Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Philadelphia's Newspaper of Tomorrow

Smithsonian's Paleofuture blog offers a fun insight into our past predictions, what people thought the future would look like years ago. In March they ran a past look at the future of newspapers. An industry that fought radio, television, cable, and is now struggling against the internet, newspapers are no stranger to change.

An April 1937 issue of Popular Mechanics revealed the Neon Newsboys of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Newsies" still exist, usually at busy intersections during rush hour, but in the 20s and 30s they were an industry. To give the Inquirer an edge over rival newspapers of the time, the Philadelphia Record, the Public Ledger, and others, the Inquirer's newsboys wore battery powered neon lights that read "INQUIRER."

Possibly cost prohibitive, unsuccessful, or maybe even dangerous, it apparently didn't last long as I can't find a single other reference to these neon lit newsies.

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