Kansas City Daily Journal for February 12, 1889: Over the past 10 years we (RareNewspapers.com) have put together a series of videos designed to help educate novices about the hobby of collecting historic newspapers. While some may be a smidge old (compared to today's high-tech standards), the information within is still pertinent. Pick a topic of interest, turn up the volume, and enjoy our perspective on the collectible. Bethlehem Globe-Times", Pennsylvania, newspaper of August 4, 1937 has a curious some article about a baseball game in 1893, as told by an elderly gentlemen who was involved in the game some 44 years previous. It provides some interesting reading, although I'm not convinced it actually happened. What do you think? "Cleveland Daily Herald" issue of May 15, 1876 has an interesting perspective on the game of baseball, as provided by a Brazilian (see below). The entire article may be viewed at: Dom Pedro's Views of the National Game. Hyperloop transportation system is an idea that was actually conceived in 1867, and received enough attention at that time that a model of the "Pneumatic Railway" system, as displayed at the American Institute in New York City, appeared on the front page of the October 19, 1867 issue of "Harper's Weekly". Once again the old adage and Biblical verse "there is nothing new under the sun" is proven to be true. Every new idea seems to have some sort of precedent or echo from the past. Decorative Prints [1850-1875] Every now and then we'll come across an article which either illustrates a different side of a well-known historic figure, or provides a glimpse of someone whom we wonder why they have not received more recognition over time. Every now and then we'll try to bring some of these to light. In this instance, our attention is drawn to Toussaint L'Ouverture. While he may be known to historians, the average person has most likely never heard of him. However, there was a time when this was not the case. In the mid-1800's, his influence was known world-wide, and the ripple effects of his actions continue to be felt today. If you desire to know more, a lengthy biographical sketch by the often-verbose Wendell Phillips printed in the April 3, 1863 issue of The Liberator might be an excellent launching point. The entire article may be viewable at: The Liberator, April 3, 1863. Wikipedia also does a pretty good job of providing additional details regarding his fascinating life. While most are no longer available, a few additional tidbits may be gleaned from other newspapers of the period: Toussaint L'Ouverture Enjoy! One of the passions held by many is sports, and each season provides a new opportunity to cheer on one’s favorite teams as they follow their efforts through to a hopeful championship. It is not coincidence that “fan” is a diminutive form of the word “fanatic”. The hobby of collecting early newspaper adds an opportunity to broaden support for a team by including an historical perspective possible only through all this hobby has to offer. Baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, horse racing, soccer, and on and on. You name the sport and reports can be found in newspapers going back to the very beginning of the sport, or the beginning of newspapers. We once offered a newspaper from Springfield, Massachusetts—where basketball was founded—reporting the very first public game ever played. It is the holy grail of newspaper reports on basketball, and now resides in the archives of the Library of Congress. Similar gem items can be found for other sports as well. If a report cannot be found on the very beginning days of a sport, finding reports as old as possible is a quest which never ends. Baseball traces its history back to 1839 (although exactly when & how it was founded is up for some discussion) so finding a newspaper with a bonafide baseball report as close to this year is a worthy goal. We have some issues back to 1855 on our website, and game reports become more frequent during and just after the Civil War. But with baseball it’s often the golden era that attracts the most attention, from when Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other standouts from the 1920’s and 1930’s were making headlines. Just following Ruth’s standout career can create a formidable collection, from early mention of him in the majors (how about 1914?), his first Major League game appearance, his first home run, a report of him being sold to the Yankees, and then his stellar career as a home run record-setter. All were reported in newspapers. And there was a host of notable ball players from a generation before, including Nap Lajoie, Branch Rickey, Henry Chadwick, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, & Christy Mathewson to name a few. In fact baseball had its own daily newspaper from the 1880’s titled the “Official Record” which chronicled nothing but baseball reports of the day. Illustrations of baseball players are a special treat and add a graphic & displayable dimension to any collection. The popular illustrated newspaper “Harper’s Weekly” (and other well-know illustrated issues of the day) had many issues which featured half page or full page baseball prints, as well as a few doublepage centerfolds and front page prints which are particularly desirable. There are some ancillary items which are intriguing, several found in the scientific-themed periodical “Scientific American”, which featured a new electric scoreboard dating back to the 1800’s, and a novel invention of a “mechanical baseball pitcher”. There are baseball reports of Jim Thorpe, who, although was more famous for his Olympic and football prowess, was a notable baseball player as well. Newspapers with reports involving Jesse Owens are equally noteworthy. And just a focus on World Series games would result in a sizable collection, with the goal of owning the championship report for every World Series from 1903 to the present. The “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, which involved members of the Chicago White Sox team being accused of throwing the Series, made headline reports for the next two years as the case was investigated and brought to a painful conclusion. Although the most collectible of