the sun newspaper (former)

from edgar allan poe posted in literature


the sun newspaper (former)
124 fulton street
new york, new york 10038

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posted by tacopolis #

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The Sun was a New York broadsheet newspaper that was published from 1833 until 1950.

Later in its life, The Sun became a reputable paper. It was considered the most conservative voice of the big three NYC papers- The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune being the others.

In its earlier years, while it was headquartered at this address, The Sun would occasionally fabricate hoaxes to draw readership. One such successful hoax was the Great Moon Hoax of August, 1835, which was a series of six articles that told fantastic stories of forests and oceans on the moon, inhabited by bison, goats, unicorns, bipedal tail-less beavers and bat-like winged humanoids ("Vespertilio-homo").

Edgar Allan Poe had written a story two months prior (in June of 1835) called The Unparalleled Adventure Of One Hans Pfaall for the Southern Literary Messenger, where an adventurer takes a balloon to the moon and encounters many similarities. Poe complained that the Great Moon Hoax was at least partially plagiarized from his story (which is considered one of the earliest examples of science-ficton).

Poe would have his own successful hoax for The Sun in 1844: "The Balloon-Hoax." Poe's fictional (yet factual-sounding) article disclosed that famous European balloonist Monck Mason had crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 75 hours. The details of the article included a diagram and specifications of the craft. The newspaper was swarmed with people to get copies of the paper, and even though the story was retracted two days later, readership had massively increased.

Great Moon Hoax lithograph of "ruby amphitheater" for New York Sun, August 28, 1835