Am I Dating Myself? The B&O Railroad…

August 6, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Raise your hand if you spent hours as a kid playing Monopoly. Raise your hand if you can’t imagine why you spent hours as a kid playing Monopoly. Somehow, back in the day before handheld electronics did more than play music, I loved that game. Nowadays it would seem agonizing to play; however, my interest was peeked by a March 5, 1827 issue of The National Gazette and Literary Register which had: “the founding of the historic B & O Railroad, the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the United States.” Amazingly, this property is able to be purchased for a mere $200 in a Monopoly game – and just think, B&O was not the only railroad made famous by the world’s longest lasting board game.

A New Term For An Old Happening…

July 26, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

If I asked you what comes to mind when you hear the term “embedded reporter”, most of us would quickly picture some war scene… perhaps Vietnam … perhaps The Gulf War. Few of us would picture a train or “A Canadian Pacific Steamships” and yet, in 1870 an ingenious publisher decided to take a small printing press on board the first Transcontinental Railroad excursion and publish 6 issues westbound and 6 issues eastbound. Printed on a Gordon press in the baggage car, it is considered the very first newspaper composed, printed, & published on a train. Think … 1st embedded reporter. Similarly, in 1939, the PACIFIC EMPRESS was printed and considered “A Newspaper Printed & Published Daily Aboard Canadian Pacific Steamships”. These reporters may not have been dodging bullets behind enemy lines but they did boldly put themselves into harrowing circumstances to give 1st hand accounts covering big events during their lifetime. A fascinating precursor to Geraldo Rivera.

Early no-smoking cars on trains…

September 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-26-2016-no-smoking-railroad-carWhile the most significant feature of the St. Louis Daily Globe” of February 2, 1875 is a report regarding Frank and Jesse James, the front page has a curious report headed: “A Peculiar Bill” concerning the need to create nonsmoking cars which would: “…afford relief to a great many ladies who are annoyed by cigar smoke, and other evils arising from the use of tobacco by gentlemen…” (see image).

Three cheers for Time Zones…

December 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who pine for the simpler life of the past, we include an article from the Trans-Continental dated May 26, 1870 which may add a dose of reality to the rosy glasses of nostalgia. If we were to list the top 1,000 changes which have made our lives a bit easier, my guess is none of us would have “Time Zones” listed. 🙂Blog-12-12-2014-Time-Zones

From a collector of rare newspapers… The Pennsylvania Railroad…

December 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

From time to time we receive notes from our members which clearly communicate their passion for the collectible. While the issue being discussed did not come from us, we still thought you might enjoy his enthusiasm. We did.

Dear [Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers],

I received my latest order of folders last Friday…as always, thank you so much.  The largest (20×14) folder is for a rather interesting publication – Colliers Weekly – that I thought you’d enjoy seeing…

As with similar magazines, i.e. Harper’s, I never imagined finding a “one-of-a-kind” article on New York’s Pennsylvania Station inside, but – sure enough – I did in this 1903 edition [see below]…

Magazines, such as these, are intriguing…somewhat in a class by themselves.  This – and other “competing” titles – bore Saturday cover dates, and were – I imagine – intended to be read on Saturday evenings!  I could just “picture” that being some sort of ritual “way back when”.  I remember – as a child – seeing my father in our living room on a Saturday evening reading some sort of journal or magazine…he was not a Sunday morning newspaper man!

Hope this note finds you and your staff well.  Thanks, again, for your service…

The Traveler… possibilities in Alaska??

July 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While reading through The Christian Science Monitor dated July 15, 1910, I came across a report from Jacob H. Schiff.  The report states that he and a party of friends were inspecting part of Alaska and as a result, are convinced it will become as populous and as productive as parts of Norway, Siberia and Russia. He (Jacob) states the  greatest need of the far north to be transportation (access) and goes on further to identify the regions he believes would best be served by access by rail (train).   At the time, did they really think that this would become possible??

Note (Google exploration):  Through a little fun internet searching I discovered that Mr. Schiff was a well known banker and philanthropist with a descendant married to Al Gore’s daughter.

Looking further through the issue, a name of a city quickly caught my eye – Williamsport, PA! It seems that our hometown, the Lumber Capital of the World, was honoring the lumbermen with the hosting of a convention.  Very cool!!

The final small article that just made me look twice had a heading of “Japanese Envoy Coming”, followed with the dateline “Honolulu”. Just knowing what occurred only three decades later…

~The Traveler

Twelve issues, twelves different cities…

April 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Occasionally one finds a single title which had two or maybe three cities of publication, particularly some of the Old West titles which moved from place to place during their early years. Even the venerable Gazette of the United States moved from New York to Philadelphia when the seat of government moved, in order to be close to the political action it was reporting.

trans-continental-excursionThe Trans-Continental had a different take on printing in different cities. It’s creation was a stroke of historical genius in the mind of its editor, W. R. Steele, when on May 24, 1870 over 130 passengers boarded a beautiful eight car Pullman train built under special orders of George M. Pullman specifically for this trip, the first chartered excursion by rail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. On board was carried small printing press which was used to publish 12 issues of the “Trans-Continental” newspaper, each at a different point along the round-trip journey. By what is read in these twelve issues it was a glorious affair enjoyed by all, amid the splendor of the finest mode of living ever constructed on wheels.

For their enjoyment, the passengers were lavished with the finest food, surrounded by a setting which few of the finest mansions constructed could rival. Sights of the new West as well as extraneous news & anecdotes of the day were recorded in the pages of this newspaper, witnessed by the passengers continually in awe of the splendor of the prairies, magnificence of the Rockies and the warmth & hospitality of the people they met along the way.

The Trans-Continental lasted but 42 days and twelve issues–six printed on the westward journey & six printed on the return to the east coast. What is unique is that each issue not only carries a different date but a different city of publication.

Unfortunately for the collector exceedingly few genuine issues of the Trans-Continental remain. Having a complete set in our private collection we had each issue professionally reproduced and bound into a SINGLE BOOKLET so any collector can read from one of the more intriguing & unusual newspapers of the 19th century.

You may never own an original but you can take some vicarious enjoyment in the trip by reading what those 130 passengers enjoyed nearly 140 years ago by clicking on the “single booklet” link above. After all, isn’t this what brought is all to the hobby in the first place?