The Big Dig is complete, except for the formal labeling and display of all the items found at the Pirate Weekend.
The Wayne County Fair is the Monday right after Historic Palmyra’s Pirate Weekend. Where has the time gone? In our history lesson this week, we will cover Aug. 12, 1851, when John M. Jones patented his typographer, which was a typewriter with a cylinder and a daisy wheel. My goodness, it sounds a little like the IBM Selectric, which in the late 1980s was the greatest thing since the giant Xerox copier that could take up half a room and could be used as a storage shelf, ladder and a place for decorations.
John M. Jones was an amazing man. Coming from Clyde, he moved to Palmyra to open up his printing press and equipment factory. You would think this has nothing to do with the Wayne County Fair, but J.M. Jones built his factory to the west of the fairgrounds in 1856.
I am getting a little off topic, but not really. Aug. 11 was a red letter day in printing and in our Print Shop Museum on Market Street. We had visitors from the American Type Federation or foundation. The first gentlemen Paul Aken has a museum in Zion, Illinois, where he displays hundreds of platen printing presses. We learned a lesson or two from this incredibly knowledgeable man.
The next gentleman was from Wells College, what does that have to do with Palmyra you may ask? Well, Henry Wells started his express business in Palmyra in the 1840s, married a local girl and lived here a number of years. Who is Henry Wells, besides the founder of Wells College? He, with Mr. Fargo, began Wells Fargo and American Express in New York City in the later 1800s. Henry Wells married a local girl and lived on West Main Street while his business was on East Main Street. No remnants remain from his express business called Wells, Livingston and Pomeroy. Can you imagine? The fellow from Wells College is in charge of the printing department, and they were on their way to Rochester Institute of Technology for their event. Wow, another connection to Palmyra and RIT, the second school for the deaf in New York state began in Palmyra over 175 years ago.
How interesting that one thing leads to another. Another printer came in as she was alerted by the other two that this local Historic Palmyra Print Shop was a must see. Ren, from south of Avon, stopped by and was also amazed by the holdings of the original printing artifacts in our print shop. Ren has worked at Wells College; we are connected everywhere.
Come on down to Historic Palmyra’s five amazing museums, night or day history is our mission. Call 315-597-6981. Get your reservations or just come on in Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last tour starts at 3:30 p.m.