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 type. When the same page is printed twice it reveals the imposition of the pages.
In the case of these two issues, one of them has the name of the town, Peoria, misspelled. Five of the six letters are out of place. That tells us the masthead was made up of individual pieces of 48-point type instead of one solid block. What it doesn’t tell us is why it is so badly misspelled or how long they were printing it this way before anyone noticed. Was the compositor illiterate and tried to put back letters that dropped out? Was someone drunk? While one question was answered by the misspelling, it also led to other questions that will remain unanswered.