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Thayer's involvement with The Dial began in April 1918 when he purchased $ 600 USD worth of stock in the magazine.
In late 1919, Thayer and his fellow Harvard alumnus Dr. James Sibley Watson, Jr. purchased The Dial from the owner, Martyn Johnson, who was experiencing financial trouble.
Dr. Watson became the magazine's president while Thayer took up the post of editor.
The Watson / Thayer-produced Dial released its first issue in January 1920.
The issue featured works from E. E. Cummings, Gaston Lachaise, and Carl Sandburg.

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