Timothy Hughes – sharing his passion for collecting historical newspapers…

October 10, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Tim Hughes has had multiple opportunities to speak about his love for Rare & Early Newspapers. Whether it has been in front of teenagers in Pennsylvania or adults in California, it is especially rewarding when he shares his hobby to those from his own town. He recently had the privilege to do so at the local historical society (Thomas T. Taber Museum) in Williamsport, PA, which was reported in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. Please enjoy:

An oddity from 1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg…

September 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I don’t know about you, but if my town was occupied by enemy troops and the battle was ragging all around me, I’m thinking I would likely take up arms and join my fellow compatriots – and a host of my neighbors would certainly do the same. So, when I recently saw the illustration of “John Burns, the only man in Gettysburg, PA, who fought at the battle” on the cover of the August 22, 1863 Harper’s Weekly, I was perplexed. I understand the majority of able-bodied men were likely off to war elsewhere, but to think no one was left to “defend the home-front” other than this one man is a bit confounding. The writer of the corresponding article also took note of this curiosity, and his comments are posted below.

This statement was written shortly after the battle, and often, as time goes on, new information is unearthed. With this in mind, if anyone has information which would refute this claim, please send us a note and we will update this post. Thanks in advance.

Edward Gallaway – bibliophile, publisher, circus performer, cardshark – help needed…

April 25, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A collecting friend is doing research on Edward Gallaway (1868-1930). Perhaps the collecting community can help. He sent the following note:

You can help a research project into a largely unknown bibliophile from Chicago, Edward Gallaway, by checking if you have any of the following in your collection:

1) Anything with the bookplate shown in the image.

2) Any issue or clipping from the Payne Weekly People, published in Fort Payne Alabama in October of 1889. This weekly newspaper, published by Edward Gallaway, discontinued roughly a year later end of 1890. This town experienced a boom during those years and many investors hailed from Massachusetts. Thus issues may have been transported back to the New England region.

3) Any issue from the Fort Payne Journal before 1891.

4) Any issue from the Fort Payne Herald.

5) Any issue from the Delphos Kleeblatt before 9th May 1891. The Delphos Kleeblatt was a German newspaper out of Delphos, Ohio, published by Carl A. Jettinger, who was a friend of Edward Gallaway.

Edward Gallaway had a fascinating life. He was born in Delphos, Ohio, in 1868. Already with 14 he became a printer’s devil at the local Delphos Weekly Herald newspaper, where he learned the printer’s art. From 18 years old to 21 he worked as a traveling typesetter. Eventually, he followed his older brother Alexander August Gallaway to Fort Payne, Alabama, where he established the short lived Payne Weekly Newspaper during the coal and iron boom years there. After the boom collapsed, Edward completely changed course and he became a circus performer working from 1892 until about 1895 at small traveling circuses such as the W.D. Ament sideshow. He performed mostly under the stage name Prof. Charles P. Wilson. His act consisted of Punch and Judy as well as magic. He would also work as barker, canvass boss man, as well as sideshow manager.
Edward Gallaway had a secret life as a cardshark. Later in 1902 he would write a manual of sleight-of-hand with cards educating readers on cheating at the card table as well as how to perform magic card tricks. This book, The Expert at the Card Table, was published under the pseudonym S.W. Erdnase, and it is to this day the most important book on sleight-of-hand with cards. It was decades ahead of its time.

Eventually, he found back to his printing profession and he started either alone or with others various job printing business, all of which were short lived. Around 1900 he is employed by the Bentley Murray printing company where he honed his skill on the Monotype typesetting machine which lead him to write the Monotype System books and other educational matter for Lanston Monotype. He started to teach estimating at the United Typothetae which brought him to the attention of Donnelley where he was later employed as estimator. There he rose up through the ranks to reach the position of director of estimating. In other words, he was the chief estimator at the largest privately owned printing company in the US. In 1925 he left and established his own School for Estimating in Chicago, the only school focusing on that particular aspect of printing. He died 1930 in Chicago.

During his life Edward Gallaway accumulated a large library with many precious books which his wife after his death sold through Chicago second-hand book dealers. This was the ‘pension’ she lived on until her death in 1943.

If anyone can be helpful in regards to this research project, please contact me (Guy) at guy@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks.

Snapshot 1864… Confederacy’s fight – for independence or slavery?

