I’m New Here: Weeks Fourteen & Fifteen…

May 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week I didn’t post because I was involved in a local amateur production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Consequently, I returned to work with many dramatic musical numbers dictating the soundtrack of my mind.  Perhaps that influenced my interest in an assigned hunt for a title that reported on the death of the “Leather Man” in 1839.

I found it, and duly replied back to the collector.  But I also took a little bit of a break to search out the meager story of this individual who was a vagabond for 32 years of his life.  The inscription on his tombstone describes a man, “who regularly walked a 365-mile route through Westchester and Connecticut from the Connecticut River to the Hudson living in caves in the years 1858–1889.”  Like clockwork, apparently, he completed his circuit every year and was greeted and given hospitality by many along the way who would normally reject any other vagrant.  The internet provides an intriguing image of this leather patchworked fellow in his exile from the rhythms of normal life.

And, with the tortured song of the male lead sounding in my head, I wondered at the days preceding his arrival; what made him the man who came to be known this way?

Was he tormented and driven to trudge through the days, or was this a happy occupation for a human being – leaving behind the established cares of civilized life, content to cover so much ground in so many hours for the prescribed revolutions of the sun?  Either way, or something in-between, he made it to the second page of The New York Times.  For all the documentation housed here, how many millions of unread or even untold stories must there be?

Anyway, I am back at work, tracking down first, second and third day accounts of the original murder that inspired Capote’s “In Cold Blood”  and pulling the obituary for a man who had no known name or history of origin.  Next week I am determined to look at these territory papers that are so desirable, and maybe delve into the popular Gentleman’s Magazines with their coveted battle maps.

All of which remind me of one theory concerning the Leather Man: that he was an ex-French soldier.  Perhaps that’s true, and all the years of marching over fields and sleeping rough became a way of life he ultimately could not break.  Whatever compelled him, day after day, I’m fairly certain a tragic musical score is appropriate.

I’m New Here…Week Four (!)

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

I had begun to think that interest in my little contribution to this blog was waning enough that I would be able to slip right past the post in which I had promised to elucidate my multiple disasters.

Most of the veteran collectors ask for Guy, and yesterday I had to answer that Guy was not available, could I possibly be of any help?  Just before I completed a phone call with Mr. W., he asked me (in the classic gentlemanly manner of many from the southwestern states) for a preview.  Of my calamities.

And so, with a nod toward Arizona, I am sitting down to recount a few of my more unfortunate escapades.  I have called the same person with the same information twice, and neglected ever calling an important other. Through the first ten days I went fuzzy every time I needed to pull a title and date because I couldn’t even begin to locate the identifiers amidst all the fancy, scrolly banner headings. But many such moments were never known to any of the rare newspaper community because the group of people here at Timothy Hughes is absolutely splendid, and they countered most of them before anyone even noticed. I sent the skylift up to the shelf under the roofline, lowered it, maneuvered the 20’ row and parked. I was back at my desk before someone casually reminded me that the unwieldy volume had to be returned to the same location. Friday I answered the phone, forgot the business name, and then just began to laugh — because what else could I do?  It’s hard to be new, but it’s downright ironic in a place so full of old things. Surely the papers yield evidence that I am not, by far, alone in my muddles.

Still, the most colossal so far — including my omission of eBay tracking numbers, which potentially plummeted our heretofore stellar ratings — was the rare paper that I sold to two different people. In case you were wondering, there was only one. We didn’t have a second issue anywhere in the roughly 12,000 searchable square feet. I don’t know enough to help with the hunt, but everyone capable tried any space or collection that could possibly contain this gem. And, remarkably, they looked at me with something akin to regret when each location had been exhausted. Somehow, to their chagrin, they had not saved me from my own folly.

Mercifully, the fellow that I had previously introduced to the paper (I  used the word “stunning” as I described it to him) was very gracious when I called.  But in all sincerity, while I seldom make the same error too many times, I am working to meld all this newness into the well-oiled machine that is Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers …without excessive further ado.

So, if Guy isn’t available, one of these days I really will be able to help.

