What Were Newspapers Used for Besides Reading?

The daily print newspaper to the home has been popular for decades. But that is changing across the U. S. More people get the daily ‘newspaper’ as the digital edition on their smartphone, laptop or computer. When people did get a daily newspaper, it was read but it was also used around the house.

Newspapers were used to wrap foods, especially leftovers. No one was concerned about the ink from the newspaper.

As a type of insulation between the outside wall and any inside paneling. It provided additional protection from cold air coming inside.

Many newspapers were used if the family had puppies. Accidents did happen and the newspaper was good to layout in places in the house if a puppy couldn’t wait to go outside.

To help prevent weeds from being in the garden, people laid down flat newspapers as a weed barrier. Newspapers were also shredded to serve as mulch around plant beds outside.

Many housewives used sheets of newspapers to clean their windows. Using rag might leave lint on the window but not newspapers. They wadded up the newspaper to wipe the windows.

Shelf paper in the kitchen looked nice but if the family couldn’t afford it, they lined their kitchen shelves and cabinets with newspapers.

For those with fireplaces in their homes, newspapers were used as kindling, to keep a fire going.

Newspapers were on top of the family table if some project was to done on the table that was messy. It protected the table and the paper then torn away.

To help eliminate any musty smells in a closet, chest of drawers or a desk, many people crumpled up the newspaper and placed it inside the object that smelled due to leaks or mold growth. After a few days, the smell was gone or greatly reduced.

You might know times family members on your tree did any of these activities with their daily newspaper, besides reading it. If found info about the use of the newspapers, that would be good to add to the family history.

Photo: Using newspaper to wrap food – NOTE- Today that is not a great idea, the ink used on newspapers are not safe.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Newspapers Online

Collection of News Articles

Research in Hometown Newspapers

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