Juneteenth Revisted – “The rest of the story”…

June 27, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Roughly a week ago we were observing the most recent addition to our list of Federal Holidays: Juneteenth, which commemorates the day when Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas and Major General Gordon Granger informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free. His General Order (No. 3) stated: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free…”. However, what is that at the end? Dot, dot, dot? There’s more?

His full order reads as follows: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” In other words, “You are free, but if you think the government is going to support you if you leave your new ’employer’, think again.” For many, this would be analogous to someone who was bound, kidnapped, and being transported by airplane to some horrible location having their bindings removed and told they were welcome to leave any time they want (albeit, at 10,000 feet without a parachute). While this Order is quite historic, and the day does deserve to be celebrated, there is a whiff of Hotel California in the air: “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!”

Am I exaggerating – misrepresenting the circumstances? One might think so, but an article I recently discovered within a July 16, 1865 issue of The New York Times which printed a follow-up Order by General Granger given approximately one week later begs to differ:

Even when granted with good intentions, freedom needs to be embraced – and the “doing so” is often fraught with hardship. However, while the struggle continues, taking time to celebrate this momentous occasion (along with the many victories which have occurred since June 19, 1865) is worthy of our unified, citizen-wide efforts – regardless of our racial, social, political, religious or economic differences. The intrinsic hope of “We The People!” must ever be before us.

One small step backward for humanity(?)… One giant leap forward for A.I.!

June 20, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Dystopian movies featuring A.I. as the antagonist abound. The thought of a world in which a soulless “entity” is in the lead role with humanity at its behest is terrifying. How will the relationship between A.I. and humans play out over time is anyone’s guess, but with all the benefits artificial intelligence brings to the table, I feel a little like “a moth to a flame”, and it bugs me.

Why the angst? We recently came across a Los Angeles Times dated May 12, 1997, which had coverage of the historic(?) chess match between Gary Kasparov, the reigning world champion at the time, and “Deep Blue”, an IBM supercomputer. The strings of o’s and 1’s ruled the day, defeating Kasparov in the deciding game in 19 moves. I wonder if many moons from now, when/if A.I. decides to write its own developmental timeline, if this achievement will be listed as one of significance?Note: In case anyone is wondering, upon its victory, “Deep Blue” was NOT crowned the new World Champion of Chess.

Snapshot 1932 – Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot”…

June 17, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Whether it’s a famous battle, a noteworthy feat, a tragedy, etc., in nearly every instance a report from the location in which a notable event occurred is significantly more desirable (therefore, more valuable) than a similar report within newspapers from other locations. One such case involves the report of Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot” during the 1932 World Series found in the October 2nd issue of the Chicago Sunday Tribune. In nearly 50 years we have only held one in our hands, and for those of us who respond enthusiastically to such a tactile experience, it truly is a great item. Some might wonder why a New York Times wouldn’t be more collectible, after all, Ruth played for the Yankees. However, the game was against the Chicago Cubs, and the historic moment transpired at Wriggley Field, Chicago. A photo of a portion of the front page is shown below, but if you are unfamiliar with his called shot, you may find the story quite interesting: Babe Ruth’s Called Shot (Wikipedia)

 

The Lure of Swashbucklers…

June 6, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Nothing grabs the public’s attention quite like stories of pirates, whether they be historical accounts of actual people or stories of those who play a pirate on the big screen. Of all the legends both real and created, none can surpass the real-life drama of Captain Kidd. Scottish born in 1645, he grew to be both pirate and privateer – the distinction fueled by the encounters he had with those who crossed his path. In the end, betrayed by the governor of New York, as reported in The London Gazette, May 26, 1701, he was hung twice by the neck until dead.

A President’s Call for Sacrifice…

June 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I am sure a quick perusal of American history would yield an abundance of occasions in which a President called for American citizens to tighten their belts, rise to the challenge, or sacrifice for the greater good.  We certainly hear those sentiments often enough today. So, you can imagine how the following headline in a May 25, 1961 issue of the LEOMINSTER DAILY ENTERPRISE caught my attention. In this case, President Kennedy was casting a vision for the stars and America’s hope to send a man to the moon before 1970.  We were sold and tightened our belts to rise to this other worldly challenge.  This Space Race caught our imaginations and propelled us to the front of the line.  If only all challenges were this exceptional and easy to embrace.

