What’s the title?

January 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Collecting newspapers with unusual and/or displayable mastheads has been quite popular over the years. Here is a photo of just the name of a newspaper in the masthead of an 1852 newspaper from New York. Can you read it?


Fascinating titles…

January 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the course of the last 350+ years tens of thousands of newspapers have come and gone, too few remaining outside of microfilm, microfiche or digital format for us hold and enjoy. Early on in my pursuit of old newspapers I was intrigued by the names of many, and decided to keep examples of newspapers which had what I considered to be “odd” titles. I am glad I did, as few have since surfaced for me to get a second chance to add to my collection.  I thought I might share a few of the more interesting titles. Perhaps you’ve come across some interesting ones as well. Here are among my more curious :

The Occasional Reverberator, The Whisperer, The Dessert to the True American, The Tickler, The Devil In London, The Quizzical Register, Galaxy of Comicalities, The Whip & Spur, The Wag, The Hangman, Wecli Fonetic Advocat, The Grape Shot (from Canonsburg, Pa.), The Boomerang, Our Dumb Animals, Measure For Measure, Wise And Unwise, Our Compliments, Squirrel Island Squid, The Drill (mining town in Arizona), The Headlight, Hoof & Horn, Camp Carnes Anti-Bushwhacker, The Yaller Dog, The Menace, The Gangplank News, The Bull Sheet Special, Bunk, Guinea Pig, Jerk, Tar Paper, and The Ape.

Do you have some unusual titles as well? Feel free to share.

First newspaper in Connecticut…

January 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Tim Hughes, founder

Printing in Connecticut began as early as 1710 by its first printer, Thomas Short. Short became an orphan at a young age and was captured by Indians & carried away to Canada. He was eventually ransomed, likely by his brother-in-law, Bartholomew Green, who taught him the printing trade. The Green family was well known as early printers throughout New England.

Printing in New Haven began when James Parker, of New York, was appointed postmaster by Benjamin Franklin, although there is no evidence he ever spent much time either as postmaster or printer. He employed John Holt, of Williamsburg, Virginia, to manage the printing office. “The Present State of the Colony of Connecticut Considered” from 1755 is the earliest known production by James Parker in New Haven. On April 12, 1755 he brought out the first number of a  newspaper titled the “Connecticut Gazette“, with Holt as editor. It was the very first newspaper printed in Connecticut and continued until Feb. 19, 1768 at which time it ceased publication.

Just a few months later in Hartford, on April 25, 1768, the “Connecticut Courant” began publication and remains in print today as the country’s oldest continually published newspaper.

Death from drinking cold water…

January 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

History contains a rather interesting catalog of  both health remedies and health warnings which  seem quaint or down right silly in today’s world. I have read several times in early newspapers of death being caused by drinking water which was too cold, but the item below from Baltimore’s “Niles’ Register” newspaper of August 2, 1834 has a somewhat comical twist.Drinking_water_deaths

“The Editor’s Dream”…

January 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor's_Dream_Nazis_QuitThrough the years of collecting one can come across some interesting newspapers. Even newspapers which didn’t exist.

One such newspaper was a tabloid-size issue titled “The Editor’s Dream” which has as a large banner headline: “NAZIS QUIT ! ” “Hitler Seized in Mountain Hideout: Nazi Chiefs Nabbed“.

This was obviously created at some point before the end of World War II, the only dated noted in the masthead being “September 31”, fictitious as well as September had only 30 days.  Note the front page photo of Adolph Hitler behind bars.

The left side of the masthead notes: “Vol. 1 No. 1” and I’m not sure if there was ever another issue published. If there were more I suspect the headlines would have reflected other “editor’s dreams”  relating to a hoped for early end to the war.

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.

A related collectible…

January 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Charleston_Mercury_subscripNewspapers were subscribed to for almost as long as they existed, and if subscriptions existed so did subscription receipts and notices. But rarely did they survive the years as they were truly ephemeral–never meant to be kept beyond the length of the subscription.

Typically they were just small slips of paper, usually part-printed & part manuscript, with the subscriber’s name & length of subscription penned in. The subscription notice in the photo for the “Charleston Mercury” is larger and more detailed than most (thanks to collector Doug Owen for providing).

Such items are an interesting related collectible, particularly if one can find a newspaper to match a receipt.

From the military presses during World War II…

January 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Mortem_Post_TheMany military units during World War II produced their own little “in-house” newspaper, typically crudely done on a typewriter and reproduced on a mimeograph machine. The reports typically had a more local theme on events happening in camp than reports on the national or international events of the day.

The large number of such newspapers from just World War II–they existed in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I as well–would allow a hobby onto itself. Their quaintness is often interesting to today’s hobbyists, and their titles and mastheads were often clever. Some of the titles I’ve seen include:

“Medico” “The Stalker” “G.I. Galley” “Dog Tags” “Bulletin Diarrhea” “Airflow” “Mosquito” “Buckaroo” “Prop Wash” “Guinea Gold” “The Saddle Blanket” “The SSHHH” “Garble” “The Bulldog” “Come What Will” “Army Talk” Spacific News” “Poop From Group” “Life O’Reilly” “Goat’s Whisker” “News Jabs” and on and on. It seems like each year a new title crosses my desk.

The photo shows a typical camp newspaper from World War II, this one produced by the “Fourth General Hospital” in New Guinea. Given their focus, their title is both clever and somewhat morbid.

A “little” comic relief…

January 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

An interesting “little” tidbit found in “The Idaho Democrat” newspaper of Boise City, January 25, 1871.


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