This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

How to page through the Phoenix newspaper from 1890 to 1920


One of the things that I really enjoy doing is browsing through the Phoenix newspaper, from 1890 to 1920. I enjoy Phoenix history, but I'm more interested in the ordinary day-to-day stuff. I really have no interest in "History Books". I want to know how people lived, what they did, what they ate, where they shopped, what was important to them. And just like today, it's trivia.

The internet has been a wonderful thing for people like me, who used to sit in libraries for hours, paging through old newspapers. I was never really looking for anything, I was just looking. Today I call it "time-traveling" - where I just try to immerse myself in a different time. So now I spend my spare minutes at the Library of Congress online.

Here's the link to the Phoenix newspaper http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020558/ which was called the Arizona Republican at the time. Nowadays it's called the Republic.

Yes, you can search for stuff, and be all organized if you want to, but I like just thumbing the pages. I'll read the articles, the ads, the funnies. When I see something I like, I do a screen capture, save it in Photoshop and post it on my Google+ Phoenix Historical Images page.

There are a lot of original documents like this on the web. Many schools have scanned them in and you can read them in pdf format. If you like time-traveling, like I do, it's a lot of fun. But remember that it's all raw information - there's no editing, no condensing. There may be things that offend some people, so beware. It was a different time. And while I much prefer living in modern times, I've always enjoyed visited the old days.


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