Beach, Moses Yale

Beach, Moses Yale,

1800–1868, American journalist, b. Wallingford, Conn. As a young man he invented a rag-cutting machine and a gunpowder engine. In 1838 he bought the New York Sun from his brother-in-law, Benjamin Henry DayDay, Benjamin Henry,
1810–89, American journalist. He learned the printer's trade in the office of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican and opened a printing office in New York City.
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, for whom he had been working as production manager. The Sun's chief competitor in the penny-paper field was the New York Herald, edited by James Gordon BennettBennett, James Gordon,
1795–1872, American newspaper proprietor, b. Keith, Scotland. He came to America in 1819 and won a reputation as Washington correspondent of the New York Enquirer and later (1829–32) as assistant editor of the combined
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. The two rival papers used ingenious means to get news fast—the Sun even kept carrier pigeons in a special house atop its building. Costs, especially during the Mexican War, mounted so much that at a conference in Beach's office the editors of a number of New York newspapers established the New York Associated Press to cooperate in securing the news. Beach is credited with the first European edition of an American paper, the weekly American Sun (1848), and with starting the newspaper syndicated article. In 1848 he turned the New York Sun over to his sons, Moses Sperry Beach and Alfred E. Beach.


See F. M. O'Brien, The Story of the Sun (1928, repr. 1968).

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Beach, Moses Yale

(1800–68) publisher, inventor; born in Wallingford, Conn. Apprenticed to a cabinetmaker at an early age, he later worked on his own and developed several inventions, including rag-cutting machinery that eased the making of paper. In 1838 he bought the New York Sun from Benjamin H. Day, his brother-in-law; as its editor until 1848 he organized a news syndicate and, in a competition with James Gordon Bennett's aggressive New York Herald, stressed efforts to gather news rapidly. As circulation declined, Beach sold the paper in 1860 to a Christian revivalist, who gave it back after a year; in 1868 he sold it again to Charles Anderson Dana.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.