Hartford Courant

Hartford Courant: 285 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06457. Visit on: June 9, 2009, Historical review.

The Hartford Courant (June 28, 1968, page 11): “… according to John Hanna, the printing expert who supervised its rebuilding four years ago. Hanna, a Glastonbury printing engineer who works at Connecticut Printers Inc., spent two months restoring the “common press” which he believes was probably built around 1800 by Adam Ramage, a Philadelphia press manufacturer.” The caption of the photograph used by Gaskell states: “Operating the press are, left to right, Tom Grimes and Dominick Pellizzari, both Boy Scouts working for their printing badges (Courant Photo by Keith Mullinar).”

John Lacy (The Hartford Courant (July 16, 1979, page 15)) states: “But to understand the connection between the old press and The Courant we go to the 160-year-old Comstock, Ferre & Co. in Wethersfield. The historic press is on permanent loan to The Courant from Comstock Ferre, a garden supplies company that has been operated by the Willard family over a century. Corinne Willard, who has a hand on the archives there, points out that the press arrived in Wethersfield in 1838, when the Comstocks entered the seed business. Judge Franklin G. Comstock was part owner and editor of the New England Review, a Hartford newspaper that bought its presses from The Courant. When his son, William G. Comstock, acquired the seed company they took a press with them. “He was very much aware of the power of the press,” said Mrs. Willard. “He was very interested in getting the word out about the company’s seeds.” In William’s own words, we find the comment:“We printed on an old wooden press, which had been in service at The Courant office, bags of uniform size to pack in wagons for distribution over the country …”. The press continued to be used until William Comstock retired in 1871. Then the company lost interest in doing its own printing.’

Gaskell (1970, page32, USA21) notes: “Stamped ‘A Ramage No.512’. The single-pull platen is unlikely to be original.”

Robert Oldham (2006, page 39) states: “Adam Ramage, hand press builder. Common press #512 was built by Adam Ramage and is now owned by the Hartford (CT) Courant. While most common presses have small platens requiring two pulls to print a full forme, this press has a one-pull platen with a bolted hose, which may have been a later addition.”

The Hartford Courant (January 1, 2014, pages A1 and A4): “On the second floor of the newspaper’s present-day offices on Broad Street in Hartford sits an Adam Ramage American Single-Pull Platen Press identical to the one Thomas Green used to print the first Connecticut Courant.”

In 2014, there was an exhibition that included this press in the Connecticut Historical Society.