Category Archives: Project News

Happy 4th of Ju_y!

Celebration at Cookeville ad

Putnam County Herald. June 27, 1912.

Sounds like one “L” of a celebration in Cookeville, 1912!

Bicycle races, foot races (attached to legs, we hope), exciting contests! Technology is at the forefront of the celebrations with airships, automobiles, and moving pictures. And don’t miss the “Greatest Pyrotechnical Display ever seen in this country”!!

Happy 4th of July!

Tennessee’s Most Curious Titles

Over the course of the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project, I’ve come across thousands of newspapers. Many of them have names commonly associated with newspapers in most English-speaking countries, for example, the Times, the Sentinel, the Gazette, and so on. Others have been a little more inventive. Here is a list I compiled over the years of Tennessee newspaper titles that I found interesting:

Academist, The Lawrenceburg
Black Cat Herald, The
Black Kitten Herald, The
Breeder and Turfman Nashville
Busy South Summertown/Lawrenceburg
Button Buster Rhea Springs
Carthage Casket Carthage
Chanticleer Pulaski
Consolidated Fanciers Journal Nashville
Current Breeze Bells, Crockett Co.
Dental Headlight Nashville
Drugman Nashville
Established Fact Murfreesboro
Expositor, The Shelbyville
Fairy, The Chattanooga
Family Visitor Waynesboro
Forked Deer Blade Jackson
Gabfest, The Jackson
Gas Bag, The Paris
Golden Rule Pilot various Mississippi river towns
Gossiper, The Dresden
Holiday budget Knoxville
Home Altar McMinnville
Industrious Hen Knoxville
Javelin, The Cleveland
Jellico Carry‐on Jellico, Campbell Co.
Johnson’s Store Trumpet Mount Juliet
Jolly Tennessean Charlotte
Kind Words Memphis
Knickerbocker News Jackson
Light for Thinkers Chattanooga
Mt Juliet Farrago Mt Juliet
Magic City Star Harriman
Mayfield’s Happy Home Memphis
Mrs Grundy of Grundy Tracy City
Morristown Siftings Morristown
Morristown Spy Morristown
Mountain Ears Spencer
New Idea Burns
Open Door, The Winchester
Orthopolitan Nashville
Rescue, The Shelbyville
Rough and Ready Nashville
Sandy Sampson’s own Memphis
Silkworm Chattanooga
Silver Dollar Jacksboro
Solid South Bartlett, Shelby Co.
Southern Atlas, The Brownsville
Southern Cycler Memphis
Spirit of the Farm Nashville
State Wheel
State Wheel and Blade
Sunny Clime Sherwood
Tennessee River Wave Parsons
Tennessee Tomahawk Mountain City
Tiger Rag Memphis
Trumpet of Liberty Pulaski
Unconditional, The Harrison
Weekly Regulator, The Jasper
Western Cabinet Fayetteville
Western Mercury Columbia
White County Favorite Sparta
Woman’s Appeal, The Jonesborough


Love and Commerce (featured NEH project)

Prudent Man valentine bank ad

Camden Chronicle [Tennessee]. February 8, 1918.

If you’re in the mood for love, take a look at the article below by Leah Weinryb Grohsgal (NEH Program Coordinator for the National Digital Newspaper Program). In honor of Valentine’s Day, Leah explores historical newspapers to see how “enterprising businesses saw the opportunity to integrate romantic sentiments and material culture in the emerging consumer economy.

It reminded me of this charming ad [left], found in our own Camden Chronicle.


Click on the image to see whole story.

Chronicling America Update

Exciting new additions from Tennessee now available on Chronicling America!

Most of the newspapers in TNDP Phase III date from the WWI era. However, there are a couple of exceptions, both of which are now available online.

Tennessee Staatszeitung

Tennessee Staatszeitung. April 6, 1866.

The Tennessee Staatszeitung is a German-language newspaper published in Nashville after the Civil War. Written almost exclusively in German, and printed using the fraktur typeface, the paper provided news about Tennessee, the U.S., and worldwide events for the state’s German-speaking immigrants. As well as news, there are many advertisements, a large proportion of which are for local (many German-immigrant-owned) businesses. Many of the ads are for breweries and saloons, which provided a major source of income for German-language newspapers throughout the country. Unfortunately, when prohibition was introduced years later, many German-language newspapers found it hard to stay afloat without the revenue from these businesses. Read more about U.S. historical German-language newspapers, here, in Leah Weinryb Grohsgal’s essay (National Endowment for the Humanities).

