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much, though naturally in a smaller degree than the abolition of the compulsory stamp. Still the effect on both the papers and their advertisements—especially as concerns those journals which were enabled to still farther reduce their rates—was considerable, and deserves to be noted. In September 1870 the compulsory stamp, which had been retained for postal purposes, was abolished, and on the 1st of October papers were first sent by post with a halfpenny stamp affixed on the wrappers, and not on the journals themselves.
But it was to the abolition of the impost upon advertisements that their present great demand and importance can be most directly traced. For many years a very heavy tax was charged upon every notice published in a paper and paid for, until 1833 no less than 3s. 6d. being chargeable upon each advertisement inserted, no matter what its length or subject-matter. People then, we should imagine—in fact, as application to the papers of that time proves—were not so fond of cutting a long advertisement into short and separate pieces as they are now, for every cut-off rule then meant a charge of 3s. 6d. In 1832, the last year of this charge, the produce of this branch of the revenue in Great Britain and Ireland amounted to ,£170,649. Fancy what the returns would be if 3s. 6d. were charged on every advertisement published throughout the United Kingdom for the year ending December 31, 1873! It seems almost too great a sum for calculation. There is no doubt, however, that many people would be very glad to do the figures for a very slight percentage on the returns, which would be fabulous, and which would, if properly calculated, amaze many of those landatores temporis acti who, without reason or provocation, are always deploring the decay of everything, and who would unhesitatingly affirm in their ignorance that even newspapers and newspaper advertisements have deteriorated in tone and quantity since the good old times, of which they prove they know nothing by their persistent praises. Certainly if they did say this, they would not be much more wrong than they are generally when lamenting over a period which, could it but return, they would be, as a rule, the very first to object to. Of the sum of ,£170,649 just referred to, about ,£127,986, or three-fourths of the whole, may be regarded as being drawn from newspapers, and the other fourth from periodical publications. In 1837, four years after the reduced charge of is. 6d. for each advertisement had become law, a table was compiled from the detailed returns of the first six months. As it will doubtless prove interesting to those who take an interest in the growth and increase of newspapers, as well as in those of advertisements, we append it:— Speculator, she is rarely indeed allowed to escape. The system of work on American (U.S.) journals is very different from that pursued here, everything on such establishments as those of the New York Herald, the Tribune, and the Times, being sacrificed to news. This is more particularly the case with regard to the Herald, which has an immense circulation and great numbers of highly-priced advertisements, most of which are unfortunately regarded more in connection with the amount of money they produce to the proprietor than in reference to any effect, moral or otherwise, they may have on the community. It is the boast of American journalists that they have papers in obscure towns many hundreds of miles inland, any one of which contains in a single issue as much news—news in the strictest meaning of the word—as the London Times does in six And, singular as it may at first sight seem, there is a great element of truth about the statement, the telegraph being used in the States with a liberality which would drive an English proprietor to the depths of black despair. The Associated Telegraph Company seem to enjoy a monopoly, and to exercise almost unlimited powers; and not long ago they almost completely ruined a journal of standing in California by refusing to transmit intelligence to it because its editor and proprietor had taken exception to the acts of some members of the Associated Telegraph Company's staff, and it was only on receipt of a most abject apology from the delinquents that the most autocratic power in the States decided to reinstate the paper on its list This Telegraph Company charges very high rates, and the only visible means by which this system of journalism is successfully carried out is that of advertisements, which are comparatively more plentiful in these papers than in the English, and are charged for at considerably higher rates. Some of these newspapers, notably a small hebdomadal called the San Frandsco Newsletter, go in for a deliberate system of blackmailing, and have no hesitation in acknowledging
The reduction to which we have alluded was followed in 1853 by the total abolition of the advertisement duty, the effect of which can be best appreciated by a glance at the columns of any daily or weekly paper, class or general, which possesses a good circulation.
The first paper published in Ireland was a sheet called Warranted Tidings from Ireland, and this appeared during
the rebellion of 1641; but the first Irish newspaper worthy of the name was the Dublin Newsletter, commenced in 1685. Puts Occurrences, a Dublin daily paper, originated in 1700, was continued for half a century, and was followed in 1728 by another daily paper, Faulkner's Journal, established by one George Faulkner, "a man celebrated for the goodness of his heart and the weakness of his head." The oldest existing Dublin papers are Saunders's (originally EsdaiUs) Neiusletter, begun in 1744, and the Freeman's Journal, instituted under the title of the Public Register, by Dr Lucas in 1755. The Limerick Chronicle, the oldest Irish provincial newspaper, dates from 1768. Ireland has now nearly 150 newspapers, most of them celebrated for the energy of their language and the extreme fervour of their political opinions. Their Conservatism and Liberalism are nearly equally divided; about a score take independent views, and nearly fifty completely eschew politics. Irish newspapers flourish as vehicles for advertisement, and their tariffs are about on a par with those of our leading provincial journals.
Colonial newspapers are plentiful and good, and the best of them filled with advertisements of a general character at fairly high rates. Those papers published in Melbourne are perhaps the best specimens of colonial journalism, and best among these are the Argus and Age (daily), and the Australasian and Leader (weekly). In fact, we have hardly a weekly paper in London that is fit to compare on all-round merits with the last-named, which is a complete representative of the best class of Australian life, and contains a great show of advertisements, which do much to enlighten the reader as to Antipodean manners and customs.
American newspapers are of course plentiful, and their advertisements, as will be shown during the progress of this volume, are often of an almost unique character. Throughout the United States, newspapers start up like rockets, to fall like sticks; but now and then a success is made, and if once Fortune is secured by an adventurous
that their pages, not the advertisement portions, but their editorial columns, are to be bought for any purpose—for the promotion of blasphemy, obscenity, atheism, or any other "notion"—at a price which is regulated according to the editor's opinion of the former's value, or the amount of money he may have in his pocket at the time. This is a system of advertising little known, happily, in this "effete old country," where we have not yet learned to sacrifice all that should be dear and honourable to humanity—openly, at all events—for a money consideration. It is almost impossible to tell the number of papers published throughout the United States of America, each individual State being hardly aware of the quantity it contains, or how many have been born and died within the current twelvemonths. The Americans are a truly great people, but they have not yet settled down into a regular system, so far, at all events, as newspapers and advertisements are concerned.*
The first paper published in America is said to have been the Boston Newsletter, which made its appearance in 1704. The inhabitants of the United States have ever been wideawake to the advantages of advertising, but it would seem that the Empire City is not, as is generally supposed here, first in rank, so far as the speculative powers of its denizens go, if we are to believe the New Orleans correspondent of the New York Tribune, who says in one of his letters :—
* In 1830 America (U.S.), whose population was 23,500,000, supported 800 newspapers, 50 of these being daily; and the conjoined annual circulation was 64,000,000. Fifteen years later these figures were considerably increased—nearly doubled; but since the development of the Pacific States it has been almost impossible to tell the number of papers which have sprung into existence, every mining camp and every village being possessed of its organ, some of which have died, and some of which are still flourishing. A professed and apparently competent critic assures us that there are quite 3000 newspapers now in the States, and that at least a tithe of them are dailies.