Benjamin Franklin's 1722 Printing Press, Photograph 1912
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Franklin soon became a very successful printer. At the young age of twenty-two, he opened his own printing shop in Philadelphia. One of his most successful publications was "The Pennsylvania Gazette," which he purchased in 1729 and made into the most widely-read newspaper in the American colonies. Three years after purchasing the newspaper, Franklin began to publish "Poor Richard's Almanack." This immensely popular almanac was published annually for twenty five years and sold over 10,000 copies a year, more than any other book in the American colonies.
Franklin also worked as a printer for some of the colonial governments. In 1730, he was named the official printer of Pennsylvania, a job that involved printing money, laws, and other official documents. He later became the public printer for Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, as well.
In 1748, at the age of forty-two, Benjamin Franklin retired from printing. He still had half of his life before him, and some of his greatest accomplishments were yet to come.