sports, baseball is by no means the only. Football reports became common in the 1890’s and into the early 20th century. Again, “Harper’s Weekly” did much to provide a graphic account of the sport, with both illustrations and photos of players and action, showcasing the minimal amount of protection that was worn in comparison to what’s found in the game today. Collecting by team makes for even more focused collection. Among the more popular would have to be the Yankees in baseball, and Notre Dame in collegiate football. But any team name for any sport can be searched out of our website, whether it be collegiate football, the NFL, or nearly any other sport you can think of. Even something as obscure as pre-1800 boxing reports and ballooning can be found within collectible newspapers. Give it a try. With golf it was Bobby Jones who gave the sport some prominence with his accomplishments which culminated in the “triple crown” victory, after which he left the sport to pursue a movie career. But again “Harper’s Weekly” put many golf themed prints in its pages, several done by noted artist A.B. Frost, which make for displayable items for any golf enthusiast. Tennis was another sport which made the pages of “Harper’s Weekly” and those that are framed make great display items for any den. Track and field, bowling, bicycling, curling, fishing (with prints by A.B. Frost and Frederic Remington), hunting, sailing (including the America’s Cup), skiing, automobile racing, archery, and even surfing are a portion of a lengthy list of sporting events found in newspapers of the day. Whatever sport you follow and whatever the era, the world of rare & early newspapers has much to offer. Add an historical dimension to your hobby. There is much from which to choose. Post-Civil War 19th Century. For those who grew up in the 1950’s & 1960’s, television had more than its fair share of Western-themed shows. And the “Wild West” was a common feature on the silver screen as well. Not only can one capture a flavor of that time when the American frontier was pushing further West, but actual historical events can be read as captured in newspapers of the day, when the events happened. This is the intrigue of collecting rare and historic newspapers. From the moment the Civil War ended, the national focus was on the lands west of the Mississippi. It was common to find reports, even in newspapers from the big cities of the East, of skirmishes with Indians on the Great Plains and elsewhere. The Custer Massacre perhaps ranking as the most notable, but reports can be found on the Battle of Wounded Knee, Captain Jack and the Modoc Indian War, reports of Geronimo, Sitting Bull, the Apaches and others. Newspapers are a great resource for those wishing to explore/collect Native American history. And what about Outlaws & Gunfights? Stage coach robbery reports are not an uncommonly found in newspapers from the 1870’s and 1880’s, and train robberies and bank robberies could be found scattered throughout newspapers of this period as well. It was a time when some of the more famous—and infamous--names of American history could be found in newspapers, including Jesse James and his gang, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp (yes, there are newspaper reports of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral), the Dalton Gang, Younger brothers, Robert Ford, Buffalo Bill, Jim Bridger, Vasquez, Doc Holliday, Kit Carson, Lizzie Borden, and on and on. Although “Jack the Ripper” was a name from London crime history his deeds made headlines on this side of the Atlantic as well. Reports of their deeds are not fictionalized; they are the events as reported in newspaper accounts of the day. Some the famous towns of the Old West had their own newspapers and can be purchased for anyone’s collection, including titles from Tombstone, Leavenworth, Deadwood, Tucson, Reno, San Francisco, Leadville, Carson City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and many more. Although crime reports were common, there is so much more in newspapers from this era. Politics certainly found their way into newspapers on a daily basis. Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield were perhaps the most notable Presidents of the era, and reports on the latter’s assassination are commonly found. Science and innovation were the focus of the famous title “Scientific American” which began in 1845 and still publishes today. Within its pages were many reports on Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and their inventive work, plus illustrations of the creations of many of the devices and improvements we still enjoy today. Many were first unveiled in Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition of 1876 and the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. It was a time when Brigham Young and the Mormons were venturing west, ultimately to settle in the Salt Lake City Valley. P.T. Barnum was making news with his circus, and Frederick Douglass & Booker T. Washington were coming to national prominence as spokesmen for the newly emancipated slaves. The Chicago Fire & the Johnstown Flood were but two disasters which changed the American landscape and graphic accounts were more brutal in the 19th century then they are today. As is the case with present-day newspapers, sporting reports were typically found, with baseball, football, tennis and golf gaining widespread popularity as diversions for not just the wealthy but for everyone. As you see the post-Civil War era was very rich in history. And I only touched on a few of the highlights. Newspapers of the era reported not just the events & names we know of through history books, but captured the mundane events of daily existence which provide a fascinating flavor of life in America when the wealth & prestige of the United States was emerging upon the world landscape. A world awaits the collector who delves into this fascinating era of American history. Daily Free Press, June 3, 1881, from Bodie, California doesn't seem to hold true to its name. If this is what the smokers looked like "after", I'd hate to see the "before". I wonder if 19th century travelers to the region where confronted with signs stating, "Beware of non-smokers!".