Sheriff Pat Garrett… the killer of Billy the Kid…

January 9, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

It was a surprise when I opened an 1884 issue of the “St. Louis Globe-Democrat to find a print of Pat Garrett, the noted sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, who: “…did the world a great service in ridding it of Billy the Kid, the most cold-blooded and cruel desperado of modern times…” as the article notes. Never before have I seen a print of Garrett in any periodical. Is anyone aware of an earlier print, or any print of him from any date?

This issue is from over 3 years after he killed Billy the Kid, his likeness appearing in the newspaper because he attended a convention of cattlemen held in St. Louis at this time.

New Year’s Eve – a look back…

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

What do race riots, Kevlar, Star Trek, and Pet Sounds have in common? blog-12-30-2016-new-years-eveThey all have their roots firmly established in the year 1966. While the 11:00 news brought daily reminders of the horrors of war, many back home were additionally distraught by the $14,000 price-tag for a new home and the 32 cent per gallon price they were paying for gas to fuel their gas-guzzling Bonnevilles and Oldsombiles. Young men were conflicted over whether to ogle more over Chargers, Mustangs, and GTO’s, or the most amount of bare leg they had ever seen thanks to the ever-popular mini skirt. Just for fun, we selected a New Year’s Eve issue from small-town Kansas (Parsons, Kansas) to explore how those who lived at the time viewed this tumultuous and formative time in both American and world history. Of particular note is the editorial regarding honesty in Washington, D.C.. Please enjoy: New Year’s Eve – 1966

Second time killed was the charm…

December 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The April 8, 1882 issue of the “Garfield Banner” from Tin Cup, Colorado, has an interesting article on the front page reading: “Jesse James has been killed again. This time a member of the gang named Bob Ford, a cousin of Jesse, is the man who killed him. Ford had been with Jesse about a week seeking an opportunity to kill him,and finally shot him in the back of the head, the ball coming out over his left eye.”

They should have published why the first time he was killed it didn’t work.

Harper’s Weekly: a magazine or a newspaper?

December 12, 2016 by · 4 Comments 

Many collectors have wondered if the popular “Harper’s Weekly” publication is a newspaper or a magazine. Well,  there is really no clear answer.

I’ve always referred to it as a newspaper to distinguish it from their own sister publication “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine” which, being smaller, many more pages, and issued monthly, is blog-12-12-2016-illustrated-newspapersa more definitive magazine. Early in its history the weekly called themselves a “family newspaper”, and modeled themselves against “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper” which began about a year earlier. If Leslie’s was a “newspaper” then certainly Harper’s Weekly was a “newspaper” as well.

However, in Mott’s “History of American Magazines” he includes a section for Harper’s Weekly, as well as one for Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and other similar weeklies. Then he confuses the issue a bit more in the second volume of his book (pg. 43) by stating: “Half a dozen copiously illustrated weeklies of general appeal must be grouped separately. It would not be inappropriate to classify these periodicals as newspapers, since they all relied much upon the reporting of current events: indeed, one of them called itself a newspaper in its title. But they were all very much more than newspapers, and they placed the emphasis on features of appeal which belonged more characteristically to the magazine than to the newspaper–namely, pictures and belles-lettres…”.

So there you have it. No definitive answer, but in my book Harper’s Weekly is, and always will be, a newspaper.
Your thoughts?

Perhaps one of Gilligan’s ancestors… What does it mean?

November 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-28-2016-stough-and-davisAn issue of “The Gunnison Advertiser” from Colorado, 1882, notes that it is: “Published Semi-Occasionally…”. Just what does this mean? If “occasionally” means it is not on any set schedule–printed at the whim of the publisher–how much more defining is “semi-occasionally”?

Just curious. Any ideas?

They put it in print… Execution bar set a little too low?

October 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-10-24-2016-alleged-executedInteresting wording for historic headlines always get my attention. We recently discovered an 1865 issue of the “New York Day-Book” which has at the top of the front page: “Execution Of The Alleged Conspirators…”.  Makes one think: shouldn’t they be determined to no longer be “alleged” before they are executed?

