Frame of printing press. Painted black. Thick coil (L:5.5') on one side. Two parallel anvil like bars on bottom of frame. Frame is supported by two pairs of legs on either side and has three grooves equally spaced between edges and following contours of frame.
This printing press reportedly belonged to Elijah P. Lovejoy, abolitionist editor of the Alton Observer, during the 1830s. The press was exhibited in A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln at the Chicago History Museum from 1990-2002.
The noted abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802-37) reportedly used this press. Originally from Maine, Lovejoy moved to Alton, Illinois where he published the Alton Observer, an anti-slavery newspaper, and helped found the Illinois Anti-Slavery Society. During the 1830s, pro-slavery supporters attempted to suppress Lovejoy's efforts by throwing several of his presses into the Mississippi River; this one was recovered in the 1850s and subsequently used by a newspaper publisher in Iowa.