AJ History

First 100 Years


The first volume of The National Amateur

Excerpts from accounts 1879 convention

In 1891 at Philadelphia

NAPA's first permanent constitution

Pillow fight

Almost fatal doldrums

1926 marked the semi-centennial

Little remembered giant

The Torpedo

The Mailing Bureau

Library of Amateur Journalism

Ralph Babcock

Presidents' Field

Tryout Smith

Thrift & Edkins


Amateur Press Clubs

Philadelphia Connections

National Amateur Press Association
The First 100 Years: Flashbacks...

In 1891 at Philadelphia, a faction of the NAPA bolted the convention in a dispute over acceptance of proxy ballots. When the dissenters returned, they found the meeting recessed, so began their own session but were displaced by the resumption of the regular stated meeting. The bolters held their own election and banquet.

Dual conventions were held in 1892 in Boston and Buffalo, but by the following year the factions been were united. However, in some instances, it took years to dissipate the bitterness.

At the following convention in Chicago, the association acted on a resolution to place the name of Frank E. Schermerhom on the presidential roll. (Schermerhorn had been elected by the dissident group.) Following considerable and heated debate, filled with intense drama, force and earnestness, the resolution was approved, 15 to 13, several members refusing to vote.

But before the ruckus of 1891, at the opening of that convention, a very gallant action was taken. In appreciation for her services as official editor, Harriet Cox, the first young lady to serve in the second highest office, was presented with a diamond ring. The money for this purpose had been appropriated in an earlier session.

    Last updated: 01/16/2000