Supplying readers with ‘the latest news of the colony’
By October 1903, Harris Munden Mosdell (1883-1944) of Bay Roberts was a teacher at Brigus. Purchasing the printing plant of the “ Vindicator and Brigus Reporter,” he left the teaching profession to start his own newspaper.
By 1908, The Newfoundland Outlook was being managed by C.W. Mosdell. The proprietor and printer was the Outlook Printing Company, located at Bay Roberts.
The Outlook, as it was commonly know, promised to keep readers “posted on men and events,” supplying them with “the latest news of the colony.”
The newspaper was issued every Saturday. Subscriptions to any part of Newfoundland or Canada cost 50 cents per year, post paid. Subscribers in Great Britain, the United States and elsewhere were required to pay 75 cents per year.
Only one issue of the “Outlook” is known to exist. Volume 5, No. 35 is dated Sept. 12, 1908. It has four pages and measures approximately 161/2 x 23 inches, or 41.9 x 58.4 centimetres.
A large portion of the Outlook was devoted to advertising. Advertising cost 50 cents per column inch for the first insertion, and 25 cents per inch for each continuation. However, special rates were granted for three, six or 12 months.
Examples of advertisements by St. John’s companies are Reid-Newfoundland, Skinner’s Monumental Art Works, Dicks, Angel Engineering and Supply, and Horwood Lumber.
There were fewer local advertisers. M. Gosse & Son was a woodworking factory in Spaniard’s Bay. J.A. Whitman and J. & W. Madigan were tailors in Harbour Grace. W.S. Goodwin, a graduate of Philadelphia Dental College and Hospital of Oral Surgery, had an office on Water Street in Harbour Grace. “ Teeth extracted absolutely painlessly by use of vitalized air or perfect anaesthetic,” the good doctor promised.
Advertisers outside the Colony included Carter’s Little Liver Pulls (“ Small Pill. Small Dose. Small Price”), designed with headaches in mind. Readers, suffering from “each and every form of itching, bleeding and protruding piles,” could experience relief if they bought and digested a box of Dr. Chase’s Ointment. He also offered Nerve Food for those “ bankrupt in nerve force.” His “catarrh cure” healed ulcers, cleared air passages, stopped throat droppings and “permanently cures catarrh and hay fever. “A reward of 1,000 pounds was offered by the makers of Sunlight Soap “ to anyone proving any impurity in its composition.”
The “Outlook” offered its own services of “neat, artistic printing” to businesses requiring “ judicious advertising.” Envelopes, billheads, statements, letterheads and noteheads were only part of the fare. “Our aim is to do good work-it costs us more-but we satisfy our customers.”
“Newfoundland news,” featured on the first page, reported on an accident. “ One day last week, a dangerous accident occurred at Cupids, by which a little chap named Gordon Bugden, aged four, was almost killed.” Several short pieces followed. For example, we learn that work was started on the new Bank of Nova Scotia Building at Harbour Grace. The revival of the Harbour Grace Regatta was arousing great interest in the town.
Not surprisingly, politics reared its head in the Outlook. An unidentified editorialist railed again the editors of other papers. “It is almost incredible that the men who edit these papers and the leaders of the party in whose support they are published, could be so lost to all sense of morality, principle or honour.”
Under “ local brevitites,” readers learned that “death has been very busy here of late, and several wellknown residents have been removed from our midst.” Isaac Snow and Samuel Russell of Coley’s Point and Bay Roberts, respectively, died. Eighty-three-year-old Captain John Barrett of Coley’s Point had been “one of the most successful of our fishing captains, but had been retired from the fishery for some years.”
S. Mercer of Mercer’s Cove, employed on the new wing of St. Bon’s College, St. John’s, visited Bay Roberts for a weekend.
Mary Leamon of Brigus Gullies returned home, after visiting Bay Roberts for several days.
Miss M. Russell left Bay Roberts for Grand Falls, where she was to “ take charge of the school.”
Finally, there were several “ brief home news” items.
Harbour Gracians were dissatisfied “ with the proposed new Governmental building there, recently contracted for at $7,000. They are looking for a larger and costlier edifice, and a meeting was held there . . .to press their views on the authorities.”
Two years after H.M. Mosdell left Newfoundland to become a reporter in Toronto, Charles Russell of Bay Roberts brought the “Outlook” presses and established another newspaper, the “ Bay Roberts Guardian.”