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Archive for February 5th, 2019

Cloth Newspaper

You may have noticed that it is COLD outside.

In Dakota Territory and the northern plains, 1880-1881 was also a hard winter. Some areas received 11 feet of snow causing difficulties for trains and wagons delivering supplies. Newspaper publishers ran out of paper, and some newspaper issues were printed on tissue, wrapping paper, wall paper, cloth, and other available material.

The Archives and Special Collections has a March 25, 1881 edition of the Salem Register printed on muslin. It is very likely a product of one of these supply shortages.

This newspaper is located in the uncataloged newspapers box in the Chilson Collection.

For a more detailed description of the hard winter of 1880-1881, see Doane Robinson’s History of South Dakota, Vol. I, 1904, pages 306-309. This is also the winter/spring described in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Long Winter and the histories of the flood that washed away Vermillion, South Dakota.

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