The Ohio State Journal Collection was recently updated to include a small set of issues published in 1909. This content stands out from the rest of the over 60,000-page collection, which contains issues from the mid-19th century. Why is that? It was in the 20th century that newspapers began to incorporate more graphics, such as cartoons and photographs, with the articles and advertisements. The 1909 Ohio State Journal is no exception. Every issue features multiple images that were intended to catch the reader’s eye, and it is in the Sunday paper that this is most evident.
Sunday issues were often three or even four and five times the size of the Monday through Saturday publications. Where the weekday issues would devote perhaps a column or page to topics such as Society or Sports, the Sunday issue devoted entire sections to these subjects. In addition to the Society and Sporting sections, the Sunday editions also included sections called Editorial, Comic and The Ohio State Journal Magazine, which boasted the “Largest Sunday Circulation in Central Ohio” and featured a variety of entertainment items that were generally geared toward women. Articles covered music, theater, fashion trends, celebrities, and health, beauty and relationship advice.
A regular column provided what many women find popular in today’s magazines and online forums: relationship advice. “What Every Woman Doesn’t Know” by Emily Cole informed readers “That ‘Love and Let Love’ Is the Only Cure for the Blight of Jealousy” and “That a Little Psychology is a Dangerous Thing,” among other items. Another regular feature in the Ohio State Journal Magazine section was titled “For the Industrious Needlewoman.” It included needlework patterns and instructions, such as this one for a Luncheon Set Centerpiece, and household tips, from the proper way to store your slippers to how to decorate a guest room.
Occasionally, topics of a more general interest would appear in the Ohio State Journal Magazine: in the January 24, 1909, issue, for example, an article called “We have Found Darwin’s Missing Link” was published, and on February 28, 1909, readers were treated to a one-page pictorial on President-Elect William H. Taft just before he took office.
This section of the paper lets us look at the social life of the early 1900s within the city of Columbus and beyond. Our predecessors were interested in many of the same things we are today, and while many of the reported trends, advice and other ideas may be outdated, it’s certainly fascinating to see how they’ve changed—and even how some haven’t—over the last century. Take a look of your own at the Ohio State Journal on Ohio Memory to see what interesting tidbits you can find about the woman’s (and man’s) world from over one hundred years ago!
Thanks to Jenni Salamon, Project Coordinator for NDNP-OH, for this week’s post!