A collector sells bound volumes in 1878…

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This advertisement appeared in the “Scientific American” issue of June 22, 1878, noting a collector who has various bound volumes of the title, selling for $1 each. How prices have changed.

My collecting story… Graham Dukes…

November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I have been collecting newspapers longer than most fellow enthusiasts, beginning when I was at school in England in 1943. My father went into a small second-hand shop and noticed that the owner, who sold candlesticks, old dinner plates and suchlike, was wrapping up the items in copies of the London evening “Star” for 1818, that he was tearing out of a bound volume. There were about 150 papers left and my father, who was well aware of my budding historical interest, bought the whole volume for threepence (10c).
From there I continued myself, often picking up items from shopkeepers who had no idea what they were. Nearly 70 years later, with several thousand items in store, (particularly London national papers, but also items from many other countries) some of my prize items, going back to the earlier sixteenth century, are still those that I found in the English back streets during my time as a schoolboy and later as a university student!
Graham Dukes

New discovery… Who knows what one might find?

November 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve often mentioned that one of the pleasures of the Rare & Early newspaper collecting hobby is finding unforeseen historical nuggets buried deep within the pages of newspapers… just waiting to be unearthed.  This was recently brought to the surface again by a collector/history teacher who purchases 19th century wholesale lots (undescribed as to content) for his students and for personal use .  His note is as follows:

This paper (from a wholesale lot) had a reference to a house vote for the “relief” of Susan Decatur, wife of naval hero Stephen Decatur.  She had inherited $75,000 from her husband, who was killed in a duel in 1820.  This is the equivalent of $1.4 million today.  The bill was defeated.  One of the nays was cast by Congressman Crockett (David).  Minor, but priceless info.  Your company does more good than you know.

Feel free to share your own discoveries with the collecting community.

Prices… a walk down memory lane… 1987…

October 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Blondie, Kool & the Gang, Ambrosia…  Rubik’s Cube, Break Dancing, Transformers…  The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, Moonlighting… the 80’s!  Our walk through time now brings us to the 8o’s.   Our exploration of authentic newspaper pricing through time takes us back to Catalog 60. To see a larger image of the catalog’s page, go here: Catalog 60

Prices… a walk down memory lane… 1993…

October 18, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Forest Gump, Jerry Maguire, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana… the 90’s.  Our price-searching through time continues… all the way to “back in the day”… when everything was “aiight. Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at sample prices from 2006 and 2009.  Today we explore a half-dozen years earlier – 1993.  To see a larger image of the catalog’s page, go here:  Catalog 90

Prices… a walk down memory lane… 1999…

October 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A week ago we looked at authentic newspaper prices from 2006.  Today will go a little farther back in time… to 1999. To see a larger image of the catalog’s page, go to:  Catalog 120

Prices… a walk down memory lane… 2006…

October 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently took a look at “prices realized” for a number of historic newspapers spanning the centuries.  We’ll now take a look a the pricing of authentic newspapers from a different perspective:  pricing over time.  Over the course of the next several weeks we’ll post a random page from old Rare & Early Newspapers catalogs.  We’ll start with a page from a catalog sent in 2006, and work backwards through time.

Prices realized… 20th century…

September 27, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

We continue with our series on “prices realized”, with this 4th installment providing select examples of issues from the 20th century.  While there are many issues to choose from, we tried to cover a variety of collectible interests.

Note: While collectible newspapers have had a good track record of increasing in value over time (see upcoming posts), we encourage hobbyists to collect for non-financial reasons.  History in your hands…

20th century selections:

The most famous of all Stock Market Crash newspapers…
THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 25, 1929 ($1,830 – 2010)

Perhaps the nicest Titanic report to be had ?
THE EVENING TIMES, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, April 16, 1912 ($2,423 – 2008)

Best of all Pearl Harbor newspapers…
HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN, 1st EXTRA, Dec. 7, 1941 ($2,352 – 2005)

Most recognized of all 20th century headlines…
CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE, Nov. 3, 1948 ($1,925 – 2005)

The previous posts in this series are:

Prices realized… 16th & 17th centuries…

Prices realized… 18th century…

Prices realized…  19th century…


Collecting Historic and Rare Newspapers Basics – Part One

August 2, 2010 by · 14 Comments 

The following guide is posted on History’s Newsstand’s eBay Store.  It is the first part of a primer on collecting Rare & Early Newspapers:

The purpose of this guide concerning historic, original, collectible and/or rare newspapers is to answer the three most common questions related to the hobby:  How you can determine if an issue is authentic,  the meaning of commonly used terms related to the hobby, and why the original issues do not just fall apart.

