Grandin Printing – Palmyre, New York

According to their beliefs, people differ in how Joseph Smith came across the Book of Mormon. There is no doubt, however, where he first had it printed.

EB Grandin, newspaper editor The Wayne Sentinel, moved into the building that now bears his name in 1828, with a bookstore on the first floor, binding on the second and printing shops on the third. Grandin was initially reluctant to print the Book of Mormon when Smith came to see it the following year, but relented when he learned that Smith had found a printer in nearby Rochester, with no other big plans. on the horizon for his store.

Before printing began, the composer noticed that the manuscript lacked punctuation and capitals and had to convince Smith’s brother to let him put it.

The book was printed on the most advanced press Grandin could acquire, the Smith Improved Printing Press, using a new pica character set, of which approximately 2,500 pieces were used for each of the nearly 600 pages. The Grandin Building has a replica of this press, the real one is in Salt Lake City. For the time and for the resources, the Book of Mormon was quite a feat, requiring nine people working six 12-hour days a week.

Palmyra’s public opinion was against the religious book, and Martin Harris, an early convert, had to mortgage his farm to get the $ 3,000 Grandin had insisted on as security payment for printing 5,000 copies. Harris’s wife left him because of it.

It took eight months to print and bind all the books, during which pages were leaked to curious viewers. A local reporter who used the Grandin Shop on Sundays printed out excerpts from the book with his own commentary. It stopped when Smith threatened to sue.

The citizens of Palmyra refused to buy the book when it became available for sale for $ 1.75, forcing the missionaries to take it elsewhere to sell it. Today, copies of the original Book of Mormon print are very rare and can sell for up to $ 100,000. There is one on the site.

The building has undergone many structural changes since the Book of Mormon was printed there. In 1978 it was purchased by The Church of Latter-day Saints and a visitor center was set up on the first floor. In the mid-1990s, the original layout and structure of the building was meticulously uncovered by researchers seeking to recreate the site of the print. The building was recently opened by the president of the church on March 26, 1998, the 168th anniversary of the printing press, and open to free daily tours from missionaries.

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