January 15, 2014
The Time The New York Times Added 1 to 14,499 and got 15,000

Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but somehow, between February 6, 1898, and February 7, 1898, the issue numbering for The New York Times got a little … off.

It’s easy enough to imagine the scene: A worker, late at night, setting the paper’s front-page type. He takes out the type from the preceding day’s paper. He looks at the issue number—14,499—and adds one. He gets 15,000.

Perhaps he misread the number, and thought he saw 14,999 in its place. Or perhaps he’d had a long night, and just wasn’t thinking straight. Who knows? What we know is that he put 15,000 as the issue number for the next day, and nobody noticed.

And nobody noticed the next day, nor the next day, nor the next.
In fact, nobody noticed until 1999, when a news assistant at the Times, Aaron Donovan got suspicious.
Read more. [Image: New York Times/Rebecca J. Rosen]

The Time The New York Times Added 1 to 14,499 and got 15,000

Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but somehow, between February 6, 1898, and February 7, 1898, the issue numbering for The New York Times got a little … off.

It’s easy enough to imagine the scene: A worker, late at night, setting the paper’s front-page type. He takes out the type from the preceding day’s paper. He looks at the issue number—14,499—and adds one. He gets 15,000.

Perhaps he misread the number, and thought he saw 14,999 in its place. Or perhaps he’d had a long night, and just wasn’t thinking straight. Who knows? What we know is that he put 15,000 as the issue number for the next day, and nobody noticed.

And nobody noticed the next day, nor the next day, nor the next.

In fact, nobody noticed until 1999, when a news assistant at the Times, Aaron Donovan got suspicious.

Read more. [Image: New York Times/Rebecca J. Rosen]

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