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Printing press, purported to have been used by Benjamin Franklin in 1725-26.
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Benjamin Franklin printing press, circa 1725.

Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives

According to the brass label affixed to this printing press in 1833, Benjamin Franklin, while the American envoy to England, visited a London printing shop in 1768 and identified this press as the one on which he had worked as an English printer's apprentice in 1725-26.  In 1842, American businessman John B. Murray purchased this "Franklin" printing press and shipped it to the United States, where for forty years it was exhibited at the Patent Office.  In 1901 it was officially added to the collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. 

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