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Unfortunately the cool funky music had to be warped due to copyright violations... but oh, what an amazing little film this is! This 16mm gem is absolutely gushing with the state-of-the-art technology of pressing newspapers back in 1971. From punch tape Linotype machines to PDP-8 powered offset layout departments to massive GOSS presses... this beauty has it all! Real nostalgia all the way to a fleet of kids on banana bikes delivering the morning edition. Taste the molten lead and go deaf from the noise! Enjoy!!!!
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#film #press #70's
- Intro Music by Fran Blanche -
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By Fran

18 thoughts on “The modern miracle of today’s newspaper 1971”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Young says:

    Thanks for the memories.
    As a reporter, my first paper in the 1970s was still hot metal, and the whole five-story building shook when the presses rolled.
    After that it was offset presses, IBM Selectrics and OCRs and Compugraphic typesetters before Apple and desktop publishing took over in the 1980s.
    By the end of my career, I was doing about a dozen of the jobs you see performed in the film.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Samuels says:

    Recycled lead printing plate uses: primarily for us (kids) to remelt used, cut up plates to pour into molds to make fishing sinkers. Let's see, mid to late 60's era before the Elmira NY Gazette switched over to offset printing.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars graphosxp says:

    10 years from now 99% of this year's youtube videos won't be watched by anyone ever again. But these fantastic videos are the exceptions! TIMELESS GEMS! btw am I the only one who saw jack lalanne?

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Fred Jacobsen says:

    Even as late as 1971, newspapers had no clue of the coming impact of digital communications and citizen journalism. The cost-of-entry into the metropolitan newspaper business prevented all but the wealthiest citizens to enter. Why then let the voice of The People creep out of the Opinion page and into the news pages? Newspapers COULD have become the AOL source of digital news and information except for the arrogance that ink on paper would ALWAYS dominate. It was the dogged determination to maintain a high fixed overhead business model that led to failure. Long before paid circulation and advertising revenues fell to zero, the overhead costs resulted in unsustainable losses.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chris Reeland says:

    Hi Fran,
    You have brought back great memories for me.
    I am an ex-pressman for offset web newspaper printing presses.
    Had to give up on being a printer about 4 years ago…after oh…25+ some years… changing times and technology…the newspaper printing presses are now mostly gone at most newspapers except some of the big cities, but even some of these are gone. Farmed out to even competitors or commercial print shops. A lot of presses have been torn apart and scrapped at most newspapers. The printing numbers for distribution are at a sad state. The numbers left are extremely small for what was actually printed back in the days. And the number of pages not many… including a quite shrunken size of the paper. Just some comments…and some great but also sad memories. Thanks for this transfer to preserve some history of this and the others reels you have done.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars alpcns says:

    Fran has a knack for finding the interesting stuff. What a priceless time capsule. Staggering amount of work and skill went into newspapers.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tomcat721 says:

    This was a way way back look. Smoking a pipe? No gloves? I don't think I saw any CRTs either. I remember trying to get on the circulation dept. delivering on bike as a kid in 1980. Those banana seat bikes were phased out by heavily loaded warp speed station wagons peeling out at 6:00 A.M.. Ended up in subscriptions sales. Every time I get the social Security earnings report, the first line item was my paper past lol.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Terry Talks says:

    Fascinating film, the early "hot metal" run gave birth to "hot of the press" expression.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Geoffrey Waldo says:

    If you listen carefully, the intro and outro music is a track played in reverse…telling you “buy the paper, buy the paper” 😉

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Geoffrey Waldo says:

    The optical, chemical and electromechanical technical challenges met are impressive. Not to mention the personnel and hierarchical structure of the copy production and assembly! Fascinating. The technology of any process done repeatedly at high volume is inevitably optimized and refined. How different is the electronic world we live in today.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SteverRob says:

    My uncle was a reporter, worked his way to the Pulitzer the White House Press Corp, and bureau chief of the LA Times. On the other end, (and a far less glamorous) I started out as a paper boy, then to the newspaper plant itself. I worked in Distribution, where we took the papers off the presses, ads were inserted then bundled for the carriers. Only one time did I ever hit the red Stop The Presses button (and you’d better have a damn good reason) for seeing a huge typo on the front page. A small local paper with a daily circulation of about 55k.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Christopher Rasmussen says:

    My HS had a press room. A copy camera (my speciality) , and an offset printing press. We got the end rolls from the local newspaper office. Since I picked film plate work in late 77 , digital cameras just came out. I never went into the newspaper business.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars DanjaTube says:

    Of possible interest to your viewers is a film called "Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu," (available here on YT) which documents the last day of hot metal printing being used at the NY Times in 1978, and the switchover to computers and cold print

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars JackT says:

    Nearly every kid in this film is riding a Schwinn Sting-Ray, the top selling bike of that time! I had mine in the Philly burbs too.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Brazier says:

    Best Yet Fran. Thanks. Q from a brit who never got their papers delivered that way, how do the kids on cycles know who or who didn't subscribe?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kendra Akin says:

    WOW! This is a trip on "the WayBack Machine" and a world that I was on the fringe of in '65 through '72 '. I'll spare others the details. It has indeed been a trip to remember. Thank you.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars lordmuntague says:

    "Different editions may be printed on different coloured paper."

    Now there's a good way of spotting the Scousers on this channel – who remembers the Pink Echo?

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars D. Stuart says:

    Great film! Brings back memories of when I worked for a large news-gathering organization back in the late 70's, early 80's. I may be one of the youngest trained model 15 and 20 Teletype repair/rebuilding techs. Still were using them into the early 80's. Never experienced the letter-press production rooms, but plenty of big offset presses. And PDP-8s and 11s. Tho they had finally gone to terminals for editing. And RK-05 disc packs for storage…. Very interesting times. Learned a lot! Thanks for the memories! Stu

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