American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2010 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 32

New York Clipper

The New York Clipper was published weekly from 1853 to 1923. Called “The Old Reliable” and “The Showman’s Bible,” the newspaper was the comprehensive journal for the entire amusement world. The accuracy of its news and the generous treatment accorded performers in minstrelsy, variety, vaudeville, musical comedy and moving pictures made the Clipper the most important and influential medium for people in the entertainment business.

The Clipper, first published by Harrison Fulton Trent on 14 May 1853, was a competitor of the sensationalist Police Gazette, a weekly covering sporting activities and lurid stories of murder and mayhem. After two years of editorial and financial struggle, Trent sold the paper to its young editor, Francis (Frank) Queen. During its early years, the Clipper devoted its space to sports news, including pugilism, sculling, billiards, running, horse racing and the beginnings of baseball. The paper provided authoritative and reliable coverage for the most part disdained by the news dailies.