Beer and electricity had a common admirer…

October 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

All of the Founders are worthy of a great deal of respect however, some grab your attention more than others.  From George Washington’s noble bearing to Jefferson’s nation building writing.  I would argue none capture the imagination more than Benjamin Franklin.  Larger than life, with his bifocals and kite in a lightning storm, he makes a great historical figure for kids to study while inspiring adults with his witty wisdom such as, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Among the many issues  we have at Rare Newspapers covering Franklin is one which is described as follows:

”The earliest account of the electrical experiments made by Benjamin Franklin, at Philadelphia (where he was then the post-master) appeared anonymously in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine for January, 1750‘.”

This article mentions several of Franklin’s important discoveries, including: “…that it will live in water…that it is more strongly attracted by slender sharp points than by solid blunt bodies…that bodies replete with this fire strongly attract such as have less of it, and repel such as have an equal quantity…”.

Beer, electricity, bifocals and chess –  take a look at this brilliant, yet quirky Founder with new eyes by reading about him in the papers of his day.

Announcing: Catalog #311 (for October, 2021) is now available…

October 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 311 (for October) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items, a selection which includes: the Articles of Confederation, a nice account of Lincoln’s assassination, a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, George Washington is elected President, Winslow Homer’s famous ‘Snap The Whip’, Washington crosses the Delaware, an issue almost entirely devoted to the Lincoln assassination (with a print of Booth), the first newspaper published in Alaska (with Seward’s speech to the citizens of Sitka), an issue with the iconic Uncle Sam print, a Civil War broadside, the famous Hamilton and Burr duel, the creation of the United States Marine Corps, nice content on Lewis & Clark, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

Announcing: Catalog #310 (for September, 2021) is now available…

September 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 310 (for September) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the “Handshake of the Century” (between Jackie Robinson & George Shuba), Edmund Burke’s historic: On American Taxation… First Continental Congress’ appeal, Nice front page reporting on the Custer Massacre, Progressive “Bull Moose” Party is founded in 1912, New York City’s Graffiti artists, “The North Star” becomes “Frederick Douglass’ Paper”, the first convention of clubs: the birth of organized baseball, Lincoln steps upon the national stage… The Cooper Union speech, Synagogues hold memorial services… with much on the assassination & funeral of Lincoln, Extremely early mention of George Washington… French & Indian War, the full text of the Louisiana Purchase, the formation of the Mormon Church, the first full-fledged Broadway musical, and more, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

Giant leaps… Baby steps are nice, but every now and then…

August 16, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

With a large family (husband, 6 kids and a dog), car rides were always interesting and given that you can only play the ABC sign game so often without going crazy, Guy and I would often look for conversation starters to keep the troops occupied. Many of these would begin with the words, “Everyone think of your top 5 favorite…”. As a parent, we would reuse these every so often as it gave us new insight into how each child was thinking. One of my favorites was always, “What do you think the top 5 world changing events in history are?”. Gutenberg’s printing press always made several of our lists. Even before we became involved in the universe of Rare & Early Newspapers, we understood the importance and impact the disseminating of information was on society, and appreciated the transformative milestones in communication. Now, as I work daily surrounded by the gems birthed from his invention, my attention is often grabbed by other such pivotal events. The following event could be seen as a grandchild of Gutenberg’s printing press and therefore, the carrying on of a legacy.
William Bradford was born in 1663 to an English village printer. After apprenticing, he mastered the trade and married his master’s daughter, Elizabeth. The two set off on an adventure to the “New World” and “in 1685, the Bradfords emigrated to Philadelphia. Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Andrew just one year later. Bradford set up Pennsylvania’s first printing press and, in 1690, helped construct William Rittenhouse’s paper mill, the first in the English colonies.”(wiki) William Bradford had brought the ability to disseminate information and knowledge to the colonies – with one example of his work being the April 3, 1735 edition of THE AMERICAN WEEKLY MERCURY (Philadelphia). With his son’s continuation of his father’s vision, World history was soon to pivot in a new direction once again with the birth of a new nation spurred on by the Founder’s ability to get their their message out to “We the People”.

