Place of Publication: Johntown, Utah Territory (four miles from what became Virginia City, Nevada)
Frequency: Frequency disputed: weekly, monthly or irregular
Volume and Issue Data: Ca. 1854
Size and Format: “Often several sheets
Editor/Publisher: Joseph Webb (1854)
Title Changes and Continuations: Unknown
General Description & Notes:
According to De Quille and Highton, the Switch was “a spicy, handwritten weekly, ‘often several sheets,’ and passed from hand to hand.” Lingenfelter and Gash say the paper was “probably issued monthly on letter paper and in a very small edition.” De Quille claims the paper was widely circulated and read in Johntown when it was a major mining center. The editor, Joe Webb, was a partner of “Old Virginy” Fenimore, for whom Virginia City was later named, according to Lingenfelter.
Bibliography: Bob Karolevitz, “Pen and Ink Newspapers of the Old West,” Frontier Times, 44:2 (Feb.-Mar., 1970), 31; Robert F. Karolevitz, Newspapering in the Old West: A Pictorial History of Journalism and Printing on the Frontier (New York: Bonanza Books, 1969), p. 114; Jake Highton, Nevada Newspaper Days: A History of Journalism in the Silver State (Stockton, Calif.: Heritage West Books, 1990), pp. 2; Dan De Quille, History of The Big Bonanza (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947), p. 11.
Index Sources: Richard E. Lingenfelter, The Newspapers of Nevada (San Francisco: John Howell-Books, 1964), 61; Richard E. Lingenfelter and Karen R. Gash, The Newspapers of Nevada (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1984).