The only woman ever to be commissioned City Printer of Philadelphia
(ca. 1810 to 1850), Lydia Bailey took over her husband's printing
business -- and its many debts -- upon his death in 1808, in
an effort to support herself and their four children. Unlike many
widows and daughters of printers, Lydia Bailey not only ran the business
actually learned to set type herself, and claimed that she instructed
"forty-two young men, including some of the city’s future
master printers, in the typographic arts." Her career spanned
more than half a century, and she died in Philadelphia at the age of
Poems Written and Published During the American Revolutionary
War, by Philip Freneau. 3d ed., in two volumes. Philadelphia:
From the press of Lydia R. Bailey, 1809.
Rare Books Division, Gift of Howard T. Behrman
Other works in the exhibition:
- Zion's Pilgrim, by Robert Hawker.
First American ed., improved and enlarged,
Philadelphia: Published by James Martin, 1809. Lydia R. Bailey, Printer.
Rare Books Division, the Miriam Y. Holden Collection on the History