May 2007

The Show Must Go On

It is well-known that the circus and theatre have the motto ~ez_ldquo~The show must go on.~ez_rdquo~ This means that the entertainment must continue what ever the problem. Although, as a whole, journalism does not have this motto, theirs~ez_rsquo~ could also be ~ez_ldquo~The show must go on.~ez_rdquo~

A prime example is when a newspaper publisher ran out of paper to print his latest edition on, he found another suitable material to produce his current issue. This was ever so the fact during the American Civil War. The North had all the paper mills; Paper for stationery, envelopes and paper for printing newspapers. The South had the only wallpaper mills in the states. Due to blockades, the Confederacy often had difficulty obtaining paper to publish their newspapers. Having direct access to wallpaper, hundreds of Confederate newspaper editions were actually printed on wallpaper. The news was printed on the back side - the side that was pasted to the wall. The pattern side was not printed on. These special editions were only one page each. It is no surprise that since Louisiana had the most wallpaper mills, Louisiana produced the most newspaper editions on wallpaper.

The most famous Civil War wallpaper edition is the July 2, 1863 of the Daily Citizen, published in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Union capitulated Vicksburg on July 4. When some Union soldiers broke in to the newspaper office, they found the printing plate used to produce the July 2 issue. They changed the date from July 2 to July 4. Except for about two-thirds of one column, the text remained the same on both editions. Between the two ~ez_ldquo~editions~ez_rdquo~ it is estimated that fewer than 100 issues were produced bearing the July 2 and July 4 edition. After the Civil War ended the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed. This was for veterans., Much like the modern Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW.) There were literally a hundred different chapters of the GAR. Annual reunions were held for more than 50 years. It seems that at almost every reunion produced a reprint of this famous wallpaper edition. Thus, there were several hundred different reprints produced. This wallpaper edition is often found in antique shops or on Ebay. However, they are ALL reprints. The reprints have little collector value. Despite only about 100 originals produced, the collector value ranges between $3,000-$5,000.

The Civil War and blockades was not the only time newspapers were forced to issue an edition on paper other than the normal paper used.

The 1880's and 1890's also spawned several wallpaper editions. Fortunately, for history's sake, the editors saw fit to explain in a note in the editions why he was using wallpaper. The reasons varied from a blizzard to a quarantine cutting off their supply of regular paper. In 1881 there was a severe blizzard in the Dakota Territory which forced several editors to resort to publishing some editions of their newspaper on wallpaper instead of conventional paper. At this time no other wallpaper editions from this same blizzard are known, but it is probable that others do exist.

As a double-rarity, The Salem Register of May 5, 1881 noted above is the only known wallpaper edition of any era that printed the news on both the pattern side as well as the blank side.

The July 6, 1894 issue of The Whiting News, Whiting, Indiana, noted that the edition was being printed on wallpaper due to a railroad strike. (As a sign of just how creative an editor could get when his paper supply ran out, a 1916 edition of the same title was printed on roofing shingles! None of these have survived however - after the subscriber had read the edition, they likely used it for fire wood.)

In the January 19, 1895 wallpaper edition of The Weekly Tribune, Callaway, Nebraska, there is a note explaining that due to financial problems the editor was forced to use wallpaper.

The August 30, 1898 edition of the Feliciana Herald, Feliciana, Louisiana, was printed on wallpaper due to a quarantine extending to Memphis, Tennessee.

I Somewhat Heard the Beatles in a Live Concert

It was the summer of 1964. I was living in San Diego at the time with my brother who was in the Navy. We lived three blocks from Balboa Stadium. It was this summer that the Beatles made their concert tour of the United States and one city on the tour was San Diego. As a 16-year-old male, I had no particular desire to see the concert - but I heard it! I was sitting on our front porch and for over an hour all I heard was teenage girls screaming. Every now and then I would catch a short phrase from one of their songs - I Want to Hold your Hand; Love, Love, Love Me Do, etc. Well, at least I can honestly say that I somewhat heard them in concert :-)

Do You Remember: (Part Two)

After the last issue, I received several emails stating that they really liked the Do You Remember portion. Subscriber R. S. Janes of Chicago added to my list the following:

  • When drugstores had soda fountains? (You were probably born before 1950.)

  • Five-and-dime stores like Woolworth's and Kresge's? (You were probably born before 1955.)

  • What kind of movies William Castle made? (Horror films such as "Thirteen Ghosts.")

  • Going to a drive-in restaurant with carhop service? (You were probably born before 1945.)

  • When you could drive from state to state without seeing a McDonald's? (You were probably born before 1950.)

  • When televisions had no remote control? (You were probably born before 1950.)

  • The actor's name and role that inspired American kids to wear coonskin caps? (Fess Parker as Daniel Boone.)

  • What film actor's career started with the TV series "Sea Hunt"? (Lloyd Bridges, father of actors Jeff and Beau.)

  • The hour-long mystery/horror TV series that was hosted by Boris Karloff? ("Thriller" 1960-1962.)

  • The host of "You Bet Your Life"? (Groucho Marx.)

  • The first host of NBC's "The Tonight Show"? (Steve Allen.)

  • Who said "My name is Jose Jimenez"? (Comedian Bill Dana in 1959.)