Memorial Day – How many generations does it take to… (?)

May 27, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Generation 1 – The Call to Sacrifice

The oppressed are willing to sacrifice their very lives to throw off oppression – and many of them do, giving their last breath for the sake of their children and their children’s children.

Generation 2 – Picking Up the Pieces

Those recently freed from oppression begin to reap the rewards of their new freedom, but many scars remain – particularly those caused by the loss of loved ones.

Generation 3 – Enjoying Freedom’s Bounty

The sacrifices of the past are still discussed, but the wounds are largely well-healed, and the benefits born of the sacrifice of others is fully embraced.

 

[an unspecified number of generations – usually not many]

 

Generation End (Minus 2) – Freedom Is & Always Will Be

Freedom is so commonplace, it begins to be taken for granted. The oppression and sacrifices of the past are long forgotten.

Generation End (Minus 1) – Heads in The Sand

Freedom, is it really all that important? Comfort and ease is what we want. Sacrifice? For what! A blind eye is turned to the new oppressors at the gate.

Generation End – The Demise!

Where did our freedom go? Why are we being oppressed?? How did this happen???

 

Memory – it’s indispensable. A simple internet search for “lest we forget”, “those who fail to remember”, or similar will return a plethora of warnings about the consequences which go hand-in-hand with not remembering the lessons, sacrifices, blessings, etc. of the past.

As an example, it would be hard to argue that the Jews/Israelites, through time, have been one of the most oppressed people-groups on the planet – a chain of horror which began with their enslavement in Egypt. One would have thought their eventual “deliverance” by the hand of God would have set them up for eternity, yet, just a few generations after their new-found freedom was realized, they found themselves enslaved once again. Why? “The Israelites failed to remember the LORD their God who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side (Judges 8:34).”

While each generation needs to take personal responsibility for “remembering”, one cannot remember that which one never knew. Therefore, we, as the current generation, must take ownership of teaching ourselves, keeping what we learn in the forefront of our minds, and then teaching the next generation – lest they never know.  Will this take considerable effort? Sure, but the sacrifice of time and energy pales in comparison to the sacrifices of the past.

To this end, perhaps the following will be useful:

Previous Memorial Day Themed Posts

Memorial Day Themed Newspapers

PS  I am grateful for the men and women who have given their lives so my family, friends, and neighbors, whether we be politically or philosophically divergent or parallel, can enjoy the freedoms which fall under the umbrella of “inalienable Rights which are endowed to each one of us by our Creator”.

 

A woodcut masthead is worth a thousand words… Slavery…

May 16, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A few weeks back my favorite person posted: Take a Closer Look … The Delicate Details of Woodcut Prints… 

Such prints are truly amazing. However, as is the case with (most?) works of art, to some degree they tell a story. One such story is that of “Slavery – The Cry for Emancipation”, as told through the masthead of The Liberator. While we have many historic newspapers containing articles chronicling the path from the horrors of slavery, through emancipation, then on to suffrage and beyond, few rival what is communicated through this most-amazing, intricate, illustration which was present at the top of nearly every issue. At a distance its beauty speaks to the eyes, but a close-up view shouts to the heart: ENOUGH!

See for yourself:

From the Library of Congress: “Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey…”

May 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A friend of Rare & Early Newspapers recently sent us a link to an article posted on the Library of Congress’ blog titled, “Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey of the Evolution of the Newspaper Printing Press” (written by Joanna Colclough and posted by Malea Walker), which we thought was quite interesting. It begins in part:

“The printing press has always been a marvel of human invention, and the printing of newspapers occupies a unique course in the history of printing machines. As demands grew for more pages, more news, and faster delivery, newspapers had to achieve greater speeds and higher efficiency.

Newspapers started on Gutenberg presses – individual type pieces arranged backwards by hand, secured in a flat bed, inked by hand, and a great leverage force applied to create the impression. The machine did one part of the job, and newspapers were often printed once a…”

To read the entire post, go to:

Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey of the Evolution of the Newspaper Printing Press

 

Edward Gallaway – bibliophile, publisher, circus performer, cardshark – help needed…

April 25, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A collecting friend is doing research on Edward Gallaway (1868-1930). Perhaps the collecting community can help. He sent the following note:

You can help a research project into a largely unknown bibliophile from Chicago, Edward Gallaway, by checking if you have any of the following in your collection:

1) Anything with the bookplate shown in the image.

