Ever wonder what it might be like to have the Era unfold for you day by day, in real time? It's possible, thanks to the online availability of long continuous runs of daily newspapers. If you're a paid subscriber to Newspapers.com you can have your choice of dailies, but there's a wonderful free resource right here, thanks to the Brooklyn Public Library -- which has made available the full run of the Brooklyn Eagle, from 1841 until the paper folded in January 1955. The Eagle was as close to a "typical American newspaper" as you could get during the Era -- despite its role as the voice of a borough of 3 million people, it reads like a small-town paper, without any of the portentious historicity of the New York Times, the hysterical political slanting of the Chicago Tribune, or the yellow sensationalism of a Hearst sheet. That being so, you get a real sense of what mattered, not to the movers and shakers of the world, but to Joe Dinnerpail and Sally Punchclock and all the rest of the ordinary workaday people of the time. It's relentlessly middlebrow in its style, completely unremarkable in its politics, and if it has a point of view at all, it's one of local boosterism. It won't challenge you in any way, no matter what your point of view, but it'll give you a real feel for the baseline mood of the time. After using this resource for years as a research tool, I decided to try something different. I read one full issue every day, front to back, corresponding to today's date eighty years ago. Front page, editorials, features, sports section, comics. It's a fascinating window into daily life -- not just the unfolding of the War In Europe or the "National Whirligig" but the story of the unknown little girl found strangled to death on the roof of an apartment house on Ocean Avenue, or the Dodgers demolishing the Phillies 22 to 4 -- Lavagetto went 6 for 7! -- or the funeral of a World's Fair employee trampled to death by a cart horse at the "Little Old New York" exhibit, to the latest doings of The Bungle Family. All the little fragments of the Era playing out as they happened -- without the corrupting filter of nostalgia. Anyone else ever try anything like this? If you haven't I strongly recommend it. Pick a year, and start in.