  • The name of the character and actor of Dobie Gillis' beatnik friend? (Maynard G. Krebs as played by Bob Denver on TV's "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" 1959-1963. Denver later starred on the TV show "Gilligan's Island.")

  • What Sanka was? (A popular brand of decaffeinated coffee in the '40s, '50s and '60s.)

  • What Chase & Sanborn sold? (Coffee.)

  • In what city the Arizona Cardinals football franchise got its start? (Chicago.)

  • What Jimmy Durante did? (Sang, played piano, and occasionally told jokes.)

  • What DeSoto was known for making? (Automobiles.)

  • What company originally produced the civilian model of the Jeep? (Willys-Overland.)

  • In what state Studebaker cars were made? (Indiana.)

    And I thought of a few more:

  • 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM's and 8-Tracks? (If you played cylinder records as a child you better check and see if your heart is still beating!)

  • When there was a mailbox and gas station on almost every corner?

  • When you could fill your autos' gasoline tank for under $5?

  • When there was no dial or push button numbers on your telephone?

  • Going for Sunday drives?

  • When most stores closed at 9 PM and were not open on Sundays?

  • The corner grocery store?

  • When the main event at a party was a taffy pull?

  • When your mother made her own version of Play Dough?

  • Singing along with Mitch?

  • Progressive dinner parties?

  • What a One-eyed, One Horn, Purple People Eater was?

    The more of the above items you can honestly remember, the closer you are to being a national treasure. If you answered no to three or fewer of the above items, you belong in the Smithsonian Institution! Share your wealth!

    Online Newspaper Archives

    The HistoryBuff Online Newspaper Archives has encountered a problem. For some strange reason, individual newsperson would suddenly be deleted and thus, no longer accessible. In setting up some special scripts, it was determined that the deletions were not due to a hacker. The Archives is now undergoing a debugging process to determine why newspapers suddenly "disappear." At present, for testing purposes, there are only about 20 newspapers to view online. Once I find the culprit, and the solution determined as to what is causing the problem, the Archive will be rebuilt and all of the 500 or so newspapers originally in the Archive will be put back in. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    April Contest

    GRAND PRIZE QUESTION: What do bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

    GRAND PRIZE ANSWER: All of these were invented by women.

    ALTERNATE PRIZE QUESTION: What was the middle name of inventor Thomas Edison?


    Sixty-one people entered the contests. Twenty-eight people either had the incorrect subject heading or the wrong answer to the question. All prizes were claimed.
    The April contest winners were:
    • Arline Hampton - California
    • Bill Murphy - Maryland
    • R. Christian Anderson - California
    • Rev. J. Roland Cole - Texas
    • M. Dailey - California
    • Ava Betz - Colorado
    • Grant & Cyndi Bennett - Missouri

    This Issue's Question

    To enter the Grand Prize Contest, answer the question: What did the Wright brothers name their aircraft that first flew at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903?

    To enter the Alternate Contest, answer the question: What was the first state to join the Union AFTER the original 13 colonies?

    Contest Rules

    • Contest entry deadline is Wednesday, May 17, 2007. Later entries will be disqualified. Winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the contest deadline. Winners' names and states will be published in the next issue of the newsletter.

    • Subscribers may enter both contests, but can only win one prize.

    • To enter either contest, email your answer to

    • If entering for the Grand Prize, enter "Contest Entry Grand Prize" for the subject heading.

    • If entering for alternate prize contest, enter "Contest Entry" for the subject heading.

    • Alternate contest entries with prize desires such as "any prize is OK," "any of the historic newspapers" etc. will be disqualified. You MUST select ONE prize. The Grand Prize is considered as only one prize.

    • If entering both contests, send separate emails.

    • From subscribers entering the alternate contest, submitting the correct answer, correct subject heading, submission received by the deadline, as well as advising which ONE alternate contest prize they want to win, SIX will be selected to win ONE of the alternate contest prizes below.

    • From subscribers entering the Grand Prize contest, one will be selected to win the prize from those submitting the correct subject heading, correct answer, and by the deadline.

    • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in my trivia contests in the last 90 days are ineligible to win.
    Grand Prize
    (One winner will be selected)

      Official World Wrestling Entertainment Gear

      One official WWE XL polo shirt
      One official WWE baseball cap
      One official WWE bike bag pouch

    Alternate Contest Prizes
    Alternate Contest Prizes (Only one of each offered)

    Classic TV Comedy
    Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Ozzie & Harriet
    3 Stooges, Andy Griffith & More
    9 different episodes!
    Over 4 hours of comedy!

    PC Game
    Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
    Based on the TV Hit

    Original Historic Newspapers

    Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) historic newspaper from 1842

    Original Manchester American & Messenger (New Hampshire) historic newspaper from 1853

    New York Tribune historic newspaper from 1860

    Original Salem Gazette historic newspaper from 1873
    That's it for this issue.

    Rick Brown

    PS: May 10: As you are reading this newsletter I will be in Kentucky shooting more panoramas. Should be back by late Sunday. Hope to have the new panoramas online by early June., a nonprofit organization, now accepts donations online with contributions through PayPal or any credit card.
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