Riddles, Puzzles, and…More Ohio Newspapers Added to Chronicling America!
When looking for a quick laugh to rest your mind or a brainteaser to stretch it, its practically second nature for us to turn to the countless jokes, puzzles and other diversions available on the Internet. But have you ever looked in an historic newspaper for amusement? Newspapers were great sources of entertainment for our ancestors and often published conundrums, enigmas and other word games. Although some were intended for children, they were likely read, solved and shared by people of all ages.
An “enigma” published in the November 15, 1870 issue of the Woodsfield Spirit of Democracy (p. 3, col. 3). This one is intended to be the “simplest” of its kind in order to “aid those who have not been initiated into these little mysteries.”
In an article that claims that they have met worse conundrums than the following, editors of the Weekly Lancaster Gazette ask What winds would a hungry sailor wish for at sea? and When is a hedge dangerous to walk in? Through the Ohio Historical Societys latest contributions to the National Digital Newspaper Program and Chronicling America, even more of these riddles of the past (and their answersclick here for the ones above) are easier than ever to access, giving you yet another online resource for humor. Issues from the following Ohio papers are now freely available and keyword searchable at Chronicling America: From Ashland (Ashland County):
These papers join over seven million newspaper pages and more than 1,200 newspapers from all over the nation, including over 40 from Ohio, to chronicle United States history from 1836 to 1922.
To find your own riddles, puzzles and other entertainments, type one of the following terms into the Search Pages box on Chronicling America: conundrum, enigma, puzzle, youth department. And while some of the jokes youll find will fall flat and the enigmas may seem impenetrable, it is still enjoyable to read the puns and other items that amused our ancestors over one hundred years ago.