Extra! Extra! The Norwood Messenger

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The Village Hall. The Ambrose brothers ran their press from this building. (from the collection of the Norwood Historical Society)

The Ambrose brothers, Alfred (1866-1924), Willard (1873-1936), and Edward (1876-1898) brought their local newspaper and printing business to Norwood from Groveland, Massachusetts in 1895 and it was still in operation in the 1970s. The  Norwood Messenger, was their weekly newspaper, which they printed in their printing business, the Ambrose Press. This printing company not only published this local weekly newspaper, but also  offered myriad of printing services. They printed art posters and could print personal items like letterhead and business cards, advertising items like brochures, pamphlets and other publicity products, as well as more complicated items such as books and magazines.

Alfred Noyes Ambrose was the editor, and  a reporter at the Norwood Messenger until his death. His brother, Willard Perley Ambrose worked as one of the printers, but also was the reporter for sports news. It was said about the articles he wrote, that his style of writing was enjoyable and “makes them most readable.” Norwood families enjoyed the Messenger for over seventy years before it finally merged with other publications and changed its name.

The Ambrose Brothers also operated a printing business known as the Ambrose Press in conjunction with the Norwood Messenger. As time went on, it became a very profitable business. By the 1920s and 1930s majority of the Ambrose Press’ jobs came from outside Norwood. The press continued in business locally and nationally throughout the 1970s. The Ambrose Press was a small printing firm compared to the other printing houses in Norwood; it offered printing services to their customers that would have been difficult for a large printing houses to have offered. It appears this company was not involved with the strikes in the early 1900s, perhaps they were too small, or perhaps they took good care of their employees.

The Ambrose brothers made a good choice in Norwood; they saw Norwood’s potential and believed they would do well if they relocated their business there. Brothers Alfred, Willard and Edward Ambrose built up a company that became part of the fabric of Norwood, not only for the jobs they provided for people, and the income they created for the town, but also as a voice for its citizens, as they put forth newspaper articles that informed their readers about current issues facing the town.

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