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Rare newspaper printed on board a transcontinental train...



Item # 672975

June 30, 1870

TRANS-CONTINENTAL, Burlington, Iowa, June 30, 1870  This is a very fascinating newspaper, borne in the ingenious mind of a publisher who decided to take a small printing press on board the first transcontinental railroad excursion and publish 6 issues westbound and 6 issues eastbound.  Printed on a Gordon press in the baggage car, it is considered the very first newspaper composed, printed, & published on a train.
This is issue number 11, published when the train was at Burlington, Iowa. Each issue recorded the process of the journey with the sights and events along the way. Each issue carries the dateline of a different city: Niagara Falls, Omaha, Cheyenne, Ogden, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah; Summit Sierra Nevadas, San Francisco, Promontory Point, Utah; Laramie, Wyoming, Grand Island Nebraska, Burlington, Iowa; and Boston.
The front page is mostly taken up with a review of the various sights seen the last several days, noting: "...the fertile prairies, the vast stretch of wilderness, the strange rock forms of Wyoming & the mighty cliffs of the Sierras..." and much more. There is also mention that: "The editor of this sheet, having accomplished the remarkable feat of composing, printing & publishing a paper on a railroad train going at 40 miles an hour, is not ready...to publish a paper in a balloon...". Pages 2 & 3 have more interesting, observational reports on the journey including items headed "Old and New" "Our Route Through Iowa" "Chicago" and more.
Four pages, great masthead, 7 1/8 by 9 3/4 inches, very nice, clean condition. A very rare opportunity for a fascinating & rare newspaper.
Included with this issue is a reprint set of all 12 issues published. See our item # 615312 for details.

Item from Catalog 304 (released for March, 2021)...

Category: Post-Civil War