• Suzanne Norquist

Looking For Spicy News The Old Fashioned Way

Updated: May 19

Newspapers are always looking for exciting news. But what happens when times are dull?

Seriously? “Dull times?” Wasn’t life in 1878 Colorado exciting enough? These were the days of shootouts in the streets and frequent gold strikes.

And, is it possible to be spicy and newsy at the same time? Does the spice take away from the newsiness and vice-versa?

The world was dangerous, and ads like these appeared in the paper.

Quicksilver is pure mercury (as in poison). It was used to separate gold from impurities. When I worked as a chemist, I only opened a bottle of mercury in a fume hood with gloves on. Here, they are selling it at the newspaper office next to the garden seeds.

It was a time when furniture makers doubled as undertakers (morticians).

The paper with the complaint about “dull times” included this wedding announcement.

Was the question about the bride’s identity intended to add spice?

The Silverton Standard editor knew how to liven things up, although I doubt the subjects of the embellishments appreciated his efforts.

The editor seems to be insinuating that Mr. Danes has found a way to sneak a girl into his place. It adds spice, but probably isn’t newsy. Reminds me of the summer that my husband worked in South Africa. I went to visit for a week, and the security guards didn’t believe I was his wife. They wouldn’t let me into the dorms.

Here’s another spicy tidbit from the Silverton Standard.

I assume a “car” is a train car? But why is it relevant that he left the horse? A gift? Or a promise to return? He couldn’t afford to feed the horse?

I’ll wrap up with this fun bit of news.

No matter what century it is, people want their news to be interesting. Adding innuendos to liven things up isn’t new, it’s just more widely distributed with modern technology. So, don’t believe everything you read on the internet (except my blog, of course).

#Undertaker #HistoricNewspapers #Gold #Quicksilver #Shootouts #News

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