December 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In grade school back in the 1960’s/1970’s I was taught that the Civil War was fought between the Northern (Yankee) States who wanted to free the slaves and the Southern States (Confederates) who wanted to keep the slaves in bondage. Bad Southerners! Perhaps if I had been born in The South my education would have been bent in a different direction, but through my teenage years I assumed this was the accepted “truth”. When I moved on to college… and then graduate school, my assumption of such a simplistic view was challenged by my enlightened (now I think they would be called “woke”) professors who informed me of the true reason: The Southern States merely wanted to exercise their right to self-government (i.e., “State’s Rights”)… to not be controlled by a federal government whose reigns were largely in the hands of the Northern States and their own interests… the right to separate (succeed)., while the Northern States wanted nothing more than to preserve The Union (largely for selfish reasons). Bad Northerners!

Of course I now know the reasons were varied and complex, but by far the most important result was in fact the Emancipation of enslaved blacks. After all, how could “We The People” possibly stand the test of time without embracing (to the core) the self-evident truth that “all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”?

However, I digress. Circling back to the divergent views I was taught…

As I was perusing a Sacramento Daily Union (Nov. 3, 1864), the heading of a front-page article caught my attention: “The New Agitation in the South – Slavery as Well as Separation the Ultimate Object of the Rebellion”. It turns out that while revising history to meet a specific narrative may be the order of the day, the historical perspective regarding this particle issue may not be a victim of these Orwellian efforts.  The article (in full) is as follows:

 

 

 

 

Snapshot 1801… The importance of newspapers…

November 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1803 the well-respected Columbian Centinel and Massachusetts Federalist dated August 19, 1801 printed an article affirming a new publication, the Country Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia), and made a powerful statement regarding the importance of newspapers which we have shown below. This declaration is reflective of new president Thomas Jefferson’s comments regarding newspapers from back in the late 1780’s:

“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.”

If either the publisher of the Columbian Centinel or Thomas Jefferson were alive today, do you think they’d feel the same? Please share your thoughts.

The Rare & Early Newspapers website’s “search” capabilities…

August 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I memorized the U.S. Presidents in chronological order, based on a theory that we learn new things by attaching them to things we already know.  For example, if Abraham Lincoln is the 16th, then hanging James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson on either side of him creates a bigger building block to which attach Franklin Pierce and Millard Fillmore at the earlier side, and Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes on the later side. In this way, the framework of established knowledge allows further acquisition.

The Rare & Early Newspapers website encourages that way of learning.  When you search a topic, name, or general time period, all the results appear arranged by the date they were listed for sale, with the most recent listing at the top.  However, by changing “Sort:” from “Date of Addition” to “Issue Date,” a timeline appears that can be further modified by selecting “Newest First” or “Oldest First,” although it defaults to the most recent date at the top, which I find the most helpful order.

This tool is beneficial for a few consumer-based reasons, but my purpose is usually education.  Collectors know way more about their area of focus than I do, but I can learn quickly from the website listings.  For example, “Bonnie & Clyde” are familiar names, but a scroll down through the search reveals listings and images of headlines — the earliest dated May 20, 1933.

The listing reads as follows:  “‘Two Girls Help Men rob Minnesota Bank; Town Raked by Machine-Gun Shots in Escape:  Two young women and two men bearing sub-machine guns robbed a bank of $2,500 today…scattering shots down the main street as they fled… with much more detail. This robbery was reportedly committed by the infamous Bonnie & Clyde, (see Wikipedia) which if true would be the earliest report of their robberies we have found in a newspaper. But another source doubts it was committed by this infamous duo but by the Strain Gang instead, although even this site (see Wikipedia) raises the question: ‘…did the Strain gang take the fall for a Barrow gang job?’ Two sources with different opinions.”

And the newest listing, an August 22, 1938, issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune, says, “First report coverage on the capture of the last of the Bonnie & Clyde gang, Floyd Hamilton.”

That is one small aspect of this feature; I will be sure to fill you in with new ones as I find them. Oh, and I’ve already found the “Advanced Search” feature!

Is this the earliest Presidential portrait in a newspaper?

February 4, 2021 by · 5 Comments 

We recently discovered the November 23, 1844 issue of the iconic “Illustrated London News” from England, featuring on the front page portraits of James K. Polk and Henry Clay, both candidates for the Presidency.

Knowing this was a very early of a portrait of a President in a newspaper, I did a little digging to see if it might be, in fact, the earliest.

I could not confirm an earlier one. Research did note that the issue of April 19, 1845 of the same newspaper has a print showing the inaugural ceremonies and the procession to the Capitol, but that was 5 months later.

Given that most of the illustrated newspapers would not begin until the mid-19th century (Gleason’s Pictorial began in 1851), none of the more well-known American illustrated periodicals existed in 1844. Even Harper’s New Monthly, which had a wealth of small prints in each issue, did not begin until 1850.

Any collectors out there aware of an earlier print of a U.S. President in a periodical? It would be great to document the earliest, whether it’s this Nov. 23, 1844 issue or another.