The top ten: “20th century”…

December 28, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

From this period in newspaper publishing history, displayability has much to do with the desirability of a newspaper, perhaps more so than historical significance. Since I come to this task of listing the “top ten” from the perspective of a rare newspaper dealer and knowing the requests we receive for certain events, the following list may not be the same as my most “historic” but they are my thoughts for the most “desirable” based on customer demand. Certainly FDR’s New Deal is more historically significant than the death of Bonnie & Clyde, but not more desirable from a collector standpoint. I’d be curious to hear of your thoughts.

Bonnie&ClydegifHere they are, beginning with number ten:

10) St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Feb. 14, 1929  An issue with a dramatic banner headline, & ideally dated the 14th. Morning papers would be dated the 15th.

9) Death of Bonnie & Clyde, May 23, 1934  The gangster era remains much in demand, & perhaps due to the movie this event beats out Dillinger, Capone & the others from the era. A dramatic headline drives desirability–ideally with a photo–even if not in a Louisiana newspaper.

8.) Charles Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, May 22, 1927  The New York Times had a nice headline account with a map of the route, and the prestige of the newspaper always keeps it in high demand.

Dewey_Defeats_Truman7) Call-Chronicle-Examiner, San Francisco, April 19, 1906  I note a specific title & date for this event, as these 3 newspapers combined to produce one 4 page newspaper filled with banner heads & the latest news. No advertisements.

6) Crash of the Hindenberg, May 6, 1937  The more dramatic the headline the better, & ideally with the Pulitizer Prize winning photo of the airship in flames.

5) Wright brothers fly, Dec. 17, 1903  Here’s where the significance of the event drives desirability over dramatic appeal. Few can argue the impact of manned flight on the world. Reports were typically brief & buried on an inside page with a small headline, so a lengthy front page report would be in top demand.

4) Stock market crash, October, 1929  Demand is driven by the dramatic headline and its wording. Too many newspapers tried to put an optimistic spin on the tragedy. Collectors want “collapse, disaster, crash” & similarly tragic words in the headline (how about Variety magazine’s: “Wall Street Lays On Egg”?)

Pearl_Harbor_HSB_1_extra3) Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Dec. 7, 1941  “1st Extra”  The defining issue from World War II but be careful of reprints as most issues on the market are not genuine.

2) Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 3, 1948 “Dewey Defeats Truman”. What more need be said?

1) Titanic sinking, April 14, 1912  Certainly low on the historically significant list, but off the charts on the desirability scale, much due to the block-busting movie. The more dramatic the headline the better, and hopefully with a nice illustration of the ship going down.

My “honorable mention” list might include baseball’s “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, sinking of the Lusitania, end of World War II, D-Day, JFK’s election, the New Deal, a great Babe Ruth issue, etc. Maybe they would rank higher on your list.

19th century newspapers… revisited…

December 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Over the past three weeks Timothy Hughes has explored his thoughts concerning what he believes to be the top ten newspapers from each of the pre-18th, 18th, and 19 centuries (see below), the most recent being the latter.  Some of his thoughts concerning the 1800’s historic newspapers were captured in the following video:

Collecting authentic rare and historic newspapers from the 1800’s can be exciting, rewarding and surprisingly affordable. Daily newspaper reports of America’s tumultuous 19th Century included first hand accounts of historic turning-points like….. the Louisiana Purchase…the Civil War…and Spanish-American conflict. As cries of “manifest destiny” signaled America’s unbridled expansion west, newspapers became a crucial link for a people suddenly united in a common quest that would set their young nation on a course of unprecedented and historic prosperity.

There are many sought after “holy grails” from the 19th century, including: o President Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination o Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address o Battle of the Alamo o Deaths of Jessie James and Billy the Kid o Issue from Tombstone Arizona (Tombstone Epitaph) o Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip”

Of course, select accounts of the most historic & desired events of 19th century America are available for premium prices.

However, a wealth of fascinating original newspapers from the vast inventory of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers are available for much less…often as little as $30 – $50. These include first-hand news from the War of 1812, Yankee & Confederate Civil War battle reports, slave ads from the South, the California Gold Rush with outlaw & Indian battle accounts, the Mormon migration to Utah and fascinating reports of when baseball was in its infancy.

The “Old West” and America’s westward expansion are represented in genuine newspapers from California, Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Arizona. You’ll also find affordable issues from the illustrated press which graphically documented every aspect of 19th century America in the pages of Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, Gleason’s, Ballou’s, and The London Illustrated News.

Whether your interest is in the War of 1812, westward expansion and the gold rush, the Civil War, and/or the Wild West, original newspapers provide an excellent view of history in context. History is never more fascinating than when when it’s read from the day it was first reported. If you love history… you deserve to have it in your hands. Rare newspapers make this possible. Please enjoy the hobby.

