Isaac Adams

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Isaac Adams
Isaac Adams.png
Born(1802-08-16)August 16, 1802
DiedJuly 19, 1883(1883-07-19) (aged 80)
ChildrenJulius Adams, Elizabeth Adams Ulman

Isaac Adams (August 16, 1802 – July 19, 1883) was an American inventor and politician. He served in the Massachusetts Senate and invented the Adams Power Press, which revolutionized the printing industry.


Adams was born in Rochester, New Hampshire,[1] the son of Benjamin Adams and Elizabeth (Horne) Adams. His education was limited, and at an early age he was an operative in a cotton factory. Afterward he learned the trade of cabinet maker, but in 1824 went to Boston and sought work in a machine shop.

He invented the Adams Power Press in 1827, and it was introduced in 1830. The machine "worked a revolution in the art of printing," and beginning in 1836, became the leading machine used in book printing for much of the nineteenth century, and was distributed worldwide. It substantially reduced the cost of book production, and made books more widely available.

With his brother Seth, a noted sugar refiner, Adams engaged in the manufacture of printing presses, sugar mills, steam engines (stationary and marine), steam boilers and other machines, and formed the company I. & S. Adams in 1836.

He was a member of the Massachusetts Senate in 1840, and the Emigrant Aid Company. His last years were spent in retirement. He died in 1883.


  1. ^ Bowdoin College (1902). General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine. Bowdoin College. p. 214.

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