Newspaper Stick

Many miss using card catalogues, as libraries change, and I fear newspaper sticks will be next. I bought this one at an antique store last weekend.(1)  They functioned as a simple method of storing and binding the newspapers together, I suppose to keep them in order and free from additional folds and I would consider this a simple, temporary binding.  Newspaper sticks are also fun to use, because instead of making the paper conform to you–by reading the top or bottom half, or in vertical sections, known as the subway fold–you have to look at the the entire page.  It changes our perception of  the newspaper–it becomes more solid, reliable, booklike and less malleable to our desires and interpretations.  The obvious temptation to use it as a sword is never far from consciousness, especially for a young boy, and sections of the wood make a satisfying rattle when striking something.

But I would like to know if there was a normal, standard or correct way of mounting the newspapers on this stick.  The wood is sawn into six sections and I can imagine a number of ways of sliding the various sections and pages onto it. A thick black rubber band at this end to hold the whole thing together  They are still available from demco and other sources, but I haven’t seen many of them in use lately.  And I doubt they will grow in popularity.


1. The dealer still has a number of them, $5 each, Charley Browns Antiques, Endwell, NY.

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