Tag Archives: Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Celebrates the Fourth of July

Portrait of Isaiah Thomas by Ethan Allen Greenwood, 1818

Here at AAS, nary a holiday goes by without some reflection on how the same was celebrated in days past. On this Fourth of July we’re going to take a trip back 200 years and check in on how our founder, Isaiah Thomas, celebrated the holiday. In July 1814 the United States was in the midst ...

AAS joins the Worcester Revolution of 1774

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On September 6, 1774, 4,622 militiamen from 37 towns marched into Worcester, shiretown for  the county, closed the Royal courts, and forced each court official to resign. Forming two lines, they forced each court official, hat in hand, to disavow the recent Massachusetts Government Act, which revoked the Province’s charter and disenfranchised its citizens. With ...

Happy Birthday, Isaiah!

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We're wishing a very happy 265th birthday to AAS founder Isaiah Thomas! We compiled this card from Thomas’s own copy of A Specimen of Printing Types by Thomas Cottrell, Letter Founder. As our gift, we’ve digitized the 1774 London imprint, so you can browse the type specimens and ornaments! You can find it in our digital ...

When lightning hits a printing warehouse…in 1799

On the evening of June 26, 1799, a major summer thunderstorm passed through Worcester.  One result was that a warehouse that Isaiah Thomas used to store printing materials was struck by lightning, causing damage.  Of course something like that was newsworthy and a detailed report appeared in the next issue of Thomas’s paper, the Massachusetts ...

Creating Historical Theater in an Afternoon

“…you sockdologizing old man-trap!” Stomp. Scream. Panic. “Good, good – now next time, keep the scream going longer and continue the dialogue over it. Let’s see how that works.” This was just one of many exchanges between the group of nine actors practicing a staged reading of the historically-based play Sockdology, and Jeffrey Hatcher, the playwright ...

Press Check

Did you receive your copy of the Almanac yet? If not, a PDF version is currently available on the AAS website. But that’s not what this post is about. This is not a post about digital surrogacy. It’s a post about good, old-fashioned printing presses (okay, okay, a 1995 press). While we undoubtedly advocate for the ...

What’s in a Seal?, or A Seal for the Antiquarian

The Society has published two new books in this, its bicentennial year. The works are completely different and from the hands of different authors and designers, both of whom incorporated the Society’s seal on the back cover. With all this extra attention to this device, Abby Hutchinson, who edits the Society’s newsletter, Almanac, concluded that ...

Your Newest Facebook Friend: Isaiah Thomas

It’s always a fun – and somewhat ahistorical – activity to wonder how historical figures would react to the technology of the twenty-first century. Nevertheless, it’s difficult not to wonder what our founder Isaiah Thomas, a man whose business was the printed word and the spreading of ideas and news, would have felt about new ...

A Modern Day Isaiah Thomas for the Classroom

Here at AAS we talk a lot about our prestigious founder, Isaiah Thomas. His first printing press, “Old No. 1,” stands proudly on the balcony of Antiquarian Hall. His portrait hangs in the foyer. And now, as part of our bicentennial we are touring a one-man play written by James David Moran, Director of Outreach, ...

A modern day Isaiah Thomas?

Let's turn our gaze for a moment from our work at the AAS to the West Coast, where Brewster Kahle has founded The Internet Archive. Kind of like a modern day Isaiah Thomas, Mr. Kahle had made his fortune, and now wanted to use it, in part, to establish an organization that would seek to preserve ...

Hannah Weld Part III

And now for some concluding thoughts from Jeanne McDougall about her encounter with Hannah Weld.  If you've missed the previous two posts about Hannah and her mother Mary, click here to get caught up. What can you say after experiencing such an extraordinary epistle?  My reading for the day came to a full stop;  any day ...