1922 cutaway drawing of the Washington Evening Star Building




I heard that the real reason William Randolph Hearst campaigned to outlaw marijuana is that he was afraid hemp-based paper could hurt his lucrative people-mulching mills.


It looks just like SimTower, amirite?


They had a chute leading directly to the Matrix?

Intern: “Why, oh why didn’t I take the blue pill.”


I’ve been working a similar thing for 8 months http://teplin.com/blog/2014/11/17/come-dip-your-toes-in-my-big-canal


I see they had a stereotype department (8th floor). Nowadays that’s the job of the individual editorial writers.


I worked a summer job at a newspaper (also called the Evening Star) just before computers started to replace hot type - this illustration is just about perfect - note the giant cameras in the engraving dept (or it seems in this case another company that does it for them) - they are read - in the place I worked one side of the giant camera was actually in the dark room where they focused on the plate they were going to etch, the other outside pointing at the image they wanted to use.

The first people to go when computers arrived were the linotype operators and (proof-) readers/copy holders


So what stereo is is this - linotype machines align lines of brass positive slugs then cast a line-of-type (negative, backwards text) in type-metal (lead/tin) - after proof reading the blocks of lines of type (ir entire articles) are sent to the sub-editors who do page layout into frames, they do column and page breaks, add headlines and photo plates (from engraving). The result is a negative (backwards) flat page in a frame

Next a flat papiermache positive image is cast from the flat frame. This paper is curved into a half cylinder and a metal “stereo” is cast from it - this has a negative image on it and is shaped so it can be bolted onto the press (each roller in the press does 1 side of two pages - it usually has 2 copies of the stereo on it ) when the press runs the stereo spins at speed copying ink onto the page (in positive, the right way around) - each pair of pages come from the same roll, they pass over two press rolls (one for each side) then are brought together with all the other pages where they are folded and then chopped into newspapers (all at speed)

Not shown in the picture the fine mist of ink that pervades the building when the press runs


How I miss that game!


The figure shows the Stereotype department split between two floors (near the Linotypes and make-up, and also by the presses). Can you infer from the figure which parts of the process you describe were done in each place?


Back when you needed an onsite machinist to support your word processors.


Yes I think they’re sending the papiermache positives down in the elevator then casting them into half cylinders down there, you can see the half cylinders being offloaded from the autoplate machine (making those half cylinder printing plates) to the press


BTW, the building still exists in DC but the Star itself folded in the early 1980s.



I delivered papers for a couple of years for the Washington Star when I was a teenager in suburban Maryland in the 1970s. I switched over to delivering the Washington Post for a couple of years after that. Guys in trucks dropped bundles of newspapers off in my neighborhood for me to deliver, and I never visited either paper’s headquarters.


And the all-important nerve center of communications, the original internet, The Telegraph Room.



was it customary then to have an on-site Dentist ?


Just to note that despite having to get up in the morning for the Post, it was much easier to deliver than the Star because more people subscribed to it…So there was less traveling per paper. I still have the old fashioned wire baskets that I used mounted on the back of my current bicycle.


Also, did all newspapers have a Joyce (2nd floor)? Were Joyces so in demand that she was entitled to her own office? What does a Joyce do anyway? Is she like a Friday?


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