Today in Smithsonian History: April 23, 1900

Benjamin Franklin Printing Press

The Franklin Printing Press, an English common press, from the Historic Relics Collection. In 1768, Benjamin Franklin visited the printing company in London where he had apprenticed in the 1720s. Franklin purportedly took a turn at this press, although he had not operated a press when he worked there. The press was then deemed so historically valuable that it was purchased and transported to the United States, where it went on display in the Patent Office Building and later went to the Smithsonian as the “Franklin Press.”

April 23, 1900 The United States Congress authorizes the Secretary of the Smithsonian, at his discretion, to exhibit Benjamin Franklin’s printing press and other articles from the United States National Museum of interest to the printing trades at the New York Printing Exposition to be held from May 2 to June 2, 1900.

Posted: 23 April 2018
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