From the Archive: Twitter in the Twenties

by Lesley Drayton, Curator of the Local History Archive

You may have noticed all those social networking sites that seem to inundate the internet these days. Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow people to stay connected with their friends (and snakes—have you found the Museum’s ball python, Slinky, on Twitter yet? Look for @SlinkyWorld) through quick updates about what they’re up to. It’s easy to keep tabs on all of your friends by sharing “tweets,” but just remember: it’s nothing new.

This astute observation was made by one of our wonderful volunteers here in the archive last week while she was indexing issues of the 1924 Fort Collins Courier newspaper. She was reading the Personals columns and noticed that the quick updates about people’s lives in Fort Collins printed in the paper over 80 years ago mirror the status updates people make today on their Facebook pages. Below is a portion of the Personals column from August 4, 1924, and a “profile picture” of Lillian and Carl Anderson, who are mentioned therein:

personals 080424

Lillian and Carl Anderson

Lillian and Carl Anderson

In 1924, the Personals were run everyday and usually went on for three or more columns. Imagine these updates in first-person voice and the parallel between them and “tweets” becomes even clearer. So for those of you who don’t Twitter, get with it! It’s been going on in Fort Collins for decades!

1 Response to “From the Archive: Twitter in the Twenties”

  1. 1 Maria Mortati August 4, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Oh I love that post! So glad you included the photo at the bottom too. I’m going to reference that in all the Twitter Madness that is going on right now. Yes, it’s a basic human desire that now has a vehicle that provides a faster turnaround…

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August 2009

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