SPAM Problems Solved

First, I want to thank all the subscribers that offered suggestions on how to solve my SPAM problem. As a refresher, my problem wasn't in keeping the SPAM out. Instead, too many legitimate emails to me were not getting though. Perhaps as high as 90% of legitimate emails sent to me were sent back to the sender and labeled as SPAM. I ended up going with Red Condor ( After signing up for their SPAM protection, I sent out email requests to 39 people that had emailed me at my private email address and whose previous email had been originally sent to but rejected as SPAM. I asked them to email me at to test the new system. ALL 39 emails came thorough without a problem. Problem solved.

Red Condor is NOT a software program that one downloads and then installs on their computer. Instead, all email to a specific email address is filtered their through their server and then forwarded to the recpient -- without letting the SPAM emails through. Don't get confused here. You can still keep your original email address. The cost is modest -- Under $2 per month per email address forwarded.

Useless, But Interesting, Information
Early journalism is responsible for many phrases still used today. Some examples include:
  • Mind your "P's" and "Q's": Prior to the invention of the Linotype machine in 1883, type for newspapers and books had to be set by hand, letter by letter. Type had to be laid in the tray, called a "magazine", one by one, upside down and backwards. A lower case "p" would look like a lower case "q" if it wasn't placed upside down and backwards.

  • Stereotype: The stereotype printing plate process was originally invented in 1725 in France. A trained apprentice would take the tray of completed type, pour a mixture of plaster and made a mould from it. Then hot metal was poured into the mould and allowed to set. Once set, the finished product was a duplicate of the original. For larger press runs, several sterotype copies were made from the same mould. Each being idential to the others. Thus began the use of the word "stereotype" to mean all having the same attributes.

  • Layman: One of the major industries in the 1600's and 1700's was the making of paper. Three key people were used in the process of paper making. The two most skilled worker titles were "vatman" and "coucher". The least skilled, and thus received the lowest pay, was called a "layman". Thus, the origination of the word "layman" to mean an unskilled or uneducated person.

  • Can't hit the broadside of a barn": From the invention of the printing press in the 1500's and into the early 1900's, posters were called broadsides -- meaning printed on one side only. Traveling shows, such as a circus, had broadsdes printed to promote their coming to a town. These broadsides were plastered all over the county on the sides of barns for the farmer and his family to read. Boys would often use these broadsides for target practice. The phrase originally was "Can't hit the broadside ON a barn". As the term "broadside" faded out and into the word "poster", the phrase was changed to "Can't hit the broadside OF a barn". Site Update
  • A quiz for newspaper collectors is now online. It can be viewed by cliking here.

  • Wes Ulm has submitted an excellent article about the Defeat of the Spanish Armada. It gives detailed information of how and why it happened. You can read it by clicking here.

  • A third page has been added to the Nameplate Hall of Fame. Click here to view the graphic nameplates.

  • Thirty newspapers have been added to the Online Newspaper Archives. See and read them at:

Reader's Digest

The HistoryBuff Auction received favorable mention in an article about online auctions in the June 2004 issue of Reader's Digest.

HistoryBuff Auction Update

The first half of the major archive of historic newspapers was in the May acution and sold well. The George Washington Inaugurated newspaper sold for an amzing $1,230.00. The last half of this consignment of newspapers will be in the July auction. Newspapers will include George Washington named the first president, a full printing of the Monroe Doctrine, coverage of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and about a dozen other significant events in American history. (Most of these editions have already been added to the Online Newspaper Archives. The rest will be added over the weekend.) The auction can be accessed at

In your opinion, is the media biased in reporting the war in Iraq?
Almost totally biased60%
About 50/5017.9%
Not at all6.4%

If Only Wishes Could Come True

I have collected Lincoln assassination material for forty years now. Several times a month I search Ebay using the term "lincoln assassination". A search a few weeks ago turned up something really different. The listing heading was "Civil War Daguerreotype Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln" and the minimum bid was $50,000,000 -- Yes, that's FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS. The short story is that in 1996 the photo owner found what he believed to be a photograph of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Further, he claimed the photo was rare as no other photos had both Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln together. He spent the next eight years trying to prove it was a photo of the Lincolns. He showed the photo to two Lincoln experts who proclaimed the image WAS NOT of the Lincolns. As a Lincoln collector myself, I do know that there WERE photos taken showing the two together. In addition, even if the photo WAS of the Lincolns' and a previously unknown photo, collector value would only be a few thousand dollars -- NOT FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!

I was tempted to send the poor soul an email and set him straight but had second thoughts and decided to let things be. From his 6,487 word item description, he made a strong point that no one was going to change his mind.

May Contest

MAY ISSUE'S QUESTION: Only two women have been BOTH wife and mother of a United States President. What were their names?

ANSWER: Abigail Adams and Barbara Bush.

Seventy seven people entered the May contest. Twelve were disqualified because they did not have the correct subject heading in their email entry. Seven more were disqualified because they sent their entry after the deadline -- one sent her entry three weeks after the deadline! All three historic newspapers were awarded and mailed out.

This Month's Question

Where was the treaty that ended the American Revolution signed?

Contest Rules
  • Contest entry deadline is Tuesday, June 16, 2004. Later entries will be disqualified.

  • Only one entry per subscriber.

  • To enter, email your answer to with the subject heading "Contest Entry". From subscribers submitting the correct answer and correct subject heading, three will be selected at random to win an original historic newspaper from 1824.

  • To give more people a chance to win a historic newspaper, previous winners are NOT eligable to win.

That's it for this issue.

Rick Brown

PS: Will the person that was editing my newsletter, please email me as I lost your contact information.
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