I was delighted to open my favorite newspaper this morning and learn that the FT celebrates 125 years in print today. The special insert included a facsimile of the front page of February 13, 1888, when the news included updates on railway bond issues and the profitability of a machine that manufactures glass bottles:
“…these machines will, it is stated, turn out about 80 gross bottles a day, as compared with eight gross as the produce of two men and three boys by the hand process”
There was also an evaluation of European politics that warned of “the perpetual scheming of kings and emperors … resulting in that to-day we stand face to face with a huge and impending European conflagration, from which no human foresight can forsee or forestall who shall escape” — this 26 years before the First World War began.
Reprints of past front pages marked JFK’s funeral, Nixon’s resignation, the fall of the Berlin wall, 9/11 and more. Apart from my subscription copy, delivered before 7am on pink paper to my doorstep in Castro Valley, I see Barack Obama states “I read the Financial Times…” and that Clinton-era Treasury secretary Robert Rubin claims the FT “was invariably more useful than his daily CIA digest.” There’s also a Chinese ambassador who says that “We always read the FT in the embassy because capitalists never lie.”
But it’s the Weekend Edition that has been my Saturday morning treat for many years. Likewise for Nichols Serota, the director of the Tate Gallery (“The Weekend FT was a brilliant invention”) and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg (“I look forward every week to reading the weekend edition.”)
If you are not yet hooked on the FT then do yourself a favor. For today only you can subscribe for a year for only $125.