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New Britain evening herald. [volume] : (New Britain, Conn.) 1883-1886
Place of publication:
New Britain, Conn.
Geographic coverage:
  • New Britain, Hartford, Connecticut  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C.E. Woodruff & Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1886.
  • Vol. 1, no. 260 (Oct. 6, 1883)-
Daily (except Sun.)
  • English
  • Connecticut--New Britain.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01202983
  • New Britain (Conn.)--Newspapers.
  • Also issued on microfilm from Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
  • Published by the same publisher as: Hartford evening herald.
  • Weekly eds.: New Britain herald (New Britain, Conn. : 1880), 1883-1884, and: New Britain weekly herald, 1884-1886.
sn 93054129
Preceding Titles:
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New Britain Herald

The New Britain Herald, a group of weeklies and dailies with title changes over the decades, has been publishing for almost 140 years. In 1877, R. J. Vance launched the New Britain Observer. Beginning with this date, the Vance family rose to newspaper publishing prominence, running the New Britain Herald and predecessor and successor titles from 1887 to 1995, when the Herald was sold to the Journal Register Co. of New Jersey.

In March of 1887, Vance was elected as a Democratic Party representative to the U.S. Congress and in September the Observer was absorbed by the independent New Britain Herald, now under the ownership of Vance in partnership with Frank L. Blanchard and James Cochrane. The newspaper continued as a weekly and a daily. While involved with the Herald, the elder Vance served as state commissioner of labor and mayor of New Britain. At his death in 1901, his son Johnstone Vance became publisher, and at Johnstone's death in 1951, the title passed to his brother Robert C. Vance. He was succeeded in 1959 by his wife, Dorothy S. Vance. At her retirement, other members of the Vance family took the reins and led the company until its purchase in 1995 by the Journal Register Co., a New Jersey-based newspaper chain. Throughout this century of publication, the Vance family and the Herald were associated with public service.

The New Britain Herald matured as New Britain became a center of hardware manufacturing and one of the six major industrial cities in a highly industrialized state around the turn of the 20th century. The circulation of the Herald in 1929, when the city itself had a population of 22,800 and the county 336,000, was around 14,000. It survived a fire in 1921 that damaged both the plant and the archives, leaving some gaps in the records of this key Connecticut center. Its major competitors at that time were a Polish-language and Catholic newspaper, Przewodnik Katolicki, which had a combined local and national circulation around 20,000, and the editorially Republican New Britain Record, which claimed around 13,000. The latter, due to the difficult financial situation, was consolidated with the Herald in 1932.

Throughout the 1920s, the Herald was one of a number of publications aspiring to speak for the welfare of the state's industrial cities, arguing against the monopolies that the editors felt thwarted an efficient transportation system, against the disorder and corruption associated with enforcement of prohibition, and for greater attention to the effects of growing financial speculation. As a paper associated with the Democratic Party, it also covered extensively the conflict between the wing of the party associated with the Catholic and anti-prohibition New York governor, Al Smith, and prohibitionist and anti-immigrant supporters of the Ku Klux Klan.

The New Britain Herald family of newspapers was founded in 1880 by the Adkins Brothers, principal figures in a joint stock company, and edited by Aaron Vanderwerke. Vanderwerke declared that the paper zealously supported the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Wallace H. Seward, and Horace Greeley and harbored "no inclination to pander to sensational desires." Pledging to cover all state and local news, it was published weekly or semi-weekly until, in 1881, when it was sold to Charles E. Woodruff. Woodruff published the weekly under a new title, the New Britain Weekly Herald, and a daily, first called the Evening Herald for less than a year, and then renamed the New Britain Evening Herald beginning in 1883. Around the same time, 1877-1887, the weekly New Britain Observer was published by Robert Johnstone Vance. The 1887 absorption of the Observer into the Herald, under the new partnership of Vance, Blanchard, and Cochrane began the Vance family’s control of the publication.

Provided by: Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT