Modern Technology: Linotype

>> The technical nature of Packaging Prepress far, far surpasses what most
>> people think as commercial design. (-------)

I guess so. But in my day, we didn't have all these fancy-schmansy gadgets you young whippersnappers are accustomed to. We used to whittle letters out of planks of cherry wood and ink them with a hand roller to print the labels on wooden crates for fruit and vegetables down at the farmer's Co-op.

We had modern technology, too ... it was called Linotype. I used to go down to the paper after school, and watch Mr. Brower write the entire issue right there on Linotype. I knew its name, because it said so in cast iron, right across the top. He used to finish off a story with "etaoin shrudlu" ... which was the Linotype version, sort of, of "querty asdfg", except it was vertical on his keyboard. One time he forgot to take it out of the bottom of a column, and not a few of the people in town thought maybe that article had been written by one of the old Wendish geezers who lived down the road in Elm Mott, and spoke a language nobody knew.

When the paper was ready to go to print, Linotype melted down the last issue and cast new type for the upcoming one, right there on the spot. I loved to watch that part. That paper faced the world without benefit of editors and proofreaders. Mr. Brower was it. Publisher, Editor, Reporter, Janitor and every other hat. Some of the results were wonderful. "The Calvert Cemetery has received a new coat of aluminum paint, which tends to liven the place up." He even took on the preacher at the Baptist Church, who erroneously accused him of being an athiest, because he didn't go to church, and kept at it week after week, until the preacher sent a letter of apology to the paper, that Mr. Brower printed on his front page, with a picture of the preacher in front of his church, and a big headline running clear across the top. "Preacher Apoligizes!"

It was wonderful. It was magnificent. It was honestly and uncompromisingly biased; you don't get straight from the shoulder, no nonsense news like that anymore. And it was done on a machine that looked more like a steam locomotive than a computer.

But you go ahead and brag about your Prepackaging Prepress, Old Timer.