The Genesee Country Village and Museum is awesome.
Just putting that out there.
I finally got to go see the historic village yesterday for the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day , and I learned so much in three hours about life in the 18th and 19th centuries in Western NY. The most interesting bit to many people (including Mr. C) was the Civil-War-era replica of the Intrepid, a helium balloon used by the army.
The most interesting bit to me was the printing press.
Of course it was fascinating: the history of an industry that led to my own career, the typeset itself, kerning...everything. (On a side note: search Google for "kerning" and enjoy. You won't be disappointed.)
But something the printer said surprised me...and then again, it didn't. He explained that being a printer was a white-collar job, much like a doctor or lawyer of the day. But unlike those other white-collar jobs, there was no profit in printing. A printer did his work out of a sense of duty to his neighbors and fellow townsfolk, to bring them the local, national, and even international news that they would never otherwise receive.
Huh. Sounds a bit like today's publishing and journalism, doesn't it?