Notes for Isaiah Thomas
!University of Delaware Library - The History of Printing in America with a Biography of Printers, and an Account of Newspapers. Worcester, Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1810. 2 volumes:
Isaiah Thomas was the leading publisher of his time and one of its leading citizens. He began his career as a printer's apprentice and established his publishing enterprise in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1775, when the British occupation of Boston finally drove him from that city. He was active in the War of Independence both as a minuteman at Lexington and Concord and as a patriot printer.
More than 400 titles printed in thousands of copies and many editions were published by Isaiah Thomas. The quality of his work caused fellow printer and patriot, Benjamin Franklin, to call him the "Baskerville of America." The works that Thomas published included religious, educational and historical books as well as many children's books.
In 1802, Thomas retired to devote himself to scholarship and the writing of this famous treatise on printing in America, which was printed by August 14, 1810. The book was based upon Thomas' personal research and knowledge of printers and their craft in eighteenth-century America. It is the most significant early work on the subject and is still recognized as the authority on printing in this country between 1640 and 1800.
Part of the edition was issued in printed boards and did not include the portrait frontispiece. At some later date the remainder of the edition was bought by W. Gowans in sheets, which Gowans then had bound and reissued for sale, probably sometime after Thomas' death. The portrait of the author done by Marchant was taken from a painting by Greenwood executed in 1818, and was probably printed sometime between 1825 and 1837 by Pendleton's Lithography in Boston.
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