Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ye Olde Palmyra Print Shoppe

The Grandin Print Shop 
In the early 1800's Palmyra, New York was bursting with the promise of growth and prosperity. In 1828 it added a new three story building to its bustling business district. That structure was known as Thayer and Grandin's Row.

Today, that structure has a place in history as the site of the first printing of the Book of Mormon.  In recent years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has restored the building to the glory it had when Egbert B. Grandin, an aspiring young publisher, signed a contract to publish this unique book of scripture in 1829.  The first books rolled off the presses in 1830.

The shop is now set up much like it would have been in those days.

This is where book papers were folded and sewn
The book press appears to be the contraption on the right
I wonder if it was this neat and tidy back in the day!

Countless copies of the original Book of Mormon can be seen (yellowish brown bindings) on the middle left
My nephew brought his family recently to Palmyra in upstate New York, and took the tour of this historic print shop.  I'm glad he snapped lots of pictures to share with us!

Livia and Fred get a special tour
To their amazement and delight, the guided tour was conducted in Chinese, by a sweet sister missionary, Sister Su, from Taipei, Taiwan!  (My nephew's wife Holly also hails from Taiwan.)

Yes.  It is a small world!

Sister Su with Holly and Fred
I can't imagine what a tedious, labor intensive process book printing would be back in those days, even with movable type.

The printing press

Plane and Plough box
I can only guess what this is!
A prophet of God, Joseph Smith, translated the Book of Mormon from ancient writings on a set of golden plates, much like this:

An artist's conception of what the golden plates may have looked like
The Book of Mormon is a collection of writings from prophets of God who lived on this, the American continent, from 600 B.C. through about 200 A.D.

Similar plates have been found in places throughout the world.  The ancient golden plates below were found at an archaeological dig in Bulgaria.
Golden plates on display at a museum in Bulgaria
The original printing of the Book of Mormon had no columns or numbered verses as we have today.  

Here is an original edition of the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon goes hand in hand with the Bible.  It is another testament of Jesus Christ - that He lives and is real.  It details the visit of the resurrected Christ to the inhabitants of the Americas.  It's an amazing book that can change your life.
A modern copy of the Book of Mormon
Daniel and his family really enjoyed their tour of this historic publishing site.

On March 26, 1998, the anniversary of the first printing of the Book of Mormon in 1830, the restored part of the Grandin building was dedicated. Visitors are now invited to come to this Historic Site, see the building, the printing presses and observe the printing sequence in the room where the printing of the Book of Mormon actually took place. 

Visitors are welcome to walk through the bindery and into the store where the Book of Mormon was first sold. 

For more information, visit:

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