Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

History of Direct Mail Part 4

Controversy still reigns in regards to when the printing press actually came to America. Surprisingly, the first printing press in the “New World” is said to have been built in Mexico City. It is clear that William Penn did his printing in England, because he had no availability to print in Philadelphia at the time, but could there have been a printing press already in Mexico?

It is said that Spanish missionaries brought printing to Mexico. In Madrid, there is a private library that holds a book dated 1540. This book was printed by Juan Cromberger, a Spanish missionary who passed away four years later.
The first Spanish Viceroy of Mexico, Antonio de Mendoza set up a printing office in 1551. He had been in Mexico since 1535. It would appear that he was the second Mexican printer.

In America, just outside of Mexico, Jannes Paulus Brissensius from Brescia Italy supposedly was the first printer in America. Brissensius printed a book in 1549 which may have been the first American book printed outside of Mexico.

Throughout this period, following the development of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg of Germany and before the printing press was brought to America, it would appear that no direct advertising was employed in Mexico, by printers. If it was, there remains no record of it.

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