An absolutely bizarre death report from 1911…

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark Twain is credited with posing: ““Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” If a report our staff discovered on the back page of a Fitchburg Sentinel for October 28, 1911 is any indication… score one for Mr. Twain. View the photo below to see if you agree.

Anyone know anything about this newspaper?

August 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

If any of our collectors are looking for an interesting puzzle to solve, here is one. We’ve come across a single sheet newspaper from Dublin, Ireland,  “THE FLYING NEWS-LETTER“, with “Monday October 11” in the dateline. This would seems to be an exceedingly rare title as an internet search resulted in nothing with this title from Dublin.

Blog-8-22-2016-Flying-News-LetterThere is no issue number noted in the masthead as would be typical. There is also no year printed in the dateline, but a search notes that the only Mondays which fell on October 11 from the mid-18th century (my estimate based on paper, format, layout) in which the printer, Edward Exshaw, was working as a printer were 1736 and 1742 as he died in 1748. The years 1725, 1731 also had a Monday, October 11, but a website notes he was “active in Dublin from 1733-1748”. And 1756 and 1762 also had a Monday, October 11, but being after his death his name would not had been in the imprint at the bottom of the back page.
I would be curious to know which of these two years it was printed (no year is noted in any of the articles), and a bit more about how long the newspaper published. Is this issue unique?

Thanks for any help!

What a pile of hooey… No seriously, what a pile of hooey…

April 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-14-2016-Galapagos-IslandsEvery now and then, while browsing through rare and early newspapers, an article is discovered which causes one to take a second look – or 2nd read. Such is the case with a report in the New York Semi-Weekly Tribune of January 30, 1855. As I was scanning through slavery and Mormon related coverage, I discovered an inside report which described how Ecuador tricked the United States into signing a treaty in which the U.S. would provide protection for Ecuador’s ports and the Galapagos Islands (owned by them) in exchange for access to the supposed endless supply (by the ton) of guano on the Galapagos Islands. Apparently, Ecuador had produced samples of highly potent bird and bat dung which motivated the U.S. to sign the treaty. Later, upon investigation, it was found out that the tons upon tons of guano was simply a pile of hooey – that is, nowhere to be found – but the treaty had already been signed. Who signs such an agreement sight unseen? I must admit, the nature of the agreement stirs all of the middle-school boy sarcasm which I thought I had long-since put to rest. However, such is not the case. He’s in there.

They put it in print… “Liar, Liar”…

April 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

From a time before internet dating, the Dec. 30, 1791 issue of “The Morning Post from London contains an interesting–and hopefully tongue-in-check–report headed: “Advertisements Matrimonial” which provides amusing reading if nothing else. “Liar, Liar” in print – what if people desiring a mate through ads in newspapers had to write what they were really wanting??? Enjoy.Blog-4-11-2016-matrimony

The “Long Day of Joshua” on steroids…

March 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Many are familiar with the Biblical account aptly named “The Long Day of Joshua” where Joshua, through the power of God and on behalf of the allied Israelite and Gibeonite armies, commands the sun to stand still in order to give them more time to complete the rout of their enemies – which results in a miraculous extension of the day. The publishers of The Kansas State Journal must have had a pretty amazing need for an even greater expansion of time as they apparently didn’t just annex hours, but entire days to the calendar in January of 1862 (see below). Oh ye of little faith. Amazing!Blog-3-10-2016-Long-Month

FACT or fiction? Ol’ Rip still alive after being entombed for 30+ years…

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-3-3-2016-Eastland-Texas-Ol-RIPEastland, Texas surged into the national spotlight in early 1928 when a time capsule, which had been entombed in the cornerstone of the old courthouse, was opened during the courthouse’s demolition. To everyone’s surprise out came a horned-toad lizard – still alive after 31 years! Hoax or not, a tour of the now legendary reptile included a visit to Washington, D.C. to meet President Calvin Coolidge. More can be read about Ol’ Rip via Wikipedia. The image shows the report of his “unearthing” which appeared in the New York Times dated February 20, 1928. Sadly, he would not survive another 12 months as he died of pneumonia on January 19, 1929 as reported in the New York Times of the following day.

Oxford girls in 1923 cannot be thwarted…

February 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When we think of college fraternity life, scenes of Animal House (whether we’ve seen the movie or not) likely play in our minds as we imagine, among other things, guys relentlessly exploring ways to covertly enter (and eventually exit) woman’s dormitories or sorority houses late at night. The young testosterone-inflamed males are always the pursuers, with the estrogen-nourished females the pursued. While the burning of brassieres marking the throwing off of gender roles and stereotypes did not become popular until the 1960’s, the front page of the New York Times for January 25, 1923 had an interesting article regarding the young woman of Oxford which foretold of things to come. Perhaps the idiom “You just can’t keep a good (wo)man down” is appropriate in this instance. Enjoy.Blog-2-29-2016-Oxford-Girls

So you wanna go back to Egypt? Ocean rescue methods…

December 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Bible tells of the historical account of the Israelites’ journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in The Promised Land. At one point, as their trek became particularly challenging, some began to grumble and complain – going so far as to attempt a coup in order to turn the wagon-train around and head back to Egypt – to slavery… to oppression… to strife… to the very misery which had caused them to cry themselves to sleep night-after-night as they called out to God for deliverance. How could they have so quickly forgotten? Yet, are we any different? Our brains have a tendency to filter the bad from our memory banks to allow our occasional backward glances to fall upon the good. If we’ve learned to walk through life with an acknowledgement of ever-present blessing and with a heart-deep gratitude for the very breath of life, this filtering-process can be healing and redemptive to our soul – perhaps even treasured as a gift from our Creator. However, when we walk with our heads down – with thoughts of dissatisfaction poisoning our minds and morsels of entitlement chaffing our lips, what was designed to be sweet-nostalgia turns into quite the bitter pill – causing us to forget just how great it is to live in the present. How sad.

BUT – In an effort to right the ship for some, reinforce good thinking in others, and foster a positive outlook regarding the present for all, we will occasionally post a newspaper article, image, or clip from the past to help remind us of how good it is to live in the 21st Century. Our first selection is a print from a late-19th century issue of Scientific American Supplement which depicts a rather precarious method for rescuing distressed air-travelers at sea – or was it air-travelers rescuing seafarers (???). Please enjoy – or better yet, allow it to nurture a thankful heart for contemporary travel methods and rescue techniques. Blog-12-10-2015-SAS-10-6-1888

Three cheers for Time Zones…

December 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who pine for the simpler life of the past, we include an article from the Trans-Continental dated May 26, 1870 which may add a dose of reality to the rosy glasses of nostalgia. If we were to list the top 1,000 changes which have made our lives a bit easier, my guess is none of us would have “Time Zones” listed. 🙂Blog-12-12-2014-Time-Zones

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

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