A Collector Information Web Page Provided by
Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653

An Abundant Reproduction

I have recently received a rash of inquiries regarding this extremely common newspaper reproduction and offer the following information for collectors to determine the authenticity of suspect issues.

This newspaper contains the first printed account of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the United States' entry into the Second World War. Because of this, it has been extensively reprinted. As is the case with virtually all reproductions of old newspapers, they were made for souvenir or educational puposes, not as impositions on collectors, and they look nothing like the originals.

Diagnostics of the Fakes

The reprints fall into several categories as described below.

  • On the front page appears "1st Extra", on the second page, "2nd Extra", on the third page, "3rd Extra", and so on through page seven. Each page depicts Page One of one of the different December 7 editions, and the last page contains a reproduction of the December 8 frontpage. This edition was printed approximately Dec. 14, 1941 by the Star-Bulletin., It was intended to be a special commemorative edition and was probably issued as an insert in that day's Sunday edition. This is the version most commonly discovered in the effects of servicemen stationed in the Pacific at the time, as it had a large press run and was widely saved as a historical souvenir. This is the sole collectible reprint. Its value is modest, however, and it must be in very fine or better condition, i.e., not yellowed, brittle or damaged, with no pages missing or incomplete, to be of interest to a newspaper collector.

  • Reproducing the front pages of all the editions of December 7, as described above but on Page Six is the line "Printed and Distributed in Hawaii by PACIFIC FILM CORPORATION, 1649 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu". This variety is extremely common, having been made to sell at Hawaiian tourist outlets from the late 1940's through the middle 1960's. No collector value.

  • Reproducing the front pages of all the editions of December 7, as described above but on Page Six it is stated "Copies available through Fleet Reserve Assn. Branch 46 P.O. Box 6067 Honolulu Hawaii 96818." The modern souvenir edition, for sale throughout Hawaii today for a dollar or two a copy. No collector value.

  • At the head of page one is the line "The reissue of", or "The reprint of". Recent imitation, possibly a 50th anniversary reproduction from 1991. (There is also a 1991 replica of the Dec. 7, 1941 Honolulu Advertiser). No collector value.

See also our descriptive pages on three other very common old newspaper reproductions:
The Ulster County Gazette of January 4, 1800,
The Daily Citizen of July 2, 1863
The New York Herald of April 15, 1865

You can get full details of fifteen other common newspaper reproductions from the Library of Congress website. See Information Circular No.'s 1 - 17, located in the Library's Newspaper Reprint Circulars Page.See also our Collector Info Page on detecting reproductions.

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