SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Timothy Hughes is sifting through his newspaper collection. He owns and operates Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers in South Williamsport.
"We have about three and a half million newspapers from the 1640s up to the 21st century," said Hughes.
More than three million newspapers containing information from historical events are sitting on the shelves of his warehouse. He even has a Philadelphia newspaper from the 1700s that was published by Benjamin Franklin.
"Any event that happened in World History in the last 400 years is in a newspaper somewhere. Hopefully, it is in the inventory we have here," he said.
Hughes began collecting newspapers in the seventies.
"I was lucky enough to go to a flea market here in the Williamsport area back in the mid-seventies and found an old newspaper from the 1846 for three bucks and thought, wow, that is a pretty cheap price for something that old. So, it kind of started from there, and I tried to find more which I did," he added.
What started out as a hobby is now a full-time business. Hughes and his team sell many of the newspapers on his site and eBay. Buyers range from collectors to people looking to purchase for family members.
"You think of grandma, and she is 78 years old, and what you can get her. How about a newspaper from the day she was born? She can see what the headline was, the price of a car or a coat," said Hughes.
Hughes says many of his newspapers come from libraries. Many of which are in pretty good condition.
"Newspapers from the Civil War era on back even into the 1600s, were made of very good quality paper. So they hold up extremely well, they are reasonably white still, and you can bend and fold them," he explained.
If you are interested in learning more about the business, you can visit Hughes' newspaper website.
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