I scored on both both
accounts. As it turned out, I did indeed have a reproduction
model of the Hot Blast, though Mr.
Sanguinetti did not remember when it was published. On the
last account, I had a very enjoyable chat with the man. He not only gave his blessings for GC to publish
the Hot Blast, but indicated that it was a good thing. He also
noted that the actual first edition resides in plastic on his
office wall. I felt contacting the Anniston Star important not
only because it is the direct descendant of the ANNISTON HOT
BLAST, and because of copyright concerns, but because it was
the right thing to do. It also helped to close the historical
loop for me before progressing.
The exact reason why the ANNISTON HOT BLAST holds the
top position in long gone newspapers is a mystery to me. It
was one of many local periodicals of the day including, The
Evening Star, The Republic Weekly, and The Labor
Perhaps it was the name, ANNISTON HOT BLAST, which referred to
the chief industry of the area, iron and steel.
There is limited information on the internet about the
1880 period. According to an undated piece in
the Anniston Star, The [Evening] Star and the Hot
Blast merged to form the Anniston Star. The ANNISTON
was begun as the Jacksonville Republican, which was
moved to Anniston shortly after the relocation of the county
seat from Jacksonville to Anniston late in the 19th century.
Mr. Sanguinetti, in our chat, related that the minute
specifics of the machinations of those days so long ago are a
matter of dispute. However, in the broad matters of failures, mergings,
and movings, the story above is accurate enough.
History satisfied, we come now to the reproduction copy of the
Hot Blast on GetCalhoun.com...
The newspaper was scanned in 4 sections per page and
then put back together. What you will view is a copy of a
copy, since my copy is a reproduction. There are minor
inaccuracies of matching the sections, but beyond that, there
are notable flaws in the reproduction copy which for the most
part may have been in the original. I find that the original
graphic flaws actually add character to the project. (Less so
my own! For that I apologize.)
Each page runs to more than one meg each so if you're
still using a modem it will take some time to load. High speed
users won't see much lag time as the pictures appear quickly
even though not fully loaded.
I chose to magnify the pictures a little because the
original text looks like maybe 7 point in size. The smallest
text I can show you here is 8pt. Here is what 8pt looks
This is 8pt text...
The words on the ANNISTON HOT BLAST are smaller! In effect,
imagine what it would look like to drag your paper across your
computer screen...This is the apparent size of the pages of
the ANNISTON HOT BLAST here on your GetCalhoun.com pages.
Cont Next Column...
Click Here to do the
On the importance of the ANNISTON HOT BLAST project here on
GetCalhoun.com... Well, if you can't read or don't care for
history, it won't mean much. But, my friend, if you are a
student of history, or perhaps an armchair social historian or
anthropologist, you are in for a massive treat.
The ANNISTON HOT BLAST is a treasure trove of
information on the news, attitudes, people, products, and
prices of the times at the very beginning of the town we call
Anniston. Untold articles, essays, and projects could be made
just from these 4 pages of tightly constructed prose.
One neat thing is that it can all be done from the
comfort of your computer right there at home. While there are
additional microfilm copies of the ANNISTON HOT BLAST available at the
library, you don't have to trudge 9 miles through the snow all
barefoot and all. It's right here for you.
Another neat thing, and perhaps the neatest, is that we
also have the positively huge and detailed map of Anniston
from 1888 on GetCalhoun.com. It shows Anniston when it was
laid out like a doll house, perfect and mall like, before the
years and sprawl blurred the edges. Placing these two
artifacts together makes for a unique look at a community at
the very beginning.
As you scroll through the pages online here, you'll
come to marvel as I did at the people of those times.
Everything we have today was here when we arrived. In 1883
everything was in front of them. They had a town to build and
a world to conquer and it seemed like anything was possible,
including making a fortune. The story of the founder of
Anniston, Samuel Noble is such a story, and it's presented in
the opening words of the ANNISTON HOT BLAST.
I feel that the presentation of the ANNISTON HOT BLAST
along with the historical maps is a terrifically important
resource for the residents of Calhoun County, Alabama to know.
At the least enjoyable, and at the best, inspirational. The
challenges of local life here today pale in comparison to that
of our ancestors. They were a feisty bunch!
Special thanks: This project would not have been possible
without the ANNISTON HOT BLAST. The owner, Terry McFall of
Choccolocco, has asked me to tell
you that the 4 page copy you see here is for sale. It would
make an eye popper of a collector's item for a local history
fan, perhaps framed in plastic on a swinging hinge for easy
reading....perhaps in the office of a doctor whose patients
have plenty of wait time on their hands...etc. Contact
GetCalhoun.com if you are interested and I'll get you in
The Maps: For the complete picture of Anniston in the
1880's you should make use of the maps we have here for you.
First, you'll need to download and install the free viewer
that allows you to fly around like Marley's ghost over the
canvas. Afterwards, keep in mind that once you click the map
link you'll need to be patient. Absolutely nothing
happens until it fully loads. You could open a new window and
go on surfing if you are of a nervous disposition. It's a
treat worth the wait! ###