Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (, and the historical time period in which she lives.

My Photo
Location:, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Thursday, January 04, 2007


There’s a lot of information to be gleaned from old newspapers. Advertisements show the latest products and fashions. Letters to the editor depict the people’s concerns and grievances. Notices of dances, movies, and plays lend insight into an area’s social life. But there are more bits of information hidden in the ads than just the products and more to the letters and notices than just the issues.

For instance, a store’s location can be useful when researching an historic city. With enough information, a researcher can start to map out the area shops. Another tidbit came from the corner of one 1920 advertisement. There was a phone number listed for the store. So early Nairobi had an in-town phone system. The fact that the phone number had only three digits tells that there weren’t all that many phones in the town.

I’m old enough to remember party lines, and if you watched 1950’s television shows, you might recall switchboard operators who would connect the calls for you. We can imagine that was the case in Nairobi. In fact, one letter to the editor during an influenza outbreak expressed concern for the overworked operators who were doing double shifts to cover for the other young ladies out sick. In this letter, a fascinating fact was revealed; the telephone operators were known as “hello girls.”

Next week I’m on the road and away from the internet access. So bear with me and in the following week there will be more INSIGHTS FROM NAIROBI NEWSPAPERS


Anonymous Barsawad said...

Interesting posts here. Keep it up.

Tue Jan 09, 07:52:00 AM CST  

Post a Comment

<< Home