2) Any issue or clipping from the Payne Weekly People, published in Fort Payne Alabama in October of 1889. This weekly newspaper, published by Edward Gallaway, discontinued roughly a year later end of 1890. This town experienced a boom during those years and many investors hailed from Massachusetts. Thus issues may have been transported back to the New England region.

3) Any issue from the Fort Payne Journal before 1891.

4) Any issue from the Fort Payne Herald.

5) Any issue from the Delphos Kleeblatt before 9th May 1891. The Delphos Kleeblatt was a German newspaper out of Delphos, Ohio, published by Carl A. Jettinger, who was a friend of Edward Gallaway.

Edward Gallaway had a fascinating life. He was born in Delphos, Ohio, in 1868. Already with 14 he became a printer’s devil at the local Delphos Weekly Herald newspaper, where he learned the printer’s art. From 18 years old to 21 he worked as a traveling typesetter. Eventually, he followed his older brother Alexander August Gallaway to Fort Payne, Alabama, where he established the short lived Payne Weekly Newspaper during the coal and iron boom years there. After the boom collapsed, Edward completely changed course and he became a circus performer working from 1892 until about 1895 at small traveling circuses such as the W.D. Ament sideshow. He performed mostly under the stage name Prof. Charles P. Wilson. His act consisted of Punch and Judy as well as magic. He would also work as barker, canvass boss man, as well as sideshow manager.
Edward Gallaway had a secret life as a cardshark. Later in 1902 he would write a manual of sleight-of-hand with cards educating readers on cheating at the card table as well as how to perform magic card tricks. This book, The Expert at the Card Table, was published under the pseudonym S.W. Erdnase, and it is to this day the most important book on sleight-of-hand with cards. It was decades ahead of its time.

Eventually, he found back to his printing profession and he started either alone or with others various job printing business, all of which were short lived. Around 1900 he is employed by the Bentley Murray printing company where he honed his skill on the Monotype typesetting machine which lead him to write the Monotype System books and other educational matter for Lanston Monotype. He started to teach estimating at the United Typothetae which brought him to the attention of Donnelley where he was later employed as estimator. There he rose up through the ranks to reach the position of director of estimating. In other words, he was the chief estimator at the largest privately owned printing company in the US. In 1925 he left and established his own School for Estimating in Chicago, the only school focusing on that particular aspect of printing. He died 1930 in Chicago.

During his life Edward Gallaway accumulated a large library with many precious books which his wife after his death sold through Chicago second-hand book dealers. This was the ‘pension’ she lived on until her death in 1943.

If anyone can be helpful in regards to this research project, please contact me (Guy) at guy@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks.

Exploring “This Day in History” through Rare & Early Newspapers…

April 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Who among us isn’t a bit curious as to what occurred on our birthday (or today’s date) through time? The concept of exploring a specific day (month/day) through history has always been intriguing, but before the internet, such knowledge was not easy to obtain. However, in the present world of data explosion, websites which explore “This Day in History” do the job quite nicely and have become very popular. One of my favorites is HISTORY.COM maintained by The History Channel.

Of course, as a collector and reseller of old newspapers, this trek is amplified by the capability of holding authentic newspapers containing contemporary reporting of these events – to not only read the articles themselves, but to explore the context of what else was going on as the events unfolded.

Thanks to ongoing requests from collectors, we’ve created an interface on our website which enables the seeker to explore what is available at any given moment for any month/day. Even if you are not looking to add to your collection, perusing through the issues can be fascinating. If you have interest in giving this a try, the steps below are provided to help you get started.

 

Step 1: Go to RareNewspapers.com. Once there, look for and then click on the words “Advanced Search” (directly below the orange SEARCH button on the right side of the page), and select it.

 

 

Step 2: On the “Advanced Search” page, look for “OR Month & Day (Any Year)”, enter in any month and day, and then select “Search”.

 

I tried own birthday and came up with the following: January 2nd Through Time

 

Don’t forget the “Sort” feature which will give you multiple ways to arrange your search results. Have Fun!

 

Next Page »