Tag Archives: Advertisements
By Kyle Rogers, LVA Newspaper Project volunteer
As the start of the K-12 school year looms, and college students gear up for their fall semester, the Library of Virginia peers back at how the back-to-school frenzy used to look in America’s historical newspapers. Make sure to check next week on Chronicling America’s #ChronAmParty twitter page to see how newspapers from around the country announced back to school time.
First thing’s first, kids: you have to have the right outfit. As Burk & Co. said, going back to school isn’t easy after summer vacation, but “It’s easier on the boys if they go back wearing stylish new clothes.” Buy Burk & Co. for “quality that saves money.” Oh, and don’t forget to buy some new dresses “That’ll truly please [even] the most critical young school miss of six to fourteen years.”
And don’t forget the importance of a nutritious breakfast! Mrs. M. A. Wilson of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reminded parents, “Chilly mornings and evenings mean that from now on the body will require additional heat and energy foods,” and she provides her own recipes for preparing calorie-packed breakfast cereals. Kettle not included.
Students needed just as many supplies for the classroom during the 1910s as they do now in the 2010s, but how did their parents get them in the era before Amazon…or any online shopping? They shopped at the Cohen Company, of course! Don’t forget your writing ink and gum for art class!
I can testify from personal experience about the importance of being able to see well in the classroom. Students with poor vision need prescription glasses, so that they can see the board and complete their homework assignments without struggling to read the questions. Luckily, famous optician Charles Lincoln Smith is here to help. The Times-Dispatch reported … read more »
By Kyle Rogers, LVA Newspaper Project volunteer
As part of an ongoing effort to give voice to nineteenth-century African Americans through digital projects like Virginia Untold and Virginia Chronicle, the Virginia Newspaper Project has identified nearly 500 advertisements posted by free African Americans during the antebellum era and the Civil War (c. 1800-1865) concerning their freedom papers. The example, below, was published in the Richmond Daily Dispatch on July 12, 1859:
Freedom papers, or “free papers,” were protective documents that certified a free African American’s non-slave status. Frederick Douglass, as usual, best explains the legal and personal significance of free papers to their bearers:
It was the custom in the State of Maryland to require of the free colored people to have what were called free papers. This instrument they were required to renew very often, and by charging a fee for this writing, considerable sums from time to time were collected by the State. In these papers the name, age, color, height and form of the free man were described, together with any scars or other marks upon his person which could assist in his identification. This device of slaveholding ingenuity, like other devices of wickedness, in some measure defeated itself—since more than one man could be found to answer the same general description. Hence many slaves could escape by impersonating the owner of one set of papers… The operation was a hazardous one for the lender as well as for the borrower. Douglass, Frederick. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself. pp. 245–246.
A free African American’s papers constituted a legal affidavit which identified him … read more »
On a Monday, in late May, 1900, a corner of Virginia, under clear skies, experienced not the partial eclipse we’ll experience here in the Commonwealth, but a total eclipse of the sun.
Norfolk was one of the few major population sites in the United States situated in the path of totality. The eclipse path moved from the Gulf of Mexico into southeast America and then into the Atlantic Ocean.
We have selected images from the Newspaper Project’s digital archive, Virginia Chronicle, previewing a story of a celestial nature that previously had not been described in such detail by newspapers.
And consider that in-depth reporting of the eclipse belonged almost solely to the newspaper medium – before the advent of radio, television, and Instagram. It is difficult to conceive, given our 21st century media landscape, that newspapers served as the primary source, and for many, the sole source, of information; hence the graphs, charts, and the heady mix of scientific facts and romantic conjecture.
The first front page coverage appeared on the preceding Thursday. It notes that teams of scientists and dozens of members of the Geographical Society, as well as President William McKinley, will arrive to observe the phenomenon.
Of the papers in the Tidewater region, only the Virginian-Pilot published illustrations like the following from Friday’s edition:
Operating on the same principle that if you drain the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find the lost city of Atlantis, there was hope that the planet Vulcan would reveal itself during the solar eclipse. Alas, it remained undiscovered. For the curious, Wikipedia outlines the 19th century origins of the pursuit for the mystery planet.
More detail for the curious shows up, page 2, on Saturday:
The Sunday edition featured the zodiac framed graphic shown at the top of this page, plus, … read more »
There is a growing interest in the lost art of hand-lettering as evidenced by the recent premier of Sign Painters at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in March.
At a time, when many young people have spent their entire lives with a computer in their home and Photoshop has become a verb, there is a renewed appreciation for the unique look that hand lettering produces. Here is a collection of random photos I have taken over the years, while I have worked with original newspapers here at the Library of Virginia.
These pieces are most likely from newspapers ranging from the 1900′s into the 1940′s, though hand lettering continued to be seen well into the 1970′s. Even before computers came along and completely decimated the craft there were other methods of photo-mechanical reproduction of type that severely limited the need for hand lettering.
Enjoy the lettering.
Don’t miss this second gallery of images.
The News Leader was formed in 1903 by a merger of Richmond News and Evening Leader. It became the Richmond News Leader in 1925 and was published until 1992.
Similar to our friends at the Mecklenburg Times in 1941, above, the Virginia Newspaper Project is taking some time off for the holidays. Best wishes to you and yours! We’ll see you next year!… read more »
Advertisements from the Blue Ridge Herald (Purcellville, Virginia), Jan. 6, 1955