I’m New Here… Week One

February 15, 2019 by · 10 Comments 

It’s a daunting world — Rare & Early Newspapers — and at first it can feel like being in a foreign country, overhearing a few words that sound familiar in a vague sort of way.  At least, that’s my sense.  But I suspect it appeared that way to many collectors at the beginning.  With that in mind, my plan is to share some of my observations, discoveries and even mistakes over the coming weeks, months and years as I learn to navigate this universe of newsprint.  If you have never even held an old paper, much less thought to purchase one, perhaps my adventures will pique your own interest and you’ll find yourself browsing the titles and descriptions of the details of life in a bygone era.  Having “met” a few of you veteran collectors and scholars, I suspect you might enjoy a little reminder of the early days when you turned that first purchase over in your hand, skimmed the columns, and then settled in for a read.

I began and then discarded multiple versions of this initial post — there’s no way to convey the immensity of standing in a treasure trove that is more than three times my height, wider than my house, and filled with papers.  Without moving my feet I can examine the headlines from Harper’s, published every Saturday in the first half of 1869.  1869.  That is not a misprint!  The proper title is “Harper’s Weekly”, subtitled “A Journal of Civilization”.   It is astounding that one hundred and fifty years after these rolled off the printing press, were cut and bundled and delivered to 100,000 people living in a completely different world (regardless of our shared geographical location), I am able to hold an original issue in my hands.  It’s a rag paper, so the pages can be turned without any fear of damaging it.  I verified this before opening an issue; gloves aren’t even required.  The details of manners and battles and grocers and treasury debt emerge and bring the inevitable conclusion.  Life in a different time –even with dramatically changed fashions, altered lifestyles, and varied circumstances– is still life.  Civilization is after all the story of people.  Sometimes it’s seen in broad strokes, sometimes in classified advertisements.  I found the following in an 1861 publication, “When families send for ‘Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce’, observe if it is the genuine JOHN DUNCAN & SONS…”   I am amazed the condiment has been around so long (and wonder, who was making fake Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce?).  Others might be more interested in the 15″ map of Major-General McClellan’s Operations Along The Potomac.

Anyway, the Harper’s Weeklies section is a good place to stand and introduce myself and tell you I am privileged to be here.  Please check in and see the “progress” part of my experience.  Also, tell me what I should look for if you’ve been around a while.  And if you’re new, feel free to ask any questions.  If I don’t have the answer (which is likely, as I am new here) I have recently met some brilliant people who probably do.

Stephanie

 

Where have we been?

January 31, 2019 by · 3 Comments 

In case you hadn’t noticed, those of us at RareNewspapers.com who write and manage the History’s Newsstand Blog have been on a hiatus the last month as we’ve negotiated the changing of the guard within our staff. Doreen Mileto (pen name “The Traveler”), who has served as our office manager for 15 years, is retiring on January 31st. We wish her the best as she and her husband seek to spend more time with their children (and grand-kiddos), and pursue adventures formerly inhibited as a result of being tethered to an ongoing work schedule. Good for her.

As of this Friday, our new office manager will be Stephanie Williams – a lover of both history and literature. Once settled, our blog posts will resume.

Thank you for your patience.

Guy Heilenman

Co-owner, Timothy Hughes Rare & Early 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.

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.

Announcing: Catalog #255 (for February, 2017) is now available…

February 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 255, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Rivington’s New York Gazetteer, the Oxford Gazette, Washington’s miracle escape from Long Island, “War Declared” in a Honolulu newspaper, the death of Marilyn Monroe in a Los Angeles newspaper, a great graphic issue on Abraham Lincoln, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 255

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 255, 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.

Announcing: Catalog #253 (for December, 2016) is now available…

December 1, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 253, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, the Olive Branch Petition, the Battle of Bunker Hill, several nice Nast Santa Claus prints, the Battle of Gettysburg in a Confederate newspaper, a 1775 map of Boston, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 253

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 253, 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 Catalogs

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

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

What news was reported in the month of November – 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 blog-11-3-2016-harpers-weeklynever 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:
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

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