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[p. 82]

The Medford Mercury, the longest established weekly paper of Medford, has just moved into its new quarters, the fourth in its history, and is issuing a memorial or anniversary number. Of its publishing interests and personnel its managers will doubtless tell.

The present writer has undertaken to tell of the journalism of the past sixty-six years, partly from his own observation and from authentic record.

Allusion has been made to the Historical Society's collection of papers, to which the writer turns for proof of some statements. Among these are the earlier but not complete files of the Mercury.

It was with much surprise that we found some years ago that our public library had no files of the (second) Medford Journal or Chronicle, nor yet any bound files of the Mercury. It seems strange that neither earlier editor saw to it that the library was furnished with copies of his paper. Furthermore, it seems that there was a lack of foresight somewhere, or else a niggardly economy (whether in town meeting or committee we are not prepared to say) that the Mercury of each succeeding year was not substantially bound in board covers and thus preserved.

Even the editors and publishers of the early Mercury were negligent in this, though they did place a year's issue between half-inch strips of hard wood, tied through at intervals. But such method did not protect the outer pages. It would appear that even they had lost some years' numbers, as some bear the name of Charles Cummings, the old high school master.

In later years they were rolled up and consigned to the dark loft under the roof, to be consulted only by the rats. At removal from the old quarters down Main street, such as remained in the loft were transported to the Historical rooms, where the librarian carefully arranged them, but found two volumes (for the years 1884 and 1885) missing. Later (a labor of love) they were wire-stitched and bound in heavy covers of builders


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