How Can You Determine If An Issue Is Authentic?

It was not unusual for newspapers to celebrate the anniversary of an historic event or their inaugural issue by reprinting that issue for their subscribers or the general public. Never meant to deceive, through the years such issues were tucked away in attics and dresser drawers as interesting souvenirs only to be uncovered by distant relatives convinced they found the genuine item.

Although only an expert examination can definitively qualify a newspaper as genuine or a reprint and such experts with sufficient knowledge & experience are few & far between, there are a few clues which can guide a novice in making a determination:

* Does the newsprint match that used at that time? Genuine pre-1880 newsprint usually has a high rag content and is very pliable, sturdy & reasonably white. Most reprints in the post-1880 era are more browned, fragile and lacking in physical substance.

* Does the issue contain an historic or significant report? Many reprints contain very historic reports rather than mundane news of the day, and such genuine issues are rarely found randomly outside of a larger collection.

* Is the issue a volume one, number one issue? They were commonly reprinted on anniversary dates.

* Does the format, content or any extraneous printing on the issue appear out of the ordinary? Many reprints were used for promotional purposes and altered to serve another purpose beyond just reprinting a genuine newspaper.

Reprint, fake, or facsimile newspapers are a rarity in this hobby with the vast majority of such issues limited to less than 20 titles. The Library of Congress maintains a check-list of points to look for on most of these issues and can be accessed through their website.

What Are The Most Frequently Used Terms & What Do They Mean?

* Octavo (8vo): Approximately 8 1/2 by 5 inches. Popular size for 18th Century magazines.

* Quarto (4to): Approximately 12 by 9 inches. Common size for many early newspapers.

* Folio: Full size. Eighteenth century issues are approximately 17 by 11 inches, while 19th century issues come closer to present day newspapers.

* Foxing: Dark spots due to age, chemical content of the paper, or storage environment.

* dblpgctrfld:  Doublepage centerfold. A print, typical in Harper’s Weekly, which stretches across two pages.

Why Do The Issues Simply Not Fall Apart?

To the surprise of many, newspapers published before 1880 remain in very nice condition as the paper had high cotton and linen content. Most issues from the 1600’s and 1700’s are in much better condition than issues from World War I, hence little care is needed for issues over 120 years old.

(Note)  Invitation: In order to provide an ongoing resource for newcomers to the hobby, feel free to add additional insight which you feel might be beneficial to those entering the hobby on the ground floor.  Our hope will be to include many of these comments within a future post.  Thanks in advance for your contributions.

Minnesota’s first newspapers…

June 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The first “Minnesota” newspaper has the curious distinction of never being printed in Minnesota. Dr. Andrew Randall, a U.S. government employee from Ohio engaged in a geological survey of the Minnesota district, decided to become a printer. He returned to his home town of Cincinnati, purchased printing equipment, and produced in Cincinnati the volume 1, number 1 issue of the “Minnesota Register“. There was but one number, but existing copies bear different dates of April 7 and 27, 1849.

Another outsider, James Goodhue, a lawyer-turned printer from Lancaster, Wisconsin, worked for a newspaper in Wisconsin before carting his equipment and heading north for St. Paul’s Landing in the Minnesota Territory. There he planed on printing what was to be named the “Epistle of St. Paul”, but after advice of friends the first issue was actually titled the “Minnesota Pioneer“, appearing on April 28, 1849. Not only was this the first newspaper actually printed in Minnesota, it was the first piece of any printing done in the territory.

The next newspaper was done by another Ohioan, James Hughes, who on May 31, 1849 printed the “Minnesota Chronicle” on May 31, 1849. Third in line was the “Minnesota Register“, now moved from Cincinnati to Minnesota to become a legitimate Minnesota newspaper when it printed its July 14, 1849 issue in St. Paul. Just over a month later the “Chronicle” and “Register” combined to produce the “Chronicle & Register” on August 25.

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