Many Thanks to Give…

May 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

My family often jokes with me (maybe about me ) when they say, “she can use Disney World as an example for anything.”  They aren’t wrong and have accurately pegged me as a bit of a Disney fanatic.  I won’t bore you with all the reasons I have for loving this place but I will tell you how it came to mind today as I was perusing an issue published by Frederick Douglass.  For those of you who have visited Disney World or more specifically Epcot, I hope you have experienced Spaceship Earth.  I never tire of riding this attraction and hearing Dame Judy Dench recount mankind’s history of communication to me as I gaze at the vignettes on each side of  my “time machine”.  At one point, she is describing how, since the invention of papyrus, knowledge is able to be kept and shared more easily and so civilization advances more rapidly until …

“Rome falls, and the great Library of Alexandria in Egypt is burned. Much of our learning is destroyed—lost forever… or so we think. It turns out there are copies of some of these books in the libraries of the Middle East, being watched over by Arab and Jewish scholars. Call it the first backup system. The books are saved, and with them our dreams of the future.”

I get shivers every time I hear those words… so much knowledge… so much history… so many pages.  Just now, as I pause to admire this precious Frederick Douglass paper lying on my desk, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people we, the collectors of historic newspapers, have to thank for watching over the issues that later end up in our hands.  Precious treasures of knowledge and history handed off to us, if even for a moment, to guard for future generations.

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.

Sedentary? Perhaps all you need is a little Jolt to get you going…

March 15, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

When we think of life in the 19th century (and prior), many adjectives come to mind but “sedentary” isn’t one of them. However, couch potatoes (minus the couch since few could afford them) must have been somewhat prevalent as to inspire an entrepreneur to come up with a solution: The JOLT! Whereas advertisements for such “inventions” were quite common in Scientific American, we recently discovered this one on the back page of a May 9, 1885 Harper’s Weekly. Although the contraption may not have been much of a financial (or health-generating) success, the mantra, “if at first you don’t succeed…”, merged with humanity’s proclivity for rest and relaxation, has served manufacturers and designers of exercise equipment for quite some time.

It’s interesting to note this ad occurred in May – long past the expiration date of most New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps making and then breaking annual promises to one-self is more of a recent pastime.

A Fly on the Wall at Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech…

March 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

How often have we all said, “I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.”? This week, as I helped a customer with an order, I was struck again with how often that statement is uttered here in our RareNewspapers office. This gentleman was beside himself over an issue we had obtained covering Abraham Lincoln’s Cooper Speech (see image below). Hearing him excitedly describe the content soon grabbed my imagination as well. As I finished his order and set the phone back into the cradle, I dug in to find any additional issues we may might still have highlighting this historic speech. Reading aloud (yet quietly to myself), I was transported to the scene. Follow me for a few moments to this history defining moment in time, picking up at the end of William Cullen Bryant’s (American poet & editor of the NEW YORK EVENING POST) introduction of this great American Hero…

“‘I have only to pronounce his name to secure your profoundest attention’ [Prolonged applause, and cheers for Lincoln]. Mr. Lincoln advanced to the desk, and smiling graciously upon his audience, complacently awaited the termination of the cheering and then proceeded with his address as follows…”. What followed was the speech that triggered Lincoln’s famous quote: “Another Republican Orator on the Stump.”

So many current phrases could be used to describe this moment in time: “A Star is Born”, “For Such a Time as This”… but for me, all I could think of was, “I wish I could have been a fly on the wall”, and I’m so grateful to the THE NEW YORK TIMES reporter who helped me to be one on February 28, 1860.

Lincoln & Whitman … it’s all in the perspective…

March 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”… The concept of polar opposites has always been fascinating to me and as I perused issues we have dated March 8 across the decades, the following two contrasting events caught my eye:

On March 8, 1865, Abraham Lincoln gave his 2nd Inaugural address. The country had spent the last several years in despair as brother killed brother, parents grieved and wives desperately tried to determine how they would survive without their husbands. The Civil War was the darkest period in our young countries history, arguably, even to this day. President Lincoln bore this heavy mantle with grace and dignity when it may have killed a man of lesser conviction.
Simultaneously, Walt Whitman was taking the epic that was the American Story and transforming even it’s dark and ugly pieces into a more palatable and poetic form.

On March 8, 1888 the New York Herald printed another of Whitman’s works titled, My Canary Bird. Publishing his works in the newspaper put Whitman’s perspective of America in the hands of the common man which is exactly where he would have wanted it. Beauty from Ashes, the American Story had a devotee in Walt Whitman. He had a way of making “The worst of times” into “The best of times”.

