A woodcut masthead is worth a thousand words… Slavery…

May 16, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A few weeks back my favorite person posted: Take a Closer Look … The Delicate Details of Woodcut Prints… 

Such prints are truly amazing. However, as is the case with (most?) works of art, to some degree they tell a story. One such story is that of “Slavery – The Cry for Emancipation”, as told through the masthead of The Liberator. While we have many historic newspapers containing articles chronicling the path from the horrors of slavery, through emancipation, then on to suffrage and beyond, few rival what is communicated through this most-amazing, intricate, illustration which was present at the top of nearly every issue. At a distance its beauty speaks to the eyes, but a close-up view shouts to the heart: ENOUGH!

See for yourself:

From the Library of Congress: “Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey…”

May 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A friend of Rare & Early Newspapers recently sent us a link to an article posted on the Library of Congress’ blog titled, “Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey of the Evolution of the Newspaper Printing Press” (written by Joanna Colclough and posted by Malea Walker), which we thought was quite interesting. It begins in part:

“The printing press has always been a marvel of human invention, and the printing of newspapers occupies a unique course in the history of printing machines. As demands grew for more pages, more news, and faster delivery, newspapers had to achieve greater speeds and higher efficiency.

Newspapers started on Gutenberg presses – individual type pieces arranged backwards by hand, secured in a flat bed, inked by hand, and a great leverage force applied to create the impression. The machine did one part of the job, and newspapers were often printed once a…”

To read the entire post, go to:

Printing Newspapers 1400-1900: A Brief Survey of the Evolution of the Newspaper Printing Press

 

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.

Exploring “This Day in History” through Rare & Early Newspapers…

April 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Who among us isn’t a bit curious as to what occurred on our birthday (or today’s date) through time? The concept of exploring a specific day (month/day) through history has always been intriguing, but before the internet, such knowledge was not easy to obtain. However, in the present world of data explosion, websites which explore “This Day in History” do the job quite nicely and have become very popular. One of my favorites is HISTORY.COM maintained by The History Channel.

Of course, as a collector and reseller of old newspapers, this trek is amplified by the capability of holding authentic newspapers containing contemporary reporting of these events – to not only read the articles themselves, but to explore the context of what else was going on as the events unfolded.

Thanks to ongoing requests from collectors, we’ve created an interface on our website which enables the seeker to explore what is available at any given moment for any month/day. Even if you are not looking to add to your collection, perusing through the issues can be fascinating. If you have interest in giving this a try, the steps below are provided to help you get started.

 

Step 1: Go to RareNewspapers.com. Once there, look for and then click on the words “Advanced Search” (directly below the orange SEARCH button on the right side of the page), and select it.

 

 

Step 2: On the “Advanced Search” page, look for “OR Month & Day (Any Year)”, enter in any month and day, and then select “Search”.

 

I tried own birthday and came up with the following: January 2nd Through Time

 

Don’t forget the “Sort” feature which will give you multiple ways to arrange your search results. Have Fun!

 

A Fly on the Wall at the Lincoln-Douglas Debates…

April 18, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

As I sat down to write this post, I was reminded that a year ago I wrote another post titled “A Fly of the Wall …” which ironically, was also about Lincoln. This time Lincoln had an adversary who also drew me in – who made me, once again, desire to be a fly on the wall.

On August 26, 1858, THE NEW YORK TIMES reported on the now-famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. While coverage of the debates is difficult to find in newspapers because it was a senate race and Lincoln was, at this time, still a relatively unknown figure in American politics, sometimes you find a gem. Page 5 contains a report headed: “Douglas and Lincoln at Ottawa–Personal Reminiscences” which begins: “Messrs. Douglas and Lincoln had a grand tilt at Ottawa, Ill., last week. Mr. Douglas’ speech contained this amusing passage:…”, and what follows is an excerpt of a Douglas’ speech. There is something particularly engaging about two great thinkers, with many polar-opposite views, battling it out with their most useful weapons: words. Go ahead and admit it, you wish you could have been a fly right there with me.

Take a Closer Look … The Delicate Details of Woodcut Prints…

April 14, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

I have had some fascinating conversations this past year with one of our collecting friends who is an expert in woodcut prints. I won’t be a name dropper, however, if he is reading this, he will have no doubt as to who I am referencing. I greatly appreciate the time he took to share his knowledge which has motivated me to pause and look more carefully at every print I encounter in the RareNewspapers archives. My proficiency in this area is sparse and not terribly reliable but I did want to share a few takeaways.

