The Traveler… Madison Square Garden being sold… big shoes to fill…

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, by means of the Christian Science Monitor dated April 7, 1911. I was very surprised to find a photo headline “View In Madison Square Garden, Just Sold” with the article “Dispose of Madison Square Garden for Big Skyscraper Site”. Since I have personally visited Madison Square Gardens in my travels, I had to do some Googling for more information on this matter. I have found that there have actually been four Madison Square Gardens!! This was the second location and was located where the current New York Life Insurance building is located.

A second page article entitled “No ‘Famous Man’ for Princeton” caught my eye. “Princeton University has been searching the country for some ‘famous man’ to succeed Governor Wilson as president, but most of the famous ones ‘are already taken up.'” I guess when succeeding the Governor [and yet to become the US President!] those are big shoes to fill…

~The Traveler

The Traveler… traveling to Rio de Janeiro… part of the “health test”??

February 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I decided to take my travels a like further back in time  and to a place that always intrigued me.  Through letters from Boston and Philadelphia, The London Gazette dated February 12, 1711 reported on a vessel that had been shattered from Rio de Janeiro. The French had landed and were being beaten off with the reinforcement of eight thousand men from the mines… the French retreated.

In my readings, I see numerous  “An Act..” within newspapers, but found this one quite unusual. “An Act to enable John Lord Gower, Baron of Stitnham, an Infant, to make a Settlement upon his Marriage.” I wonder what the terms of the settlement were??

Last, the back page had an announcement about “The Corporation of the Amicable Society for the Perpetual Assurance-Office” for the Affidavit of the Health. The way the announcement read, this may have been part of the qualification testing… if you understood it all, then you were in good (mental) health.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… greetings… and something to chew on…

December 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

As this year draws to an end, I traveled back 100 years to December 31, 1910. The Christian Science Monitor that day contained a variety of articles on the front page from aeroplane flights records being broken to Chicago having a record in new buildings to the fall off in Alaska gold production to the discovery of a new star!  A nice automobile ad is also present.

However the article that intrigued me most was of “Taft Greeting to Army and Navy.”  It had been a New Year’s custom for the officers stationed in Washington to call on the President as commander-in-chief, however there would be change this year. President Taft had arranged to have telegrams or cablegrams sent to every navy yard, naval station, army post, fleet or detached vessel he could reach. The message was brief, but was a Presidential greeting sent around the world.

As you are celebrating New Year’s with your pork and sauerkraut, consider the additional article I found in this issue, “Alfalfa As Food Served Guests” where the entire meal and beverages consisted of alfalfa, including the toothpicks being made from the alfalfa straw…

Wishing a blessed New Year to you and yours.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… coffins… do they really have an expiration?

October 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Take me out to the ballgame… It’s the reporting for Game Three of the World Series between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago Cubs in the October 21, 1910 issue of The Allentown Morning Call in which it is reported, “The Combat to-day was a slaughter with the final score Philadelphia 12 – Cubs 5″. Just a Wikipedia tidbit of information — in Game 2, all nine Philadelphia players in the line-up got a hit, the first time in World Series history.

The reporting of Dr. Crippen’s murder trial is also on the front page as well. This was the first murderer caught via wireless communications.

An unrelated article caught my eye as I was quickly scanning through inside pages… “Three Years For Coffin”. It ends up being about a man with the last name of Coffin who was being sent to Leavenworth on counterfeiting charges. At a quick glance, it makes one wonder if there were was an expiration date on “coffins”.  I thought they were to last an eternity. 🙂

~The Traveler

Letter from the “dead”…

June 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The San Francisco “Daily Herald” newspaper dated March 30, 1854 has a brief report headed “Not Dead” (see below). It is reminiscent of the more famous–although much later–quote by Mark Twain in 1897 in which an illness of his cousin was confused with him, prompting him to write: “…The report of my illness grew out of his illness, the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

A 19th century alternative to divorce…

June 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

divorce_alternativeThe “New York Transcript” newspaper of March 19, 1836 included an article reporting divorce cases in New Jersey. More than just reporting the news, the editor chose to take considerable license in expressing his own opinion, providing a bit of comedy for us more than 170 years later.

