For well over 100 years, Brattleboro was nationally recognized as a “print town.” This storied past is being retold by twelve local authors who are writing a compelling history with interesting sidebars, graphics and photos that will bring to light more than two centuries of Brattleboro’s historic printing and publishing past.
Brattleboro, A Print Town, is spearheaded by Brattleboro area writers’ organization, Write Action, in conjunction with the Brattleboro Historical Society and Brooks Memorial Library, Marlboro College, and the Brattleboro Words Project.
The book will open with an overview of Native American communication methods that preceded the arrival of European settlers. The story continues into the colonial period 1797 and progresses through to the digital era in which we live today.
The book introduces a wide variety of men and women who made print and publishing history. The book will document dramatic changes in technologies over time, and feature graphics and photos from published works, people in the industry, and inside stories from local work sites.
Interested in Brattleboro’s printing and publishing history? Check out these two stories about local publishing.
1. “Book Town: A Historical Sketch of Publishing and Printing in Brattleboro,” was written by Barrows Mussey and published in the Autumn, 1978 edition of Vermont History.
Barrows Mussey, a published author and German translator, was a part-time resident of Vermont in the mid-20th century. He wrote two books about Vermont. A Book of Country Things was written with Walter Needham and published by the Brattleboro’s Stephen Greene Press in 1965. Mussey was the also the author of Vermont Heritage: A Pictorial History, Stephen Greene Press, 1947.
2. “Education of a Publisher” by John Hooper, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in October, 1938.
John Hooper, who with his wife, Marion founded Brattleboro Stephen Daye Press in 1932. From 1964 to 1971, John Hooper was the editor and publisher of the Brattleboro Reformer.
“At long last, the important history of Brattleboro as a print town and all its implications will finally be told, as it is a microcosm of the story of the nation at large.”
Jeff Potter, Brattleboro: A Print Town editor
Brattleboro, A Print Town will be published in the fall of 2019. The project is being funded, in part, with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as by Thompson Trust, the Crosby-Gannett Fund and Dunham-Mason Fund. The first year funding to write the book has been achieved. Funds are currently being raised for the publication phase of the project. If you would like to support the printing and publishing phase of the project, please make your tax-deductible donation through the PayPal link on this site or send it to Write Action Book Project, Box 822, Brattleboro, VT 05302.