Some artists of woodcut prints would draw on paper and send the illustration to a publisher who would cut the paper into tiny square blocks and have each one sketched onto a square block of wood.  These wooden squares would be handed out to different craftsmen who would carve their block and then the blocks would be rejoined for printing.  Sometimes, when time was of the essence, each craftsman would use carving tools which could create many tiny lines at once. If you look closely at many such illustrations, you can tell these prints have hundreds of parallel lines – indicating the use of these tools.  Occasionally, when more time was available, each line was formed individually – a painstaking process, but one which produced an almost unimaginable degree of detail!

Some artists preferred to draw their own prints directly onto the wood and so they were sent a group of one-inch square pieces bound together with twine. When the artist had finished their drawing, the publisher would untie the pieces and distribute the blocks to the woodcarvers.

Regardless of how each print was created, the detail, craftsmanship and artistic skill needed to produce one illustration is mind blowing. So, the next time you glance through a Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s IllustratedIllustrated London News, or handful of other illustrated titles of the “woodcut era”, perhaps you will join me in pausing and giving a bit of deference to these creators of beauty.  Thanks Bill for sharing this delightful insight with me.

Collecting Old/Historic Newspapers: The 1600s & 1700s…

March 24, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

At Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers (rarenewspapers.com), we are often asked what types of “old Newspapers” are worth collecting. One of the beauties of the hobby is that the possibilities are endless. While we have our own preferences, once a month we will simply direct readers of the History’s Newsstand blog to an era, theme, topic, etc. for which our collector friends have expressed interest. This month’s focus is shown below. Feel free to email me at guy@rarenewspapers.com with your own collecting preference/s. Perhaps one day we’ll feature it/them as well.

The 1600s and 1700s

The End of Something Bad… The Kickoff to Something Good…

March 24, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In the moment, we are often oblivious to the long-term impact significant newsworthy announcements will have as time goes on. “Henry Ford has made a car nearly anyone can afford” – eventually smog make city -living unbearable and the ozone takes a beating. “Computers can be made both inexpensively and small enough for daily use at home” – pornography spreads like wildfire. “A new substance called ‘plastic’ will revolutionize our lives” – our landfills overflow and our oceans are overcome with garbage which will take many lifetimes to decompose (if ever). However, not all unexpected “consequences” are bad.

The announcement on May 8, 1945 that the war with Germany was over (aka, V-E Day), wildly celebrated throughout much of the World, was such a case in point. Amidst all the exuberance, most people were probably not cognizant of the marvelous “consequences” which would arrive within a year’s time.  Introducing: “The Baby Boomers – 1946 Edition!” Here, have a cigar.

The front page of this issue of THE MORNING CALL (Patterson, NJ) is one of the many reports which helped inspire the creation of an entire generation.

Collecting Old/Historic Newspapers: The Revolutionary War…

March 17, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

At Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers (rarenewspapers.com), we are often asked what types of “old Newspapers” are worth collecting. One of the beauties of the hobby is that the possibilities are endless. While we have our own preferences, once a month we will simply direct readers of the History’s Newsstand blog to an era, theme, topic, etc. for which our collector friends have expressed interest. This month’s focus is shown below. Feel free to email me at guy@rarenewspapers.com with your own collecting preference/s. Perhaps one day we’ll feature it/them as well.

The Revolutionary War

President George Washington: “Et tu, John Adams?”…

March 14, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Living in the twenty-first century we have seen our share of division… in politics, in culture, sometimes in families. While the era in which we live is not the only time in American history when great division was prevalent, living through it can certainly make person-to-person interactions extremely stressful. With this as the backdrop…

While looking through a NATIONAL GAZETTE for Feb. 20, 1793, I was struck by the following: “On Wednesday last [the 13th] both houses of Congress met in Convention in the senate chamber, when the certificates from the executives of the several states were read containing lists of the Electors’ votes for President and Vice President—The aggregate of the votes for George Washington was 132 for President of the United States–77 for John Adams as Vice President–50–for George Clinton, ditto–4 for T. Jefferson–and 1 for Aaron Burr–George Washington was then declared President of the United States by a unanimous vote, for 4 years from the 4th of March 1793; and John Adams, Vice President for the same period, by a majority of votes.” Perhaps you would agree with me that a snowball would have a better chance of surviving during a heat wave than a President of today with a VP who was the losing Presidential candidate from an opposing party.

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