Tools of communication have transformed American society time and again over the past two centuries. The Museum has preserved many instruments of these changes, from printing presses to personal digital assistants.
The collections include hundreds of artifacts from the printing trade and related fields, including papermaking equipment, wood and metal type collections, bookbinding tools, and typesetting machines. Benjamin Franklin is said to have used one of the printing presses in the collection in 1726.
More than 7,000 objects chart the evolution of electronic communications, including the original telegraph of Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell's early telephones. Radios, televisions, tape recorders, and the tools of the computer age are part of the collections, along with wireless phones and a satellite tracking system.
"Communications - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Samuel W. Lowe of Philadelphia invented the Lowe printing press, an unusual conical cylinder press patented in 1856. Like Adams's Cottage printing press, it did not include a frisket and included an automatic tympan. The rights for the press were sold in 1858 to Joseph Watson, who marketed both presses in Boston and Philadelphia.
- The Lowe printing press does not appear to have been as heavily advertised as the Adams, although the company notes that we have sold many presses … to druggists … in this country and in other lands. Every boy and business man seems to be having one.
- As for portability, the Lowe was more than a third lighter than the Adams, ranging from between 12 and 120 pounds as compared to Adams's press at between 100 and 400 pounds. The Lowe used a simpler frame and relatively thin castings.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1860
- patent date
- Lowe, Samuel W.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center