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 which was called the Arizona Republican at the time. Nowadays it's called the Republic.

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Yes, you can search for stuff, and be all organized if you want to, but I like just thumbing through the pages. I'll read the articles, the ads, the funnies. When I see something I like, I do a screen capture, and save it on my computer as a jpeg.

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.