Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 6. Mechanical Improvements

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XX. Newspapers Since 1860

§ 6. Mechanical Improvements

The war produced one immediate economic change which proved the beginning of a revolution still going on. The great demand for news brought a tremendous increase in circulation to those papers able to furnish the fullest accounts of the war, and contributed to the prosperity of the larger papers at the expense of the smaller ones. Although great numbers of papers were set up to meet the demand for war news, still more suffered extinction, with the result that in many states there were fewer in 1865 than in 1861. In Illinois, for instance, 144 papers were begun, and 155 were discontinued in the four years. Part of the decrease was due to lack of labour, a condition which led to the invention of the “patent insides.” Contrived as a means of economy, this device led to important developments in country journalism in later decades by reducing the cost of printing.