When the Astronomical Journal was founded by B. A. Gould, Jr., in 1849, the major topics of research were the solar system, celestial mechanics, and astrometry. During the 1880s the advent of dry-plate photography played a significant role in introducing other preferred areas for research, especially spectroscopy, astrophysics, multicolor photometry, and galaxies. In 1941, the Journal came under the jurisdiction of the American Astronomical Society, and Yale became its editorial headquarters. A comparison of the numbers of papers in the newer branches relative to the total numbers of papers published either in the Astronomical Journal or in other publications of the American Astronomical Society shows the steady increase of interest in the newer fields, regardless of the special fields of interest of the Yale editors.