Moses Yale Beach

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Moses Yale Beach
Moses Yale Beach.jpg
Born(1800-01-07)January 7, 1800
DiedJuly 18, 1868(1868-07-18) (aged 68)
Known forNew York Sun
Associated Press
ChildrenAlfred Ely Beach
Moses S. Beach
RelativesElihu Yale, cousin
Brewster Yale Beach, great great grandson
Signature of Moses Yale Beach (1800–1868).png

Moses Yale Beach (January 7, 1800 – July 18, 1868) was an American inventor and publisher who started the Associated Press, and is credited with originating print syndication.


He was born in Wallingford, Connecticut. His father was a plain farmer, and gave him an ordinary education. He showed a mechanical aptitude from an early age, and at 14 was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. Before his term was up, he purchased his freedom and established a cabinet-making business in Northampton, Massachusetts. The business failed, and he moved to Springfield. There he endeavoured to manufacture a gunpowder engine for propelling balloons; but this enterprise was also a failure. He next attempted to open steam navigation on Connecticut river between Hartford and Springfield, and would have succeeded if financial difficulties had not obliged him to cease operations before his steamer was completed.

He then invented a rag-cutting machine for paper mills. The invention was widely used, but Beach derived no pecuniary benefit due to his tardiness in applying for a patent. He then settled in Ulster County, New York, where he invested in an extensive paper mill. At first he was successful, and after six years was wealthy; but after seven years an imprudent investment dispersed his fortune, and he was compelled to abandon his enterprise.

In the meantime though, he had married the sister of the founder and proprietor of the New York Sun, Benjamin Day. In 1835, he acquired an interest in the paper, then small, both in the size of its sheet and circulation. And with a $40,000 payment, he soon became sole proprietor.

According to historian Elmo Scott Watson, Beach invented print syndication in 1841 when he produced a two-page supplement and sold it to a score of newspapers in the U.S. northeast.[1]

The Associated Press was organized in May 1846[2] by Beach (at that time publisher of The Sun), joined by the New York Herald, the New York Courier and Enquirer, The Journal of Commerce, and the New York Evening Express.[3] The AP was formed by the five New York daily papers to share the cost of transmitting news of the Mexican–American War.[4]

During the War, U.S. President James K. Polk sent Beach to Mexico to arrange a treaty of peace; but the negotiations were broken off by a false report announcing the defeat of General Zachary Taylor by Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

Beach retired in 1857 with an ample fortune, and left the paper to his sons. He then returned to Wallingford.

Personal life[edit]

Beach was married twice and left five sons, Moses Sperry, Henry, Alfred Ely, Joseph and William, and one granddaughter, Emma, who married the naturalist and artist Abbott Handerson Thayer. She was the daughter of Moses Sperry Beach. She and her father are described in Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad.


  1. ^ Watson, Elmo Scott. "CHAPTER VIII: Recent Developments in Syndicate History 1921-1935," 'History of Newspaper Syndicates. Archived at Stripper's Guide.
  2. ^ "Associated Press Founded - This Day in History May 22". New York Natives. May 22, 2015. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Press, Gil. "The Birth of Atari, Modern Computer Design, And The Software Industry: This Week In Tech History". Forbes. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Network effects". The Economist. Retrieved February 20, 2018.

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