The reason I collected it: The Semi-Weekly Argus from Washington Territory…

July 10, 2023 by  
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“The Semi-Weekly Argus” of Port Townsend, Washington Territory, July 7, 1873, might seem like an ordinary issue with typical content of the day. However the most intriguing aspect of the edition is not the data nor its content; it’s the paper upon which it is printed. It is yellow.
On rare occasions, newspaper publishers had to deviate from the traditional newsprint with which we are familiar, when necessity required an alternative. In such situations “necessity paper” was used, the term for whenever an issue was printed on anything non-traditional.
Given Port Townsend’s relative remoteness in the Northwest, I would suspect supply routes were often questionable a best, particularly with this date being 16 years before statehood.
We have encountered newspapers printed on paper with a wide assortment of colors, as well as wrapping paper, cornhusk paper, wallpaper, lined notebook paper. tissue paper, etc. Such editions were typically very short-lived, perhaps a few days at best, until supply chains could be re-established.
Here is a great example of the use of “necessity paper” and a visually prominent addition to any collection.

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