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November 1, 2017

Cape May Wave Newspaper

Date: October 31, 1891


It could be argued that the late 19th century was the “hey-day” for the newspaper. Many factors contributed to the boom for newspapers. During the 19th century, the population of the United States grew exponentially. Education was becoming more accessible and more people learned to read. Also, printing technology became more advanced so copies could be made quicker, cheaper and with better quality.   


It may be hard to imagine today, but the newspaper was almost essential to a person in the Victorian era. The paper would carry local, national, and worldwide news. It would also be where people would find the weather forecast, the stock prices, train schedules, advertisements to stores and other useful information.


The Cape May Ocean Wave, said to be Cape May City’s earliest newspaper, was first published in 1854. The paper changed owners in 1876 and was renamed the Cape May Wave. Over its history, the Wave reported on the major news stories in Cape May, including two destructive fires and visits from several presidents. For much of the latter half of the 19th century, Cape May City was able to sustain two newspapers. Both papers published weekly in the winter and daily during the summer season. In 1907, the Star of the Cape and the Cape May Wave merged to form the Cape May Star and Wave. The newspaper still publishes weekly to this day.


Look for the Cape May Wave in Dr. Physick’s Bedroom.

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