Top of page

Blue Hen's Chicken (Wilmington, DE), June 6, 1851.

Funny Pages

Share this post:

If you are in the business of acquiring, processing, and making the world’s largest collection of newspapers available, you might come across an interesting title or two occasionally. The other afternoon, after spending some time going through our portfolio collection, I got my mitts (pun intended) on this campaign newspaper from Pittsburgh, PA called Huge Paw.

Just for fun, I asked the rest of my colleagues around the Serial and Government Publications Division, have you come across any unique or interesting newspaper titles?

The responses poured in, and we all shared a good laugh.

Newspaper clipping with caricature of child laughing.
Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, NE), May 21, 1905.

Malea Walker, Reference Librarian wrote, “The state of Montana is pretty excellent for original newspaper titles, like the (uncommon at the time) heavily illustrated newspaper, Hungry Horse News.”

Henry Carter, Digital Conversion Specialist, proffered, “The one that comes immediately to mind is the Jefferson Jimplecute.”

Front page of the newspaper Jefferson Jimplecute.
Jefferson Jimplecute (Jefferson, TX), Feb. 8, 1907.


Aly Rattler, Special Collections Technician, added a submission from Arkansas: De Queen Bee. If you’re reading this, Beyonce, (and we can assume you are), take note!

Chad Kallenberger, Deck Attendant, made us all grateful for the impending lunch hour with his reply. “It being near lunchtime, my money is on the Taco Times.”

Megan Halsband, Reference Librarian submitted: “In the list of titles available in Chronicling America*, a lot of animals (eagle, owl, lynx, etc) appeared but there was El Mosquito which I thought was funny.” (I agree!) This Spanish-language newspaper covered issues that were important to the Mexican American community it served and delivered general local news, news from Mexico, and humorous columns to its Tucson, Arizona, audience throughout its run from 1917-1925.

Front page of the newspaper El Mosquito.
El Mosquito (Tucson, AZ), April 6,1919.


Another funny title is Mrs. Grundy of Grundy, a newspaper that served the residents of Grundy County in Tennessee. The masthead graciously explained its unusual name.

Masthead of Mrs Grundy newspaper.
Mrs. Grundy (Tracy City), March 5, 1914.


Of course, the most original sounding title of all: The Newspaper.

Front page of the newspaper, The Newspaper.
The Newspaper (Paonia, CO), Oct. 6, 1905.

Lena Sebakijje, Supervisory Library Technician suggested The Hydraulic Press, which was a mining newspaper published in North San Juan

just under 30 miles north of both Grass Valley and Nevada City, the site of prosperous hydraulic mining from the 1850s to the 1880s, after which the town’s fortunes faded and, along with them, its newspaper publishing.

Along the same lines, as a Pennsylvania native, I grew up reading issues of The Derrick, published in Oil City, PA. If you think the title might have something to do with oil, you’re on the right track. The newspaper is published near the Drake Well, one of the first commercial oil wells in the United States. A derrick is a framework over an oil well that holds the drilling machinery.

Joanna Colclough, Reference Librarian answered: “My favorite is an 18th-century title with this outrageously long title: The American Minerva, Patroness of Peace, Commerce, and the Liberal Arts and the New-York (Evening) Advertiser. I think it had one issue with this title before it was reduced to American Minerva and the New York (Evening) Advertiser.”

Deb Thomas, Division Chief was awarded the top prize for the most recommended titles– far too many to list here which warrants the question– should we do another post? :-) An immediate response: “SO many options! My favorite is It (Lawrenceburg, KY) because you can’t search for it in Chronicling America. ‘It’ is a default stop word or non-searchable article word like ‘the.’”

Front page of the newspaper It.
It (Lawrenceburg, KY), Nov. 27, 1902.


And the last item on her list was the apropos The Item (Dallas, TX). A portion of the issues digitized for this newspaper were microfilmed as part of the Miscellaneous Negro newspapers microfilm collection, a 12-reel collection containing issues of African American newspapers published in the U.S. throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Front page of the newspaper the Item.
The Item (Dallas, TX), Jan. 27, 1900.


Abigail Bell, Special Collections Technician wrote, “A personal favorite from the portfolio collection is the Salem Witch (Salem, MA). I also love the Sandwich Observer (Sandwich, MA) and The Fool-Killer (Boomer, NC).”

Katie Mullen, Acting Head of Physical Collections Services replied with a “perennial favorite in Wisconsin, The Pudding Stick. I was also fond of the Epitaph (LaFarge, WI), ‘The Last Word in News.’”

A fitting way to wrap up the list, I’d say! Do you have any favorite titles of your own? Let us know in the comments!

* The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

If you want to learn about where an interesting newspaper title in Chronicling America comes from – whether it be a place, a person’s last name, or a symbol – check out the newspaper title essay. You can find an accompanying title essay by selecting the About this Newspaper tab from each title record. If the essay is present, it should appear at the top of the screen.

Follow Chronicling America on X @ChronAmLOC and click here to subscribe to Headlines & Heroes and never miss a post.

Comments (2)

  1. I loved this! So fun! Great job, Amber!

    • Thank you so much! It was a collaborative effort!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *