• Suzanne Norquist

Historic Social Media Tidbits

Updated: Jul 24

It’s been a while since I’ve posted fun tidbits from historic Colorado newspapers. My daughter/blog editor pointed this out. I’d almost forgotten how entertaining old news could be. It’s a reminder that, as a society, we haven’t come as far as we thought.


Take, for example, the current trend of posting cute kitten videos. I found the following clip in a description of a church sociable. I want to call it a “social,” but the article uses “sociable.” Who am I to argue? I wasn’t there.

The January 4, 1879 edition of the Lake City newspaper includes the following item.

Apparently, we have always been obsessed with kittens.

One of the current trends is topost videos of pranks, like the Mannequin Head Drop Prank, which would be horrifying. I’m not a fan of pranks.

In 1879, Lake City’s newspaper published an article about a prank that some boys pulled. It was titled, “A Small Boy Has Some Fun.”

The boy climbed a tree and dropped the key next to an unsuspecting lady, making a clinking sound. He immediately pulled the key up. She stopped and searched for the item she’d dropped.

The article wraps up with the following comment.

This prank article is actually credited to another newspaper, the Rochester Express. As we would say today, it went viral.


I’m sure the old timers would envy our ability to add video to our stories. Check out this description of a snow funnel cloud.

It might have looked something like this.

Without video, the news reporters used poetic descriptors to bring the image to life.

Note the use of the words “hurled,” “floated,” and the comparison with diamonds. It’s enough to make a novelist proud.


As it turns out, we have always been concerned with healthy living. Here is some advice for minimizing the effects of overindulging in party food and drink. It was published on January 4th, too late for holiday revelry.

I would comment on the list, but I can’t even wrap my head around it. I’ll just leave it there. Perhaps it’s no weirder than things people would suggest now.


All of that to say, we’re not as progressive as we think we are. Except that now we can enhance the stories with pictures and video. No need to use expressive verbs like hurled and floated.


P. S. If you missed any of my earlier posts about old newspaper articles, check out the following links:

https://www.suzannenorquist.com/post/facebook-posts-from-old-newspapers

https://www.suzannenorquist.com/post/old-time-bloopers

https://www.suzannenorquist.com/post/roller-skating-in-the-80s-the-1880s


#OldNewspapers #Kittens #Newspapers #Pranks #History #SocialMedia

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