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Episode 17: The First Adventist Press in Rochester

Adam Ramdin
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Adam Ramdin

Youth Director for the North England Conference of SDA


  • October 24, 2018
    7:00 PM
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In the 18th fifties Rochester New York was a relatively new town with lots of new industries and people moving in the early admin believers would settle here for a few years in a sort of youth commune a house was procured for the rent of a $175.00 a year on what is now for $91.00 Mt Hope Avenue the whites would live here for 3 and a half years from the spring of 1852 to the autumn of 1855 the advent review and Sabbath Herald which had begun in Paris Hill Maine before moving to Saratoga Springs New York would now spend a few years here in Rochester New York. It was here in Rochester New York that the Adventists would purchase their 1st printing press and original Washington hand-press for the 1st time the review and Herald would be printed on an Adventist owned press operated by Sabbath keeping Adventist workers it would continue here it's all October the 30th 1855 when he would move to Battle Creek Michigan the years he and Rochester though were filled with sacrifice and dedication. The house would have stood right here near this spot on Mount Avenue and it was furnished with 2 old bedsteads for $0.25 chairs for a $1.00 and $4.00 more chairs with no seating for 62 cents they could not afford potato. So they ate turnips instead but so was expensive and so they use for the sauce and beans were a regular part of their diet the workers mainly in their teens and twenties work for a little more than their room their food and their clothing and about 12 of them at any one time would live in the white home along with the printing press working long hours into the evening often till midnight and sometimes all through the night they cheerfully sets about their task of spreading the message via publications. You Ryan Smith who turned down a lucrative job offer to come and work for his room and board had been living here a few weeks when he commented that he had no objection to eating beans 365 times in succession when it came time to making them a regular part of his diet he should protest other individuals such as George a modern war and Bachelor Annie Smith J.M. love J. and Andrews and the fan your wife and ANNIE WHITE all passed by here in the mid 850 many would die early death. Here the workers Lay but faithfully without all the tools that would have made their work easier when the 1st books were printed they used a shoemaker all to perforate the backs the sisters the news and needle and thread to stitch the books together and then a straight edge and pen knife were used to trim and cut the edges there was no folding machine and this had to be done by hand as well as the covers were then pasted on before they were wrapped and pack and sent out. Today for many of us we live a life of plenty removed from the early humble beginnings the work that began in sacrifice and also in sacrifice and was the exact nature of that sacrifice may look different today the general principles of dedication to duty and commitment to the course remain today we have perhaps more resources than at any other time in history and access to information and technology that we did not have in years gone by that make the spread of the Gospel much easier let us not live to please the made the energy and enthusiasm of these past pioneers motivate and inspire us today.


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