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Baltimore Afro-American's Paper Cutter



John H. Murphy Sr. (1840–1922), born into slavery in Baltimore, Maryland, founded the Baltimore Afro-American (AFRO) in 1892. By the 1920s, it had become one of the most widely circulated Black newspapers on the East Coast. At its peak, the AFRO had as many as 13 regional editions nationwide, with additional offices in Philadelphia, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Richmond. Under the leadership of Carl Murphy, who ran the newspaper his father had founded from 1922 to 1967, the AFRO launched campaigns to fight racial segregation and improve conditions for Baltimore’s Black community. AFRO employees used this machine to trim stacks of newspapers at the company’s headquarters from the 1920s to the 1990s.