Business & Financial News from 100 Years Ago

The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal offered quality information and journalistic integrity during the 1920s. Just as today, they were both the business papers of record.

As the first post in this newsletter, let me provide some quick commentary on my sources.

I have access to FT and WSJ print newspapers from the 1920s. The intention is simple: read each paper and report on interesting topics and articles that authentically capture the mood of the day. Each week (on Sunday), articles from 100 years ago that week will be discussed.

The Financial Times was 10-12 pages during the 1920s (today it stands around 45). From its founding in 1888 to around 1930, the paper fluctuated between 4-12 pages. The FT finally grew beyond 12 pages in the late 1950s. By the mid-1970s, the FT began to resemble its modern incarnation.

The Wall Street Journal was founded about the same time as the FT, but expanded its page count much more quickly. In the early 1920s, the page count totaled around 10. This jumped to 20 by the end of the Roaring 20s. The page count later stagnated in the 1930s and then began expanding in the early 1960s. Like the FT, a typical paper in 1975 would resemble the current one today.

If it feels like financial markets have become more important in our daily lives, it’s because they are. The page count growth reflects the importance of markets over the past century.

PS - Barron’s would be a third newspaper to explore, but I was not able to find archived copies of it.


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