Top ten newspapers: 16th and 17th centuries…

Top ten newspapers: 18th century…

Top ten newspapers: 19th century…

Merry Christmas…

December 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas_3

One of the more frequent questions we (the staff) are asked by members of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers is whether or not we become distracted from our “work” by the call/allure of the content within the issues we offer – i.e., do we often find ourselves reading the issues?Christmas_1 Christmas_2The simple answer is an emphatic “Yes”.  Rarely a day goes by in which we do not share new finds with one another.  It’s one of the side benefits of being surrounded by history.  Another simple pleasure is the ability to view some of the most incredible prints ever produced – those from the many illustrated newspapers from the 19th century (Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated, Gleason’s Pictorial, etc.).

Specifically, within the pages of these wonderful issues one can find some of the most amazing Christmas-themed prints.   If you have a few minutes over the next few days, I invite you to go to the link below and take a few minutes to enjoy what we experience every day.

Link to issues containing Christmas-themed prints:  Harper’s Weekly Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

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The “top ten”: 19th century…

December 21, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

This was a difficult century for selecting the top ten significant events or newspapers. Certainly an argument could be made that some specific newspapers–particularly from the Civil War era–could achieve retail values far in excess of those noted on the list, but their rarity as unique items pretty much removes them from the “accessible” list of collectibles.

My focus is more on including newspapers which have a certain degree to attainability and at the same time representing the broad range of events which helped to define the United States during the 19th century. I think I’ve achieved a happy compromise among desirability, rarity, and historical significance. Fully half of my choices are specific issues. I would be curious to hear of your comments:

Jessie_James_Leslie10) Vicksburg Daily Citizen, July 2/4, 1863 This wallpaper edition from when the town was captured by the Yankees turns up very frequently as a reprint, adding enhanced appeal to a genuine issue.

9) Battle of the Alamo, 1836  In a Texas newspaper. Any Texas newspaper from this notable year in the war for Texas independence would be great, and one with one of the more famous battles of the century would be better yet.

8.) Leslie’s Illustrated, April 22, 1882 The full front page is a terrific print of Jesse James, recently murdered. A very rare print of one of the more infamous characters of the century.

7) Lincoln’s assassination, 1865  Arguably the most noted death of the century, and great to have in a Washington, D.C. title. Very historic & desirable, but not terribly difficult to find so it doesn’t rank higher on my list.

6) Tombstone Epitaph, gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1881  I know of at least one genuine issue. Certainly a very romanticized event in a equally romanticized title and incredibly rare but not high on my historic list.

Gettysburg_Address_ANJ5) Baltimore Patriot, Sept. 20, 1814 First newspaper appearance of the Star Spangled Banner, and great to have in a Baltimore newspaper.

4) Gettysburg Address, November, 1863  This remains the most requested speech by our collectors–regardless of century–and is likely the most known by school children across the country. A front page account is best, such as the New York Times.

3) Louisiana Purchase, 1803  Who could argue with an event which doubled the size of the country.

2) Charleston Mercury–Extra, Dec. 20, 1860 It’s a broadside so perhaps some will argue not a bona fide newspaper, but we collect Extras as well so I include this notable issue. This newspaper’s “The Union is Dissolved” broadside was the first Confederate publication as South Carolina was the first state to secede. It went to press 15 minutes after the secession ordinance was passed.

1) The California Gold Rush in a California newspaper, 1849. Three California newspapers existed at the time so issues do exist yet extremely rare. Combining the great rarity with a event which did so much to spawn migration of the people across the country, and another very romanticized event in American history, and you get my top pick.

How to celebrate Christmas in 1780…

December 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The following article, taken from the Dec. 23-26, 1780  issue of “The London Chronicle” newspaper from England, has considerable detail on the “proper way” for servants to celebrate Christmas, although a bit tongue-in-cheek. Fun reading nonetheless. Enjoy.

Christmas_slaves

18th century & pre-18th century newspapers… revisited…

December 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past two weeks Timothy Hughes has explored his thoughts on what he believes to be the top ten pre-18th century and the top ten 18th century newspapers (see below).  Some of these thoughts were captured in the following video:

Collecting authentic rare and historic newspapers from the 1500’s – 1700’s can be exciting, rewarding and surprisingly affordable. British titles such as the London Gazette, London Chronicle, Gentleman’s Magazine and more, are all available for much less than you would expect, as are their American counterparts, the Columbian Centinel, Dunlap’s Daily American Advertiser, Concord Herald, and more.

Whether your interest is in the Colonial Era or the Revolutionary War Era, or extends to the 1500’s and/or 1600’s, original newspapers provide an excellent view of history in context. History is never more fascinating than when when it’s read from the day it was first reported. If you love history… you deserve to have it in your hands. Rare and early historic newspapers make this possible.  Please enjoy the hobby!

