When the story is as good as the newspaper…

November 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the last 33 years we have come across newspapers in many different ways. Typically they have been mundane: auction sales or library deaccessionings can be a bit sterile of “excitement’ or intrigue. Some obtained from private holdings often have an interesting story behind them as to how they came into the owner’s possession.

Hostage-CrisisOne prized newspaper, now a part of our private collection, stands out as having a story behind it as interesting as the newspaper. It is the “Teheran Times” of November 5, 1979. Those who know their history will recall that November 4 was the day when Muslim students in Iran stormed the U.S. embassy in Teheran taking 66 American hostages.

It was on November 5 when long-time collector and friend Mort Bryer was returning from Europe and met a woman in the London airport  who had just escaped from Iran. She was American but was married to an Iranian. Mort noted that she was visibly shaken as he spoke to her about what she went through. She felt she escaped death. Upon leaving she turned to Mort and said “would you like a souvenir” and gave him the newspaper. It was the “Teheran Times” with front page coverage of the embassy takeover, purchased by her in Teheran earlier that day as is typically done by travelers to pass the time on the plane.

Mort kept the newspaper since 1979 then gave it to me a dozen years later when I visited with him at his home. It remains in our private collection as a treasured piece, as much for the story of how it came to America as for the historic content in contains. It is currently on loan to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where it is on display.

Does the phonograph have a future?

November 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Thomas-A-Edison-11_14_2009The piece shown is from “The Alaskan” newspaper of Sitka, dated March 20, 1886. It’s an interesting commentary on a problem with Thomas Edison perfecting his new photograph.

Lincoln establishes a national Thanksgiving Day…

November 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Appropriate for this day we show photos of the official Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln establishing the “…last Thursday in November…” as a day of Thanksgiving.

In the midst of the Civil War and with the troubles the nation was facing, he thought it appropriate that: “…fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to act apart & observe…a day of Thanksgiving & Prayer to our beneficent Father…due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national…disobedience, commend to His tender care…implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation & to restore it...” (see photos).

This text appeared in the New York Daily Tribune of October 5, 1863.  A beautifully written piece by the President in the midst of so much national turmoil & bloodshed.   Please enjoy:


A modest resume…

November 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Crisis” newspaper from Columbus, Ohio, dated May 24, 1863 ran the piece on Lincoln shown in the photo. Keep in mind that this was a “copperhead” newspaper (northern paper opposed to the war, even advocating the continuance of slavery) so there was much criticism to Lincoln and his administration throughout it’s print run, so it is likely the piece was printed to emphasize the “modestness” of his resume.

From what we know of Abraham Lincoln this short piece he submitted, despite likely edits by the newspaper publisher, is largely correct and emphasizes the humble background of the man whom history arguably ranks as among the best of American Presidents.  Certainly the trappings of wealth, family pedigree and the best of education which are traits common to leaders in other parts of the world are not prerequisites to success in America. This simple piece in a 146 year old newspaper is evidence that “the American dream” has been alive and well on this side of the Atlantic for many years.


A sale that worked out just fine…

November 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

In a day & age when sales of items between people can be fraught with troubles, here is an interesting “sale” that seemed to work out just fine.  It appeared in “The London Chronicle” issue of June 4, 1767:


Old news is good news for collectors…

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

americollectorDavid Chesanow recently interviewed Timothy Hughes for a post at Americollector.com titled, “Old news is good news for collectors”.  Some of the questions asked were:

  • What newspapers do you yourself collect: ones from a specific region or era or pertaining to a certain subject? Or are newspapers in general your collecting “area” and you just like the rarest, most historic items?
  • What are the collecting areas within the hobby?
  • What are some of the interesting collecting areas of some of your customers?
  • How extensive is the hobby of collecting rare newspapers? Are there any other dealers at all who specialize in this?
  • What are the “Holy Grails” of newspaper collecting?
  • Are newspapers ever forged? For example, aren’t there a lot of professionally done reprints in England?
  • What have newspapers been made of over the years, and how perishable are they? Are the high-acid papers necessarily hard to preserve?
  • When was the transition from rag content to high-acid paper in the U.S. and abroad?
  • AND… many more!

The entire post is available for viewing at:  Americollector.com.  Thank you David for your contribution to the collectible.

Colorado’s first newspapers…

November 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Mountaineer-from-ColoradoCredit is given to John Oswald’s “Printing In The Americas” for much of the following:

Colorado was first organized as the “Jefferson Territory” in October, 1859 and Congress renamed it Colorado Territory in February, 1861. It would become a state in 1876 hence it’s nickname “Centennial State”.

Colorado’s first printing was done in on April 23, 1859, on which date two newspapers were established in Denver, a town named after James W. Denver, the territorial governor of Kansas, and now occupying the site of two towns originally called Auraria and St. Charles. The “Rocky Mountain News” was started by William  Byers, John Dailey & Thomas Gibson. Byers became the sole owner in 1870. The second newspaper, the “Cherry Creek Pioneer“, was started by John Merrick but only lasted for just a single issue.  But shortly thereafter the “Rocky Mountain Gold Reporter & Mountain City Herald” was started August 6, 1859 at “Mountain City, Jefferson Territory”. A few months later the same printing press was used to launch the “Western Mountaineer” at Golden, Colorado.