My Collecting Story… Brent Lacy…

June 11, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

brent_lacyI began collecting a few papers several years ago, by way of genealogy.   For years I had been researching my family tree, started by an obituary of my gg-grandfather that mentioned that he fought in the civil war and was from Kentucky.  Research led me to find out many things about where he came from and also some records from the war.  One thing I found out was the unit he was fighting with and date that he was taken prisoner.  To put together a book for the family, I began to look for more information to fill out the story other than who begat who.  During this time I found old newspapers I began to look for anything that mentioned his commander or unit and papers around the time of his capture.  What I found was amazing several papers from the days before and after contained first hand accounts and reports of the battles he was in.  Information on where they were on specific days and time and what they were encountering told at the time, became invaluable to filling out his story.  One story in particular locked me in, one that told of troops sneaking upon the enemy (my ancestors unit) early one morning and taking several prisoners.  That was the day my ancestor was taken captive, and here was a newspaper article from 1864 describing the actual event.  This was news of the day written in the day, not some glossed over or condensed history book and who knows he could have possibly read the same newspaper article at some point!  I was hooked.  I still look for things related to him and also now look for what was going on in other locales where other ancestors lived.  It has made for fascinating genealogical research to see what was reported then and what they would have been seeing as current news, filling out the story of our ancestors lives.  Well that’s my story.   I am thankful for the www.rarenewspapers website.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thanks for sharing your story Brent.  If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to and place “My Story” in the subject field.  Although not necessary, feel free to include an image. Please do not include your e-mail address or a personal website as part of the text of your story.  We will post collector stories every few weeks and will send you a notice when your story appears.  Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Census with a bit of flair…

May 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Alaska Times” newspaper from Seattle, W.T. (Washington Territory), May 14, 1871, contains a very colorful front page article with a simple heading: “Alaska” which reports a census for Sitka. Enjoy reading how the inhabitants were categorized.


Before they became famous…

January 29, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Part of the fun in collecting newspapers is finding reports in newspapers or magazines of the day about a person or event before it or they became famous. Typically such reports are very inconspicuous and brief, which adds to the excitement in making such a discovery.

Such finds are not uncommon in this hobby. We have sold many issues of the installation in the Philadelphia State House steeple that which would become the physical manifestation of freedom –the Liberty Bell–as reported in a Gentleman’s Magazine of 1753. There are several mentions of political neophyte Abraham Lincoln from the 1830’s & 1840’s, well before he would be thrust into American history with the advent of the Civil War. Mentions of Davy Crockett from before his heroic death at the Alamo can still be found.

A recent find is equally as intriguing and perhaps more so as it is no small report. The SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine of February 22, 1902 has most of a page taken up with a report of Wilbur Wright “…of Dayton, Ohio…” and his experiments with flight and includes not just one but five photos of his early machines. This was some 22 months before he and his brother would make their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, which would change the world forever.

This issue has languished on our warehouse shelves for many years only to be discovered by accident. Such are the joys of collecting! I hope all of you have experienced some exciting finds unnoticed by others.

What reports of historical people or events have you found which predate their greater moment of significance? Feel free to share.

Collecting statehood newspapers…

January 12, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

There are many “series” of historical significance which lend themselves nicely to the hobby of collecting newspapers. Reports of presidential elections, presidential inaugurations, major military battles, state-of-the-union addresses, and an issue from every possible decade are but a few ways to create a collection with a common theme.

Statehood newspapers are a logical theme for collecting as well. With states joining the union from 1787 until the mid-20th century a very wide range of dates and reporting styles are evident. The earliest official statehood events were when each ratified the Constitution and can be challenging finds, although we’ve offered most if not all through the years. Later statehood entries were typically inconspicuous and brief, which adds to the quaintness of reporting styles of the 19th century given their historical significance.

Of recent attention is the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood which happened on January 3, 1959.  Later this summer we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaii, the last state to Join the Union.

The search can turn up some interesting tidbits and provide some trivia facts which would surprise most. Do you realize that five states joined the Union in the 20th century? (Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii). What was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join? (Arizona: Feb. 14, 1912). What was the first state beyond the original 13 to join the Union? (Vermont: 1791). What was the only state to join the Union during the Civil War? (West Virginia: 1863). What was the first state to join in the 19th century? (Ohio: 1803).

Search for such issues can be fun and interest will grow with each statehood report found.

What other “series” of events have you found interesting?

« Previous PageNext Page »