A “Thankful” Heart Is Great Medicine…

November 17, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

A wise man was once inspired to pen: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Solomon, Prov. 17:22). While many can attest to the wisdom and accuracy of this proverb, there is no doubt joy and gratitude are joined at the hip – or perhaps more appropriately said, at the heart. In this regard…

I have always been struck to the bone by reading about or seeing images of families, friends, and at times entire communities gathered together giving thanks to their Creator while enduring severe hardship. Many a President has issued Proclamations for a Day of Thanksgiving, Humiliation, and Prayer in the midst of war or soon after a severe calamity had befallen the nation. Yet, surrounded by what would appear to be great distress, somehow they were able to reach down into their innermost selves to find enough joy (not happiness or pleasure) to ignite thankful hearts. I don’t know about you, but such expressions of gratefulness are humbling, yet soothing to the soul.

The two rare Winslow Homer prints found side-by-side in the Frank Leslie’s Illustrated for Dec. 23, 1865 are shown below. In case their captions are too small to be easily read, they are: “Thanksgiving Day–Hanging Up the Musket” and “Thanksgiving Day–The Church Porch“. The Civil War had come to an end eight months prior and the guns of war (notice the dates) were being retired to their perches above the very place where Christmas stockings would soon be hung. What a relief to finally have the war at their backs! However, in case one might conclude its impact would soon dissolve into a distant memory, the corresponding illustration showing the gathering of the community for Thanksgiving worship reveals the fallout which would last a lifetime… for those who still had lifetimes to give. How they still found the strength to join together for the giving of thanks as a marvel.

That’s the kind of inner strength I want for my family and me. Perhaps you do as well. Perhaps it starts with regularly taking time to smell the roses while acknowledging the Source of the daily blessings which so often come our way. Happy Thanksgiving.

Note: JSTOR posted a related article featuring an excerpt by Christopher Kent Wilson which provides additional background regarding the Homer prints.

Take a Closer Look … The Delicate Details of Woodcut Prints…

April 14, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

I have had some fascinating conversations this past year with one of our collecting friends who is an expert in woodcut prints. I won’t be a name dropper, however, if he is reading this, he will have no doubt as to who I am referencing. I greatly appreciate the time he took to share his knowledge which has motivated me to pause and look more carefully at every print I encounter in the RareNewspapers archives. My proficiency in this area is sparse and not terribly reliable but I did want to share a few takeaways.

Some artists of woodcut prints would draw on paper and send the illustration to a publisher who would cut the paper into tiny square blocks and have each one sketched onto a square block of wood.  These wooden squares would be handed out to different craftsmen who would carve their block and then the blocks would be rejoined for printing.  Sometimes, when time was of the essence, each craftsman would use carving tools which could create many tiny lines at once. If you look closely at many such illustrations, you can tell these prints have hundreds of parallel lines – indicating the use of these tools.  Occasionally, when more time was available, each line was formed individually – a painstaking process, but one which produced an almost unimaginable degree of detail!

Some artists preferred to draw their own prints directly onto the wood and so they were sent a group of one-inch square pieces bound together with twine. When the artist had finished their drawing, the publisher would untie the pieces and distribute the blocks to the woodcarvers.

Regardless of how each print was created, the detail, craftsmanship and artistic skill needed to produce one illustration is mind blowing. So, the next time you glance through a Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s IllustratedIllustrated London News, or handful of other illustrated titles of the “woodcut era”, perhaps you will join me in pausing and giving a bit of deference to these creators of beauty.  Thanks Bill for sharing this delightful insight with me.

March through the years via the lens of Rare & Early Newspapers…

March 6, 2020 by · 4 Comments 

Walk with us back through time to see what noteworthy, historic and collectible events occurred during the month of February. In so doing, we hope you’ll agree: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

March Through Time

February through the years via the lens of Rare & Early Newspapers…

February 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Walk with us back through time to see what noteworthy, historic and collectible events occurred during the month of February. In so doing, we hope you’ll agree: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

February Through Time

January through the years via the lens of Rare & Early Newspapers…

January 13, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Walk with us back through time to see what noteworthy, historic and collectible events occurred during the month of January. In so doing, we hope you’ll agree: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

January Through Time

Christmas Day… Not what one might expect…

December 24, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Over the years we have written various Christmas-themed posts for the 25th (or 24th) of December. Many of these (and a few extras) may be viewed at Christmas-Themed Posts. However, almost by accident, as I was preparing for this year I happened to notice that the “reason for the season” and what has appeared on the pages of many newspapers published on Christmas don’t necessarily correlate. Before accessing the following link (which will take you to a chronological listing of such issues we have listed on our website – most of which are no longer available), think back through the past 300-400 years and try to come up with a handful events which were reported on Christmas morning. Once done, go to the link to see if you were successful. Enjoy – oh, and Merry Christmas.

Christmas Morning Newspapers

Announcing: Catalog #258 – for May, 2017 – is now available…

May 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 258, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes:

• John Peter Zenger’s famous New York Weekly Journal dated 1734
• The famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline
• Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
• Rare “View of Boston” plate from 1787
• Washington proclaims an end to the Revolutionary War
• New Jersey’s first newspaper (from 1780)

To view the above key issues and a whole lot more, go to: Catalog 258

(This catalog link shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.)

Announcing: Catalog #257 – for April, 2017 – is now available…

March 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 257, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: a front page account of the Battle of Brandywine, a rare “camp” newspaper from 1861, The Constitution of the United States, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Benedict Arnold on the Battle of Quebec, an uncommon beardless print of Abraham Lincoln, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 257

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 257, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:

1500-1799 (full view OR quick-scan/compact view)
1800-1899 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)
1900-2015 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)

To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog

Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.

A March, 2017 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

March 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

What news was reported in the month of March – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1967, 1917, 1867, 1817, 1767)? 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:
1967 – 50 years ago
1917 – 100 years ago
1867 – 150 years ago
1817 – 200 years ago
1767 – 250 years ago
Wanting for more? Why not take a year-long gander at 1667, 1717, 1767, 1817, 1867, 1917, and/or 1967?

Announcing: Catalog #256 (for March, 2017) is now available…

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 256, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: a 1643 newsbook, the sale of Coca Cola in 1919 (in an Atlanta newspaper), a “Royal Gazette” from Charleston (1782), Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox, the British plan for conquering America, a rare Confederate newspaper (Jackson, Mississippi), and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 256

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 256, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:

1500-1799 (full view OR quick-scan/compact view)
1800-1899 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)
1900-2015 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)

To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog

Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.

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