy Magazine. The business quickly expanded beyond the magazine and began to develop and distribute a wider range of adult entertainment. It eventually went public under the current name in 1971. Christie Hefner, the daughter of Hugh Hefner, has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Playboy Enterprises since 1981.
Playboy also ran forty Playboy Club properties from 1960 to 1986. The company is returning to nightlife business with the Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
As for the magazine itself, Playboy's original title was to be "Stag Party," but an unrelated outdoor magazine, Stag, contacted Hefner and informed him that they would legally protect their trademark if he were to launch his magazine with that name. Hefner and co-founder and executive vice president Eldon Sellers met to discuss the problem and to seek a new name. Sellers, whose mother had worked for the short-lived Playboy Automobile Company in Chicago, suggested the name "Playboy".
The first issue, published in December 1953, did not carry a date, as Hefner was unsure whether there would be a second issue. It was produced in Hefner's Hyde Park kitchen. The first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe, although the picture used had originally been taken for a calendar, rather than for Playboy. The first issue was an immediate sensation; it sold out within a matter of weeks. Known circulation was 53,991 (Source: Playboy Collector's Association Playboy Magazine Price Guide). The cover price was 50¢. Copies of the first issue in Mint to Near Mint condition sold for over $5,000 in 2002.
The famous logo, depicting the stylized profile of a rabbit wearing a tuxedo bow tie, was designed by art designer Art Paul for the magazine's second issue and has appeared on every issue since. A running joke in the magazine involves hiding the logo somewhere in the cover art or photograph. Hefner said that he chose the rabbit as a mascot for its "humorous sexual connotation", and because the image was "frisky and playful".
An urban legend started about Hefner and the Playmate of the Month because of markings on the front covers of the magazine. From 1955 to 1979 (except for a six month gap in 1976), the "P" in Playboy had a number of stars printed in or around the letter. The legend stated that this was either a rating that Hefner gave to the Playmate according to how attractive she was, the number of times that Hefner had slept with her, or how good she was in bed. The stars, which ranged in number between zero and twelve, actually indicated the domestic or international advertising region for that particular printing.
Close Up of Vignette:
Class A Common Stock, issued in the 1990'sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: DE-Delaware Subject Matter: Sports and Entertainment
| Hotels and Motels
| Adult Theme Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured
| Skyline Scene
| Company Logo Featured
| World Trade Center Featured
| Multiple Scenes Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole and machine cancels in the signature areas and body, and some toning and edge faults from age.