Welcome to this sample collection which gathers together articles from historically notable documents that appear in this archive, and provides you with links to view the articles on the Gale Primary Sources platform.
For this collection, we have curated sample articles from five historically important and influential publications, with four articles from each. These cover a range of subject areas to illustrate the diversity of the archive, for researchers working on both focused projects and broader multidisciplinary research. Please remember that this guide is a curation of sample content: there is a lot more available in the full archive, far beyond the examples we have selected here. If you would like to explore the content of the archive and see the functionality of the Gale Primary Sources platform, there is a link to start a free trial at the end of this guide, along with links to find your local representative if you have any questions.
Based in Boston, the Banner of Light began publication in 1857, established by William Berry to publicise the seances of Jennie Conant (1831-1875). It became the longest running spiritualist journal, with articles from resident mediums, book reviews, transcripts and letters. The popularity of the paper led to the opening of an office in Cincinatti in 1866 to expand its coverage across the country, and had a national circulation. Many of the most prominent spiritualists of the time worked for the paper, and ran seances in one the offcie's rooms several times a week.
Beggining as The Flag in 1846, publisher Frederick Gleason (c.1817-1896) mixed news coverage with fiction and poetry into a paper that reportedly reahed a circualtion of over 100,000 at its peak. Gleason sold the paper to its editor Maturin Murray Ballou (1820-1895) in 1854, and it published works by authors that become influential throughout the century, most notable Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), and was one of the first papers willing to publish works by an author that was finding it difficult to get paid for his work, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849).
Although primarily a journal for the trade, The Inland Printer displayed a powerful artistic imagination as it reported the printing industry’s coming of age. The magazine was the focal point of the first great period of American illustration, from 1890 to 1940, promoting the new ideas and new technology that were influencing all the popular arts. Among the inventions perfected in those years were the high-speed rotary press, the linotype machine, and automatic inking; more important foils popular culture than these technological breakthroughs was the decision, made by The Inland Printer in 1894, to become the first American magazine to change its cover with every issue—a commonplace today but a revolutionary move then. (Source: https://www.americanheritage.com/content/inland-printer).
Scientific American, the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 170 years. In an era of rapid innovation, Scientific American founded the first branch of the U.S. Patent Agency, in 1850, to provide technical help and legal advice to inventors. A Washington, D.C., branch was added in 1859. By 1900 more than 100,000 inventions had been patented thanks to Scientific American. For a century, the magazine chronicled the major discoveries and inventions of the Industrial Revolution, including the Bessemer steel converter, the telephone and the incandescent lightbulb. Thomas Edison (1847-1931) presented the prototype of the phonograph for inspection by the editors, and Samuel Morse (1791-1972), father of the telegraph, and Elias Howe (1819-1867), inventor of the sewing machine, were frequent visitors to the offices in downtown New York City (Source:https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/about-scientific-american).
The Woman’s Journal was a weekly suffragist periodical, first published by Lucy Stone (1818-1893) and her husband, Henry Blackwell (1825-1909), to address a broad segment of middle-class female society interested in women’s rights. As an official publication of the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), it published the views of the AWSA. Because the periodical was “devoted to the interests of Woman—to her educational, industrial, legal and political Equality, and especially to her right of Suffrage,” it printed speeches, debates, and convention notes that pertained to suffrage for women. The publication, however, also featured short stories, poems, and columns such as “Gossips and Gleanings” that made the Woman’s Journal a more moderate, less-politicized periodical than the rival newspaper of the more radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), The Revolution. The Woman’s Journal’s audience supported suffrage as a means of obtaining for women better education, greater access to the professions, and property rights for married women. (Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Womans-Journal).
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