In 1856, 12-year old George Converse, set out into the barn in the back of the first red brick house as you come in to Norwich to build himself a printing press. This is the result.






George published his first newspaper, the Vermont Eagle in January, 1857. This was the first of 6 monthly papers. Like other amateur newspapers, the 4 ½ by 3 inch 4-page paper, selling for 2 ¢ a copy, featured abbreviated stories from other newspapers, some light-hearted jokes (“The man who was driven to distraction had to walk back again.”), and advertising – 2¢ per line. His grandfather, David Morrill, was a generous advertiser.



We know that he did resume publication at least through 1859, for additional copies are in the Norwich Historical Society’s and the American Antiquarian Society’s collections.


Converse continued his interest in printing, purchasing two J. W. Dauchaday & Co. presses, patented in 1874, and thereafter a collection of typefaces that eventually, packed in an old sea chest, made their way to Dartmouth where Professors Ray Nash and Peter Williamson used them to publish “The Norwich Rubaiyat” in 1968. Perhaps the typefaces are still at Dartmouth.



Converse printed this invitation to a 4th of July celebration using his collection of typefaces. What a glorious 4th it must have been with firecrackers from sunrise to sunset!