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Sunday mail
Title : Sunday mail Sunday mail
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Source : Mail, 4 May 1912, p. 1
Date of creation : 1912
Format : Newspaper
Catalogue record
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Description :

The Sunday mail (originally titled the Mail) was founded in 1912 by Clarence Moody. Moody initially established three newspapers - the Sporting mail, Saturday mail and the Mail. When he went into liquidation in late 1914 ownership passed briefly to George Annells and Frank Stone, and then to Herbert Syme. In May 1923 News Limited purchased the Mail and moved the newspaper to North Terrace. By this time the News had developed a strong sporting focus, publishing the results of week-end sporting matches of all types and grades. The popular 'Possum's Pages' began in 1921, and the first children's comic, May Gibbs' Bib and Bub, was added in 1924, joined by Ginger Meggs in 1932, which continues to today. Although published as a newspaper for Sunday reading, the Mail was actually printed on saturday nights, with a Saturday date, until Sunday 5 November 1972.

A particular focus was given to football and horse-racing, with many fine sporting photographs and articles being printed. West Torrens footballer and yachtsman Ossie O'Grady became sports writer in 1926 and wrote sometimes controversial sporting feature articles. In the 1930s Ron Boland began his newspaper career as the horse-racing writer, using the pen-name 'Trafalgar'. He was later to become editor of the News. Early motoring was another important feature of the newspaper from the 1920s, as was the advent of commercial radio and aviation. From 1922 under the editorship of George Brickhill, the Mail was a well-presented newspaper with quality reading on a range of topics. No doubt the professionally presented real estate pages helped fund the improvements.

The much-loved 'Possum's pages' were born in 1921 as 'the Mail Club' with letters to 'Clubmates' written by 'Possum'. The page was called 'Mates own corner'. In 1924 May Gibbs' gumnut babies, 'Bib and Bub,' were the first full-scale comic page in the Mail. They were joined in 1932 by Bancks' Ginger Meggs. During the Second World War Lionel Coventry's 'Alec the Airman' joined the pages of the paper. Colour was introduced to the comics at the end of the war. Oswald Pryor was cartoonist for the Mail in 1922-1923, followed by Hal Gye, and in the late 1920s R.W. Blundell. Harry Longson was cartoonist during the war years.

The Second World War had a major impact on many things, not least on newspaper reporting and production. Although horse racing and other sports were still covered in the pages of the Mail, space was also given to war news and the activities of the armed forces. During the war the 'Gossip by Diedre' page gave way to the less frivolous 'Diana's notebook' with photographs such as 'Miss Patricia Hubbard at work in her father's factory' (5 October 1940, p. 10) and other articles and photographs reflecting women's war effort activities. Even the 'Suburban acre' gardening page took on a more serious tone as 'Weeders digest'. After the war, the Mail developed into the newspaper that we are familiar with today. Its original 1912 circulation of 15,000 had risen to 213,000 by 1962.

For its first 60 years the Mail was printed on Saturday nights. Initially two editions were published, with a 'street' edition coming out at about 7 pm, followed by a midnight edition which was sold to theatre crowds later in the evening, and distributed throughout the state on Sunday mornings. Until 1957 the State Library collected only the midnight edition. Country and other sporting results typically appear in the midnight or 'state' edition.

Related names :

Annells, George

Bancks, J.C. (James Charles), 1889-1952

Blundell, R.H.

Boland, Ron

Brickhill, George

Coventry, Lionel

Gibbs, May, 1877-1969

Gye, Hal, 1888-1967

Hubbard, Patricia

Longson, Harry

Moody, Clarence

O'Grady, Oswald James

Pryor, Oswald

Stone, Frank

Syme, Herbert

Alec the airman (Cartoon character)

Bib and Bub (Cartoon characters)

Ginger Meggs (Cartoon character)

News Limited

Saturday mail (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Sporting mail (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1912
Place : Adelaide (S. Aust.)
Further reading :

News Ltd. The inside story of Adelaide's night life, Adelaide, S. Aust.: News Ltd, 1955

O'Grady, Oswald James. Oswald James O'Grady : an autobiography, together with the story of Reid Murray Holdings, [Adelaide, S. Aust.: O'Grady family, 1997?]

Sunday mail, South Australia circulation breakdown March 1968 , Adelaide, S. Aust.: Sunday mail, 1968

Sunday mail, South Australia: information March 1964 , Adelaide, S. Aust.: Sunday mail, 1964

'We're 50 years old', Sunday mail, 5 May 1962, p. 27
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