From the private collection: a title to share…

January 26, 2009 by  
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I have always be intrigued by unusually titled newspapers, and there are many from the past two to three hundred years.

One from our private collection which is rather bizarre not just for its name but for its theme—analyzing the records of childhood deaths from the previous 100 years—is: “THE HISTORY OF CRADLE-CONVULSIONS” with an extended title including: “Vulgarly called Black and White Fits: Monthly Observations on the Weekly Bills of Mortality…” and even more (see photos).

The publisher uses the entirety of this single sheet newspaper to discussion the deaths of children, although modern translations are lacking as to what is meant by “cradle convulsions”, “black & white fits”, “gripes in the guts” or “convulsions of the bowels”, although one could guess. The text of the entire newspaper is shown here for your reading enjoyment.

Not surprisingly, a newspaper with such a morbid theme did not last long. In fact this issue “numb. 1” was the first and the last despite mention by the publisher of future monthly issues. According to Crane & Kaye this title is not held by any library in the United States.

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