The reason I collected it: The State, 1892…

February 23, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

The odd, dramatic, and unusual have always been a draw for me, and when I encountered The State (dated Nov. 9, 1892) from Richmond, Virginia, I knew it had to be part of the private collection.
The entire front page is a celebration of the election of Grover Cleveland as President in 1892. It is done in a very dramatic fashion, featuring a huge engraving of a rooster (once the symbol of the Democratic party) that stretches from just below the dateline to the bottom of the front page. There are also insets of both Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson. Of curious interest is the lack of a headline or any text.
The condition is worn as was typical with newsprint of the era, and with various archival repairs, but wow, what a wonderful issue for display!

The reason I collected it: Dodge’s Literary Museum…

August 21, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Mastheads of newspapers through the centuries offer a very wide assortment of styles, sizes and decorativeness, with many being quite mundane. Only the “special” ones make it to the private collection, and “Dodge’s Literary Museum” is one.
Any newspapering which the masthead consumes one-third of the front page qualifies. This title’s masthead engraving consumes over half of the front page, very unusual as such. The content may be literary items with no “newsy” reports, but the front page is certainly worth of collecting, regardless of what is inside.21

The reason I collected it: The Semi-Weekly Argus from Washington Territory…

July 10, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Semi-Weekly Argus” of Port Townsend, Washington Territory, July 7, 1873, might seem like an ordinary issue with typical content of the day. However the most intriguing aspect of the edition is not the data nor its content; it’s the paper upon which it is printed. It is yellow.
On rare occasions, newspaper publishers had to deviate from the traditional newsprint with which we are familiar, when necessity required an alternative. In such situations “necessity paper” was used, the term for whenever an issue was printed on anything non-traditional.
Given Port Townsend’s relative remoteness in the Northwest, I would suspect supply routes were often questionable a best, particularly with this date being 16 years before statehood.
We have encountered newspapers printed on paper with a wide assortment of colors, as well as wrapping paper, cornhusk paper, wallpaper, lined notebook paper. tissue paper, etc. Such editions were typically very short-lived, perhaps a few days at best, until supply chains could be re-established.
Here is a great example of the use of “necessity paper” and a visually prominent addition to any collection.

Oddities Found in Rare & Early Newspapers – 1944 edition…

March 13, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Talk about tall!!! While the humorous and the absurd can often be discovered withing the pages of old newspapers, let’s just hope this oddity found in The News-Commercial, Collins, Mississippi (July 28, 1944) was intended to be a joke.

Mr. Grady, a local business entrepreneur had recently taken over the management of a local company, and whereas the entire article was featured on the front page, due to his extended height, not all of the corresponding photo did. Enjoy.

Feel free to send your own rare & early newspaper “oddities” to me ( Please include the newspaper’s title, date, and a corresponding photo or two.