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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wright & Wright Printers- West Side News and The Evening Item- Where are the Issues?


If you can find a copy (1), "The Other Career of Wilbur and Orville- Wright & Wright Printers", by Charlotte K. and August E. Brunsman, 1989, The Trailside Press, is a must read to learn about the Wright Brother's printing career. The Brunsman's wrote "Three years before Wilbur and Orville opened their first bicycle shop and six years before their first active interest in flying, they had written, edited, published, and printed 52 editions of a four-page weekly newspaper, 78 editions of a four-page five-column daily, and had filled hundreds of orders for job printing." The 52 editions of a four-page weekly newspaper refers to West Side News, and 52 is obtained by not including Vol I, no. 38, December 14, 1889, and the odd issue printed a year after the series ended, the May 2, 1891 issue.(2) The 78 editions of a four-page daily refer to The Evening Item published by the Wrights from April 30, 1890 through July 30, 1890.

Newspaper published by Wilbur and Orville Wright
West Side News, July 3, 1889, from Author's collection.


Orville Wright was listed as Publisher of the weekly newspaper West Side News, beginning with the first issue of March 1, 1889 through the issue of April 13, 1889. The April 20th issue lists Orville as Publisher, and Wilbur as Editor. This continued for a total of 13 issues including July 20, 1889. The July 31st issue then indicates Orville as Editor, and Edwin Sines as Solicitor. This continued through January 3, 1890. The January 11, 1890 issue indicated Orville as both Editor and Publisher, and was so listed until April 5, 1890. One more issue was printed the next year, May 2, 1891, and indicated as Published by Wright & Wright, Printers, corner of Third and Williams, Hoover Block, Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton Library issue has the 1891 date circled, with 1890 written next to the date. 

In the Preface of Wright & Wright Printers, the Brunsman's made note of the Dayton Montgomery County Library collection of West Side News, and also mentioned Wright documents located at the Franklin Institute, National Park Services at Kitty Hawk, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and several private homes and exhibits in the Dayton area. I have consolidated a list of existing issues of West Side News that I am aware of as follows:

The Dayton Metro Library
The Library lists an inventory of all the published West Side News issues except for the December 14, 1889 issue. These issues are identified as Vol I, no.1 (March 1, 1889) through Vol I, no.52 (March 22, 1890), and Vol II, no.1 (March 29, 1890), Vol II, no.2 (April 5, 1890), and Vol (?) (May 2, 1891). The list skips Vol I, no.38 (December 14, 1889). There is also a break between Vol I, no.48 and no.50, with no Vol I, no.49 listed.
The Library lists 53 different dates of West Side News of the 54 issues. The Archive contains one issue of each date with the exception of March 1, 1889, August 24, 1889, and November 9, 1889, for which there are two copies each.
West Side News issues are just a small portion of an extensive collection obtained by the Library December 30, 1948.(3)

The Wright State University Special Collections and Archives-
The WSU inventory lists 24 issues of West Side News. The first issue is from the Glen Osborn Collection, March 30, 1889. Other issues from 1889 include May 25, June 1, July 3, August 10, September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 16, 23, December 7. From 1890, the issues include January 3, 11, February 1, 15, 22, March 15, 29, and April 5. 

Carillon Historical Park-
Carillon's inventory includes two issues of West Side News, March 16, 1889, and April 20, 1889. These were obtained through Harold Miller, co-executor of Orville Wright's estate.(4)


Library of Congress-
The Library of Congress archives contain two issues of West Side News, issues March 23, 1889, and May 11, 1889.

The Franklin Institute-
The Franklin Institute collection has two issues of West Side News, issues March 16, 1889, and May 5, 1889.


North Carolina Wright Brothers National Memorial-
North Carolina Memorial has one issue of West Side News, June 8, 1889. This issue was obtained from Harold Miller's collection.(3)

Author's Collection-
West Side News, July 3, 1889.  

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village-
The Henry Ford does not have any West Side News issues.
 