Chilhowee EchoThe Chilhowee Echo was published at the turn of the 19th/20th century by and for Knoxville women. The paper’s inaugural issue clearly states that is purpose is not political, “This is not a ‘woman’s rights’ paper […]; it is not an advocate of woman suffrage, and it has no special mission as a reformer.” However, the paper’s publishers did reserve the right “to make such comment on matters political as it may deem fit and proper.”

Chilhowee Echo. May 12, 1900.

Chilhowee Echo. May 12, 1900.

The few extant issues of the Echo (about a dozen, all of which can be found on Chronicling America), offer a variety of poetry and prose, articles about literature and the arts, social news and events, club news, and advertisements.

Other Tennessee newspapers recently added to Chronicling America
McNairy County Independent (1913-1922), Newport Plain Talk (1911-1915, some scattered issues from 1917-22), Mrs Grundy (1903-1921), the Parisian (1914-1919), Knoxville Independent (1917-1919).

Mickie Says …

Mickie Says - comic panel

Crossville Chronicle. March 30, 1921.

The Mickie Says cartoon panel was created by Charles Sughroe and syndicated through the Western Newspaper Union from 1918. Each week, the cartoon’s young protagonist – a “printer’s devil” at a small town newspaper – reminded readers to support their hometown newspaper in various ways such as keeping their subscription up to date, taking out ads in the paper, or reporting local news.

The character later appeared in his own comic strip – Mickie the Printer’s Devil – which follows the daily goings-on in a small-town newspaper printing office. Our friends over at the Vermont Newspaper Digitization Project highlighted the comic strip in an article on their website – check it out here.

Mickie’s creator, cartoonist Charles Sughroe, had plenty of experience to draw on having worked as a printer’s devil himself, at his father’s newspaper the Stockton Herald-News in Illinois. Following his boyhood experience in the print office, Sughroe spent four years at the Chicago Art Institute before working as a free-lance commercial artist, and later gaining national recognition for his Mickie cartoon. An article in trade journal, American Printer, in 1922 says, “Every Mickie cartoon is founded on some actual happening, so it is not overdrawn.” Some of Sughroe’s other comic panels and strips – People of our Town and Town Pests – can be found by searching Chronicling America‘s newspapers (for example, this page from the Leavenworth Echo, Wa., features both).

People of our town cartoon

Crossville Chronicle. June 29, 1921.

More information on Mickie and Sughroe is available at The Stripper’s Guidea comprehensive website with tons of information about the history of the American newspaper comic.

Charles Sughroe - Cartoonist

American Printer. July 5, 1922.














Chronicling America Update

Chronicling America 10 million pagesIn October, the total number of pages available via Chronicling America surpassed 10 MILLION! And it was a Tennessee batch that took it through that barrier!

The latest Tennessee titles to be added are: Putnam County Herald (1911-1921), Sneedville News (1913-1922), Crossville Chronicle (1915-1922), Grainger County News (1917-1922), and Memphis News Scimitar (1918-1920). Further issues of the Chattanooga News and the Camden Chronicle were added, bringing the coverage to Jan. 1918-1920 and 1890-1922 respectively.

Sneedville News December 6 1918

Sneedville News. December 6, 1918.

Chronicling America Data Challenge

Chronicling America Data ChallengeOver the last few years you’ve enjoyed browsing and searching America’s historical newspapers on Chronicling America, but all the time you were thinking, I know there’s so much more I could be doing with this data. Well now’s your chance!

NEH has launched a competition designed to encourage you to “develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative web-based projects using a user-friendly Application Program Interface (API) to explore the data contained in Chronicling America data.”

Read more about the challenge on this website. The contest is open to the public (some restrictions apply, see Rules on the website) – enter as an individual or group. This would make a great collaborative project for, say, historians, social scientists, digital humanists,  and computer scientists. Dig into the data and create something brilliant!!

To help start the cogs turning, here are some links to projects that have used Chronicling America data for visualizations, and also links to other data visualization projects, for inspiration.

Journalism's Voyage West mapJournalism’s Voyage West
From Stanford University’s Rural West Initiative, this visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. A panel on the right provides contextual information.

Viral text networks 19th century


Viral Texts
Mapping Networks of Reprinting in 19th-Century Newspapers and Magazines. From Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, this project explores shared texts among pre-Civil War newspapers.

Hawaiian Star history


Visualizing Newspaper History
Created by a UCSD undergraduate in 2011, this animation uses 5930 front pages from the Hawaiian Star covering 1893-1912 period.


Mining the Dispatch


Visit the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab to explore a variety of data visualization projects, some of which use newspaper data (though not from Chronicling America).