It started in 1989 when Chris Kling asked his dad if he could hold on to the final edition of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Today, per a fun article by Joanna Clay in the Coastline Pilot, that innocent request has mushroomed into a one-of-a-kind collection.
Kling (pictured) spends an average of $1,000 per month bidding on old newspapers and another $200 to house them in his apartment complex basement. He spoke with Clay shortly after snagging a March 12, 1959 issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (with the large red-font headline “Statehood!”) via eBay for $93.50. That’s about half his all-time mark:
The most Kling spent was $180 on “Monroe Dies” in the Las Vegas Review Journal. He said he liked that paper’s edition in particular because they used light blue ink in the headline, which at the time was uncommon. It sits framed inside his office besides other favorites: “Astronauts Walk on the Moon” in the Ohio Plain Dealer and the 2002 Los Angeles Times cover of the Anaheim Angels’ World Series win with the headline “Fantasyland!”
The 37-year-old Kling is the answer to the print media’s prayers. In addition to his archive endeavors, he currently subscribes to four daily newspapers: the LA Times, the Orange County Register, USA TODAY and the New York Times. He is hoping to find a partner to tour the collection as an historical exhibit.
[Photo by Scott Smeltzer]