Playboy centerfolds from 1953-1959
The issue that never was…
If anybody tries to sell you a March 1955 issue, tell him you’ll be glad to trade it for a
left-handed monkey wrench. In Playboy lore, the story of the missing March 1955 issue is the ultimate good news/bad news report. The good news: After an initial year in which Playboy’s press run had increased from 70,000 to 175,000 copies per issue, the first three months of 1955 saw circulation nearly double again. The bad news: Subscription and newsstand orders were flooding the magazine’s Chicago offices at such a rate that its tiny staff (a mere five names appeared on the masthead) was overwhelmed. "Though we’ve had everyone from receptionist to editors working nights, we haven’t been able to keep up with the demand," read the apologetic Playbill that led off the next issue–dated April. Reasoning that this was a good time to bring Playboy into line with other magazines, which traditionally appeared in the month previous to the date printed on the cover, editors simply skipped the March issue. Citing the lack of a March issue, the U.S. Post Office tried to deny Playboy its second-class postal permit. When Hefner reapplied, postal officials again turned him down–this time basing their refusal on the magazine’s editorial content. In November, Hef secured an injunction against the Post Office in Chicago, restraining it from further interference with the mailing of Playboy.