Hot Metal Newspapers.

Most Newspapers around the World had ceased producing their editions by Hot Metal by the early 1980s.
But before that horrible day producing a newspaper went something like this:
The Reporters would go out and get their stories.
Bring them them back to the Office, type them as hard copy and hand them over to the Sub-Editors.
These guys were big heads who would run their red pencil all over the copy until they were satisfied that they had pissed the reporter off.
The copy would then go the Linotype Operators, (above photo) who also were big heads and if they were “piece work operators” they were bloody unbearable.
Any interruption cost them money.
There was no laughter, that would cost dough, and they even had “right of way” in the Comp room.
But they always got the paper out and then it was straight over to the Pub after their shift.
The proofs of the type matter set by the operators would then head to the reading room to be read by proofreaders.
Then sections of the pages would be made up by the Compositors on metal galleys, and then transferred to the metal stone (that’s what Bogey’s elbow is resting on).
At this stage the Subbies may come down to the comp floor to do copy fit so that the page and its stories would all fit.
The finished type page would then go the Stereotypers who would prepare a flong matrix of the type page and then create a lead stereotype that would be locked on the rotary cylinders of the huge newspaper presses like the monster pictured.
The hum of the Press at top speed and the smell of the ink would never fail to excite me.
It was a living, breathing creature.
R Hoe Press
In the real old times the papers would be bundled and given to these poor little blighters to sell around the city.
When you bought the paper you had something you could read, treasure, hang on to, cut bits out of and finally use to discipline the dog.
If you look at the picture below you will see that a lot of people gathered together in parks to read their papers.
There would be a fair amount of social interaction between those people as they discussed the sports scores and issues of the day.
Staring at a Cell phone Screen and ignoring the humanity passing by is just so introverted.
After all, they are just a communication device not a substitute for your Brain.
Rod Parham

One thought on “Hot Metal Newspapers.

  1. I can remember those days well. You are correct in the comment about the hum of the presses and the smell of the ink. Takes me back to the days at Collie’s inks when we made the ink, delivered the ink in tankers and pumped out the tanker into the Advertiser and News tanks for direct pumping to the presses. Had to call once a week to the press room at the Tiser at the start of the country edition at 11.55pm to check on the performance of the ink on the press. All panic from the comp and stereo rooms to make the deadlines to start the presses. Good article. Woolman


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