Watch this bittersweet video of the Philadelphia Inquirer printing press's final run

Originally published at: Watch this bittersweet video of the Philadelphia Inquirer printing press's final run | Boing Boing


TBH, I was more broken up about the Bulletin, but as the remaining major daily in town seeing more signs of the Inky’s decline is sad. The paper has been losing long-time contributors steadily over the past decade. Most accepted the Bronze Backpack offered by management and retired.

What jumped out at me is that the press was opened in 1992, and it’s unclear what will happen with that behemoth of a building now. According to this article, it cost the paper nearly $300 million dollars to build. They sold it for $37 million.


My first real job was at one of the two local papers. Started off in customer service answering complaints and taking subscriptions and eventually worked my way into the marketing area.

One of my duties was to conduct tours of the printing facility to school classes. I loved doing this - shepherding a gaggle of 5/6th graders from the loading docks with the towering spools of raw paper rolls, to the layout and prepress areas where the negative plates were formed, into the massive printing and folding room and the conveyor belts of fresh papers coming off the presses to be bundled and loaded into trucks. Here I was this 20 year old kid myself being important enough to be a tour guide for elementary students.

I stayed with the paper for a few more years after that and made some lifelong friends there (including my wife). We were (are still) a family. I miss those days and will shed more than a few tears once all the major newspapers finally close.


My FIL worked for the Bulletin and left in 1975. He said he knew that it would fold within the next 10 years.


Nearly everybody read it.

(I subscribed to the Inquirer instead, but that was because (a) it was a morning paper, and (b) at the time they were on the warpath against Frank Rizzo, which was riveting. The Bulletin was not really keeping up on hard local news.)


I miss printed newspapers. My first memory of reading, of wanting to read, trying and getting better at reading, was with the Saturday comics section. Also, later, was this built in limit to how much time one could spend reading up on the news. I hit peak doom scrolling this last winter.


That a newsworthy thing could happen one day, and a professional written and edited, printed story about it could appear on my doorstep the next morning still seems like a miracle to me.


I started adult life as an apprentice photolithographer in a small town newspaper, and I’m so glad I got out of that industry when I did.
But yes, those huge web presses are amazing lumps of engineering.

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