Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653
Illustrated papers have become a feature. Every newspaper stand is covered with them. Every railroad train is filled with them. They are "object-teaching" to the multitude. They make the battlefields, the coronations, the corruptions of politicians, the balls, the race course, the yacht race, the naval and military heroes...familiar to everyone. They are, in brief, the art gallery of the world. Single admission, ten cents. -Frederick Hudson, Journalism in the United States, 1873

I am pleased to present a selection of issues of this highly popular and very collectible genre of American journalism. These wonderful old papers offer the modern collector a treasury of high quality engraved pictures of the people, places, and events in the news of times gone by, composed by contemporary eyewitnesses. On their pages is preserved an illustrated history of the American experience, recorded as it was happening, a unique and today highly collectible heritage. There are also feature articles and editorials, all of which bring the past to life in a vivid way that no other medium can duplicate.

The first true news pictorial weekly newspapers did not appear in America until 1851. They were made possible by rapid advances in news gathering which resulted in an unprecedented demand for "the latest". The only method of illustration available at this time was woodcut engraving, that is, blocks of wood hand-engraved and then made into stereotype plates to be used in the giant rotary presses also newly emerged at this ti8me. Although a practical means for reproducing photographs in newspapers would not exist until the late 1890;s, many of the illustrations are based on daguerreotype, tintypes, and later albumen prints, interpreted by artisans who modeled their woodblocks on these originals.

My Catalog Selector

Click on the graphics below to go to the catalogs of the titles shown. Each catalog is devoted entirely to that paper and features a good selection of dates with a vast amount of illustration. Other titles of the pictorial newspaper genre may also be found in our General Americana and British Catalogs.

Click here for a selection of America's first pictorial newspaper, 1851 - 1858 Harper's Weekly Catalog
Frank Leslie's Newspaper Catalog The Daily Graphic Catalog

       ...the page of simple news
Is here adorned and filled with pictured life,
Coloured with a thousand tints - the rainbow strife
Of all the world's emotions - all the hues
Of war - peace - commerce; - agriculture rife
With budding plenty that doth life infuse.
All fair domestic joy - all - all here
To gild the new, and from the bygone year
Present a gift to take - to cherish and to use.

          From Illustrated London News, the first pictorial newspaper, verse at the close of Volume I, 1842.

Some references consulted in the preparation of this catalog.

  • Beam, Winslow Homer's Magazine Engravings. New York, 1975.
  • Gelman, The Wood Engravings of Winslow Homer. New York, 1969.
  • Jackson, The Pictorial Press, Its Rise and Progress. London, 1885.
  • Janello and Jones, eds., The American Magazine. New York, 1991
  • Kouwenhoven, Adventures of America, 1857 - 1900. New York, 1938.
  • Mott, A History of American Magazines, 1741 - 1905. Cambridge, 1957.
  • Mott, The American Newspaper. New York, 1941.
  • Paine, Thomas Nast, His Period and Pictures. New York, 1904.
  • Samuels, Frederick Remington. Austin, 1982.
  • Titus, ed., Union List of Serials, 1965.

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