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George E. Clymer

George E. Clymer (1752-1834) was born in Philadelphia, USA.

He invented the Columbian Printing Press in 1813.

Because there seemed little interest in his invention,he left for England in 1817 and started to manufacture his press there. However, he emphasised the origin of the idea by naming it "Columbian". Columbia is a poetic name for the United States.

The press itself is aesthetically interesting. To symbolise the production of newspapers, the press's frame is decorated with a winged caduceus surrounded by snakes; the rod of Mercury, the messenger of the Gods in Greek mythology; dolphins as symbols of wisdom. The counterweight is in the form of a white-headed eagle, the heraldic beast of the USA - a further reminder of the idea's origin. The eagle holds in its claws the cornucopia or horn of plenty, also the olive branch, a symbol of peace. The Press is often affectionately referred to as "The Eagle".

Surviving examples of the Columbian Press can be found in many museums:

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