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  • Even after newspapers became more prominent in the colonies, newsprint companies used town criers to generate interest about the newspapers.
  • A town crier could make money by making announcements about lost things ranging from keys, livestock, and children. Some criers would collect a commission if a lost child was found.
  • Literacy wasn’t always a requirement to be a town crier. You just had to memorize what was told to you either orally or read to you.
  • To limit the spread of diseases, a town crier would go to houses of pestilence and proclaim that none shall leave or enter the house for a certain number of days. The crier would then leave a notice at the house as a warning.
  • Town criers would announce hands of matrimony
  • Women were allowed to be town criers.
  • Bells were a means to communicate. Bells had their own distinct ring and tone. People could identify the crier by sound of their bell.
  • Town Criers accepted bartering as payment however there was no guarantee the crier would get compensated. Since a town crier needed to be trusted and liked by the community, someone ripping off the town crier would likely face negative repercussions from the people and fellow businesses.
  • The phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” relates to the danger town criers would face when giving news and announcements to crowds that could turn hostile.
  • Although considered public officials, town criers could privatize themselves when off duty and work for local merchants, businesses, tradesmen, and farmers.