Rick Brown’s Primer on Collecting Old & Historic Newspapers…

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Several year’s ago, a newspaper enthusiast by the name of Rick Brown had a passion to spread the love of collecting “history in your hands… from the day it was first reported”.  One of his efforts was to print a newsletter for the hobby.  An early entry was a primer on collecting newspapers.  While many of the prices are out-of-date, we invite you to enjoy this original contribution to the hobby:  Primer on Collecting Old & Historic Newspapers

We will continue to post additional contributions to the collectible experience in future posts.

Only Through the Innocence of Children…

July 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Our friends at HistoryBuff.com recently posted a newsletter which included an article regarding an early 20th century newsboy.  Please enjoy!

Only Through the Innocence of Children
A Memoir of a Newsboy in 1939

The following is a personal memoir of Stanleigh Nettleton written in 1987. Unfortunately, he died a number of years ago – but his memoir lives on!

About 1939 I was working the complaint desk on the Chicago Herald-American one Sunday morning. The complaint desk was simply where people call in that missed their paper and I would call the branch manager and he would send a kid over there with another paper. However, it was also the message center for 7 district managers and 91 branch managers who were supervising 3000 carriers delivering over 100,000 home delivery papers in Chicago.

About 6:30 I got a call from Freddy, the branch manager in 158. He called in and simply said, “The boss is looking for me, tell him I’ll call him when I get back. I just got a call from Austin Avenue Police Station that they are holding a couple of my kids out there, so I am going out there now to see what the beef is.”

Well, about 8:30 Freddy calls and he says, “I’m back and everything is OK.” I asked “What about the kids the cops picked up?” He says, “Well, that’s a long story. I’ll tell you Tuesday when I come in the office.”

Come noon Tuesday Freddy comes over to the desk and says, “Let’s go eat.” As we ate lunch Freddy tells me about the carriers.

Out on Wilcox Avenue in Chicago’s West Side there was this big apartment building that was entirely occupied by Jewish families. In one of these apartments was an old Jewish fellow who managed to flee the Gestapo and came to live with his son in Chicago. One Sunday morning the father goes out into the hall to pick up the paper and as he turns to come back in the apartment, he freezes with fear, for right in the center of the door was a big “X” mark made from white chalk. This was exactly the way the Gestapo would mark the houses in Germany when they took the Jews away to the concentration camps.

He finally stopped shaking enough to go in… (read more)

Extensive list of reprinted newspapers…

June 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

list_of_common_reprintsThe Library of Congress, as we previously discussed, maintains a web listing of the eighteen mostly commonly found reprinted newspapers. Most reprints which turn up today will be found in this list, however many others do exist.

Rick Brown, who maintains the “historybuff.com” website and who edited the journal “Collectible Newspapers” for many years, created a master list of some 567 reprinted newspapers.  Should you encounter a newspapers and you are suspicious of its genuineness, check the list of titles and dates on “American Newspapers Known to Have Been Reprinted” which can also be accessed from the home page of our website. If the title & date appear on this list your suspicions many be justified.

If you care to take an additional step towards determining genuineness, Rick offers a more detailed “Annotated Index of Newspapers Editions Known To Have Been Reprinted…” for a modest charge, which offers additional details for each entry.

Although reprinted editions are exeedingly rare in the hobby of early newspapers—and most common reprints are easy for even a novice to spot—having access to such a list is of much value to the hobby and can provide some comfort when pursuing historic newspapers for one’s private collection.

Rick Brown & HistoryBuff.com – Featured Website!

November 17, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Rick’s entry into the hobby took a path similar to Timothy Hughes’.  He started collecting historical newspapers in 1965 when he purchased a Philadelphia Inquirer for the capture and death of John Wilkes Booth.  As he held his new purchase in his hands, he was suddenly struck by what many since him have come to realize: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported”. He describes this first encounter with historic newspapers himself…

“Reading the emotion-filled accounts from actual witnesses suddenly opened a new door for me. Before, my viewpoint of history was that it was just a series of dates, names and events. Reading the actual eyewitness accounts made the names and events come to life. Imagine, being able to hold something in your hands that was “alive” when the event happened — 100, 200 or even 300 years old. For the next four years I literally purchased every old newspaper I could find. By 1969 I realized that I was running out of storage room…”

By 1969 he became a mail order dealer in historic newspapers. In 1984 he started a publication for newspaper collectors, “Collectible Newspapers”, which featured journalism history articles.

Tim fondly remembers the publication and the extraordinary efforts of Rick to bring together newspaper collectors from all corners of the country–and across the globe as well.

“Rick was a true hobbyist. He expended much effort and money to provide a channel to bring together all collectors under a common banner–the Newspaper Collector Society of America (NCSA). Never was he motivated to profit by the hobby.  In more ways then he might admit, Rick did much to help the fledgling hobby grow. Rick’s a terrific guy and remains an extremely valuable resource for the hobby” says Tim.

In 1995 he discovered the internet, and by October 1995, Rick had a small website utilizing articles he had first printed in “Collectible Newspapers.” By January 1997, the site was getting 25,000 hits per month, and he could no longer justify the publishing costs for 25,000 people, so he ceased publishing the print version with the April 1997 issue.

Now, thirteen years later, HistoryBuff.com is reaching nearly 90,000 unique viewers AND 500,000+ PAGE VIEWS monthly. In October 2003, HistoryBuff.com was granted nonprofit status at both the federal and state level. While donations help keep HistoryBuff.com online, Rick fills in with money of his own. As with most nonprofits, financing is always a chore and there is seldom enough to keep it going. He has never taken pay for his work; truly a labor of love.

The HistoryBuff.com website provides a wealth of historical information beneficial to both novice and well-seasoned historians.  It describes itself as:

“…a nonprofit organization devoted to providing FREE primary source material for students, teachers, and historybuffs. This site focuses primarily on HOW news of major, and not so major, events in American history were reported in newspapers of the time. In addition, there is information about the technology used to produce newspapers over the past 400 years.”

A sampling of resources provided at HistoryBuff.com includes:

The most recent addition to the website is panoramas of historic sites in America.  Upon entering, you will be treated to a guided tour of more than a dozen well-known historic sites.

Whether your primary interest is history or the collection of “History in Your Hands” via newspapers, the resources available through these links will prove to be invaluable.   As a former educator, I particularly appreciate the access to Rick’s Interactive Quizzes.  Subscriptions to the monthly EMAILED newsletter are available at no cost.

If you have yet to browse through the pages at HistoryBuff.com, a treat awaits.  Warning:  Before visiting, make certain you’ve cleared your schedule for a few hours.  Walking through history is a trek worth savoring. Thanks Rick!

Feel free to comment on your visit (or more likely… visits) to HistoryBuff.com.