The 1940s: From our floors to you

Remodeling our hillside home has been a largely subtractive process involving a complex stratigraphy of floor, wall, and ceiling coverings. Thus far, we’ve taken out carpet, panelling, linoleum, lath and plaster (fun, that), dimensional 8′ 2×4 studs that are so dried out they can’t weigh more than 5 pounds, and quite  a lot of charred stuff from at least one historical fire. We’ve also uncovered a fair number of newspapers from the late war/early prewar period. While I’m sure all of this is available in some or other archive, finding it on our floor has a magical quality I wanted to share. Enjoy, and suggestions on the non-English language are appreciated (Finnish?).



about 12 years ago

I was doing work in the attic a few years ago and came across a bunch of '50s newspapers buried under the floor. Pretty neat, yet dirty, to look at. I agree that there's something magical about finding old newspapers that have been holding your house together for half a century.

Related: Here's a neat photo I stumbled across the other day of some Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster volunteers finding an 1887 Swedish newspaper in a flood-damaged home.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Making national news this week is Karl Kissner of Defiance, Ohio, who found 700 well-preserved 1910 baseball cards in his grandfather's attic.


about 12 years ago

That is a fun discovery.  I am pretty sure it is Finnish in the other language.

about 12 years ago

Finnish it is...

I did a good chunk of the demo of the basement of the Fetus before the contractors got in and started their thing...part of my job was to "creatively" dismantle a bunch of old display cases. (Mostly record racks, etc. -- read: fun with a sledgehammer.)

There were a couple of older wood and glass displays that weren't salvageable that had to go to, and behind the mirrors of the sliding doors were old newspapers (mostly from the Minneapolis Star) from the turn of the century advertising, among other things, a boxing match in San Francisco at which Jack London and a couple of other old bareknuckle luminaries would be attending and convincing advertisements beckoning people to move to Hillman Oregon.

The want ads were pretty entertaining.


about 12 years ago

I am guessing that the Finnish newspaper was a Finnish language newspaper published by the Tyomies Society in Superior.  Who incidentally published Finnish language newspapers in Superior unitl as late as 1998.  

Tyomies Society (Superior, WI), Records


about 12 years ago

When we moved into our old house in Woodland, we found several newspaper pages from the 1920s (the house had been built in 1925).  It was really fun to read them.  When we sold the house, we left the pages for the new owners, who I hope enjoyed them as much as we did.


about 12 years ago

It would be very cool to cut out a chunk of flooring with the newspapers adhered to them and then frame it for wall art.

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