The World on Sundayon September 13, 2011 at 8:07 am
I just returned a wonderful book to the library called “The World on Sunday.” It was a huge, full-color book documenting the Sunday World supplements from 1895 to 1906. This magnificent period was really pre-comic strip, although rudimentary versions of the format would appear from time to time. In those days, most city dwellers worked six days a week, often at dangerous menial jobs. In this environment so bereft of what would now be considered necessities , Sunday newspapers were more than entertainment: they were often the single avenue to a brighter and culturally rich world. The Sunday World was a huge affair, large enough to cover a kitchen table and heavy enough to be a significant burden up four flights of stairs. The full-color presses employed by Joseph Pulitzer’s mammoth newspaper (with a circulation that topped a million readers at its peak) allowed for unbelievably beautiful illustrations delivered to anyone with a nickel. Because these were newspapers, very few of them were saved or archived (except in the form of microfiche, which does nothing to showcase how wonderful these issues were.) It is our good fortune that a British library archived the issues in bound volumes.