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Hopewell Museum


The Western Citizen

The Western Citizen

This exhibit was featured at the Hopewell Museum in 2007 in honor of the 200th anniversary of The Western Citizen.

Printing the Newspaper
Printing a newspaper in the early 19th century was accomplished on wooden presses also known as a screw press or common press. The use of the term “screw” referred to the screw mechanism that lowered the inked typeset form down on the paper. It took two men and two strenuous pulls to exert enough pressure to make a satisfactory print impression. Improvements on the wooden press replaced the screw mechanism with a toggle that greatly decreased the physical effort necessary to print a page.

In 1821 Samuel Rust invented the Washington Hand Press, an iron press that immediately became popular. The Western Citizen was printed on a Washington press for a large part of the 19th century.
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