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Archive for November 19th, 2011

The New York Ledger, according to the Oxford Companion of American Literature, was published weekly from 1855 until 1898 and was  “the most widely read weekly paper of its time.”

We have added two New York Ledger newspapers for sale dated November 1892, which are among several Victorian period newspapers available at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

These particular newspapers have not only interesting articles, but great advertising and illustrations which may be used for Victorian period or steampunk related projects, such as collages, website designs, research, etc.

For example, there are two very interesting  columns, Correspondence and Science.  In the Correspondence column, a reader asks:  “I have invented a frictionless valve and steam-chest for engines. Can the Ledger tell me if there is any way I can find out whether my invention is something new or only an infringement on somebody’s else (sic) patent. Will I have to go to any great expense to ascertain what I wish to know?” Answer: Write to Hon. Charles E. Mitchell, Commissioner of Patents, Washington, D.C. The cost of ascertaining whether your invention is totally new will probably be little. Any one can for himself find out whether an invention infringes upon another’s by consulting Patent-Office Reports found in nearly every large public library. Or any patent solicitor will conduct the ‘preliminary’ examination for five dollars.” Two thoughts came to mind when I read these editions.  First, that the reader could send a letter to the Commissioner of Patents directly to get an answer to his or her question. Second, that the columnist encouraged the reader to investigate for him/herself to find out the answer.

Under the Science column, some advice was given by a “prominent doctor” for getting rid of a cold, specifically “When the first symptoms manifest themselves is the time for action, and this should consist of a hot mustard foot-bath before going to bed and hot draught of milk. The covering of the body should be linen and wool, the former in the way of the sheet and the latter in the blanket. … Nothing is more fallacious than the belief that health is promoted and life prolonged by air in excess, and this is proved by tombstones.” Well.

Was this written yesterday? Sounds so familiar ...

And I can’t ignore the Fashion corner which offers this description for a dressing gown I would love to have: “A very handsome house-dress is made of brocade and plain silk. The skirt is of brocade with rows of narrow, dark-colored velvet above puffs from shoulders to elbows; the yoke is shirred in to a velvet collar; the fronts are of plain silk, with very closely set rows of velvet ribbon. The revers, short basque skirts and very deep cuffs are of plain silk elaborately embroidered.”

In the Thanksgiving Number, the following poem appears:

Thanksgiving all the Year by Caleb Dunn

Once a year there comes a day
In the chill November weather
When from near and far away
Loving kindred meet together.

Round the old hearthstone they meet,
Young and old, in union tender,
To renew their greetings sweet
And their mutual love to render.

Thanks are given that once again
They whom distance separated,
With their hearts all free from pain,
Gather there with hearts elated.

Yet through all the changing year
We for giving thanks have reason
For the blessings that appear –
That we find in every season:

Thanks for shelter from the storm ;
Thanks because no ills confound us ;
Thanks for hearts that e’re are warm ;
Thanks for loving friends around us;

Thanks for health that day by day
With fresh pleasure comes attended ;
Thanks for sorrow passed away,
Thanks for troubles that are ended.

So, for blessings we receive,
Making our lives worth the living,
Every day of joy we live
Should to us be a thanksgiving.

Beautifully written and illustrated. Prices vary.

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