Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • The Daily Grind

    From the Rock Island Argus, September 16, 1912.
    By Duncan M. Smith.
     Writing pieces for the paper,
     Mostly foolishness and vapor;
     Sometimes reason may slip in,
     Nor is that a deadly sin,
     But it is a sad mistake
     That a writer should not make,
     Lest the reader go to sleep
     Or declare it is too deep
     And the paper fling aside,
     Going forth to take a ride.
     Writing for the public print,
     Gossip, story, beauty hint—
     Anything to fill the space
     That a streak of blues will chase;
     Anything that’s light and not
     Clogged with too involved a plot;
     Anything that’s not designed
     To make labor for the mind
     Or to air high sounding views,
     Lest the reader take a snooze.
     Writing for the public mart,
     For the eye and for the heart,
     Something simple, straight and plain
     That will rest the reader’s brain
     And will put him in the mood
     For the predigested food
     That adorns the printed page
     In this restless, rushing age;
     That will feed him something light
     Ere he goes to sleep at night.
     For we do not read to learn—
     We have knowledge, yes, to burn—
     But we read to be amused
     And to hear our foes abused.
     There is work enough, indeed,
     Where we toil at breakneck speed.
     So when we sit down at night
     With a paper and a light
     Nothing we are after then
     That will make us work again.