The start of a new year…

January 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-1-4-2016-Baby-New-Year-1924The start of each new year typically brings a sense of promise – a certain newness of hope and expectation which drives us to peel off bad habits and at least seek to develop new ones. Of course this new refreshed outlook is often quickly squashed once we grab the morning paper and allow the events all around us to cast a wet blanket on our hopes and dreams for the new year. Perhaps a bit jaded – but all too true.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be this way. I’m convinced part of the antidote is for us to practice counting our blessings throughout the year – day-in and day-out. Sound like a plan? For those of us who are “all in”, let’s put our resolution for 2016 to the test and look through the news reports of the first week of January through time and see if we can come out the other end with a sense that life is truly good – after all, we could be living in the past when technology, medicine, the average standard of living, and life-expectancy were not what they are today1st Week of January thru Time

Before heading out to Your New Year’s Eve Party…

December 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While celebrating the onset of the New Year through alcohol-blurred eyes has become an international tradition for many, before heading out to this year’s party, perhaps a gander at Dr. Benjamin Rush’s well known “Moral & Physical Thermometer” from the 18th century is in order (see below). While this work certainly holds a degree of validity, I wasn’t aware God measured morality according to such a scale, and I’ve searched without success to find such a tool within His Word. Might Dr. Rush have been using a different translation – or was this creation garnered from years of observation??? 🙂 Regardless, while no such measuring stick has been bestowed upon humanity by their Creator, taking heed to the inherit dangers of over-consumption and His warnings regarding drunkenness would be both a wise and safe way to begin the new year. The passengers and drivers of vehicles you’ll be passing on your way home thank you in advance. Cheers!Blog-12-31-2014-Temperance

A New Year’s Retrospective thru Historic Newspapers…

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Pinterest has certainly become a wonderful forum for sharing favorite pictures, recipes, ideas, and more. While most historic and rare newspapers are known more for content rather than images, illustrated newspapers, especially from the 19th and early 20th centuries, are quite striking. Below please find a link to a collection of such original newspapers centered around a New Year’s theme. Please enjoy.

A New Year’s Retrospective thru Historic Newspapers…

With the holiday season upon us… thanks Bing!

November 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With the holiday season upon us it is time to dig out and dust off our collections of holiday-themed videos (movies???  Dvd’s???) for their annual viewing.  One of our family favorites is Holiday Inn.  Who can forget Bing Crosby’s vision:

Lazy
I want to be lazy
I want to be out in the sun
With no work to be done
Under that awning
They call the sky
Stretching and yawning
And let the world go drifting by…

However, before we sell all we have in our quest for the easy life running a New England Inn, or simply immobilize ourselves with longings for the lazy hazy days of Summer, an article we found in the September 4, 1840 issue of The Citizen Soldier (oddly enough – from Vermont) has a different perspective on laziness – providing ample food for thought:

The “Carrier’s Address”…

August 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Credit for portions of the following must be given to Clarence Brigham & his work “Journals & Journeymen”, as well as to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.

august_27_2009_post1During the nineteenth century, newspaper carriers were often not paid by the publishers of the papers. They typically depended upon donations from patrons at the end of the year. To remind the public that the carriers depended on their donations, newspaper publishers issued poetic broadsides or booklets for New Years Day. These poems often recounted the major news stories of the previous year, but always closed with a plea to pay the carrier.

They were rarely saved since they contained no news reports and as a result are rather rare today. Although many Carriers’ Addresses were contained within the body of the first newspaper issue in the new year, the most sought after are the broadside editions, printed on one side of a sheet of paper typically with ornate lettering, decorative borders, etc. The more decorative the Address the more collectible. The “New York Weekly Museum” address for 1790 had an engraving of a boy delivering a paper at a doorway, one of just a few with such an illustration.

The earliest known examples  were done for the “American Weekly Mercury” of Philadelphia in 1720, 1721 and 1723 although none have been found. The earliest located for the American Antiquarian Society is that of January 1, 1735. Benjamin Franklin included them in his “Pennsylvania Gazette” as early as 1739 (see photo).

The amount of the donation expected by the carrier was generally left to the customer. Many of the verses concluded with such a sentiment as “Remember the poor printer’s Devil” or “Be bounteous to the Printer’s boy”. Sometimes the sentiment was more definite, such as “I won’t Refuse a six pence” and “Please keep the cents and–give the silver”.

By the 1870’s the custom began to fall off, likely due to the beginning of more commercial & larger influential newspapers which considered such a custom undignified, also falling away in favor of the distribution of Christmas or New Year’s cards by the end of the 19th century. The latest located for the American Antiquarian Society is dated 1904.