This is a typical “FRIDAY PHOTO“. When I first scanned it from my archive of old photographs, I was desperately trying to decipher who the early French photographer was. The low number, on the left bottom, tells me it was part of a series about Paris. Then something more interesting caught my eye, The Daily Telegraph Newspaper advertising sign on the building on the left side of the photograph.
Could this be the oldest surviving photo of the newspaper’s address in Paris? Obviously the photo is approximately from the 1880’s-1905 period. There is not a car insight, and it is an albumen print. What was the address of this very famous British Newspaper in Paris? No British expat or tourist would be caught dead without having a copy of his favorite newspaper from home in the old days. Was the paper located on the well known Avenue de l’Opera?
The Daily Telegraph, until very recently, a conservative newspaper, was founded in 1855 by Colonel Arthur Sleigh. It is with the Times and Guardian one of the most read newspapers, and with a circulation of about 600,000 one of the largest.
In 1882, they moved their headquarters to Fleet Street in London, the then center of all things news and paper. When did they open a Paris bureau? Is the sign still there? Signs survive on an average longer than most people and even outlive their proprietors. The once ever important role of the Newspapers all over the world has been diminished to printing pumpkin daily kool aid news while desperately trying to re-purpose themselves into something of a first order.
Yes, I really wonder about that sign, but there is something good about reading through a newspaper, something stable about holding it in your hands, even though the news is fleeting and you probably would not save the paper. Seeing this we knew all who participated in this ritual would have the same news at hand. Until recently, it was a “connector” to the world at large. You would see this on the subway, on buses or trains, and you would know what people were doing. Oh how human behavior changes.
Today, we equate being “informed” with what appears to be”news” especially with our earplugs, phones and tablets in hand. What happened to our news? Who needs news when we are all CONNECTED!