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 Assassination of Abraham Lincoln… one the the very best…

January 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The April 22, 1865 issue of the National Police Gazette, New York, printed what many consider to be the best illustrated newspaper related to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Judge for yourself. Regardless of your final analysis, please enjoy the images from this incredible authentic newspaper compliments of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers… History’s Newsstand… via Pinterest:

The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln illustrated by the National Police Gazette… on Pinterest…

The first newspaper in Utah…

March 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Mormons created a great migration to the West in 1847 as 2000 Mormons crossed the western plains seeking a location in which they could follow undisturbed the precepts of their religion. The first party reached the Salt Lake valley on July 24, 1847, and among the items they brought were implements, seeds, cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens, and a printing outfit purchased in Philadelphia.

At the time the area was owned by Mexico, but with the treaty of 1848 ending the Mexican ar ownership passed to the United States. With no steps taken by federal authorities to establish a system of government for it, the Mormons took matters into their own hands and in 1849 organized the “State of Deseret” (land of the honey bee) with Brigham Young as governor.

The very first issue of the “Deseret News” was printed on June 15, 1850 with Brigham Young noted as the publisher and Horace Whitney, who had printing experience at the Mormon town of Nauvoo, Illinois, listed as the printer. This newspaper continued for just over a year when it was suspended for 3 months due to lack of paper. It began as a weekly but four months later became a semi-monthly until 1854 when it again became a weekly. It eventually became a daily on Nov. 21, 1867.  A sample of a volume 1 issues may be found at:  Deseret News, August 17, 1850

It was in late 1858 when Kirk Anderson started the “Valley Tan” in Salt Lake City, lasting for just over a year. The “Mountaineer” was started on Aug. 27, 1859 and “Farmer’s Oracle” was a semi-monthly which began on May 22, 1863, both of which lasted for less than two years.  A military newspaper titled the “Union Vidette” began on Nov. 20, 1863, done by soldiers stationed at Camp Douglass, a military post near Salt Lake City.

First newspapers in North Dakota…

March 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Dakota Territory organized in 1861 encompassed both present-day North & South Dakota. It was in 1889 when statehood was gained that the Territory was split into North & South.

But it was during the Civil War, in 1864 when two solders issued at Fort Union (present-day North Dakota) a newspaper called the “Frontier Scout” Only a few numbers were printed at Fort Union. A bit later it reappeared with a “Fort Rice, D.T.” imprint and a date of June 15, 1865, noted as “vol. 1, No. 1”. It is not known to have continued after 1865.

It was not until July of 1873 when the first permanent newspaper appeared in the Territory, located at the capital of Bismarck and titled the “Tribune“. It started as a weekly but 8 years later became a daily, which it remains to this day. It boasts that it has never missed an issue, although because of a winter blizzard it was forced to reduce its size & one number was printed on wallpaper.

Not long thereafter the second newspaper in North Dakota began, titled the “Express“, printed at Fargo on Jan. 1, 1874. The third newspaper, and in yet a third city, was the “Plaindealer” which published at Grand Forks in 1874 as well.

Death of Blackbeard, the pirate…

January 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Pirates have fascinated many through the years, both the historian and the average man on the street, evidenced by the large number of successful movies with a pirate theme. Witness the recent success of the three “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies starring Johnny Depp.

Blackbeard remains one of the more interesting characters from the golden age of piracy, primarily 1680 thru 1720. The report of his death was provided with some detail on the front page of “The London Gazette” issue of April 25, 1719. Enjoy the photos.


One of the best we have seen…

January 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Wright_Brothers_NYHNewspaper reports on this first successful flight of the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903 can be difficult to find as perhaps half of the newspapers in print at the time reported it, and those that did often relegated the report to an inside page and just one or two paragraphs. The report can be missed even if one is looking for it.

But “The New York Herald” in its December 19 edition had one of the better reports I have seen. Not only is it at the top of the front page with a three column heading: “Wright Brothers Experimenting with Flying Machine” and yet another one column stack of heads including: “Gale No Bar To Flying Machine” “Orville and Wilbur Wright’s ‘Flyer’ Sailed Against a Twenty-One Mile Wind” “Traveled Three Miles” with more, but it also includes two photos.

This is a nice front page worth sharing.

