Trip in Time: Oakland Tribune at 140
On Saturday evening Feb. 21, 1874, publishers Benet Dewes and George Staniford released the first issue of the Oakland Tribune.
Five thousand copies of the paper, then called the Oakland Daily Tribune, were printed on the second floor of the building at 468 Ninth St. and distributed for free.
It was a four-page paper, measuring only 6 by 9 inches and consisting largely of advertisements.
Dewes and Staniford not only owned and published the paper, but they wrote the stories and printed the paper, too, setting each letter of every word by hand. They set out to create a permanent daily paper for Oakland, and so it has for 140 years.
Engravings were not uncommon. In fact, one was used on the back page of the first issue, but photography wasn’t used much in the Tribune until the late 1890s.
Today, of course, things are much different. Reporters and photographers are mobile. Stories and photos are filed electronically and edited in the office by a series of editors. Once it gets the “OK,” it moves to the copy desk in Pleasanton for page designing before printing in Hayward and finally at your driveway or local newsstand.
While the Tribune is a great deal younger than our East Coast counterparts — such as the Hartford Courant (1764) — what it lacks in age it makes up for in achievements.
In 1923, the Oakland Tribune became the first metropolitan newspaper to regularly publish a column by a black woman. Delilah Beasley’s “Activities Among Negroes” reported on the black community locally and nationally until her death in 1934. She urged assistant publisher and California Assemblyman William Knowland in the introduction of California’s anti-lynching law. The bill passed a year before her death.
A slideshow of the first 50 years is online at http://photos.mercurynews.com/2014/02/14/trip-in-time-oakland-tribune-at-140/
(Tribune newsboys parade down Eighth Street in 1914 on the paper’s 40th Birthday / Edward “Doc” Rogers)
Joe Louis practices for a bout against at Cesar Brion, held August 1, 1951 at the San Francisco Cow Palace. The exact date of this photo is unknown but in all likelihood was taken on July 30 or 31.
(Albert “Kayo” Harris for the Oakland Tribune)
Digital First Media, owner of the Oakland Tribune, sold the Bay Area News Group photo archives in early December 2013 to an outside company.
This company will digitize our prints and negatives and is projected to be finished in about three years.
As the photo archive is no longer here to browse through and uncover forgotten moments in history, updates to this tumblr will be extremely limited.
Several thousands of prints were scanned before the sale, we still have access during the scanning process if you are curious about a topic, and with my monthly column “Trip in Time,” you will still find new photos here on occasion.
Thanks to anyone who has dropped by.
(One of the dark rooms formerly located in the Tribune Tower, 1950.)
March 23, 1961 - Martin Luther King Jr. meets with San Francisco East Bay minister Dr. Edward Stovall, and Reverends Roy Nichols and B.T. Anderson (left to right) in Oakland.
Reverend Roy Nichols lead one the first integrated churches in the Bay Area, South Berkeley Community Church.
(Chris Kjobech / Oakland Tribune)
Oakland Raiders center Jim Otto warms up for a clash with the San Diego Chargers at Frank Youell Field, August 1962.
(Chris Kjobeck / Oakland Tribune)
January 14, 1982 - Elise Gibbons and Nellie Red Owl of the Black Hills, South Dakota attend an Indian conference held in San Francisco. (Lonnie Wilson / Oakland Tribune)
Hayward, CA September 4, 1988 - Lynnette Barbour found an olivella bead, at right, on top of a gopher digging at the Coyote Hills Regional Park. It is shown with other clam disk and olivella beads also made by Ohlone Indians.
(Pat Greenhouse / Oakland Tribune)