What’s the Difference Between a Watch Maker and a Jailer? Adventures in Amateur Newspapers (Part I)

If you’re like me and occasionally find yourself lying in bed endlessly scrolling though BuzzFeed quizzes and pop culture articles, then you are no stranger to the modern-day dad joke. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, I like to define a “dad joke” as a cheesy and often predictable pun told by (but ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Fanwood Chronicle


Fanwood Chronicle (New York, NY). Dec. 1864. Vol. 1, no. 2.

This periodical was published by the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. One of the goals of the institution was to train its students in a vocation. In 1864 it acquired enough materials to establish a print shop for its students. The publisher ...

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: Amateur Newspapers

Collection of amateur newspapers.

One of our new members, Stan Oliner, is very active in the field of amateur journalism through collecting, writing articles, and serving in national organizations. A while ago, he mailed AAS a large gift of amateur newspapers that we are eagerly going through, selecting many issues for our collection.  Illustrated here is ...

The Aquisitions Table: Amateur Newspapers

Two titles were recently added to AAS's collection of Amateur Newspapers.

The Orb. Portland, ME. 1838. 3 issues. Adopted by Jo Radner.

The Liliputian. Canajoharie, NY. 1876, 1877. 22 issues.

Amateur newspapers were printed usually by teenagers, and more for the pleasure and experience rather than profit. The Orb (recently "adopted" by Jo Radner during AAS's ...

The Acquisitions Table: Amateur Newspapers in Chicago

Amateur city directory. Chicago: Warner Bros., 1876.
This rare pamphlet chronicles Chicago’s amateur press community as of 1876. Its publisher was 15-year-old Frank Dudley Warner, editor of the recently established Amateur Monthly—one of a burgeoning number of amateur newspapers then being published nationwide by hobbyists on table-top presses. Included is a directory of nearly a hundred ...