Back in the 1990s when our once largest circulation newspaper Truth finally went belly-up, I bought the bound pre-war copies from the receivers for $15,000.
These large volumes of broadsheet size papers make wonderful reading about an age when values were certainly different.
For example, perusing the 1941 collection, I read a report of a complaint from the outraged Wellington Society for the Protection of Women and Children at the Labour Government’s rumoured wicked intention to abandon flogging criminals.
Some of the court reports are a delight. 56 year old Archibald Stewart was described in the Christchurch Magistrates Court as “solving the problem of perpetual motion.” “The course he follows is a set one,” according to the Magistrate, “the ambit being the court to gaol, gaol to the streets, then from the streets to the court” and so on in perpetuity.
“Three months with hard labour,” the magistrate then declared.
“Thankyou Sir,” said Archibald stepping down.
Finally, a delightful American report from New Jersey of a young fellow who was almost drowned after testing his uncle’s invention, namely pills which prevent drowning.