One of the first hybrids…

February 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-8-2016-early-carIn today’s world hybrid automobiles are commonly found on the road, a cross between internal combustion and electric engines. But our recent fascination with hybrids is nothing new.

In 1889 a proposal was submitted for what looks like an electric car/cable car hybrid, as detailed in the July 27, 1889 issue of “Scientific American. The electric vehicle would receive its power from the cable lines above it but the vehicle would negotiate the streets without the aid of tracks.

It is interesting how fascination with electric propulsion over 100 years ago has been renewed today as a means of powering automobiles.

How things have changed…

December 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-12-28-2015-Blue-LawsIn today’s society when Sunday has become no different than any other day of the week in terms of work, play, and daily behavior, it can be difficult to realize that “blue laws” once existed which prevented–legally–many activities from happening on Sunday.

This article from the October 15, 1883 issue of the “Norristown Register, Pennsylvania, reports a particularly harsh enforcement of the blue laws near New Haven, Connecticut, noting in part: “A score of people …were arrested on the Old Foxon Road….Sabbath breaking was their crime, and the form of their offending was traveling on the Sabbath…” with details of the law and how the offenders were nabbed, including: “…Many of the people out for a ride stopped under the trees & gathered up the scattered nuts. Each person that stopped was arrested. the nuts lay as a trap…” (see images).

“Brownsville Gazette” – a gem from the American Antiquarian Society…

August 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers’ focus: The American Antiquarian Society

In celebration of its 20oth anniversary the American Antiquarian Society published a beautiful  exhibition catalog titled “In Pursuit Of A Vision – Two Centuries of Collecting at the American Antiquarian Society”. Featured are a fascinating array of books, documents, maps & other paper ephemera, as well as several very rare & unusual newspapers we felt worthy of sharing with our collectors (with permission from the A.A.S.).

161. Brownsville Gazette“, Brownsville, Pennsylvania, May 21, 1808

Clarence S. Brigham’s two -volume History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820, published by AAS in 1947, was a landmark in newspaper bibliography. The fruits of thirty-six years of painstaking research are amply displayed in the detailed publishing histories and comprehensive censuses of institutional holdings. For fully 194 (nine percent) of the 2,120 titles included, Brigham was unable to locate any extant issues, though he could document the newspapers’ existence from other sources.

Since Brigham’s day it has been as AAS priority to locate and acquire issues of these “lost” newspapers. Many have been found, and much new information has been gathered towards a supplement to Brigham’s bibliography. Here is one such “discovery issue,” for the Brownsville Gazette, which turned up on eBay in 2004. The accompanying page from the manuscript to Brigham’s bibliography shows his draft entry for this title, clipped from the April 1920 number of the AAS Proceedings, where it was originally printed: from Isaiah Thomas’s 1810 The History of Printing in America (Cat. 9), Brigham knew that the Brownsville Gazette was being published early in 1810; and an 1882 county history citation indicated that it began publication no later than January 14, 1809. But no new information had come Brigham’s way between 1920 and 1947. Based on the discovery issue’s date and numbering, however, it is now known that William Campbell launched the Brownsville Gazette sometime in 1807.

Golden Nuggets… yet another “find”…

May 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At Rare & Early Newspapers we always enjoy hearing about the various “finds” that permeate the collectible. While most significant content is know before one purchases an issue to add to their collection, due to the nature of the hobby, golden nuggets cannot help but be buried, yet undiscovered, deep within the pages of a newspaper. In some instances, the discoveries are quite significant – that is, significant to all having a general knowledge of history. In other cases, the find might be a little more subtle – yet still worthy of bringing to light.

The following account was sent to us a few weeks back. Feel free to send along your own stories as well (send to guy@rarenewspapers.com).

You mentioned you like to hear about “finds”, in a group of 100 cheap
newspapers I bought from you folks probably many years ago I found a find. I have started to place my collection into all the same mylar holders and cataloging it into my computer one by one. [It was during this time] I came across a New York Tribune from August 12th, 1865 that was included in one of those $199 for 100 newspaper lots I purchased from you. The front page has a couple of interesting articles like the “Annexation” of Canada, which led up to their confederation in 1867. The most interesting was the hours old accounts of the Steamship Pewabic which collided with the Steamship Meteor on Lake Huron. As I recall I think it was either a National Geographic or Discovery channel show. When they discovered the ship that sank in 1865 it was perfectly preserved even the woodwork with the cold non salt waters of the Great Lakes.

