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Title info

  • Ayer Annual1
    • Publish day: daily except Sunday
    • Content: Independent
    • Established: 1899
    • Pages: 4
    • Size: 20x24 inches
    • Size: 18 x22 inches 2
    • Editor: E.H. Wells
    • Publisher: Star Publishing Company
  • Frequency: Daily, Evenings, except Sunday
  • Coverage
    • Region:
    • County:
  • Unique ids
    • SN: sn87093407
    • OCLC: ocm17285351

Digitization plan

2010-2012 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1911-1922 (41 reels)

2008-2010 grant
  • Digitizing 1899-1910 (22 reels)


  • Continues: NA
  • Continued by: NA
  • WSL publish history chart:


August 1, 1914 Seattle Star

August 1, 1914 Seattle Star

NEH Approved Essay

E. W. (Edwin Willis) Scripps, newspaper businessman, once wrote "the best community in which to found a newspaper is one that is comparatively young and whose population has in very recent time increased." 1. With a population of 40,000 and growing, Seattle, Washington in 1899 fit Scripps'description well. Scripps hired editor E. H. Wells to found his latest venture, the Seattle Star, on February 2, 1899.

Scripps papers generally supported the principle of public ownership. The Star was a strong advocate of a 1902 ballot initiative to allow the city to generate its own power, for instance.2 When editor Wells proposed starting a newspaper in Tacoma (Washington), Scripps proposed borrowing money for the venture from employees. The notes promised to pay 6 per cent interest for two years. This idea grew into the Newspaper Saving Society and the First Investment Company, forms of employee ownership of the company.3

E. W. Scripps thought that advertising had a corrupting effect on journalism. In 1903 the Bon Marché department store stopped advertising in the Star because the editorial staff refused to suppress unfavorable articles about the store. When business manager E. F. Chase told Scripps that he regretted losing the contract, Scripps congratulated him for losing it. To reduce the papers reliance on advertising, Scripps papers focused on increasing circulation and limiting advertising space in order to inflate the value of that space. 4

Though Scripps generally took a hands-off approach to the daily management of his papers, he conceived of his business as a service to the working people. Occasionally his editorial staff would drift from the central mission of supporting the interests of labor and the poor, and Scripps felt the need to intervene. For instance, when editor B. H. Canfield opposed the Seattle General Strike of 1919, Scripps wrote a heated "disquisition" in return. This disquisition has been published as "Ingratitude?" in I protest; Selected disquisitions of E. W. Scripps, edited by Oliver Knight, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual 1903 page 885
  2. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual 1908 page 913
  3. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  4. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Seattle Star
  5. Worldcat record - Seattle Star
  6. WSL record - Seattle Star
  7. University of Washington record - Seattle star
  8. Scripps, E. W., & Knight, O. (1966). I protest; Selected disquisitions of E. W. Scripps. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  9. Baldasty, G. J. (1999). E.W. Scripps and the business of newspapers. The history of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  10. Cochran, N. D. (1933). E.W. Scripps. New York: Harcourt, Brace and.
  11. Baldasty, G. (1999). NEWSPAPERS FOR THE 'WAGE EARNING CLASS': E. W. SCRIPPS AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 90(4), 171-181. Retrieved from America: History & Life database.



  • Filmed by: UW
  • Positives held by: UW
  • Negatives held by: UW
  • Holdings 1899-02-27 - 1947-08-13 (194 reels)
    • UW Microfilm A2202


* Film eval notes 1919-08-01 1919-10-13: good contrast, even lighting. In the microfilm reader I find the pages to be legible, but under magnification it is evident that the images are slightly out of focus. The edges of each letter are not sharp. Resolution appears to be fair, but overall the text appears very grey under magnification rather than dark and dense. This positive may have low density.
  • Film eval notes 1913-01-01 1913-05-13: This reel seems to be similar in quality to the other, including the general indistinctness of the text and softness of edges under magnification, even though it seems quite legible on the microfilm reader.
  • film eval notes 1901-10-01 1902-05-31: 2 issues from 1900 on the end of this reel
  • film eval notes 1903-04-01 1903-10-22: 2 editions present for 1903-05-01 through 1903-6-30. The editions are not next to one another on the reel and will need to be placed in the the right order.
  • film eval notes 1909-05-01 1909-08-31: film says it was shot at 12x, likely actually 21x.
  • film eval notes 1915-09-01 1915-12-31: The evaluated positive had many white marks on the film. They look like smears of white-out or white paint. For the most part this does not block too much information.
  • Scan eval notes LR (from Sealth hard drive) 00200290938 reel, image # 0438 (1922-07-01, pages 2-3 0438.pdf). It looks like the tape caused the frame to not split. Archival copy had tape on it. Sent Bernie Service copy to scan and duplicate. Will replace image and delete bad image. For now, kept bad and spares Bernie will also try to duplicate service copy and repair archival. Received rescans for 3 images, one 2-up image and 2 individual pages. Only used page 2 as we already had a duplicate for page 3 on the original reel.



See Seattle star eval spreadsheets (Google)


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- seattle star world war I.JPG 127.08 KB

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