Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Seen any funny typos in the paper lately? Sure, sloppy spelling and fractured syntax occasionally elude the overworked copy editors of 2011. But the real howlers, the kind that can land a hapless editor in the boss's office, are rare. After poring over thousands of old newspaper pages dating back to the 1860s, I've concluded that amusing typos were more common in the days of handset type and a minimalist approach to proofreading.
From the New York Graphic, via the Minneapolis Tribune:
|I doubt the Albert Lea Enterprise published any amusing typos in the late 1800s under the sober leadership of Clint L. Luce, who also served as the Freeborn County coroner. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
After reading this detailed account of a police raid on an illegal card game, one wonders if a Minneapolis Tribune reporter was among the men gathered in the "dingy little room" at the back of a cigar store on Washington Avenue.
AN AFTERNOON CARD PARTY
INTERRUPTED BY THE POLICE
|This photo from about 1895 depicts a card game of some sort. But the scene is obviously posed: The gentlemen are dressed to the nines, their hair neatly combed, the cards arranged just so -- and no refreshments are in sight. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
A Minneapolis Tribune brief about Bana Douglass’ plan to live in the wilds of Maine led me to this longer version on the front page of – surprise! – the Pittsburgh Press. Once you get past the somehow appropriately tangled first paragraph, it’s a pretty good read. The Tribune’s brief, published a few months later, does offer a few details not found in the Press account: Miss Douglass abandoned the idea of entering the woods entirely naked. Upon reflection, she decided gymnasium “pants” might be more comfortable at the start.
If you know how this marvelous adventure turned out, please post a comment. I haven’t been able to track down a followup of any kind.
To Gain Food and Clothes in
Wilds – Will Have Women
Advertising disguised as news was common in some American papers until about 1915. Here's an example from the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. The typefaces used in the headline and text were identical to those of the adjacent news stories:
Lucio and Simplicio Godina, born in the Philippines in 1908, were actually pygopagus twins, joined at the buttocks. This report appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune. For more on the inseparable brothers, including photos of them playing golf and posing with their twin brides, see this Sideshow World profile.
|Awwwwwwwww: The Godina brothers at age 4. (American Press Association photo)|