Photo from Schenectady Gazette, 
July 15, 1952

Lewis Songer Masthead Collection




Comments on the collection

Songer acquired his papers in several ways.  He would pick them up in his travels and many were sent by friends.  He placed ads in Editor & Publisher, the magazine of the publishing industry, and sent postcards requesting a copy directly to the papers.  Most newspapers simply sent on copies without comment, or nothing more than an acknowledgement of Songer's request.  A few were more expansive...

"You sure have a huge collection of newspapers there.  Heres one more."

"We don't believe any collection of newspapers would be complete without a copy of The News."-- Response to an advertisement in Editor & Publisher.

Inspite of your large collection
you should be considerate enough to send
at least that much with your request. 
Publishers of newspapers don't
exist on hot air and wind--you know.

Don't know why I am taking the time to
get you informed.  You will never send us
your dime.


and Please note--We are

an audited newspaper." The dime was sent.

"We appreciate your interest very much but it is a hard and fast rule of the company that no samples shall be issued in this manner."  A  polite request for 25 cents.

In at least one case, a rather extended correspondence developed as the newspaperman was very supportive of Songer's hobby.  A few excerpts:

"The fact that you have such a large selection interests me, and although I am not particularly interested in collecting newspapers, I am in a position to send you many copies of Wisconsin newspapers which we receive as exchanges here in our office....It makes me curious to know how in the world you care for such a collection of papers.  Perhaps you have been at it for some time, and have a system worked out, although it would seem to me to be difficult, with you in the military service...Don't be concerned about the postage on them.  I'll pay for it, and just feel that I have helped you along with your hobby.  A hobby is one of the finest things a person can acquire/ I have three of them myself...Gets to be a bit expensive at times, but it's fun....Continued success in your hobby, and good luck as well."

In this case, Songer's request for a copy ended up as a letter to the editor.  A clipping of the request, along with the paper, was forwarded him from the publisher's office.

Cuba City (WI) News-Herald
Contact information and publication history.

"Your newspaper collection sounds fascinating. Wish I could look it over, for I'm sure there must be many very interesting publications among that large number...."

"I don't know your purpose of gathering newspapers, but I hope by comparison you will consider our paper among one of the leading newspapers."

"We keep the back issues up to one year old and the cost of each paper that old is $1.00."

"It is interesting to note that you have such a large collection of newspapers and we are quite proud to have been invited to add our paper to your project."

The editor and publisher of The Eastern Gazette (Dexter, ME) sent Songer a copy of that paper and the Moosehead Gazette and asked for a description of the collection. Subsequently, a short article, complete with picture, appeared in the Dec. 8, 1955 edition.
Contact information.


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