Is Anything Really New?
My friend Anne, a historian in Edenton, has a great collection of old newspapers that are an amazing and entertaining perusal. I'm captivated by an 1895 Harper's Weekly. The hand-drawn covers and cartoons rival any photograph or modern cartoon.
I read news stories about how the trolley above Niagara Falls was accomplished and the handing over of Mackinac Island from the government to Michigan to create a State Park.
I also enjoyed a serialized story titled "His Father's Son" by Branden Matthews. The author set the scene in an elegant Victorian mansion with broad hall and velvet draperies. Then, this:
Then she led the girl into the large, long parlor with its four tall windows- two on the square and two on the side street-and with its wide fireplace, wherein there blazed a gas imitation of crackling log.
1895. Yes, gas log. And we thought we were so clever.
Then came this: The next morning when this appeared the Gotham Gazette sent a reporter down to Broad Street to interview Ezra Pierce, with a hope that he would deny the report, thus permitting the Gazette virtually to denounce Dial News for its "fake journalism." Yes, the quotation marks were there. To those who think this a 21st century invention, sorry. It's already been done.
In Murfreesboro, NC, there's the Jeffcoat Museum. I've blogged about this adventure before. If you want to see just how old our new stuff is, you must visit here. You'll see how our modern day toaster is merely another version of the one the soldiers in the Revolutionary War invented to warm their bread. Nothing is really new, it seems.