Show Me the Benjamins


Ben Franklin famously helped birth the United States, but before he was an omnipotent statesman sorting out the myriad of Founding Father challenges did you know he also was a t-shirt printer?

That’s right!  I recently read all about it on a website from an article written by Abe Lincoln.  Evidently, next to his letterpress that he used to create Poor Richard’s Almanac and other promotional items for his revolutionary friends and chamber of commerce buddies, was a six color automatic.  He printed all sorts of items, and most included a lot of his legendary witty sayings.  He ran a small, but busy shop in downtown Philly.  I think he also had a kiosk cart next to Paul Revere’s silver shop in the mall.

It’s a little known fact that he was responsible for the “Keep Calm & Carry On” meme, as he branded his kite with it during his electricity experiments.  I didn’t believe it at first, either.  Now at least we know who to blame.

Just when you thought you knew the guy responsible for creating the lending library, bifocal eyeglasses, and one of the first fire departments in America, some of his original versions of his quotes have surfaced in an old, dusty journal.  I’d thought I’d share some that were most relevant to the decorated apparel industry.  Enjoy!

“A penny saved is a penny earned…toward a new automatic press!

“Honesty is the best policy…and honestly that’s the ugliest design we’ve ever printed.  Good thing we don’t have to wear it.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.  So no, you don’t have to go to trade shows…

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.  Those screens needed to be burned yesterday.

“You may delay, but time will not.  The UPS guy will be here at 4:30.

“Anger is never without reason, and seldom a good one.  This is why there’s a history palette in Photoshop.

“Lost time is never found again.  I don’t care when you punched out for lunch.

“Do not fear failure.  You will know mistakes.  Continue to reach out.  That’s what t-shirt Facebook and internet forum groups are for.

“Well done is better than well said, and that doesn’t happen unless the order matches the sample!

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise; but with the right tunes rockin’ the stereo, I can print all night!

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.  Especially heat pressing names and numbers for all of our local sports teams.

“Diligence is the mother of good luck. Which is why all strike offs on new orders require artist approval.

“Time is money. Unless of course your customer wants to schedule a press check.  Then that time, unfortunately, looks like it’s free.

“It’s easier to prevent bad habits than break them.  Which is why a lot of our print staff were trained here.

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  Although I think everyone stinks out in the shop during the summer.

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.  Entering the temple requires a membership to SGIA.

“Genius without education is like silver in a mine.  Cross training your staff unearths the mother lode.

“Half a truth is often a great lie, and that’s why we don’t get all of the information on the purchase order.

“I didn’t fail the test, I found 100 ways to do it wrong; but now I know how to print four color process.

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.  Counting all the shirts in receiving the same day they are delivered ensures our prosperity.

“He that lives upon hope will die fasting.  I’m hoping I won’t starve to death with a gazillion metallic thread breaks on this order.

“A place for everything, everything in it’s place.  End of day shop cleaning robots activated!

“God helps those that help themselves, so let’s make a YouTube video and help everybody!

“Never confuse motion with action.  Is all of your effort towards getting an order to ship?

“The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise, especially during performance review time.

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle; but we can print a logo on it!

“Even peace may be purchased at too high of a price; but that’s still not as high as performance ink.

“As we must account for every idle word, we must account for every idle silence.  It appears the sales staff has gone home early.

“Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.  Especially with some logo’d merchandise – have you seen our new hoodies?

“Applause waits on success…and a few Impressions Awards.

“Industry need not wish.  There’s a new white ink coming out next year!

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain; and most fools do.  That being said, try one more coat of emulsion on the print side of the screen.

“Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.  Without the right notes on the work order though, it isn’t going to be produced correctly.

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.  Which is why you can’t trust the center crease.

“Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have the brains enough to be honest.  Stolen internet designs sold online are proof enough of a dirtbag status.

“It is the working man that is the happy man.  It is the idle man that is the miserable man.  That being said, here’s another rush order that will make you laugh like a drunk hyena.

“Wise men don’t need advice, fools won’t take it.  Which reminds me, have you subscribed to my blog yet?


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