The first daily newspaper in Colorado was the “Daily Herald and Rocky Mountain Advertiser” dating from May 1, 1860, and nearly four months later the “Rocky Mountain News” also became a daily publication.

There being no United States mail throughout Colorado at that time the newspapers were delivered by carriers mounted on burros to the various mining camps at 25 cents per copy, or $24 per year. One can imagine with such a lack of efficient distribution how small the print runs were and how few issues would survive to the 20th century.

Keep in mind that these early publication dates coincided with the Colorado “gold rush” which ran from 1859 to 1861 or so. It was typical that newspapers would spring up in areas when population would boom and land development was flourishing. Newspapers were quick to arise wherever the people would be, as was the case in California, Alaska and many other Western states.

Any of these early Colorado newspapers from 1859 or the early 1860’s are exceedingly scarce and would be choice issues for any collection.

A look back at the past’s look into the future…

November 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

2009_from_1909One of the many pleasures of the Rare Newspaper collecting hobby is often quoted within our material:
“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported”. In fact, this look back is the impetus for the name of this blog, “History’s Newsstand”.  However, occasionally these excursions can also provide us with a glimpse of just how far we’ve come in comparison to the expectations of those who lived in the past.  It is such a look into the future, from exactly 100 years prior to today’s posting, that is available to us through an old newspaper section we found within our archives pulled from the Cleveland Leader, November 14, 1909.  Please enjoy this look back at the past’s look into the future:  The Cleveland Leader, 11/14/1909.  The link will take you to a brief description of the article in question, with images of the entire article.  Did we surpass their expectations? We’d love to know your thoughts.

Definition of terms…

November 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Many thanks to fellow collector Morris Brill for the following. I’m sure we all can relate:

easy_chairA few days ago I was browsing through a popular auction website. Imagine my surprise when I saw a listing for an “Ancient” newspaper. “Wow,” I thought, “I never knew newspapers were published before the end of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.” I couldn’t wait to see this ‘ancient’ newspaper and immediately clicked only to experience that letdown feeling as I gazed upon a 1954 newspaper concerning the Korean War.

But, I really wanted to find something to purchase, and then I saw it. The heading read: “Rare Newspaper.” Knowing that ‘rare’ is defined as being marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal. Distinctive, seldom occurring or found, I clicked again. There it was, the blaring headline “Reagan Shot.” Hmmm….so much for rare.

But, I was undaunted. And for good reason for just a few listings down I was struck with the description, “Vintage” “This must be it,” I thought, knowing that ‘vintage’ was of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality. But, alas, what I found was a newspaper on the subject of a public transportation strike in Youngstown, Ohio.

Did I give up? Heck No. There just had to be something of importance among all these listings. And my wish was soon granted when I saw the ad that read, “Historical.” Knowing that ‘historical’ relates to or has the character of history. Famous in content or significance, I knew this was what I was looking for. Though my clicking finger was getting sore I stoically endured and clicked to find a Philadelphia newspaper of the Phillies winning the World Series last year.

I was determined though. I was certain I would soon find that gem. And there it was, an
“Authentic Historical Newspaper.” Knowing that ’authentic’ was something that was not imaginary, false, or imitation. Genuine, without counterfeiting, admixture or adulteration,
I just knew this was the answer to my quest. I was so excited as my finger hovered over my mouse. Click…and there is was. An authentic NEW reprint. Imagine my thrill to know that this was not just any authentic reprint, it was a New authentic reprint.

With my last ounce of strength I clicked the red X in the upper right of your screen.

California’s first newspaper…

November 9, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

CalifornianFor much of the information below we credit John Oswald’s work “Printing In The Americas”.

Printing in California began in 1825 when it was under Mexican rule, being not much more than engraved wood blocks used to make seal impressions. Some years later in 1833 with a new governor for the province an announcement of his arrival in California was issued, being the oldest known California imprint.

As for newspapers, the very first published in California was on August 15, 1846 with the beginning of the “Californian” in the city of Monterey, just five weeks after the United States flag has been raised over the city and California was proclaimed a part of the United States. The newspaper was published by Rev. Walter Colton, a champlain of the U.S. frigate ‘Congress” docked at Monterey and a one time editor of the Philadelphia “North American“, and Robert Semple. On April 24, 1847 Semple became the sole proprietor of the “Californian” and two weeks later he moved it to San Francisco.

The second newspaper in California was published as a venture of the Mormons. They created the “California Star“, the first regular number of which appeared January 9, 1847.  On November 18, 1848 the Californian” and the “Star” merged, the name becoming the “Alta California“.

Since the population of California was relatively small before the gold rush of 1849 newspapers from this decade are exceedingly difficult to find. They become much more numerous from 1850 onwards, but any title from the 1846-1849 period would be considered a terrific find by any collector.

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