Walter Perkins Amateur Newspaper Collection (MS 12)

Abstract: Collection of amateur newspapers, the bulk produced between 1873 and 1874, from across the United States and Canada. They were collected by Walter E. Perkins of Biddeford, who at age 14 was producing his own paper “The Snow Flake”. Perkins exchanged his paper with other boys across the country and amassed an impressive collection of over 130 papers from 25 states and Canada in this manner.

Biography: Walter E. Perkins (c1858-1925) was born in Biddeford, Maine, son of Jotham and Ruth (Andrews) Perkins. He had a brother, Frank E. Perkins, and two sisters: Mrs. Marcia A. Leslie and Miss Annie I Perkins. He graduated from Biddeford High School, class of 1876, and went to work as a telegraph operator. A year later, however, he left for Boston to pursue his dream of becoming a stage actor. Perkins went on to great fame as a comedic actor, and performed across the country for the next 25 years, all the while maintaining a home in Biddeford at 6 Chadwick Place, where he stayed during the off-season or when he wasn’t performing. He died in Brooklyn, NY, following a short illness caused by “ptomaine poisoning” [archaic term used to describe food-bourne illness caused by bacteria in food.]


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