The Power of Music… Classics Never go out of Style!

June 24, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Has anyone else noticed how music from the 60’s-90’s has made a huge cultural comeback? From movies to commercials… from concerts to radio, the oldies but goodies are being sung (or at least hummed) by everyone from Boomers to Gen Zers. Music not only soothes the savage beast, it also brings whimsy to a warm summer day and sets the mood for a cozy winter evening. So, it is not surprising that collectors LOVE the concert ads in THE VILLAGE VOICE out of Greenwich Village, NY. Interests range from Bob Dylan, Kiss and The Grateful Dead to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tiny Tim (with his famous ukulele). This retro music can whisk us away to a memory tucked in the back of our minds and flood us with all the emotions we felt as our younger selves. Almost daily, as I prep these concert ads for our collectors, I am transported to a music memory from long ago and reminded again that newspaper collecting has a sweet spot for everyone.

Inspiration Comes in All Shapes, Sizes & Stories…

June 21, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Years ago (36 to be exact), my husband shared with me one of his favorite books of all time: Through Gates of Splendor, by Elizabeth Elliot. For those not familiar with this true story, Elizabeth’s husband and 4 other missionaries were taken and killed by the Auca tribe in Ecuador. Jump forward several decades to yesterday when our newest employee, who is currently enrolled in a missionary aviation, excitedly searched through the archives to find issues regarding this horrible event. To his elation he found several newspapers with real-time (contemporary) coverage. I was delighted to see the love of something which had captured my husband’s fascination as a young man still have the power to inspire a younger generation. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of newspaper collecting; no matter where your passions lie, there’s likely a newspaper with a report, ad, or headline which will relate to it.

The Whole World’s Watching: George Washington’s 1st State of the Union Address…

May 3, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

The State of the Union Address. . . a phrase which probably brings varying emotions depending on who you are. I love to watch these speeches as they give me more insight into the man than into the state of the Union.  Most of us already have a pretty good read on how our country is doing. . . the economy, the culture, the defense, threat assessments. . . but, watching the leader of the Free World explain his take helps me grasp where we are headed. I wonder if the citizens of the USA in 1795 felt the same way as they read the Columbian Sentinel from December 19. President Washington had given his 1st State of the Union Address and it was printed, as all presidential speeches, in the newspaper. We have much to thank George Washington for, as he defined so many aspects of our country, government and the presidency.  I think we can add instituting the Annual State of the Union Address to his very long list of accomplishments.

They Put It In Print – Immigration in 1903…

April 26, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Immigration. . . without a doubt a hot button topic… and not just in our lifetime. THE MEMPHIS MORNING NEWS, October 24, 1903 has a front-page article announcing that (nearly) 1,000,000 had immigrated to the U.S.  in 1903. Tension? No question! Take a look at the requirements Congress had established for legal immigrants and more requirements being considered.  A fascinating read in light of our current headlines.

Larger Than Life – The Death of Jessie James…

April 22, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Without a doubt, certain terms elicit particular moods. A word or phrase can take us back to a bygone era or spring us into a futuristic vision. “Groovy” often equals kicking back & chilling in the summer sun… “Desolate” brings to mind a barren dystopian plain (perhaps with Mel Gibson racing across it). In the same way, the caption below a full-page image of Jessie James in the FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER from April 22, 1882,” Notorious Desperado, Killed at St. Joseph, April 3d.”, can only throw us back to the Wild-West and the many men and woman who have inspired some of the greatest movies of all times. If you like to put a face to a name, take a look at this wonderful illustrated issue on our website.

You’ve Come A Long Way Baby. . . from the Pony Express to the internet…

April 12, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Every one of our collectors is unique, a fact never more apparent than when a new catalog is released.  Some place an order within moments of the release of the online version, while others wait till the hard copy hits their mailbox to quickly scour the pages – calling us with whatever instantly piqued their interest. Another group takes a laid-back approach and may not get to perusing until a week or more later, sometimes calling to order from a previous catalog. Whatever their style, all collectors enjoy receiving the catalog at regular intervals. Why am I bringing up catalog releases in a blog post? Today, as I was paging through a NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE dated April 2, 1860, I noticed an article on the pricing for the brand new Pony Express.  I chuckled to myself as I contemplated a time when our catalogs would have been delivered on horseback. Imagine the feelings of distress for the people who lived in California compared to those who lived right down our street. No matter how you like to approach your catalog browsing, it has to be better than waiting for the Pony Express… unless you call and your item has already sold; then all bets are off!

