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.”

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