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.
- Every Man His Own Printer! advertised the makers of the Lowe and Adams presses. Easy to use, these presses inspired military and amateur printers during and after the Civil War to make use of the portable presses to print military orders, receipts, billheads, and other documents.
- Albert Adams's New York cylinder press was described as useful for the armed forces and merchants. It was patented on March 19, 1861, and manufactured and distributed by entrepreneur Joseph Watson and the Adams Press Company in New York.
- The Adams Cottage Press was designed without a frisket. The frisket, a separate inner frame hinged to the cloth-covered tympan, served to hold the paper in place and protect the printed sheet. The press included an automatic tympan which closed with the movement of the cylinder. The Adams Cottage Press and other portable presses did not include a self-inking system. The type was inked by hand, a sheet of paper was placed over the inked type, and the bed of the press was cranked below the cylinder to produce an impression and the printed sheet.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1861
- Adams, Albert
- Adams Press Company
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center