A September, 2016 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

September 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-1-2016-Margaret-Sanger-deathWhat news was reported in the month of September – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1966, 1916, 1866, 1816, 1766)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
September:
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

A July, 2016 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-7-1-2016-Jack-NicklausWhat news was reported in the month of July – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1966, 1916, 1866, 1816, 1766)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
July:
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

More on printing newspapers in the 1700’s (revisited)…

June 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

This article is primarily taken from the April, 1996 edition of “Collectible Newspapers” edited by Rick Brown, whom we thank for this contribution. It offers some interesting insights into the printing & distributing of newspapers in the colonial and post-colonial era of the United States.

printing_pressNewspapers from the latter half of the 18th century were relatively scarce. One factor was that early settlers were busy clearing the land & otherwise making the land habitable & sustaining. Plus only a small percentage of the population had reading skills beyond that of the basic rudiments. Although most towns of any size by 1715 had tracts of land set aside for schools, few actually had schools built & in operation.

Nearly all 18th century newspapers were edited & published by printers that had a general printing business and also printed pamphlets, books, broadsides, lottery tickets, etc. Many also sold merchandise, groceries, patent medicines, and a variety of other goods. Rags, which were used to make the paper , were scarce in the colonies so most of the paper was imported from England.

Newspapers were printed on wooden hand presses with each application of ink to paper requiring a pull of by lever and screw. It was not until around 1816 that the new iron Columbian press came into general use. Instead of a screw it used a series of compound levers that multiplied the pull of the operator. But still, all hand presses were slow & laborious. The forms had to be laid by hand and the ink was poor and of uneven quality. Types were frequently old and worn.

After the newspapers were printed, distribution difficulties were encountered. Circulation was confined, for the most part, to the towns in which they were published. They were distributed to the rural areas by post-boys on horseback and by stagecoach drivers. The roads were bad & the postal system was slow. Subscribers were few & the cost of an issue relatively expensive so newspapers were typically handed around from one to another so that a single copy was ready by many. Even those who subscribed often failed to pay for their subscriptions.

It has been estimated that the largest circulation of a single newspaper during the earlier colonial period was about 350 and that only a few reached this high of a number of circulation. By the 1750’s circulation for larger city newspapers reached upwards of 600 of each issue printed and during the Revolutionary War some newspapers boasted circulations in excess of 2000. By 1790 most newspapers were printing less than 1000 copies but the very popular “Columbian Centinel” from Boston was printing over 4000 copies of each printing date.

Despite poor equipment, limited circulation, nonpaying subscribers, poor distribution facilities & the general unprofitability of publishing a newspaper, the number of newspapers being published continued to increase as the years went by. There were numerous failures, but new newspapers were established to replace them. From 1704 to 1820 about 1634 newspapers came to life and died. Of that number only two-thirds of them lived beyond three years.

(originally posted in 2009)

A June, 2016 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

June 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-6-2-2016-Louis-BrandeisWhat news was reported in the month of June – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1966, 1916, 1866, 1816, 1766)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
June:
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

A March stroll thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-3-3-2016-Casey-StengelWhat news was reported in the month of March – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
    March
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

A February stroll thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

February 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-1-2016What news was reported in the month of February – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
February
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

A January stroll thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

January 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-1-7-2016-Black-Man-of-MississippiWhat news was reported in the month of January – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
January
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

A December stroll thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

December 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-12-3-2015-December-1765What news was reported in the month of December – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
December
1965 – 50 years ago
1915 – 100 years ago
1865 – 150 years ago
1815 – 200 years ago
1765 – 250 years ago

A November stroll thru time – 1765… 1815… 1865… 1915… 1945…

November 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-11-5-2015-Wirz-ExecutedWhat news was reported in the month of November – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
November
1965 – 50 years ago
1915 – 100 years ago
1865 – 150 years ago
1815 – 200 years ago
1765 – 250 years ago

They put it in print… Zenger’s newspaper ordered to be burned…

July 20, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Blog-5-25-2015-John-Peter-ZengerA sure-fire way to get yourself in trouble–at least in early 18th century America–would be to criticize the governor. John Peter Zenger, publisher of “The New York Weekly Journal“, had a problem with a decision made by of the colonial governor, William Cosby, and expressed his frustration in his newspaper. On November 17, 1734, On Cosby’s orders, the sheriff arrested Zenger. After a grand jury refused to indict him, the attorney general Richard Bradley charged him with libel in August of 1735. Thus began his imprisonment and a trial that would lead to Zenger’s acquittal and would more importantly create the foundation for the freedom of the press we enjoy today.

The “Encyclopedia of Censorship” reports that: “…In October 1734 a committee was appointed to investigate Zenger’s newspaper and to look into the charges of seditious libel that had been alleged against it. The committee found numbers 7, 47, 48, and 49, which contained a reprinted article on the liberty of the press, to be libelous as charged and ordered them to be burned. Zenger was arrested and jailed.”

See the link below which shows the entirely of issue number 47, dated Sept. 23, 1734. You can read the continued article which got Zenger thrown into jail, but ultimately won not only his own freedom but a significant freedom for newspaper publishers everywhere:

The New-York Weekly Journal, September 23, 1734

« Previous PageNext Page »