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11374Re: Need historical information - Answered

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  • Eric
    Feb 1, 2010
      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "author50401" <JohnH@...> wrote:
      > One job which has not been discussed in any detail here, is that of the proofreader. I imagine that the proofreader (alas, no longer a part of the newspaper industry) would get the printed galleys striaght from the press, and the proofing presses were inked with very oilyt, non-drying ink so that they did not need frequent cleaning and could be left inked for day on end.

      Actually, news ink was also non-drying by today's expectations, just as much as proofing ink. It was in a mineral oil vehicle, rather than linseed oil varnish, and dried entirely by absorption into the stock (or the fingers or the clothes). When I was working with the stuff on a handfed cylinder, we only cleaned the press once year, before vacation.
      Women certainly had other positions than proofreader, but this is something that could have varied from region to region and would have been affected by unionization. Women were accepted into the Typographical Union well before other trade unions, but women were also used as low-wage workers (and occasionally strikebreakers) where unions were being resisted, and press feeder was just such a low-wage position. This was a divisive issue, especially in the 1870s when there was disagreement in the union over the existance of the Women's Typographical Union No. 1, a local union chartered from 1869 to 1878, alongside the existing local 6 in New York. (See "History of Typographical Union No. 6," 1912.)
      --Eric Holub, SF
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