The history of broadsides on display in Newport

December 29, 2012 by  

Broadsides, in an era before the popularization of TV and the Internet, advised the community of upcoming events, news, and theatrical performances. The Newport Historical Society is currently showing an exhibit called ‘Diversions and Entertainment in 19th Century Newport’ which highlights many historic broadsides which were distributed throughout the area. Broadsides were used in advertising for many years from the time the printing press was invented.

Today, news about events in communities such as middletown is spread through television, radio, the Internet, and methods like flyer printing provided by local printing companies. It is therefore interesting to learn how broadsides were used and the display might even give current marketers some ideas for their next campaign.

The exhibit is part of the Rhode Island Center for the Book 2012 Art of the Book Program, which is titled ‘Rhode Island’s Broadsides Rule!’ and features exhibits throughout the state. It might attract those in the graphics industry, those interested in history, and those who are interested in the printing industry. In addition to this exhibit, the Historical Society has a large selection of prints, postcards, drawings, and maps. It also contains James Franklin’s printing press and objects from daily life in early Rhode Island.

‘Diversions and Entertainment in 19th Century Newport’ is showing at the Newport Historical Society Brick Market until January 31 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm each day. While admission is free, a donation of $4 is suggested. For more information, call 401- 846-0813.

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