As some of you have undoubtably noticed, I have a thing for history, especially the time of the Dieselpunk and Atompunk epochs (i.e. both World Wars and the Space Race). Luckily for me, this time is very well documented and you can do a lot of research online. However, I am one of those weird people who also really like to go through printed paper when it comes to historical research. I was thus delighted, when the gentleman and scholar Thomas Walker got in touch with me via æthermail.
Mr. Walker is the curator of the biggest archive of historic newspapers in the UK and also runs the website with the very fitting name Historic Newspapers.
The archive is made up of over 7 million editions from all over the world. To date the UK titles have been catalogued as far back as 1900 by date and title, there is also a significant number of US and other issues, as well as many from the Victorian era. These original newspapers offer a fantastic window into how life once was and provide a fascinating insight into the life of our ancestors
We had a very friendly exchange of æthermails and now I am the proud owner of some excellent reprints of newspaper editions with highly valuable information regarding my interest in history. Here is an example:
I also have some editions with key events of World War 2 now, but what I actually find most interesting is the kinds of adverts you get in those papers and just reading the language of the times. So much has changed. Yes, it is modern English, but the words and sentences they used 40 and more years ago are still noticeably different. For one thing, overused words of today, like awesome and great, are used much more rarely and “cool” actually still meant primarily “not warm”. Well, I guess in this case you really can say those were the days.