The Printer
by  Reynelson and Patrick

"We need more ink." That is just one of the things you might hear in a printing shop in Colonial times. Printers used things like paper, metal, and especially ink. They made newspapers, bibles, pamphlets, flyers, invitations, and newsletters.

Some tools they used were:

  • Type - single piece of metal with a letter or number used to create words
  • Coffin - part of the press that held the type
  • Composing Stick - held the type as it was assembled into words or sentences
  • Inking Pad - used to spread the ink onto the type
  • Press - machine that transferred lettering to a page
  • Stone - large flat surface which held the work to be printed

There were lots of different jobs in a printing shop like a compositor and a pressman. Printers needed to know how to use a printing press, how to set type, and they had to know how to run a shop. After people would buy their products they would read it and share it. Printing apprentices were called devils. 

Some famous printers were people like William Bradford,  Samuel Green, James Franklin, and his brother Benjamin Franklin.

  Click on a trade below to read more about it.

Source: Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Printers. New York: Benchmark, 2000, c1965.

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