Universal York

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York County People Well Read in Fashion and Science

York Countians have always been readers. At any give time in the nineteen century several newspapers flourished simultaneously in York and Hanover. Just about every small town in the county also had their own weekly paper.
Bookstores, such as Jas. B. Small’s Book and Stationery Store in the Hartman Building on Centre Square, were popular and prominently located. They advertised all kinds of reading material, including the latest magazines.

Small placed two separate ads for Godeys Lady’s Book on one page of the October 7, 1867 Gazette. No one was going to better York women as far as fashion was concerned.
Another lengthy advertisement offered yearly subscriptions to the weekly Scientific American, which modestly called itself “The Best Paper in the World,” for $3 a year. Besides being “BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED AND ELEGANTLY ILLUSTRATED” the periodical proclaimed itself to be invaluable for “Farmers, Mechanics, Inventors, Engineers, Chemists, Manufacturers.”
This was the age of invention. Scientific American tapped into this interest with “All patents granted, with the claims, published weekly.” They even had a patent attorney service, claiming that their solicitors had advised 100,000 inventors and processed 30,000 patent applications in the previous thirty years. They offered “Consultations and advice to inventors, by mail, free.”
We may be surprised if we knew how many York County people came up with new inventions that they submitted to that U.S. Patent Office. Many probably never went into production, like the small gasoline engine that my grandfather had patented. How about your family? Any inventors in your tree?
Click here to see what a Lower Windsor Township man had patented.
Click here to read about a would-be York inventor whose idea was a little late.
Click here to read about George Dowdel’s bedbug-proof bedstead.
Click here to read about a York County man’s friendship with a famous inventor.
Click here to read about an exciting scientific exhibition in York in 1828.