The first "pulp" is considered to beFrank Munsey's revampedArgozy Magazine of 1896.
Although they were cheap, the stories are not all bad. There are many well known authors who wrote for pulps, like Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Dashiell Hammett and H. P. Lovecraft.
Though pulps fell out of fashion in the late 50's, some independent publishers still publish magazines with short fiction, either short stories or novel-length presentations, in the tradition of the pulp magazines.
The term pulp fiction can also refer to mass market paperbacks since the 1950s.
Here's some cool cover art! (not from my collection...)
(She is obviously no 'Damsel in distress'!)
Few blogs you might find interesting: