On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.
To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP.
News of the world
This Daily New Era front page from 1902 is fairly typical of its time. There are funeral announcements, marriage licenses, local weather, a notice of an upcoming “base ball” game, a long and meticulously detailed report on a high school graduation (67 graduates from Lancaster High School), and several other local notices.
There is also a significant amount of national and world news dominating the left side of the page. At this point in history, the telegraph, invented some 50 years earlier, was in widespread use as a means of rapidly conveying information to newspaper publishers around the world - not just in the big cities where it made its debut, but even at smaller papers in places like Lancaster.
(The telephone, invented in 1876, was at this point a locally focused device – the first coast-to-coast long distance call wouldn’t be made until more than a decade hence, in 1915. Overseas calling, of course, was not possible until the 1960s.)
Thanks to the telegraph, the days of national or world news reaching Lancaster County residents weeks after the fact were gone. Here, we have a moment-by-moment account of King Edward VII of England’s recovery from appendicitis, printed in Lancaster mere hours later.
Similarly timely stories about tornados in the Midwest, Congressional hearings and the travels of President Theodore Roosevelt are also included.
Life in 1902
After the first movie theater in the United States opened in 1896, the movie craze swept through the country, with theaters popping up in towns small and large. In 1902, a court ruling prevented Thomas Edison from having a monopoly on motion picture technology, a decision which facilitated the spread of this new technology. Here in Lancaster, multiple movie houses opened in the 1900s and 1910s, and local residents flocked to them to see silent films and newsreels.