Author Archives: Vincent Golden

About Vincent Golden

Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society

The red vegetable pill or the blue vegetable pill?

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Graefenberg Gazette (New York, NY),  August 1847. The first thing that should grab your attention about this advertisement sheet is that it is printed in red ink.  This was a marketing trick by the Graefenberg Company that put out a wide variety of pills and elixirs.  This particular sheet promoted their vegetable pills, sarsaparilla compounds, eye ...

Give Pieces a Chance

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Hannibal Journal, and Native American.  May 28, 1842.  Vol. 1, no. 21. A dealer recently sent me a box with pieces of newspapers.  Some of them were either the front or back page, and many of them were just half of one page.  Still, I waded through the large mound of fragments to see what was ...

And here’s today’s market report…

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AAS has a large collection of serial publications with titles such as Prices Current or Market Reports.  They contain the latest market prices of commodities and/or stocks and local commercial information.  Sometimes people wonder why we try to get examples of everything we can.   We do this because more materials tell a more complete story.  ...

These amateur puzzle newspapers aren’t for amateurs

The Bay State Puzzler

AAS has one of the largest collections of nineteenth-century amateur newspapers in the country.  These were little publications printed on table-top hobby presses and often done by children and young adults.   They became popular in the 1870s and by the 1880s hundreds of them were being published all over the country.  Their publishers even had ...

The Acquisitions Table: Tippecanoe Banner and Spirit of Democracy

Tippecanoe Banner and Spirit of Democracy (New-Albany, IN) Oct. 15, 1840. No. 27. Here is an example of a presidential campaign newspaper supporting the election of William Henry Harrison. The hotly contested presidential election of 1840 produced a lot of campaign newspapers produced by local newspaper offices to promote candidates and platforms. This example was published ...

As Luck Would Have It

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As Thomas Jefferson put it, “I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”  Here at the American Antiquarian Society all of the curators work very hard in acquiring new items for the collections.  Every year thousands of items are added to our holdings. Sometimes ...

The Acquisitions Table: The News-Letter

The News-Letter (Otterville, Missouri). Jan. 27, 1862. Vol. 1, no. 1. Newspapers published by Civil War regiments are scarce. One scarce genre of newspapers is Civil War regiment publications. Sometimes a regiment had printing equipment at a fort or took over a printing office at an occupied town and produced its own newspaper for the amusement ...

Do you know the Gettysburg Address?

"National monument to be erected at Gettysburg, Pa. -- ." By James Goodwin Batterson. (New York: Major & Knapp, ca. 1863-1867)

“The newspapers are making morning after morning the rough draft of history. Later, the historian will come, take down the old files, and transform the crude but sincere and accurate annals of editors and reporters into history, into literature. The modern school must study the daily newspaper.” - The State (Columbia, SC) December 5, 1905 On ...

But does it play in Pareoi?

Peoria paper

Peoria Daily Transcript (IL) Sept. 27, 1858.  June 9, 1859. Those who research the history of printing love mistakes.  It is the little “oops” that give us clues into the methods of production.  A piece of type might work loose and fall on top of the bed and get printed that way, showing us the shape of ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Franklin

The Franklin, or, A Political, Agricultural, and Mechanical Gazette (Washington, DC) Oct. 31, 1801. No. 1. The Franklin was published by James Lyon. Inside the front wrapper is a note from Lyon about his difficulties publishing the Friend of the People (Richmond, VA) and having to move to Washington before subscribers received “the full worth of ...

Your Move!

Many magazines of the nineteenth century were published with paper wrappers, the purpose of which were to protect the issue as it went through the mail on its way to the subscriber’s home.  These wrappers (often on colored paper) would identify the name of the periodical.  Sometimes they would just reproduce the title page, but ...