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Need historical information

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  • Anita
    I m a historical romance writer and I m hoping someone here can help me... My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city s
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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      I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
      My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city's newspaper.
      I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large newspaper like that would have used at that time.
      Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very inky through the course of her daily job.
      Can someone please point me in the right direction?
      Thank you.

      Anita Mae Draper.

      www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
    • Ed Inman
      The hand composition segments apply: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPCiWiLu-W4&feature=PlayList&p=B4756BCBE7996980&index=3
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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        The hand composition segments apply:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPCiWiLu-W4&feature=PlayList&p=B4756BCBE7996980&index=3



        -----Original Message-----
        >From: Anita <anitamaedraper@...>
        >Sent: Jan 30, 2010 9:03 PM
        >To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [PPLetterpress] Need historical information
        >
        >I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
        >My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city's newspaper.
        >I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large newspaper like that would have used at that time.
        >Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very inky through the course of her daily job.
        >Can someone please point me in the right direction?
        >Thank you.
        >
        >Anita Mae Draper.
        >
        >www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • bielerpr
        Anita Take a look at The Swifts: Printers in the Age of Typesetting Races by Walker Rumble, 2003. There is a chapter Fast Women: The Boston Typesetting Races
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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          Anita

          Take a look at The Swifts: Printers in the Age of Typesetting Races by Walker Rumble, 2003. There is a chapter "Fast Women: The Boston Typesetting Races of 1886."

          Gerald
          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


          --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
          > My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city's newspaper.
          > I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large newspaper like that would have used at that time.
          > Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very inky through the course of her daily job.
          > Can someone please point me in the right direction?
          > Thank you.
          >
          > Anita Mae Draper.
          >
          > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
          >
        • Daniel Franklin
          ... There were several newspapers in St. Louis at the Time, including German newspapers. Five years ago, Bob Mullen wrote a book about the type foundries of
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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            Anita wrote:
            > My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city's newspaper.
            > I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large newspaper like that would have used at that time.
            There were several newspapers in St. Louis at the Time, including German
            newspapers.

            Five years ago, Bob Mullen wrote a book about the type foundries of St.
            Louis: 'Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to
            Industrialization.' In the course of his research, he is bound to have
            discovered much information about the printing and newspaper industries
            as well. E-mail me privately, and I will see if I can put you in touch
            with him.

            Also check the St. Louis City Library's Special Collections Department,
            which has quite a lot of material on the history of printing in St.
            Louis. Likewise, the Mercantile Library, now located at UMSL.

            Best of luck,

            Dan
          • typetom@aol.com
            _Chronicles of Genius and Folly: R. Hoe & Company and the Printing Press as a Service to Democracy_
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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              _Chronicles of Genius and Folly: R. Hoe & Company and the Printing Press
              as a Service to Democracy_
              (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1025783876&searchurl=sts=t&tn=Hoe+Company&x=36&y=11) by Comparato, Frank
              E. - covers the development of large newspaper presses in the 19th century.
              Maybe not the inky info you need for your character, but it's full of facts
              and details about the equipment and the business.
              Tom


              In a message dated 1/30/2010 9:24:09 P.M. Mountain Standard Time,
              anitamaedraper@... writes:

              I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
              My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at
              the city's newspaper.
              I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large
              newspaper like that would have used at that time.
              Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very
              inky through the course of her daily job.
              Can someone please point me in the right direction?
              Thank you.

              Anita Mae Draper.

              www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • rpolinski@nac.net
              Hi Anita, Here s a blog post of mine that may provide some insight: http://frontroompress.blogspot.com/2009/10/once-upon-time.html Also check out the book Red
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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                Hi Anita,

                Here's a blog post of mine that may provide some insight:

                http://frontroompress.blogspot.com/2009/10/once-upon-time.html

                Also check out the book Red Blood and Black Ink: Journalism in the Old West:

                http://www.amazon.com/Red-Blood-Black-Ink-Journalism/dp/0700609555

                and the picture book Newspapering in The Old West. The latter is out of
                print but copies surface on Ebay where I bought my copy, and some
                libraries still have it.

