“We attempt to reveal the lives of our predecessors through the tweets of yesteryear: mostly one-line brevities from old newspapers.”

Tweets of Old is a stream that began on Twitter as a convenient way to store interesting old news found while doing research for my book “The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions,” an exploration of fraternal lodge rituals in the late 19th, early 20th centuries, and the company which created the extraordinary props and prank devices used for them.

Tweets of Old are “one-liners,” as they appeared--or close. These occasionally gossipy news briefs were popular in small town papers. They were listed under headings entitled, “tidbits,” “jottings,” “scintillations,” “whisperings,” “siftings,” “dots,” “echos,” “crumbs,” “ripples,” “telegraphs,” and so on.

Most “Tweets of Old” are transcribed by me from actual antique newspapers or from digital files found in online archives. Thanks to devoted genealogists who painstakingly scan and catalogue these gems, I am able to do this.

  • "I love @TweetsofOld so much, b/c it's a reminder: we live on a sediment of charm & adventure, centuries thick."
     --tweeted by Robin Sloan, writer and media inventor
  • "It's genius, really."
    --tweeted by Susan Orlean, author
  • "I wish I had conceived "Tweets of old". It sucks when someone else invents your dream job."
    --Neko Case, musician
  • "Pound for pound, no one on Twitter is more entertaining and enlightening."
  • "It's almost embarrassing how much I enjoy @TweetsofOld."
  • "@TweetsofOld is the only reason Twitter should exist. I have no idea what the rest of us are doing."
    --Ken Jennings, "Jeopardy!" Champion, author of "Maphead"

“A train of sixteen mules, fifteen loaded with whisky and one with flour, arrived at Eagle a few days ago. Why so much flour?”
  Illinois, 1884

“Sam McElwrath stepped out of doors last night for a smoke and heard a would-be thief calling his hog in a very low tone.” Tennessee, 1903

“The good wife of Reverend Allen dropped dead at half past two yesterday.”   Arkansas 1887

"Mr. Wharton's watermelons are getting ripe. I saw him out in the patch the other day thumping them." Tennessee,1903

"Alma Wevold has decided not to travel to St Paul. The movement of the train puts her ill at ease."
Minnesota, 1908

  Visit Tweets of Old

About Julia Suits