Walter E. Perkins (1858-1925) was a nationally recognized comedic actor on the vaudeville stages of the United States and Canada around the turn of the century. Born and raised in Biddeford, Maine, Perkins was a smart and active youth in Reconstruction-era New England. Besides acting in local productions, attending high school, and learning telegraph operation, the young Perkins produced and distributed his own amateur newspaper - "The Snow Flake" - a popular pass-time for middle class young men in the last quarter of the 19th century.

During the year that Perkins produced "The Snow Flake", 1873 (he continued in the hobby until it began to interfere with his schoolwork), he amassed an impressive collection of papers from around the United States and Canada. This site is a showcase of those newspapers, and the people who wrote, published and distributed them.

This site is a project of the McArthur Public Library Archives + Special Collections. The papers exhibited in this site all come from the Walter Perkins Amateur Newspaper Collection (MS012), and the full finding aid for this collection may be accessed online here (

Any inquiries about the collection can be directed to the library (


Recently Added Items

Walter E. Perkins, Biddeford High School class of 1876


Graduation portrait of Walter Eugene Perkins

The Northern Light


Volume 1, Number 1. Amateur newspaper produced in Elizabeth, New Jersey by Heilner & Baker.

An amateur newspaper is one written, published, and…

The Little Joker-ist


Volume 1, Number 1. Amateur newspaper produced in Newark, New Jersey by Karl Max.

An amateur newspaper is one written, published, and distributed…