Announcing: Catalog #309 (for August, 2021) is now available…

July 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 309 (for August) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: an American broadside with King’s announcement of American freedom, a Philadelphia newspaper from 1729, the Emancipation Proclamation in the N.Y. Herald, a terrific & very graphic issue on the Hindenburg disaster, Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game, front page report on the death of Jesse James, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

18th Century Gentleman’s Magazines – So Much For So Little…

July 16, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Over 40 years ago we discovered one of the best titles of the 18th century for period news reporting. The title wasn’t even a newspaper but rather, “The Gentleman’s Magazine” from London.

Having begun in 1731, Gentleman’s Magazines ran uninterrupted for nearly 200 years publishing pages capturing news reports concerning America which could never be found in period American newspapers, and were rarely found in period British newspapers.

From its earliest years this popular title printed reports as varied as the creation of the colony of Georgia, William Penn laying out the city of Philadelphia, slave revolts, and reports of pirates operating in the Caribbean.

Issues have much on Ben Franklin & his work with electricity including the lightening rod & famous kite experiments as well as rarely published poems by the famed slave poet Phyllis Wheatley.

Death reports of the famous–and infamous–abound, from Mozart to Handel, from John Paul Jones to George Washington, Patrick Henry and Benedict Arnold… the list is awe inspiring.

Military events are abundant including much on the French & Indian War (with very early Colonel George Washington reports) & all the Revolutionary War battles from the Boston Massacre through the Treaty of Peace.

Keep in mind the American colonies were part of the global British Empire until 1776 so there was much interest in not only American events but notable world events which affected the broad scope of British interests.

Some of the best gems to be found are very inconspicuous reports such as the hanging of what would famously become known as the Liberty Bell. Under the heading: “America” and with a “Philadelphia, May 10” dateline from 1753 is a report reading: “Last week was raised and fixed, in the State-House Steeple, the great bell, weighing 2080 lb. cast here, with this inscription, ‘Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to the inhabitants thereof.”

The full text of the hated Stamp Act is found within the pages of a Gentleman’s Magazine, and just one year later is found the formal repeal of the Stamp Act by King George III. Other Acts of Parliament harmful to colonial relations are reported as well.

Historic documents are certainly not lacking, among them being the Articles of Confederation, the “Causes & Necessity for Taking Up Arms”, the Constitution of the United States (in 1787), and the most desired document of all, the Declaration of Independence.

At a time when an early period printing of the Declaration in an American newspaper will sell for a half a million dollars or more, the ability to purchase a 1776 magazine with a timely printing of the full text of the document for under $4000 is a rare opportunity for any collector.

An added bonus found in many issues of Gentleman’s Magazine is that while plates and maps can simply not be found in newspapers of the 18th century, this wonderful publication contains a wealth of these engravings and wood-cut prints.

Printed separately from the regular pages of the issue and tipped within, most of the maps fold out to be double the size of the issue, and they include some of the more desired maps one would want of the 18th century, including Philadelphia, the colonies (from 1755), Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Caribbean, St. Augustine, the entire western hemisphere and so much more. Many collectors choose to frame the maps separately from the issue as they are very decorative and are typically dated in an upper corner.

Plates include the Philadelphia State House (later to be known as Independence Hall), St. Philip’s Church in Charleston, the fort at Bunker’s Hill, Ben Franklin’s ‘Square of Squares’, the guillotine which beheaded Louis XVI and his wife, a slavery medal, and even a plate of the Garden of Eden. What I have just described only scratches the surface of the treasures these magazines hold.

The “Gentleman’s Magazine” is a little gem packed with all the history one would want to find from the 18th century. Each issue typically has about 40 pages, and measuring about 5 by 8 inches, they take up very little room in a collection.

