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.

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

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



Fanhistory 19361946
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