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Frontpage of Gazette & Courier newspaper

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This is a typical page from a newspaper of the latter part of the 19th century. It has some local news but much of it is made up of inserts of material reprinted elsewhere. One of the local items reported the meeting of the West Springfield Farmers' Institute, which debated the "sugar beet question." The demand for sugar in the United States grew strongly during the 19th century and met by cane sugar grown along the Gulf Coast and from the West Indies. But in the 1870s experiments improved sugar yields from beets, a crop that could be grown in a much larger area of the U.S. By 1900 beets had become key to American sugar production. The material from other magazines printed here ranged from book reviews, to stories, to columns of advice. These stories had strong moral messages: thriftiness, hard work, and the virtues of country life.


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