Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cheap Print

How Often do people pick up a book or a magazine or newspaper and think hmmm " I wonder how much this cost to print" just about never is what I imagine. In the early 1830s and 1840s the prices of books and newspapers were extremely cheap. Newspapers , books were at an all time low. "Two mid-nineteenth-century American culture innovations, the "the penny press" and the "dime novel" (124) . These names of course stemmed from the obvious low price rate. Book publishers how ever still published good stories for the simple fact of the mass distribution to the public. This is the era when reading and the demand for books and newspapers were booming because so many people had interest in what was going on in the world around them and expanding their knowledge. " Reading became an increasingly common form of diversion as well as devotion. In addition, printed ephemera proliferated through the emerging urban landscape, as advertisers and politcal campaigns plastered walls with bills and broadsides, and groups of all kinds carried placards and banners in parades and other public events" (125). Reading and Print was becoming a way of life its something "you" wanted to do and the hunger for advancement kept developing. "The continuing expansion of print created an incentive for technological innovation" (125).

Starr, Paul. "Early Modern Origins." The Creation of the Media Politcal Origins of Modern Communications. New York: Basic Books, 2005. 124-125


At 12:29 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. (Formatting: try to set off quotations by indenting in addition to quotation marks.)

A good choice of quotations, especially the final one on the demand for info & printing leading to technological innovation.

We need to understand two things here: First, what made this explosion of cheap print possible; second, what did the increased availablity of printed material make possible? What impact did all of this cheap print have on politics? The economy? Literacy? Culture? etc.?


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