Monday, February 04, 2013

At least one U.S. newspaper still does it the old way, the really old way: hot type

In an age where newspapers are increasingly read without the benefit of ink, there is at least one U.S. paper that still prints not only with ink, but solely with the metal type and hot lead that began disappearing in the 1960s. It's the weekly Saguache Crescent of southern Colorado's San Luis Valley, published by Dean Coombs, reports Jonathan Thompson of High Country News.

"The Crescent, now in its 134th year, perseveres, unsullied by the digital world: The office has no computer, no Internet. Coombs bangs out each edition on the keyboard of a 90-year-old Linotype (below; Thompson photo), which forges each line of text, or slug, from molten lead. He arranges the slugs, along with ads and graphics -- engraved into wood or metal -- in the chase, a rectangular metal frame. After they're secured into the press, the chase and type are inked, and the newsprint rolls over them," in "an ancient printing press that emanates a rhythmic whir-swoosh." (Read more)

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