Printed by B. Franklin
May 18, 2011
One of the newest acquisitions for the History of Printing Collection is this example from the press of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. The work is a 1758 pamphlet entitled A Mite into the Treasury by Society of Friends (Quaker) minister David Hall. Hall ran a school in Yorkshire, England, and was the author of many works of guidance and support for members of the Society of Friends.
Franklin learned the printing trade as an apprentice to his older brother James in Boston, moving to Philadelphia in 1728 (at age 22) to establish his own printing business. He was so successful that he was able to retire from active business 20 years later, though the press continued to operate under the supervision of Franklin’s business partner David Hall (no relation to the pamphlet’s author). Hall bought out Franklin’s share of the business in 1766.
Franklin and Hall often reprinted Quaker tracts originally produced in the British Isles at their press; besides A Mite into the Treasury, the library owns two other Quaker-related titles printed by Franklin and Hall in 1757. The library also owns an earlier example of Franklin’s work, a travel account by George Whitefield which Franklin issued in 1740. These items can be found in the library catalog by searching Special Collections’ holdings for works by Benjamin Franklin.