If I ranked the most boring things possible, reading an old issue of the newspaper would rank pretty high. Probably top ten somewhere, just below purgatory.
The newspaper is meant to be here today, gone tomorrow… and recycled weekly. But the newspaper is a lot like food. It’s best fresh and thrown out past its expiration date; but if kept around you might just have a science experiment on your hands (with newspaper, a history lesson).
Lately, I’ve been working with the old news quite a bit creating a webpage to sell the shop’s antique prints. Maybe it’s because most of our prints reflect the history of Memphis as it unfolded, but I’m fascinated by all of them. I consistently feel the impulse to transcribe all the articles, but I realize not everybody is a weirdo like me who finds the syntax of the 1800s so amusing.
At any rate, anyone can look at these prints and see how beautiful they are. As somebody with engraving experience, I can assure you, even with the quick turnover of the news, these prints are insanely well done. The detail is dizzying.
The articles and illustrations reporting on the Civil War are especially compelling. The print above is an image of the Battle of Pittsburg Landing (more commonly known as Shiloh), dated back to 1862 when it was still breaking news.
Definitely worth a look.