It would have been better in a Detroit paper, but for $2, I certainly will not complain. I have probably purchased over a thousand newspapers and it took me this long to discover a neat find – maybe not great, but I am pleased. I probably purchased this lot in the mid to late 1990’s. Looking at your website, especially the warehouse photos, there is just too much material to read everything even with a good size staff.

Thanks T.C. for sharing your story with the Rare & Early Newspapers’ Family.

They put it in print… The floating soap surfaces…

April 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s interesting to find articles reporting the very beginning of some of the more commonplace items in present-day life, but which were given little consequence at the time. A good example is a rather inconspicuous article in an April 1, 1882 issue of “Scientific American.

Blog-4-29-2015-Ivory-SoapTitled simply “Floating Soap”, the article includes: “…the peculiarity of the soap they were using. When one of the men had soaped himself he would drop the soap into the water and it would ‘bob up serenely from below’ like a cork, ready for the next man to pick it up…The soap was called ‘ivory’, presumably on account of being of a creamy white color like ivory…We are pleased to note that Messrs. Proctor and Gamble, of Cincinnati, have at last discovered how to make a soap that will float & at the same time be durable & serviceable, & reasonably cheap.”

Ivory soap remains today–some 133 years later–a very common product on store shelves around the world. And it still floats.

The Traveler… peace…

February 16, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Blog-2-16-2015-Treaty-of-GhentToday I traveled to Boston by the means of the Columbian Centinel dated February 5, 1815. There I found the breaking news of the “A TREATY OF PEACE between this Country and Great Britain, signed on the 24th December last… I have undertaken to send you this by Express — the rider engaging to deliver it by Eight o’clock on Monday morning… I am with respect, Sir, your obedient servant, JONATHAN GOODHUE.”

This peace treaty ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland. Due to lack of telecommunications and time travels at that time, even though the treaty was signed December 24, 1814, the Battle of New Orleans was fought and won on January 8, 1815 and the Treaty was not in effect until it was ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 18, 1815.

~The Traveler

They put it in print…

January 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It was such a tragedy to America when Alexander Hamilton, the founding father of the United States, chief of staff to Washington in the Revolutionary War, and America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, was killed in a duel, an event he opposed but honor forced him to participate.  His words from shortly before the duel are telling: ““My religion and moral principles are strongly opposed to the practice of dueling…My wife & children are extremely dear to me…I am conscious of no ill will to Col. Burr distinct from political opposition…But it was, as I conceive, impossible for me to avoid it…”.  The report is found in the “Middlesex Gazette” newspaper of July 20, 1804 (see below).

His wounds at the hand of Aaron Burr–who curiously was Vice President at the time–would prove fatal. His comments give evidence to the value of honor among the early patriots, even when they lead to a tragic end.Blog-1-26-2015-Alexander-Hamilton-Duel

The times they are a-changin’… 19th century mixed-racial marriages

October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-10-3-2014-Mixed-Racial-MarriagesWhile progress in regards to interracial relations has been both painful and agonizingly slow an 1880’s issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (November 15, 1880) provides a great opportunity for us to see just how far we have come in the last 100 years or so. Sometimes a 1,000 foot view provides a degree of encouragement where a close-up view only draws our attention to the blemishes. Yes, while slow, the times they are in fact a-changin’.

Government in action… yet another proud moment…

September 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

At first blush, this issue appears to be exactly what one might expect from a Government sponsored publication. However, upon closer inspection of the lower right corner, we soon realize… this is exactly what one might expect from a government sponsored publication. Somewhere, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are smiling. Please enjoy the cover of the April, 1944 issue of the U.S. Army-Navy Journal:Army & Navy Journal

Dog – a man’s best friend?

August 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently came across a National Intelligencer from November 16, 1848 which had a great story depicting the incredible relationship these wonderful creatures can have with humans. While they are traditionally known as being man’s best friend, their affinity for people apparently is not restricted as such. Please enjoy:

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