Benjamin Day

Benjamin Day

Benjamin Henry Day (1810 – 1889) was a U.S. illustrator and printer. He published the original "New York Sun", the first penny press newspaper. He sold the New York Sun to his brother-in-law for $40,000. Benday Dots are also named after him. In 1842, Day created the "Brother Jonathan," which went on to be the first illustrated weekly in the U.S. He imported to the United States the London Plan (a largely antiquated system of newspaper distribution in which the paper carriers buy newspapers in bulk from the publisher and sell the papers to the reading public for a profit).

From "The New Yorker" [Surowiecki, James. "The Financial Page: Patent Bending", The New Yorker. July 14 & 21, 2003. pg. 36] :

The American newspaper business as we know it was born on September 3, 1833, when a twenty-three-year-old publisher named Benjamin Day put out the first edition of the "New York Sun". Whereas other papers sold for five or six cents, the "Sun" cost just a penny. For revenue, Day relied on advertising rather than on subscriptions. Above all, he revolutionized the way papers were distributed. He sold them to newsboys in lots of a hundred to hawk in the street. Before long, Day was the most important publisher in New York.


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