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Blast from the Past

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Atmore Public Library recently obtained "The Atmore Spectrum," a newspaper dated July 30, 1908 until April 30, 1912, on microfilm.
Cathy McKinley, the director at the library, said the reasoning behind purchasing "The Atmore Spectrum" was the demand for more information about the Atmore community.
"Several people had called and asked for information about Atmore," McKinley said.
The print of the newspaper is small but people interested in viewing the film are able to picture Atmore in the early 1900s through the advertisements, which are easier to see.
Some of the advertisements in "The Atmore Spectrum" give insight into the Atmore businesses of the early 1900s, which include The Bank of Atmore, T.E. Stone &Co, Hotel Magnolia, Dr. Peavy's Drug Store and W.S. Brantley Blacksmith.
The Atmore Livery Company advertised "good horses, nice buggies and polite drivers" in one of the earlier additions of "The Atmore Spectrum."
The Atmore Hardware Co. had an interesting advertisement that read, "We make a specialty of coffins and funeral supplies."
McKinley said there were many businesses that advertised coffins in the newspaper.
An ad from J.T. Lowery on May 23, 1908 read, "Announcement to the people of Atmore and the public generally. It is my desire and intention to give Atmore an up-to-date grocery store and carry a line of goods not kept in general stores and if you will give me your support I am sure it can be done, for Atmore is large enough now and should have a store."
McKinley said the library has always wanted to purchase old newspapers and is interested in acquiring a new microfilm reader.
"We'd always been interested in getting some old newspapers," she said. "We wanted to apply for a grant for a microfilm reader but there are more important things that require grants. Books for children and adults are more important."
The microfilm reader at the Atmore Public Library is the same one they have been using since 1984 and the printer does not work.
McKinley said that they want a new reader in order to get more newspapers.
"We would like to have a new reader so we can get more papers than "The Atmore Spectrum," she said.
Although the printer does not work, members of the community are invited to the library to view the film.
"The public is welcome to come by and look at the film," McKinley said.
For more information about the Atmore Public Library or "The Atmore Spectrum" please call 368-5234.