I was at the library today, looking through microfilm reels of old newspapers to hunt down vintage real estate development ads.
One thing I noticed is that for newspapers before WWII, there was practically no organized sections in the newspaper. National and local news was scattered throughout the newspaper, different clusters of sports news scattered throughout (one for baseball, one for horse racing, one for boxing, and so on), stock listings, commodity listings in a different area, and so on. Even what would be the content found in the equivalent of a “women’s section” in a 1970s-era newspaper was broken up; a few pages of fashion and gossip here, a few pages of society news there, a few pages of recipes and homekeeping tips somewhere else, mixed in with something totally random like departure times for steamships or a schedule of radio shows.
The Sunday papers each had different sections, but again, it was all random, with no organization by topic. Each section had the same masthead, only there was a different news headline and feature article for each section; basically each Sunday section was like its own mini-paper.
I’m curious if this was just a quirk of newspapers where I live (in the United States, pedants), or if it was just the way newspapers were back then.