Top 10 lists…

December 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 10 lists are always fun to consider.  Their strength is in their ability to generate thought, reflection, and opinion.  We all acknowledge that no two top ten lists are the same, and whereas going to experts in the field may add a certain level of credibility to a list, even an amateur/novice can bring food for thought to the discussion.  Everyone has an opinion, and each and every opinion has some some value.  In the end, the greatest benefit may well be in the journey traveled as we formulate and consider both our own views as well as the views of others.

It is with this in mind we plan to offer 4 top ten lists over the course of the next four Mondays.  The focus will be on giving thought to the top ten most historic newspapers from each of the following eras:  17th century and earlier (12/7/2009), 18th century (12/14/2009), 19th century (12/21/2009), and 20th century & beyond (12/28/2009).  In some cases we may choose a specific newspaper title (any date), realizing that having any issue of the title is of note.  In other instances we may focus on a specific title and date of a newspaper – these being the “holy grails” of the hobby.  Yet in other cases we’ll include a more general top ten entry, focusing on the event itself, acknowledging that finding any newspaper coverage of the event is noteworthy.

As we proceed through the month, we invite both reactions to our lists and the submission of your own “top tens”.

OnLine-SchoolIn an effort to help kick-start your walk into the past, we invite you to enjoy a recent post which appeared on titled, “100 Great Moments in American History You Can Catch on YouTube”, by Amber Johnson:  (

The work of a headsman…

October 2, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost daily we find non-historical, but fascinating reporting in the issues we peruse.  It is one of the hidden pleasures of the collectible.  See the image to the right for one recently discovered intriguing little nugget published in the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS issue of March 9, 1861. John Lund held the job of beheading state criminals in the Tower of London, but never mind that the last time such “services” were required was in 1746. Apparently his only responsibility was to show up twice a year to collect his pay check, which he did “…with a large bright hatchet on his shoulder”. They believe the position may be abolished(!)

By the way, a “sinecure”  is “an office or position requiring little or no work”.

Have you found any such nuggets in your newspapers?