About 1717, James Franklin of Boston, Benjamin Franklin’s older brother, began printing on a press he imported from London. By 1727 he had moved to Newport and established a printing and publishing business that would endure for centuries. Through a succession of family members and partners, the Newport Mercury was started in 1758, religious and political pamphlets were distributed and Rhode Island’s copy of The Declaration of Independence was made available to all. The old press was retired by 1851 and acquired by the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association and placed on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. In 1993 it was loaned to the Newport Historical Society for the Museum of Newport History at the Brick Market, where it can be seen today.