The top ten: “20th century”…
December 28, 2009 by TimHughes
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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.
Here 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.
, 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"?)
3) 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.
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