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Rogers Historical Museum  

Donation of the Month

Printing Blocks
Donor: Randy Shofner
The newspaper history in Rogers has been dominated by the Rogers Democrat started in 1898 by E.M. Funk and his son Erwin C. Funk.  The Funk family kept the paper until 1929.  While in their procession, the newspaper printed both the paper as well as material for commercial clients.  In January 1919, the Rogers Democrat gained a rival when the Rogers Daily Post began.  The Post changed hands numerous times until it landed with James P. Shofner in 1927.  Shofner changed the paper’s name to Rogers Daily News and after a few years sold it once again.  He then purchased the Rogers Democrat along with a partner E.W. Pate.  Shofner and Pate divided the newspaper’s printing department with Shofner getting the commercial printing equipment and business.  The printing equipment and business has stayed in the family until 2011, when those who knew of Shofner witnessed the closing of this long standing business.
Over the years Shofner’s business expanded beyond printing to include selling office supplies such as typewriter ribbons, notebook paper, pens, and other supplies.  Much of the business still relied on printing note cards, letterhead, and other materials for clients throughout Rogers.  The printing was done on updated antique printing presses from the old newspaper operation, as well as newer machines.  Each printing used many wooden or metal printing blocks to provide the client’s logo or signature to the address or tag line.  Due to the demand for any shape or size of print job the back area was full of cabinets and drawers of several type fonts, logos, decorative shapes, numbers, and other blocks allowing Shofner to print just about anything needed by a client.  While printing using individual blocks, and hand inking the blocks and feeding the paper is a labor intensive process it has come a long way.
Before the invention of the printing press, copies of manuscripts, books and leaflets were hand copied and embellished with decorations by highly skilled workers.  In the 1450’s Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press.  This machine allowed for the mass printing of manuscripts and other works on paper.  Using wooden blocks with fully etched designs or blocks of individuals letters a press operator could print several copies of a leaflet or book in only a few hours or days instead of weeks or months.  This invention also made the material more readily available to everyone as they become more affordable.
While the first material printed using a printing press was a version the Bible, the newspaper wasn’t left behind.  The newspaper as a means of local or far off news began with handwritten accounts of wars or travel encounters carried by hand and read by fellow travelers.  By the 1400s in Germany printed versions of these papers could be found.  In 1666 the London Gazette became the first English newspaper.  The idea of printed newspapers came across the ocean with the pioneers and during the early days of America became invaluable in connecting the colonies and spreading news ideas.  


More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Help One Another Club Quilt
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons


1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket






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