The “Petit journal” (Small newspaper) has been created in 1863 by par Moïse Polydore Millaud. It was an evening edition, sold in the streets by newsboys.
Sold for 5 cents at the beginning, he became the most popular French newspaper:
300 000 in 1870
1 million in 1890
approx. 2 million in 1895 (the largest publishing of the word !)
Without any political orientation, it was specialized in “news in brief”. It was read in Ecouen as well and can been seen on a Michel Arnoux painting of 1866. Later on, it was superseded by “Le petit parisien” and his publishing was stopped by 1949.
A February 25th 1870 “Petit journal” article described the sympathetic friendship existing between the Ecouen painters.
One of the journalists, L. Raymond, asked his Director to publish the description of an event he has witnessed in the village:
“The talented, populated and interesting artistic colony of Ecouen was recently sadden by the death of Mrs Todd, wife of the flowers painter noticed during the last “Palais des Champs-Elysées” exhibitions. Mrs Todd was only twenty-four years old. For a long time, she suffered of a ruthless illness. All the Ecouen artists wanted to show compassion to their commun friend. They followed, with tears in their eyes, the Mrs Todd convoy. I identified MM. Couture, Schenck, Soyer, Otto Weber, Frère père et fils, Duverger, Aufray, Dansaert, Hugot, Seignac. »
We’ll notice how much Thomas Couture, living in Villiers-le-Bel, was close to the Ecouen painters.