The Brattleboro Daily Reformer, Vermont Printing Company, and Stephen Daye Press grew into successful printing and publishing businesses while located in The American Building. Built in 1907, the building is named after the American Hotel it replaced. The Reformer was launched in 1876 to provide an alternative voice to the Republican bias of The Vermont Phoenix. In 1903 Ephraim Crane bought the Reformer and its printing plant and also started the Vermont Printing Company, which published the paper from 1903-13. The Vermont Printing Company was established to expand into commercial printing on a larger scale. Their largest “local” customer was the Holstein Association, a global enterprise located in Brattleboro. In the early 1960s, sales had grown to a million dollars and, with employment approaching 80, it was the largest employer in town at the time. In early 1931, Vermont Printing Company decided to diversify into publishing. The Stephen Daye Press was created, named after the first printer in the British Colonies. When John and Marion Hooper took over the press, they set up an office in The American Building, where they developed a strategy to build Stephen Daye Press by accentuating New England values and themes as well as trade in nostalgia, alternative lifestyles, and uplifting material. On December 7, 1941, America’s entry into World War II altered the trajectory for Stephen Day Press. John joined the Navy and Marion took work at the Brattleboro Milk Plant, making dairy products for the troops. The Stephen Daye Press imprint was sold on December 1, 1942, to a New York City publisher. A collection of over 100 books published by Stephen Daye Press, donated by the Hooper family, is available at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro.
Audio Production: Sally Seymour
Production Assistance: Lissa Weinmann
Narration: John R. Hooper
Commentator: Randy Holhut
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