Newspapers From the Past, Part 1

Ludington Daily News

The postcard on the left shows the Ludington Daily News building in the early 1900s. My grandfather, Emil, (the one typing) worked there for several years starting in 1913. There was also the Record Appeal, a weekly publication that would condense the main stories from the Daily News, and add other news that would be of interest to Mason Country residents. It might not surprise you that I have “inherited” countless newspaper clippings both by and about Emil during those years and beyond.

It’s fortunate when you have writers in your family’s past, because there will usually be lots of letters, stories, and memoirs recording their everyday lives. The new printing press discussed in the above article is shown below.

It’s also fortunate that you can find a lot of these papers online. Click here to see where I find most of the articles I’ve used for family history. You aren’t able to search a specific name or term like you can on, but for Ludington, “Newspapers” only goes back to 1930. So if you want anything earlier than that, you have to be super patient and go through them with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. You should also prepare to be distracted, because you will find yourself stopping to read all kinds of fascinating articles that have nothing to do with your family. Actually, that’s kind of what led up to this post.

Take this, for example. I have no idea who Mrs. Rasmus Jensen of Madison Street was, nor do I have a clue about the “Merry Twelve”. I do know I would have enjoyed an afternoon of sewing and playing games with friends. But what I really want to know is what the “dainty refreshments” were!

I will say that I don’t know how anyone managed to find anything in the paper with pages like this! It’s a little easier online because you can zoom in. I’m thinking (from a language teacher’s perspective), that back then it would take quite a proficient reader to even try to tackle this kind of text. (Just a little side note in case you decide to spend hours online, searching through hundred-year-old newspapers for tidbits of family history that most of your family could probably live without.)

Of course I always like it when I find ads for my great grandfather’s tailor shop. This one is from December of 1918. If you’ve read “Letters to Emil, Part 1”, you know the story of how the tailor shop caught fire in 1916. You’ll notice in this ad that the shop was now on James Street instead of Charles Street.

The above ad is from I was searching my maternal grandfather, George Anderson, and somehow I found myself in some 1925 papers from Spokane, Washington. I know George never lived in Spokane, but I was interested to see how many George Andersons I could find throughout the country, and what sort of people they were. (That’s blog material in itself!) I recently came across the photo of my grandma Johnson, and it seemed to fit nicely here.

Of course I got sidetracked looking at ads. I thought it was interesting how they emphasized that Bayer Aspirin was prescribed by physicians. Not sure I would want to give my child honey and tar for cough syrup, although it’s comforting to know it contained no morphine or chloroform. And I guess “laxative” Bromo Quinine tablets were good for quite a few health issues as well.

The Palm family, owners of Palm’s Furniture Store, were friends of the Johnsons in Ludington. They attended the same church, and their kids went to school together.

Could Postum and lemon pie have been included in the “dainty refreshments” at Mrs. Rasmus Jensen’s party?

A few more random ads that caught my attention.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this little trip through “newspapers of the past” as much as I have. If so, stay tuned for “Newspapers From the Past, Part 2”.

12 thoughts on “Newspapers From the Past, Part 1

  1. Yes I did enjoy this, especially the ads! We actually drank Postum back in the sixties at my house; do they still sell it today I wonder? Grape Nuts are still good, if you don’t mind eating cereal that tastes like rocks! 😉 I understand there was a run on it recently jacking the price sky high! 🙂

  2. Lulu: “Those are some interesting old advertisements! Tar and honey? Bromo-Quinine? Yikes!”
    Charlee: “Our Dada says that having a vacuum cleaner in the house doesn’t make for 50 weeks of vacation, but then again he’s never had to take a rug outside and beat it, so what does he know?”
    Chaplin: “Are you sure Dada doesn’t pre-date vacuum cleaners, Charlee? I mean, I know I’ve seen him eating Grape-Nuts, so he could well have been around back then.”
    Charlee: “Hmm, good point … Still, I think we can all agree the world would be a better place without vacuum cleaners in it.”
    Lulu: “Oh for sure!”
    Chaplin: “Definitely!”

    1. Panda: “Hey Foster, it looks like we forgot to reply to this comment from the Oceanside Animals.”
      Foster: “Dude, comment replies are your responsibility. What did they say?”
      Panda: “They said they think their Dada pre-dates vacuum cleaners because he eats Grape-Nuts.”
      Foster: “Well our Mom must pre-date all of them because hey, do we even have a vacuum?”
      Both: (laughing uproariously) 😂🤣

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