Perhaps best of all, The Gentleman’s Magazine is an accessible title as our inventory contains thousands of issues, and at prices far below what would be found in comparable American & British newspapers of the same period.

There can be little excuse for holding back on buying the best events in American history if one is willing to add this famous & successful title to their collection. And there certainly will be a time when even this title will become quite scarce as others discover it as a treasure just begging to be collected.

Swashbuckling Adventures…

June 28, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Hollywood has painted an image of life on the high seas during the 18th Century… sometimes covering noble captains like Master and Commander’s Jack Aubrey or scheming bandits like Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Real life offers us more enthralling examples of both heroes and villains to study and newspapers of the era provide fabulous reading material to mine for these adventures.
In the late 1800’s

Captain James Cook “was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and to Australia in particular. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand… In these voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously charted by Western explorers. He surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. ” (Wikipedia).
On the darker side are stories of the notorious pirate, Captain Kidd, whom Wikipedia has the following to say … “ Acts of savagery on Kidd’s part were reported by escaped prisoners, who told stories of being hoisted up by the arms and “drubbed” (thrashed) with a drawn cutlass.” Whether you are looking for those in white hats or black, the news of the past offers intriguing characters to consider.

Apparently, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Started Long Ago…

June 21, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

While looking through issues for a future catalog, I came upon an odd headline: “A Female Soldier”. As you can imagine, this gave me pause as I was looking at an issue of THE GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE from June of 1750. The brief story told of Hannah Snell, a British woman who disguised herself as a man and became a soldier (see photo below). Clearly, a woman before her time.

The Gentleman’s Magazine & Bankruptcy…

May 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Under the illustration of St. John’s Gate that introduces each issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine, is the month and year, followed by the table of contents (each issue via the link will show an image of this – typically the last image posted).  For the first time, I noticed the calligraphy that follows “CONTAINING” and precedes the article headings and their corresponding page numbers.  “More in Quantity and greater Variety than any Book of the Kind and Price.”  While I have nothing to compare it to, I can attest that of the thirty-seven distinct articles listed for March of 1782, the subject matter ranges from Parliamentary debates to a Swiss underground road, and includes bull-baiting and the wool trade along the way.  The regular coverage of weather, news from around the world, births and marriages and deaths, trials, and literary reviews is fit in around the special bits.

In particular, my interest was caught by “Usual Causes of Bankruptcy, Caution against — ” and turned to page 138 to read.

In all ages there have been men, who, by sudden losses, by entering into indiscreet obligations, by improvident conduct, or through fraudulent designs, have become, or pretended to become, incompetent to the discharges of their just debts; but the number of bankrupts which now appear in every Gazette is a subject of serious and alarming consideration.

Along with the obvious financial harm that can be caused by frivolous living and participation in gambling, the author addresses the lack of care and foresight that must be viewed as the social responsibility of every gentleman, in order to enable him to properly discharge his debts and contribute to the public funds by means of taxes.  He recommends annual reflection for the purpose of seeing areas of weakness in funding, and to not allow debts to unknowingly pile up beyond the ability to repay.  Then, he maintains, steps toward frugality can be made in enough time to avert distress.  Finally, he offers as example the late Sir Stephen Theodore Janssen who he terms a “virtuous citizen.”  He records the words of Sir Stephen, addressed to the Livery, as he deems them of value to the general population.  The speech concludes in this way:

I do further declare that it is my determined resolution to continue living in the same frugal manner, till the last shilling is discharged; and in case any turn of fortune should happen to me, my whole just debts shall be discharged so much the sooner, as I am determined to persevere in preserving the character of an honest man.

Announcing: Catalog #306 (for May, 2021) is now available…

April 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 306 (for May) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the Declaration of Independence (in a newspaper), the Lincoln/Douglas debate (in an Illinois newspaper), the ‘closest’ to the famous Nathan Hale quote to be found, one of the best Lusitania issues we have offered, Washington’s third state-of-the-union address, the first depiction of a baseball game in progress in any periodical, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

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