Where did it end up? Boston

October 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-10-20-2016-ben-franklin-statue-bostonAs both collectors and sellers of historic newspapers, we (Rare Newspapers) often wonder what happens with many of the issues which pass through our hands. We know some have been given to Presidents, well-known authors, and various public figures throughout the world. Equally rewarding are those which end up in the hands of those whom either love history or have a personal connection with the issue’s content. Many are found in museums for all to see, yet others a likely stored away in boxes for protection and many never again see the light of day. Regardless of their final resting place, we derive a certain degree of satisfaction in knowing we play a part in preserving history in written form. With these thoughts as a backdrop…

We recently became aware of how one issue has been put to use (see image). Feel free to explore:

BOSTON SEMI-WEEKLY ADVERTISER, Sept. 20, 1856

Medical marijuana! How about a prescription for beer?

October 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The controversy over medical marijuana is nothing new in attempts to circumvent the law for outlawed drugs. Shortly after Prohibition became the law of the land in 1919, the New York Times” reported in its Oct. 26, 1921 issue: “Beer As Medicine In Nine States Only” “New Treasury Regulations Inoperative in States Having Local Prohibition” “Thinks People of Nation Will Object When They See Drug Stores Handling Booze”. The article begins: “The brewers have several hurdles yet to make before medical beer is a reality…” with much more.Blog-10-10-2016-Beer-as-Medicine

Early no-smoking cars on trains…

September 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-26-2016-no-smoking-railroad-carWhile the most significant feature of the St. Louis Daily Globe” of February 2, 1875 is a report regarding Frank and Jesse James, the front page has a curious report headed: “A Peculiar Bill” concerning the need to create nonsmoking cars which would: “…afford relief to a great many ladies who are annoyed by cigar smoke, and other evils arising from the use of tobacco by gentlemen…” (see image).

For whom the Baby Ruth candy bar was named…

September 12, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

The history of the origin of the name of the “Baby Ruth” candy bar by the Curtis Candy Company is interesting, brought to light recently with our finding the Frank Leslie’s Illustrated” issue of Jan. 5, 1893.  The full front page is an illustration captioned: “Baby Ruth and Her Mother” being the child of President Grover Cleveland. This is the person for whom the “Baby Ruth” candy bar was named, not Babe Ruth the famous baseball star as was popularly though. And the story behind the name is interesting.

Blog-9-12-2016-Baby-RuthIn Chicago in 1921 Otto Schnering had a turnaround plan for his Curtis Candy Company. He reformulated his “Kandy Kake” brand confection—a conglomeration of milk chocolate, peanuts and a pudding center “richer than marshmallow, fluffier than nougat, better than either of them”—into a chocolate-covered candy bar with peanuts, caramel and nougat. Along with the new recipe came a new name—Baby Ruth. At first glance, it seemed clear that Schnering had taken advantage of the home run king’s well-known name and tweaked it by one letter in order to avoid paying the “Sultan of Swat” any royalties.

Perhaps because of its perceived connection to the Yankee slugger, Baby Ruth was a big success. By 1926, sales of the candy bar totaled $1 million a month, and the company’s candy-making facilities were the largest of their kind in the world.

In 1926, Ruth decided to enter the candy business himself and licensed his name to the George H. Ruth Candy Company, which sought to register “Ruth’s Home Run Candy” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Wrappers showed a head shot of a smiling Ruth in his uniform along with the note “Babe Ruth’s Own Candy.” The Curtiss Candy Company sued for copyright infringement and claimed that the candy bar had not been named after the baseball star, but Ruth Cleveland, eldest daughter of President Grover Cleveland. The explanation seemed odd given that the girl nicknamed “Baby Ruth” by the press had been born in 1891, three decades before the introduction of the candy bar. By 1921, not only was she not a baby, she wasn’t even alive, having died of diphtheria in 1904. Newspapers and the American public paid close attention to “Baby Ruth” after her father returned to the White House in 1893 for his second presidential term, but the Clevelands fiercely protected their daughter’s privacy and refused repeated requests by American newspapers to take her photograph. Few Americans ever knew what “Baby Ruth” looked like. By 1921, Babe Ruth was a household name while “Baby Ruth,” who died 17 years beforehand, was an historical footnote. (credit www.history.com)

Given the above, it is curious that this image of Baby Ruth Cleveland appeared on the front page of this very popular illustrated newspaper. Perhaps it is the only image of her in a newspaper.

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