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Ben Franklin, Printer: Selections From the Indiana University Lilly Library Collection

By William F. Meehan


Ben Franklin’s career as a printer occupies an important part of a life distinguished by remarkable accomplishment. Often overshadowed by his scientific inventions and civic activity, Franklin’s pursuits as a printer reveal an industrious, clever, and resourceful business owner whose sway affected printing throughout colonial America, particularly from Philadelphia to Charleston. His work as official printer for Pennsylvania, beginning in 1730, demonstrates his gift for winning friends and influencing lawmakers, as well as his ability to deliver quality work. Typical of printers in Colonial America, Franklin also sold books, and the title page of his imprints is a clarion call to bibliophiles still today: “Printed and Sold by B. Franklin.” The second printer to set up shop in Philadelphia, Franklin became one of the trade’s leading members, his venture combining roles as type founder, papermaker, binder, and woodcut artist

Topics: Indiana Library Federation, Library science -- Societies, etc., Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790, Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington) -- Exhibitions, Printers -- United States -- Exhibitions
Publisher: H.W. Wilson Company
Year: 2007
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Provided by: IUPUIScholarWorks

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