The previous post focused on “prices realized” from a sampling of key issues from the 20th century. Fellow collector, Charles Signer, posted a response we thought collectors would appreciate.
These papers (see previous post ) are excellent choices for your article. I think the Titanic disaster marked a new era in journalism, since improvements in printing technology and inventions like the facsimile machine made it possible for newspapers all over the United States and the world for the first time to cover the story simultaneously with full coverage and great graphics. Because the Titanic event took place at sea there was no “home advantage” as there would have been for a disaster taking place in a populated area. I don’t have the Rhode Island version of the story that you show, but I have seen others like it from other cities. I am amazed how they could get such good reporting and graphics literally overnight on such an unexpected story.
When I see the Honolulu Star-Bulletin First Extra I think of it as a time capsule marking of an end of an era. The front page of course gives the full first report, but the inside pages were mostly set up before the event, in the last hours of peacetime. The ads for 1941 consumer goods and Christmas sales suddenly fell out of place in the grim new wartime world. I imagine the people shown in the ads floating at the bottom of the ocean where they are all drowned dead but still visible to divers. It’s eerie.
I was going to say that the whole First Extra paper could be seen on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin website, but in trying to test the link as I write this I see that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser merged on June 7, 2010. The combined paper is now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. There used to be a great story on the Star-Bulletin’s old website about the people who put out those first reports that day. I guess it’s gone now.
I got a copy of the Dewey Defeats Truman paper from Tim Hughes before 2000 for about $850. It was real cherry. I grew up in Chicago where my dad and I would drive down in the evenings to get the first edition of the following day’s Tribune. When you opened up a Tribune for the first time there were tiny holes made in the printing process which made the pages stick together. The copy I got from Tim had those little holes so I knew I was opening that Dewey Defeats Truman paper for the first time ever. It was almost like being there on November 2, 1948, the evening the paper was printed. Yes, it truly is a classic that will be recognized as long as newspapers are remembered, which may be a lot longer than some of them are being published.