The Grit, begun in 1882, was a weekly publication that targeted residents of the rural United States. It was subtitled "America's Greatest Family Newspaper." On Ocracoke, subscriptions were sold door-to-door by various school children over the years. The newspaper was very popular on the island in the 1930s.
|The Grit, April 4, 1937|
My copy has a number of stories, including "Rangers is Powerful Hard to Kill, Continuing Caddo Cameron's Story of Two Hardboiled Gun Slingers," "Killer's Greed, Telling How a Smart Cowboy Overpowered a Brutal Slayer," ""Hills of Destiny, Concluding An Appealing Love Story," and "Triangle, Aunt Margaret Just Cannot Understand the Modern Viewpoint in Regard to Marriage."
The center section includes several comic strips: "Bringing up Father" and "Rosie's Beau" by George McManus (1884 -1954), and "The Bungle Family" and "Short Stories" by H. J. Tuthill (1886–1957).
The advertisements are just as fascinating. In 1937 you could purchase an "Amazing New Popular Pictorial Ring" for 59 cents, a "Shock-Proof Watch (with a Free Knife and Chain)" for $1.48, a "Typewriter 1/2 Price, Easy Terms Only 10 cents a Day," or earn up to "$14 a Day" as an agent selling the "Streamlined Diamond Iron" that "Burns 96% AIR, only 4% kerosene (coal oil)."
In 1937 there seemed to be a cure for almost any ailment -- warts, leg sores, catarrh, grey hair, itch, stomach ulcers, rupture, or intestinal torpor -- you could purchase patent medicines for any of these.
The Grit ("Celebrating Rural America Since 1882") is still being published. You can visit their web site here:
You can read more about the Grit on Wikipedia:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Project Nutmeg, and how Ocracoke almost became a site for testing nuclear weapons. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042112.htm.