December 2, 2013

The Oct. 6, 1743, edition of The Pennsylvania Gazette leads with a three-column letter from a lieutenant on the H.M.S. Centurion. “Our Men, by this Time, died like rotten Sheep,” the sailor tells his brother about one voyage.

For the next couple of weeks, the National Park Service is reproducing the entire edition of that day’s paper, whose publisher was Benjamin Franklin, at Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park.

Courtesy NPS


Park Rangers are printing the four-page paper using Caslon type “disposed of by other typefoundries as ‘obsolete,'” NPS says in a press release. The newspapers will be available for purchase until Dec. 18, “at which time the printing office will once again produce copies of the Declaration of Independence and famous Franklin quotes.”

In this video, Park Ranger Holly Johnson shows the printing process at Franklin Court:

Update 12/3: I’ve gotten a couple of emails from readers asking how they can score one of these newspapers. According to NPS spokesperson Jane Cowley, they’re available only in person at the park, for $5.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
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