Announcing: Catalog #304 (for March, 2021) is now available…

March 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 304 (for March) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a Masthead engraving by Paul Revere, ‘The Maryland Gazette’ from the French & Indian War, a 1775 ‘Virginia Gazette’ from Williamsburg, the most famous of all Lincoln assassination newspapers, the Articles of Confederation are now in force (1781), the Boston Red Sox purchase Babe Ruth, 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 #303 (for February, 2021) is now available…

February 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

http://images.rarenewspapers.com.s3.amazonaws.com/ebayimgs/Webs/Catalog-Rare-Newspapers.jpg

Catalog 303 (for February) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Savannah, a trio of Honolulu issues on the key events of World War II, a rare pillar cartoon issue (putting the Constitution into effect), the desired ‘Who’s A Bum!’ newspaper, an issue incorrectly announcing all Titanic passengers are safe, an extremely dramatic issue on the ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, 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.

From Waco to Brooklyn…

February 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever been thinking one thing and a moment later your mind has completely carried you down several rabbit holes and back up into a field far away? As you try to retrace your steps, you are utterly amazed at how you ever ended up where you did. I find history to be much the same. I may begin my historical trek in a tiny town in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania, but before long I find I’ve meandered to the center of New York City. Such is the journey I took this snowy afternoon.

Every day I drive past an old industrial complex in my mountain town Of Williamsport, PA.. The signage says, “Williamsport Wire Rope Company” and the factory yard is filled with enormous spools stacked about … a photographer’s fantasy for possible black and white images. This picturesque scene is what originally caught my attention on those many drives home. This particular day a rabbit trail led me to an exploration of what the wire cable produced in this factory would have been used for which quickly lead me to an engineer named John Augustus Roebling (1806 – 1869). John had owned the very first wire cable company, similar to the one in my town. Not satisfied to just produce these cables, his mind dreamt of the many, yet be discovered, uses those wires might  have … Voila ! … Suspension Bridges. As a suspension bridge designer and builder extraordinaire, he  was instrumental in creating the beautiful city of Pittsburgh which became known as “The City of Bridges”. From Pittsburgh to the Niagara River … from Waco to Brooklyn NY, this man took spools of wire cable and transformed each area he touched into a practical work of art. My rabbit trail reminds me that my local history can be the start of the very best future road trips. Whether your interests lie with new scientific discoveries, historical biographies or works of art, much of history can satisfy almost any inquisitive mind. I see a historical bridge excursion coming this spring… perhaps even from Waco to Brooklyn.

The Woman’s Journal & Education, Law and Depression…

January 28, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

On the front page of a late 1800’s issue (Vol. XVII) of The Woman’s Journal three different topics caught my eye — and studying those prevented me from even opening up the issue.  Not included in my collection is the second entry of the column on the far right, entitled “Concerning Women”.  It reads, “Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe has just passed her seventy-fifth birthday.”  One of the most appealing things about old newspapers is that they put human details on the outline sketches of history, as with President Lincoln’s “little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Of the more substantive things reported on June 26, 1886, a third of a column is devoted to the passage of legislation in Massachusetts that made it illegal for a man to seduce a woman, even if he was under 21 years of age.  With a bit of research I found that the crime described, “the making of a false promise of marriage as a way of luring a previously chaste unmarried woman into having sex.”  It baffles me that senators argued to keep this form of fraud legal for younger men since, “they did not think it is wise to punish a minor who might commit an offense in a moment of indiscretion.”

In the medical arena, Dr. John B. Gray addressed a group at Utica and focused on the malady we currently term postpartum depression.  He classifies this as a “preventable cause of insanity”, and urges the organization of private support for women after they have delivered babies, to take the form of home and personal care.  He claims that the burdens of “toil and worry” overwhelm a new mother, in some cases to the point of losing their sense of reason.  The article concludes with his plea, “I have heard the wail of sorrow come up from too many households to keep silent.  I have looked into the meaningless eyes of too many, lost by neglect, to stay my voice.”

Finally, I will let the first editorial note speak to the frustration that fueled the fire to grant women the right to vote in this country.  And, as always, I calculate the length of time over which this energy had to be sustained until the final passage in 1919 of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

College degrees are just now being given to men and women without any public outcry against the fair sex, or even a hint that they are out of their sphere or usurping the rights of the other sex.  So much is gained.  But these young women, who in the world of letters hold B.A. and M. A. and even LL.D., are under the law held as equals of lunatics and idiots, and of male felons in prison.  Such men and such women are alike denied the right to vote!

Snapshot 1863… A slave mother’s attempted escape…

January 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently discovered a heart wrenching account of a slave mother’s attempted escape with her child on an inside page of a New York Tribune dated January 29, 1863. Editorializing on my part will not do it justice. It is accounts like this one, which were part of everyday life for many who were living in bondage, is a continual reminder that I will never be able to comprehend what it’s like to walk in the tattered shoes of a slave.

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