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Giant leaps… Baby steps are nice, but every now and then…

With a large family (husband, 6 kids and a dog), car rides were always interesting and given that you can only play the ABC sign game so often without going crazy, Guy and I would often look for conversation starters to keep the troops occupied. Many of these would begin with the words, “Everyone think of your top 5 favorite…”. As a parent, we would reuse these every so often as it gave us new insight into how each child was thinking. One of my favorites was always, “What do you think the top 5 world changing events in history are?”. Gutenberg’s printing press always made several of our lists. Even before we became involved in the universe of Rare & Early Newspapers [1], we understood the importance and impact the disseminating of information was on society, and appreciated the transformative milestones in communication. Now, as I work daily surrounded by the gems birthed from his invention, my attention is often grabbed by other such pivotal events. The following event could be seen as a grandchild of Gutenberg’s printing press and therefore, the carrying on of a legacy.
William Bradford was born in 1663 to an English village printer. After apprenticing, he mastered the trade and married his master’s daughter, Elizabeth. The two set off on an adventure to the “New World” and “in 1685, the Bradfords emigrated to Philadelphia. Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Andrew just one year later. Bradford set up Pennsylvania’s first printing press and, in 1690, helped construct William Rittenhouse’s paper mill, the first in the English colonies.”(wiki) William Bradford had brought the ability to disseminate information and knowledge to the colonies – with one example of his work being the April 3, 1735 edition of THE AMERICAN WEEKLY MERCURY [2] (Philadelphia). With his son’s continuation of his father’s vision, World history was soon to pivot in a new direction once again with the birth of a new nation spurred on by the Founder’s ability to get their their message [3] out to “We the People”.