Videos regarding the hobby… Private Collections…

May 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Collecting rare and historic newspapers is a hobby with a personal flair.  Although an individual may begin collecting random issues covering a wide variety of topics, eventually they typically settle on a specific area of interest.  Perhaps it will be one of the war eras, the Old West era, or issues with Presidential signatures, acts, or addresses.  One might derive pleasure from collecting Civil War battle prints or issues with decorative mastheads.  Others may like to collect issues from each decade of the last few centuries or issues from each President’s administration.  Yet another way to collect newspapers is to use them as a companion collectible for another area of collecting interest – images of sewing machines, inventions, railroading, early flight, dentistry, slave ads, from the year of each coin’s release within one’s collection, with a box score for each major baseball card held, etc.  We’ve even known a number of collectors who have spent years focusing on a particular era (perhaps Civil War), who then migrate with a focus through time (perhaps moving on to the Revolutionary War and then Colonial eras).  The possibilities are endless. In the end, one thing is for certain, like an heirloom violin, no two collections are exactly the same.  Feel free to either share your areas of interest by commenting to this post or send us your collecting story (see more details below).

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers continues to maintain and add to their own private/personal collection.  The focus has been on one-of-a-kind/rare titles and major historic events.  Even what one considers to be historic is somewhat subjective. Below is a video which was done a number of years ago which features Tim showing some of the Private Collection.  Please enjoy!

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If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to and place “My Story” in the subject field. Although not necessary, feel free to include an image. Please do not include your e-mail address or a personal website as part of the text of your story. We will post collector stories every few weeks and will send you a notice when your story appears. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

The first newspaper printed in Hawaii…

March 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As was typical with the first newspaper publishing efforts in states and territories, the very first newspaper in Hawaii didn’t have great success. The SANDWICH ISLAND GAZETTE, published its first issue on July 30, 1836 and only lasted until 1839. Shortly after its demise came the SANDWICH ISLAND MIRROR & COMMERCIAL GAZETTE which lasted for less than a year. Although bearing a different name and issued monthly instead of weekly, it was essentially a continuation of the GAZETTE.

Early printing in the Hawaiian Islands were by missionaries, and the SANDWICH ISLAND GAZETTE was no exception. Some of the content has religious overtones, however there is much secular reporting and advertisements as well.

We are pleased to share with out collectors our July 8, 1837 issue of the SANDWICH ISLAND GAZETTE, the volume 1, number 50 issue. Newspapers from Hawaii in the 1830’s are virtually unheard of in the collector market today.


The first newspaper in Utah…

February 23, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

There was a great migration to the West in 1847, just two years before a more historic wave of travelers prompted by the California gold rush, when about 2000 Mormons crossed the western plains seeking a location in which they could peacefully follow their religion. Led by Brigham Young, among the many items they included on their journey was a printing press purchased in Philadelphia.

What is now Utah belonged to Mexico in 1847 but the Mexican War, ongoing in 1847, would result in the 1848 treaty which would pass ownership to the United States. But since federal authorities never established a system of government for this new land, the Mormons took matters into their own hands and in 1849 organized the “State of Deseret” (land of the honey bee) with Brigham Young as governor.

Volume one, number one of the DESERET NEWS newspaper, an eight page newspaper just 8 by 10 1/2 inches, appeared in Salt Lake on June 15, 1850 making it the very first newspaper published in Utah. It printed for just over one year before it was suspended for several months for lack of paper. Begun as a weekly, after just four months it became a semimonthly but returned as a weekly in 1854. Conditions for printing were harsh and crude so far from the more settled areas of the country over 1000 miles to the east.

We are pleased to share with our collectors the August 17, 1850 issue of the DESERET NEWS from our private collection, just the tenth number printed.

From the private collection: first newspaper in North Dakota…

February 5, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

The FRONTIER SCOUT is considered to be the very first newspaper printed in what is now North Dakota. In 1864 two soldiers named Robert Winegar and Ira Goodwin issued at Fort Union a newspaper with this title, but only FOUR numbers were published at Fort Union. The Frontier Scout appeared again with a dateline of “Fort Rice, D.T.” in June of 1865 with Capt. E.G. Adams as the editor and Lieut. C.H. Champney as publisher. It is not know to have continued after 1865.

The first successful newspaper didn’t appear in North Dakota until the TRIBUNE of Bismarck began in 1873, to be followed  less than a year later by the EXPRESS in Fargo.

We are pleased to share with our collectors our issue of the FRONTIER SCOUT dated Sept. 7, 1865, the volume 1, number 13 issue. This newspaper measures just 8 by 12 1/2 inches and curiously is printed on blue-lined ledger paper. Such “necessity” paper was not uncommon in remote areas where regular newsprint was unavailable or very difficult to secure. Since it was published by military men much of the content has a military theme (see photos), although there is an eclectic mix of poetry, “local items” and literary items as well. Much of the back page is taken up with an excellent account of an expedition to “Devil’s Lake” in the Dakota Territory.

The newspaper claimed to be a weekly with a subscription price of $3.00 per year. If memory serves me correctly I believe this issue is the only one I’ve encountered in 33 years of collecting newspapers.


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