kottke.org posts about Boston Globe

The early 20th century home pageMay 19 2011

Whoa, this is a fascinating look at how the Boston Globe used to deliver the news to people using handwritten signs in a heavily trafficked area of Boston.

Breaking news -- a bank holdup, a bus accident, the death of FDR -- was quickly featured on the storefront (NB: usually in 140 characters or less). The storefront even offered streaming multimedia of a kind: telegraph dispatches of boxing matches and baseball games were shouted out play by play through a pair of loudspeakers.

Different "layouts" were used. During World War II an outsized map of Europe loomed over the storefront. For Red Sox World Series appearances, a scaffold was built. Sports desk hacks stood on it to chalk up the scores for bowler-hatted crowds numbering in the hundreds.

The signs even contained advertising. Here's a photo of hundreds of people following the Red Sox in the 1912 World Series:

Boston Globe Homepage

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