Penthouse In The 1960s – A Visual History

A pictorial guide to the British origins of Bob Guccione’s glamour magazine.

To the surprise of many, Penthouse – that most American of magazines and second only to Playboy in terms of famous men’s magazines – actually began life in London, with American Bob Guccione relocating to the UK to launch his upmarket rival to Hugh Hefner‘s publication in 1965. The magazine remained a British-only publication until 1969 when an American edition was launched as Guccione relocated to the States. By the 1970s, the magazine was seen by most people as an American publication, with the British edition being absorbed into the US magazine.

Guccione lived a life of luxurious excess during the magazine’s heyday – eventually pissing it all away and ending up bankrupt. But during the early days of the magazine, it was very much a hand-to-mouth operation, with Guccione acting as the magazine’s photographer as well as its editor. But the early Penthouse had plenty of ambition, with articles to rival those of Playboy, albeit with more of an edge – and as time went on, Penthouse would become the raunchier of the two magazines.

The 1960s British Penthouse represent a lost world of glamour and loosening censorship, with some great cover images and content. Unsurprisingly, they are all rather collectable now.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Volume 5

Like what we do? Support us and help us do more!



  1. Excellent gallery, had no idea it was a UK-only concern for its formative years.
    Is that Francoise Pascal gracing the cover of vol. 5 no. 5?

    1. Yes, that’s her. The photos of her in that edition are incredible – and if you find the UK documentary Anatomy of a Pin-Up, which I think is on the BFI edition of Her Private Hell, much of it is documenting that very shoot.

Comments are closed.