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Harrisburg telegraph. [volume] : (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1879-1948
Alternative Titles:
  • Daily telegraph <Aug. 5, 1883>
  • Harrisburg evening telegraph Nov. 4, 1882-Aug. 5, 1883
Place of publication:
Harrisburg, Pa.
Geographic coverage:
  • Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C.H. Bergner
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased with Mar. 27, 1948 issue.
  • Vol. 23, no. 138 (Mar. 18, 1879)-
Daily (except Sun.)
  • English
  • Harrisburg (Pa.)--Newspapers.
  • Pennsylvania--Harrisburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204725
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Morning ed.: Harrisburg morning telegraph.
  • Publishers: Harrisburg Pub. Co., <1888>; Telegraph Print. Co., <1931>.
  • Special centennial ed.: Sept. 7, 1931.
  • Supplements accompany some issues.
sn 85038411
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Harrisburg telegraph. [volume] January 1, 1914 , Image 1


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Harrisburg Telegraph

The Harrisburg Telegraph was published from 1879 to 1948 in Pennsylvania’s capital city, which also is the seat of Dauphin County. The city on the Susquehanna River was named after 1719 settler John Harris. Dauphin County, formed in 1785 out of Lancaster County, honored the heir-apparent to the French king, Louis XVI, an ally of the American Revolution. It was a highly industrialized city in the early 20th century, with iron and steel mills and many other manufacturing facilities. Edward James Stackpole (1861-1936) was born in McVeytown, Mifflin County, and worked as a printer and reporter at newspapers in McVeytown and Orbisonia before coming to the Harrisburg Telegraph as assistant foreman in 1883. In January 1901, he purchased the controlling interest in the newspaper. In 1927, Stackpole published a memoir, Behind the Scenes with a Newspaper Man: Fifty Years in the Life of an Editor.His son, E.J., Jr. (1894-1967), succeeded him as editor and publisher. E.J., Jr. was assisted in running the Telegraph by Frank Ross Oyster (1868-1925), his brother-in-law, and by Augustus (Gus) M. Steinmetz (1876-1951), a Harrisburg native who had started his career at the Harrisburg Patriot before joining the Telegraph. Calling itself “A newspaper for the home,” the Republican Telegraph was published every evening except Sunday, and at the beginning of 1914 it claimed a circulation of 22,210 (the city’s population in the 1910 census was 64,186).  In addition to a solid base of national and international news, the Telegraph also delivered a lot of social reporting (headed “Receptions, Parties, Weddings, Anniversaries”), arts and cultural news including theater and film, regional church events and religious feature articles (the Stackpoles were leaders in their local Presbyterian church), advice columns, serialized fiction, and far-ranging “Central Pennsylvania” news from areas as far away as Juniata, Union, and Lancaster counties.  Diverse subjects from suffrage to poultry-raising were dealt with in feature articles. The first successful daily comic strip, “Mutt and Jeff” by Bud Fisher, often appeared in the Telegraph, alternating with a strip by Philadelphia cartoonist Walter C. Hoban.

The issue of May 25, 1914, proudly announced a milestone for the newspaper, accompanied by a three-column photo: “Big Goss Sextuple Press Built for the Telegraph.” The Goss Printing Press Co. of Chicago would assemble the 9,000 parts of the 50-ton press “with all manner of time-saving devices” on site. Its production capability was 72,000 copies per hour, for a newspaper of 12 pages or less. The Telegraph’s circulation at the time, reported on page 12, was 23,606. On February 10, 1916, the newspaper announced that on the 12th, the Harrisburg Star-Independent  would be absorbed into the Telegraph; the new acquisition’s title was inserted in small type below the Telegraph’s on the nameplate.

War and international diplomatic news filled the headlines from 1914 on, and E.J. Stackpole, Jr., joined the U.S. Army, and emerged from World War I with the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1930 he founded Stackpole Books, a publishing firm still in business today in Mechanicsburg. 

Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA