The Triad was founded in New Zealand in 1892 by C. N. Baeyertz (q.v.) who edited, managed, and wrote most of the magazine for its first twelve years. When Frank Morton (q.v.) joined the magazine in 1905, he became the most predominant contributor to the Triad (writing under his own name and several pseudonyms) until his death in 1923. The first Australian number of the Triad appeared in October 1915, proceeding in tandem with its New Zealand affiliate but with different volume numbering.
The Triad was subtitled 'A Journal Devoted to Literary, Pictorial, Musical and Dramatic Art', and each issue carried the magazine's mission statement: 'The Triad is fearless, and tries always to be honest. Its chief concern is to tell the truth. It may err on the side of indulgence occasionally, being human; but its criticisms are, in every case, unbiassed and impartial'. To stress its impartiality, Triad frequently advertised that it did not accept review copies of books or complimentary tickets, but Morton's view of the world gave the magazine a distinct character. In columns and reviews, he frequently attacked the 'puritanism' that he believed had become out of hand after the end of the First World War. While not always literary or artistic, Morton's topics were drawn from all of the arts identified in the magazine's subtitle and contributions were written for a general readership rather than for a narrow literary or artistic audience.
In addition to Morton's contributions, the work of many other Australian writers was published in the Triad. Contributors included Hugh McCrae, Kenneth Slessor, Furnley Maurice, Ethel Anderson, Randolph Bedford, Will Lawson, Mary Gilmore, Louis Esson, and Cecil Mann (qq.v.).
During 1925, L. L. Woolacott (q.v.) was appointed associate editor. By October, he had taken over the editorship and Baeyertz took on a managerial role. Baeyertz sold the Triad to Art in Australia Ltd in the last months of 1926, and Woolacott was retained as editor. But under Woolacott, the Triad was in decline, producing consistent financial losses.
Relieving the strain on Art in Australia Ltd, Ernest Watt (q.v.) , a director of the company, bought the Triad in March 1927. He took the magazine in a different direction, renaming it the New Triad and appointing Hugh McCrae and himself as editors. The first number of the New Triad appeared in August 1927. The new look magazine included articles on motoring, horse racing, society, and lawn tennis. It also offered regular competitions, crosswords, and a more professional layout, bringing it close to the standard of Home and Art in Australia. Literary contributors to the New Triad included Louis Esson, R. D. FitzGerald, Hugh McCrae, Vance Palmer, Dora Wilcox, David McKee Wright, and Les Robinson (qq.v.). But, despite the change in format, the New Triad did not last a year. Its last number appeared in July 1928.