Great Story Telling is Essential to Life… Hans Christian Anderson’s Mastery of Creating the Fairytale…

April 8, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Some experiences transcend generations and ages, capturing the imaginations and hearts of both mother and daughter, grandfather and grandson. Often these moments come via a well-written narrative. The idea of being enraptured by a story to the point where reality fades away can be experienced by reading the tales “Scheherazade” spun or the fairy tales created by The Grimm Brothers. Such stories could have begun as follows: “On a cool spring evening, in a tiny hamlet, deep in countryside of Denmark, a small lad was born who would grow to bring magic and delight to people of all ages.” In fact, on April 2, 1805, this fictional beginning became a reality with the birth of Hans Christian Anderson.  Undeniably one of the great storytellers of all time, his works would be told, retold and reimagined for every generation since they were penned – capturing the curiosity of children and adults alike.

Here, in the 21st Century, I often hear complaints concerning the lack of (quality) storytelling which mesmerizes the viewer or reader and allows the darker, heavier parts of life to fall away – enrapturing and encouraging the reader/listener by what is good and beautiful and true… traits which spur us on to be our better selves. These are the stories we need today, and if truth be told, everyday. Let us all hope & pray that exceptional storytelling is not a dead art. Thankfully, till it resurfaces in abundance, we can always enjoy the gems of the past.

Archetype Publisher . . . Benjamin Harris

March 18, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

People of today have a love hate relationship with newspapers. Each of us has our favorite news source and others we shy away from. Without giving it a thought, we take for granted one vital blessing we enjoy as a US Citizen in the 21st Century. . . the ability to choose. Had we been alive in during the era of Benjamin Harris, we would not have had such a choice.  As the 1st publisher & journalist in the Colonies, Harris provided the only option for journalistic expression. Encylopedia Britannica reports, “His newspaper, Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick (Sept. 25, 1690), the first newspaper printed in the colonies, was suppressed by Boston authorities after one issue.Before this title, while still in England, he published, THE PROTESTANT (DOMESTICK) INTELLIGENCE, OR NEWS BOTH FROM CITY AND COUNTRY. I suppose you could call him the 1st struggling journalist in the US and a bit of inspiration to all of us who love collecting these historical treasures 


A Fly on the Wall … With the Founding Fathers

February 26, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, once again, my mind wandered to the concept of being a “fly on the wall” and so I thought I would add another post to my ongoing series. Truth be told, the event that most stirs this desire in me is when I think of C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien sitting and having a pint together in some slightly smoky pub but, such a moment is not to be found in a newspaper. However, as I thought of these 2 great thinkers and fast friends, I was reminded of another exceptional mind who also expressed a great appreciation for beer and so, it was I am sure, no coincidence that I noticed the following in a copy of THE AMERICAN JOURNAL & GENERAL ADVERTISER from Sept. 9, 1779

“Address To the Inhabitants of Ireland”, signed in type at its conclusion: B. Franklin. Versailles, October 4, 1778.
It begins: “The misery & distress which your ill-fated country has been so frequently exposed to & has so often experienced…has most sincerely affected your friends in America and has engaged the most serious attention of Congress…”

While I am sure Ben Franklin & C.S. Lewis did not hold all things in common, they both certainly pressed boundaries and inspired those they brushed elbows with and those who could only admire them from afar. Perhaps we can all raise a glass to these gems of the past.

Valentine’s Day – So Many Entertainment Choices…

February 12, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Starting the end of the 1st week in January stores everywhere begin to take on a pink hue, and raspberry chocolates become the norm in every candy aisle. These changes are a reminder to start planning for mid-February. Attitudes towards Valentine’s Day vary widely, and both sides of the spectrum have legitimate arguments. After 30+ years, Guy and I have decided that going out on Valentine’s Day isn’t a great option for us as we always experience subpar food at a highly elevated price. So, we have begun to choose to have a “date night” at home. With this in mind I was thinking through some older rom-coms to set the mood. Obvious choices came to mind such as “While You Were Sleeping” – along with a few more obscure picks like “Dan in Real Life”, which, if you have not seen this movie, is the perfect combo of family, love and humor. Don’t miss it. And then there are movies which are perfect for both romance and whole family viewing such as “Beauty and the Beast”, the animated version. As you ponder your plans for Valentine’s Day, just remember, you can’t go wrong with a great movie, popcorn and a good bottle of wine (or sparkling cider), so, start planning now and have a delightful Valentine’s Day.

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