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 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.

Date Convention Size Location Notes
1936
October 22, 1936 First Convention 12–18 Philadelphia, PA later called the First Eastern
1937
January 3, 1937 Other First Convention ~20 Leeds, UK
February 21, 1937 Second Eastern 30–40 New York, NY
October 30, 1937 Third Eastern ~30 Philadelphia, PA
1938
April 10, 1937 Second British Convention 43 London, UK called Necronomicon in '57
May 29, 1938 Newark Convention >100 Newark, NJ aka Fourth Eastern aka First National
October 16, 1938 1938 Philadelphia Conference > 25 Philadelphia, PA
1939
May 21, 1939 Third British Convention ~40 London, UK
July 2–4, 1939 NyCon 150–200 New York, NY the first Worldcon
Fall 1939 Philcon 1939 Philadelphia, PA
Early June 1939 OSA Pow-Wow 3 Tulsa, OK Oklahoma state convention
1940
Early 1940 Washington Confabulation 1 3 Washington, DC
April 1940 Third Chicago Conference 4 Bloomington, IL
September 1–2, 1940 Chicon 128 Chicago, IL
November 10, 1940 Phillycon 1940 Philadelphia, PA
December 6, 1940 First Sydney Conference 10 Sydney, NSW
1941
Late February 1941 Boskone I ~25 Winchester, MA at the Swishers’ home
April 6, 1941 Second Sydney Conference ~12 Sydney, NSW
May 4, 1941 All-Eastern Science Fiction Conference Newark, NJ May not have been held
Summer 1941 Washington Confabulation 2 6? Washington, DC issued Washington Manifesto
July 4–6, 1941 Denvention ~100 Denver, CO
September 20–21, 1941 Bombcon 13 London, UK
November 16, 1941 1941 Michiconference Jackson, MI
1942
January 1942 PhilCo 1942 Philadelphia, PA Belatedly announced, called off in favor of Boskone II
January 4, 1942 Third Sydney Conference 8 Sydney, NSW
February 22, 1942 Boskone II 25 Boston, MA
September 27, 1942 1942 Michiconference ~25 Jackson, MI
November 22, 1942 Bloomington Conference 9 Bloomington, IL possibly a poker game
November 29, 1942 Hastings S-F Conference v. small Hastings, MN possibly a drinking party
Late 1942 Pacificon Jr. Los Angeles, CA
1943
February 28, 1943 Boskone III 14 Boston, MA
Spring 1943 Live Oak Conference 3 Live Oak, FL A Cosmic Circle event
April 23–26, 1943 Midvention 14 Leicester, UK i. e. over Easter
April 26–27, 1943 Midgicon ("Midget Chicon") 8 Chicago, IL Al Ashley et al. on book buying spree, moots Slan Center
May 16, 1943 Staplecon 1 ~12 San Francisco, CA
June 26/28–July 1, 1943 Mainecon or Maine Stf Conference 3 Rockland, ME Art Widner, Russ Chauvenet bike to Norm Stanley’s
Early July 1943 Mainecon, Jr. 2 Rockland, ME visit by Claude Degler
Mid-1943 Schenectacon 2-4 Schenectady, NY
October 30, 1943 1943 Michiconference 22 Battle Creek, MI
November 21, 1943 Staplecon 2 San Francisco, CA
"Around the end" of 1943 Fancon Bloomington, IL
Late 1943? Councilcon Newcastle, IN Possibly occurred only in Claude Degler’s imagination
December 31, 1943–January 2, 1944 Norcon 8 Manchester, UK
1944
April 8–9, 1944 Eastercon London, UK
May 28, 1944 Staplecon 3 9 San Francisco, CA
June 17–19, 1944 Michicon 4 23 Battle Creek, MI
August 27, 1944 Dovention 11 Dover, NJ
September 1–2, 1944 Midventionette 6 Leicester, UK effectively Midvention 2
October 7–9, 1944 Little Chicon "small" Chicago, IL
1944 Bufflocon Buffalo, NY Slan Shack visiting Ken Krueger
December 29–31, 1944 Norcon II 14–19 Leeds, UK
1945
February 3–4, 1945 Boskone IV 5 Winchester, MA at the Swishers’ home
July 7–8, 1945 1945 Michiconference 15-20 Battle Creek, MI
September 2, 1945 Boskone V 9 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, IL
July 4–7, 1946 Pacificon 130 Los Angeles, CA
October 12–13, 1946 Centracon 25 Chicago, IL
October 27, 1946 Phillycon 1946 Philadelphia, PA

See also the Fancyclopedia 2 (1959) articles on Con, fan visits and fan gatherings.


Fanhistory 19361946
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