Postcard of the Franklin Press

ID: SIA2013-07801 (front) and SIA2013-07802 (back)

Creator: Albertype Company, The

Form/Genre: Postcard

Date: 1933

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 65, Box 16, Folder: Postcards

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact
Download IIIF ManifestRequest permissionsDownload image Print


Grayscale postcard of the Franklin Press on exhibit at the United States National Museum, now known as the Arts and Industries Building. The postcard is unused, but the message side has a printed note about the press: "This 'Improved Wooden Press' was used by Benjamin Franklin when employed in London as a printer by John Watts in 1726. The press passed to Cox and Sons, who sold it to Messrs. Harrild & Sons, who in turn presented it to John B. Murray of New York, in 1842. That same year it was deposited in the Patent Office, where it remained, except for six months in 1876, until 1883, when it was moved to the US National Museum. This type of printing press was in general use from about 1690 until after 1800, when it was superseded by the more powerful iron press."


  • United States National Museum
  • Arts and Industries Building


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • The Arts and Industries Building (A&I) was designed by two Philadelphia architects: Adolph Cluss and Rudolph Schulze. It first opened in 1881 as the United States National Museum, the Smithsonian's first building dedicated solely to the research, care, and display of collections. After the natural history collection moved into its own building in 1910, the Arts and Industries Building exhibited primarily historical and technological collections.
  • Today the Franklin Press can be found at the National Museum of American History.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 65, Box 16, Folder: Postcards

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Postcard
  • Exhibitions
  • Franklin Printing Press


  • Postcard
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2013-07801 (front) and SIA2013-07802 (back)

Physical description

Number of Images: 2; Color: Black and White; Size: 3.4w x 5.4h; Type of Image: Postcard; Medium: Paper

Full Record

View Full Record