When I was deciding when to set the play I'm writing, I sort of arbitrarily chose the summer (i.e., January) of 1910. It was about the right time for the Australia of the day to be not TOO dissimilar to the Australia I know, yet different enough that I could make use of things like the very studied mannerisms of the time, the wannabe-English leanings, and the class differences, which were stronger then than they are now.
One of the major plot points is a massive, multi-day rainstorm. Because I'm a volunteer with the State Emergency Service, the lead agency for dealing with floods and storms in New South Wales, I'm very, very well acquainted with the characteristics of what's called an "East Coast Low" -- a depression that sits just off the coast and spins. As it spins, it picks up moisture from the ocean and dumps it on the land. Around and around and around, for days and days. Things can get VERY wet on the coast of New South Wales.
Imagine my surprise when I was reading issues of the Illawarra Mercury, the paper of record for well over a century here in Wollongong, and I noticed that starting January 10, 1910, an East Coast Low had developed just off the coast and was doing what they do today: hunkering down to rain. And rain. And rain. Classic. I got to January 14 by the time I had to leave the library (and go to SES training, somewhat ironically), and it was still raining in 1910.
I also found out that there was a miners' strike that had already been going on for over two months by the time my play opens. This gives me a number of possibilities for plot twists: I've already set it up in Act I that two of my characters are moving to the Wollongong area to set up a general store for the miners -- why would they do that, if the miners are on strike, have been for long enough that the characters could have found out about it before they left their original home, and show no signs of going back to work anytime soon?
In some interesting but, alas, unrelated sidebars, I found out that a shark had gotten into Lake Illawarra, much annoying those trying to fish, and that the new conductor of the community band was threatening not to take up the position after all unless the band committee agreed to find him a day job as well, "although the committee was not willing to shoulder that responsibility".
Newspapers in 1910 were completely different phenomena from their current form.