From this inventory, a number of the early issues exist only at the Dayton Metro Library, one issue each of April 6, 13, 27, May 18, June 15, 22, July 13, 20, July 31, August 17, September 7, November 30, December 21, 28, 1889, and January 18, 25, February 8, March 8, 22 of 1890, and May 2, 1891, for a total of 20 unique one-of-a-kind issues. Three other dates exist only at Dayton Metro, with two copies each, March 1, August 24, and November 9, 1889. It may well be that many other copies exist at other institutions, or in private hands. Anyone with additional information, please post comments.

The Evening Item issues that I am aware of:

The Dayton Metro Library
The Library lists a complete inventory of all the published The Evening Item issues. These issues are identified as Vol I, no. 1 through no. 78, from April 30, 1890 through July 30, 1890.


The Wright State University Special Collections and Archives-
The WSU inventory lists 64 issues of The Evening Item. They are lacking the first two issues, April 30, and May 1, 1890. Also lacking are May 31, June 3, June 12, June 20, June 27, July 8, July 14, July 15, July 16, July 25, July 28, and the last issue July 30th. Their June 23rd issue is currently on loan to the Wright Dunbar Museum where it is on display at the second floor Wright Print shop (See photo below).
Also at WSU, within the Ivonette Wright Miller Papers, 13 additional copies of The Evening Item reside,  June 5, 14, 23, 24, July 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 21, & 26.


Carillon Historical Park-
Carillon's inventory includes one issue of The Evening Item, July 29, 1890.(4)



North Carolina Wright Brothers National Memorial-
North Carolina Memorial has one issue of The Evening Item, July 19, 1890.(3)

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village-
The Henry Ford archives contain one issue of The Evening Item, June 12, 1890.


Wright & Wright Job Printers, Hoover Block, West Third and Williams, Dayton, Ohio, photo by Author.
Wright Brother Newspaper
The Evening Item on display at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, Dayton, Ohio. Photo by Author.



Recommended Reading for information on the Wright's Printing Business-
A. Preserving the Wright Brother's Legacy: Proceedings of the Symposium Oct 22, 1999 with a Guide to Resources on the Wright Brothers. Edited by Elli Bambikidis, Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library, published 2001. This 145 page compilation contains a guide to the collections related to the Wright Brothers.
B. The Other Career of Wilbur and Orville- Wright & Wright Printers. Charlotte K. and August E. Brunsman, The Trailside Press, 1989.
C. The Wright Brothers from Bicycle to Biplane by Fred C. Fisk and Marlin W. Todd- actually could be called from Printing to Bicycle to Biplane, as this source includes information on the printing business.
D. The Bishop Boys, by Tom Crouch, 1989, Chapter 2, A Business for Brothers.
E. The Dayton Flight Factory, by Timothy Gaffney, 2014, Chapter 1 At Home in Dayton.
F. A Field Guide to Flight On the Aviation Trail in Dayton, Ohio, by Mary Ann Johnson, 1986, West Anchor Ch 2- The Wright Cycle Company 22 South Williams Street, Chapter 3- Hoover Block 1060 West Third Street, and Ch 8- First Wright Brothers Printing Shop Site 1210 West Third Street.


 Notes:
1. I was able to obtain a copy of Wright & Wright Printers on E-bay. I'm also aware of a copy at a local Antique Mall. An on-line version is available at the Centennial of Flight website.
2.Anyone who has knowledge concerning why the Dayton Library collection is complete except for the December 14th, 1889 issue, please share. Is it possible this issue was not produced? Is there evidence that an issue was printed with this date? I'm also curious why one issue was printed a year after the West Side News was terminated. (This was likely a misprint; the date should have read 1890, in lieu of 1891.)
3. As indicated in "Preserving the Wright Brother's Legacy: Proceedings of the Symposium October 22, 1999.
4. From "Preserving the Wright Brother's Legacy", "Aware that Carillon Park was under construction, the executors sold to the Park for one dollar a number of extraordinary artifacts. These include the family's 1898 treadle-style Singer sewing machine; a drawing table modified by Orville Wright; three bicycle racing medals won by Orville in local YMCA bicycle races; several newspapers published and printed by the Wright brothers; and the canoe which Wilbur Wright had carried beneath his airplane during the Hudson-Fulton celebration in New York City in late September and early October of 1909."

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