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Monadnock Moment No. 108
Multi Era 3 - 10: 1787 to Present
200 Plus Years of Printing in Keene
The month of August marks the anniversary of the printing industry in Keene. James D. Griffith became Keene's first printer when he published the first issue of his newspaper, the New Hampshire Recorder and the Weekly Advertiser on August 7, 1787.
Griffith's printing business lasted only a few years. He was soon followed by two other printers who also had limited success in Keene.
In February of 1799 young John Prentiss traveled to Keene with the intention of opening a printing office here. He found that his predecessors had left behind two or three old broken sets of type and a very old screw press. He also found that the previous printers had failed and had sued their customers.
This was not an encouraging beginning for a young printer about to open his first business, but Prentiss realized that this village of 1500 residents needed a printer to encourage the commercial, political, and educational development of the town.
Prentiss' newspaper, the New Hampshire Sentinel, proved successful and his printing firm remained in business for many years. He was followed by dozens of printers and dozens of newspapers in Keene over the next 200 years. Today several printers make use of modern technology to offer a wide variety of printing services in the city.