Top ten newspapers: 16th and 17th centuries…

Top ten newspapers: 18th century…

The “top ten”: 18th century…

December 14, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

Continuing with our “top ten events to be found in newspapers” for various periods of time, today we consider the 18th century.

What an event-filled one hundred years it was. As you can tell by the list my focal point is on the American Revolution, but there are other events or specific newspapers which made it into my top ten.

Again I offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list has  a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American.

Here we go, starting with number ten:

George-Washington-death10) Death of George Washington, 1799 (Front page, preferably in a Virginia Gazette)

9) Hanging of Captain Kidd, 1701 (Just can’t resist a great pirate hanging, he being perhaps the most famous of all time)

8.) Any newspaper with the first installment of Paine’s “The Crisis” (“These are the times that try men’s souls…” has to be one of the more famous beginnings of all time)

7) Full text of the Stamp Act (Certainly a trigger event that would lead to the Revolution)

6) Boston Tea Party (In a Boston newspaper. An event every school kid knows about)

5) The Pennsylvania Journal, Nov. 1, 1765 “skull & crossbones” engraving (Replaced its normal masthead on this date: seen in most history books)

Constitution_PA_Packet4) Battle of Lexington & Concord with mention of Paul Revere’s ride (The beginning of the Revolutionary War. I had one once with mention of Revere–exceedingly rare–great to have in a Boston area newspaper)

3) The Boston News-Letter, 1704 (Great to have issue #1 of America’s first successful newspaper, but any issue from 1704 would do)

2) The Pennsylvania Packet, Sept. 19, 1787 (First newspaper to print the Constitution, & done in broadside format. Need I say more?)

1) The Declaration of Independence, 1776 (Ideally the Pennsylvania Evening Post, July 6, 1776, but the Packet of July  8 would work too as it contains the Declaration entirely on the front page: better for display).

Walmart sells them too…

December 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A 1685 issue of the “London Gazette” newspaper contains on the back page the following interesting advertisement, not the type typically found in newspapers–at least not in more modern times. Interesting that the coffin maker notes that he makes them: “…of a sort of wood that will endure until the body is fully dissolved…”.

I saw a piece recently where Walmart now sells coffins on-line. And just in time for Christmas:

17th_century_WalMart

Sure it does…

December 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Flying-Machine-aI have always found it amusing to discover articles–particularly those with photos or illustrations–on “flying machines” from before the Wright brothers. In hindsight most of the contraptions are comical yet provide fun reading.

Here is one headed “A New Flying Machine That Flies” which appeared in “The Illustrated American” from New York, Sept. 9, 1898. It apparently was collapsible (to fit in garages?) and could be unfolded to look much like an overgrown bat with propellers. The article notes that: “…There are a large number of details that the inventor has kept strictly to himself…”, the biggest likely that it didn’t fly.

But the article closes with a very prophetic note: “…it has a Flying-Machine-bmilitary side. It is impossible to imagine without terror the day when these mechanical birds, these flying apparitions, will be able to rain upon armies, hostile towns & escalating parties most deadly and most destructive explosives…”.

Top ten: 16th and 17th centuries…

December 7, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

As Guy introduced a few days ago, we will use the Mondays of December to consider the top ten events to be found in newspapers for various periods of time. In a few cases the desired “event” is actually a specific newspaper.

Great_Fire_of_LondonToday we consider the 16th & 17th centuries, which is a bit difficult as the mere existence of newspapers–or even their predecessors: newsbooks–is limited. And all would be European, as no American newspapers existed in this time period (only exception noted below). Nonetheless I’ve created what I consider to be the top ten historical events or newspapers collectors would love to add to their collections.

I do offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list, and those to follow, have a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American. But there are a few European events noted.

Here we go, beginning with number ten and ending with the most desired event or newspaper:

10) Coronation of William & Mary, 1689  (after all, they were the king & queen of colonial residents as well. Almost like a very early Presidential “inauguration”)

9) King Philip’s War, 1675-6  (America’s first war)

8.) William Penn’s charter for land in the New World, & his settlement there, 1682  (an issue of the London Gazette includes: “…Mr. Penn bound for Pennsylvania with a great many Quakers to settle there…”)

7) Capture of Capt. Kidd near Boston, 1699 (who wouldn’t want a period report of this very famous pirate)

6) Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588 (my one entry from the 16th century; available in period newsbooks)

5) Great Fire of London, 1666

4) The volume 1 number 1 issue of the Oxford Gazette, Nov. 16, 1665  (great to have the first issue of the world’s oldest continually published newspaper: become the London Gazette with issue #24)

3) Salem Witchcraft trials, 1692 (famous event, but try to find period reports of it!)

2) Settlement in the “New World” from 1607-1630 (from the very earliest period of European settlements in America, predating newspapers but newsbooks did exist)

1) Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, Boston, Sept. 25, 1690 (America’s first newspaper. To this date only one issue has surfaced. Could there be another?)

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