After its foundation in New York in 1816 by Elias Boudinot the American Bible Society issued its first Annual Report on May 8, 1817. Initially the society's main function was the production of stereotype plates of the Bible that could be used to produce Bibles by local constituent Bible societies around the country, but they rapidly got into the publishing business themselves, issuing quality books at very small markups over cost. On the final three leaves of its first annual report the society reproduced sample pages of its Stereotype Long-Primer Bible, Octavo, its Stereotype Brevier Bible, Duodecimo, and its Stereotype Minion Bible, Duodecimo. In 1816 the Society issued 10,000 copies of the Bible in brevier type, and by 1819 they printed 100,000 copies.
"Although stereotyping was the most important technological innovation for Bible work, the fledgling American Bible Society pursued other improvements with equal ardor. In the 1820s, the society became a major patron of the power press. The new printing technology that caught the attention of the ABS managers was Daniel Treadwell's steam-powered bed-and-platen press, generally considered to be the first successful powered press to be built in America. Treadwell began experiments with power printing in Boston in 1822; the ABS opened negotiations with him in 1823; and by 1829 the society had installed sixteen Treadwell presses, probably built by Robert Hoe of New York under a franchise arrangement with Treadwell. The Treadwell press made the printing process physically easier and sped it up as well, thus reducing the cost of labor and increasing the efficiency of capital invested in stereotype plates. The introduction of the power press at the American Bible Society was managed by Daniel Fanshaw, who signed on with the society in 1817" (Gross & Kelley, eds., A History of the Book in America, Vol. 2, pp. 230-31).
According to An Abstract of the American Bible Society printed by Daniel Fanshaw in 1830 p. 21, by 1830 the Society had issued over 1 million Bibles and Testaments. Regarding the printing facilities of the society the Abstract stated on p.20:
"In this department sixteen steam power-presses which it is computed will do the work of thirty-two common presses and six hand presses are kept constantly at work. These, with the exception of five of the hand presses, are the property of the Society's printer. In 1818 a Committee was appointed by the Managers to ascertain the best mode of conducting the Society's printing. In their report they state that "after taking much pains, and procuring several statements from printers, they were brought to the conclusion that the interests of the Society would not be promoted by owning presses and hiring journeyman printers, but that printing can most profitably be done to contract with master printers to work by the token, on the best terms that can be obtained" , which course the Society have ever since adopted."