- "The Clipper" redirects here. For the brush-footed butterfly, see Parthenos sylvia
The Clipper is a species of nymphalid butterfly found in South and South-East Asia found mostly in forested areas. The Clipper is a fast flying butterfly and has a habit of flying with its wings flapping stiffly between the horizontal position and a few degrees below the horizontal...
The New York Clipper
, also known as The Clipper
, was a weekly entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...
published in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
from 1853 to 1924. It covered many topics, including circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...
, the outdoors
, sports, and theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...
. It had a circulation of about 25,000. The publishers also produced the yearly New York Clipper Annual
. In 1924, The Clipper
was absorbed into the entertainment journal Variety
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...
Frank Queen began publishing the New York Clipper
in 1853, making it the first American paper devoted entirely to entertainment; the paper eventually shortened its name to The Clipper
. The paper was one of the earliest publications in the United States to regularly cover sports, and it played an important role in popularizing baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...
in the country. In addition to more popular sporting events, the New York Clipper
also wrote about billiards
Cue sports , also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber .Historically, the umbrella term was billiards...
Bowling Bowling Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule...
, even chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...
. It began covering American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
in 1880. In 1894, however, The Clipper
dropped its sports coverage and devoted itself entirely to theatre.
In addition to entertainment, The Clipper
regularly published short satirical pieces written in exaggerated dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...
s such as African American English or the speech of the New York Bowery b'hoys
B'hoy and g'hal were the prevailing slang words used to describe the young men and women of the rough-and-tumble working class culture of Lower Manhattan in the late 1840s and into the period of the American Civil War...
. For example, this letter is from a fictitious Irish
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...
travel writer named "Shamus McFudd":
After me an Tim had seen the illiphant, an exhamined his trunk to see how many klane shurts he had, we wint to see a grate big snake, wid a body the size iv a whale, an a tail that wud wind 3 times around Pat Clansey's cow stable. Och! sich a monster I niver want to clap me ises on agin. His mouth was so big that he cud take me an Tim at wan swaller widout openin it at all; and when his 2 jaws cum together, the Whole house wud shake as it is had a fit iv the ager. They feed him on broiled pavin stones, an whin he takes dhrink, feth he laves the river so dhry that all the ships ran aground. The divil a wurd iv a lie I'm telling ye.
was the paper of record for the circus business from its founding until about 1902 when the Billboard
overtook it in coverage. For most of its life the paper carried a circus section and contained both classified and display advertising for circuses. It remains the single best news source for the circus in the second half of the 19th century, and is essential to circus historians. It had its competitors for circus news including the Sporting and Theatrical Journ
al, the New York Mercury
, and the Dramatic News
, all of which covered circuses to a greater or lesser degree. The Clipper
is also an important source for minstrel shows and popular theater.
Today, the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...
and the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...
possess nearly complete collections of the newspaper. Many other research libraries have microfilm copies.
- Barth, Gunther Paul (1980). City People: The Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-century America. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Description of the New York Clipper Newspaper Collection at the University of Southern California. Accessed 1 December 2005.
- "Industry Publications". Showhistory.com. Accessed 1 December 2005.
- Mahar, William J. (1999). Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. University of Illinois Press.
- Oriard, Michael (1993). Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle. University of North Carolina Press.
- Rader, Benjamin G. (2002). Baseball: A History of America's Game. University of Illinois Press.