Early Conventions

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The first ten years of SF conventions were a mixed bag, but even the largest was small by modern standards, and some were literally a few guys getting together for a day. But travel was difficult and the tendency of the time was to call nearly any planned get-together of fans from different cities a "convention" (Or a "conference". See the Fancyclopedia 2 article on “con” for the baroque early terminology.)

Anglofan historians tend to take a a hard line on what was or wasn’t a convention (they would omit the First Convention if they could). We are inclined to take the participants’ estimation, even if they declared conhood after the event.

Year Date Convention Attendance Location Notes
1936 October 22, 1936 First Convention 10-20 Philadelphia later called the First Eastern
1937 January 3, 1937 Other First Convention ~20 Leeds, UK
February 21, 1937 Second Eastern 30-40 New York
October 30, 1937 Third Eastern Philadelphia
1938 April 10, 1938 Second British Convention (aka Necronomicon)
May 29, 1938 Newark Convention >100 Newark, NJ aka Fourth Eastern aka First National
October 16, 1938 1938 Philadelphia Conference > 2 dozen Philadelphia
1939 1939 Third British Convention London
July 2-4, 1939 NyCon I 150-200 New York the first Worldcon
Fall 1939 Philcon 1939 Philadelphia
Early June 1939 OSA Pow-Wow 3 Tulsa, OK Oklahoma state convention
1940 April 1940 Third Chicago Conference 4 Chicago
May 4, 1940 All-Eastern Science Fiction Conference Newark, NJ May not have been held
September 1-2, 1940 Chicon I 128 Chicago
November 10, 1940 Phillycon 1940 Philadelphia
1941 late February 1941 Boskone I ~25 R. D. Swisher home, Winchester, MA
July 4-6, 1941 Denvention I ~100 Denver
September 20-21, 1941 Bombcon 13 London
November 16, 1941 1941 Michiconference Jackson, MI
1942 February 22, 1942 Boskone II 25 Ritz Plaza, Boston, MA
September 27, 1942 1942 Michiconference ~25 Jackson, MI
November 29, 1942 Hastings S-F Conference v. small Hastings, MN possibly a drinking party
November 22, 1942 Bloomington Conference 9 Bloomington, IL possibly a poker game
Late 1942 Pacificon Jr. Los Angeles, CA
1943 February 28, 1943 Boskone III 14 Ritz Plaza, Boston, MA
Spring 1943 Midgicon 10? Chicago
Spring 1943 Live Oak Conference 3 Live Oak, FL
Easter 1943 Midvention Leicester, UK
May 16, 1943 Staplecon 1 ~12 San Francisco
Summer 1943 MeCon 3 Rockland, ME
mid 1943 Mainecon Jr. 2 somewhere in Maine
mid 1943 Schenectacon 2-4 Schenectady, NY
October 30, 1943 1943 Michiconference 22 Battle Creek, MI
November 21, 1943 Staplecon 2 San Francisco
"around the end" 1943 Fancon Bloomington, IL
December 31, 1943-January 2, 1944 Norcon small Manchester, UK
1944 April 8-9, 1944 Eastercon London
May 28, 1944 Staplecon 3 9 San Francisco
June 17-19, 1944 Michicon 4 23 Battle Creek, MI
August 27, 1944 Dovention 11 Dover, NJ
September 1–2, 1944 Midvention 2 Leicester, UK
October 7-9, 1944 Little Chicon "small" Chicago
December 29, 1944–January 1, 1945 Norcon 2 small Manchester, UK Announced — did it occur?
1945 February 3-4, 1945 Boskone IV 5 R. D. Swisher home, Winchester, MA
July 7-8, 1945 1945 Michiconference 15-20 Battle Creek, MI
September 2, 1945 Boskone V 9 Hotel Hawthorne, Salem, MA AKA First New England SF Conference
1946 March 3, 1946 FPWESFC Newark, NJ
April 6–7, 1946 First Post-Radar-Contact-with-the-Moon Con 16 Chicago
August 30–September 1, 1946 Pacificon I 130 Los Angeles
October 12–13, 1946 Centracon 25 Chicago
October 27, 1946 Phillycon 1946 Philadelphia

See the Fancyclopedia 2 article on Conventions.


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