                Rich

                --
                Richard Polinski
                Front Room Press
                Milford, NJ
                http://frontroompress.com
                http://frontroompress.blogspot.com

                > I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
                > My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at
                > the city's newspaper.
                > I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large
                > newspaper like that would have used at that time.
                > Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very
                > inky through the course of her daily job.
                > Can someone please point me in the right direction?
                > Thank you.
                >
                > Anita Mae Draper.
                >
                > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                >
                >
              • Graham and Kathy
                I m not sure that women would be allowed to get anywhere near the inky end of the job in a city newspaper printers in the 1870s. Perhaps making the bundles of
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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                  I'm not sure that women would be allowed to get anywhere near the inky end
                  of the job in a city newspaper printers in the 1870s. Perhaps making the
                  bundles of papers up for collection and distribution - she'd get residual
                  ink still wet from printing the paper on her hands, which she could
                  incidentally wipe on her dress/bodice while smoothing it down, face while
                  wiping a wisp of hair away, and suchlike.

                  It would be quite heavy work for a mere woman, involving counting off
                  newspapers to make the bundles up for distribution, cutting the string to
                  tie the bundles, stepping back down a long workbench to collect the next
                  bunch to take to the string end, so passing them on to a man who lifted the
                  bundles (two at a time) from the workbench to take them to the waiting horse
                  drawn waggon for taking to the newsboys who shouted them for sale at street
                  corners, and the shops that redistributed them in the different localities
                  of the city.


                  Graham Moss
                  Incline Press
                  36 Bow Street
                  Oldham OL1 1SJ England

                  http://www.inclinepress.com






                  On 31/1/10 03:03, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...> wrote:

                  > I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
                  > My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the
                  > city's newspaper.
                  > I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large
                  > newspaper like that would have used at that time.
                  > Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very
                  > inky through the course of her daily job.
                  > Can someone please point me in the right direction?
                  > Thank you.
                  >
                  > Anita Mae Draper.
                  >
                  > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                  >
                • rpolinski@nac.net
                  I can t speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle class women had to work, especially before they were married, during the 19th century as
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                    I can't speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle class
                    women had to work, especially before they were married, during the 19th
                    century as well as before and after that time. Clothing factories, textile
                    mills, and printing houses are but three examples. The post on my blog to
                    which I referred in my previous email shows a pre-Civil War illustration
                    of women working in a large printing house feeding cylinder presses, among
                    other things. Even when a woman was married and had to stay home with the
                    children she often did piece work with the children helping. Then as now
                    people did what was necessary to support themselves and their families and
                    then as now there were jobs available.

                    There is a long history of women in all types of craft and industry,
                    including printing, from this country's first settlements to the present
                    day. The vast majority of these women did not live in Park Ave.-type homes
                    and have afternoon tea before shopping at Macy's, as is so often portrayed
                    in books, on television and in the movies. Life for them and their male
                    partners often consisted of long hours of mere drudgery whether in a
                    factory, home workshop, or on a farm. Getting dirty and working hard were
                    the common denominators.

                    Rich

                    --
                    Richard Polinski
                    Front Room Press
                    Milford, NJ
                    http://frontroompress.com
                    http://frontroompress.blogspot.com


                    > I'm not sure that women would be allowed to get anywhere near the inky end
                    > of the job in a city newspaper printers in the 1870s. Perhaps making the
                    > bundles of papers up for collection and distribution - she'd get residual
                    > ink still wet from printing the paper on her hands, which she could
                    > incidentally wipe on her dress/bodice while smoothing it down, face while
                    > wiping a wisp of hair away, and suchlike.
                    >
                    > It would be quite heavy work for a mere woman, involving counting off
                    > newspapers to make the bundles up for distribution, cutting the string to
                    > tie the bundles, stepping back down a long workbench to collect the next
                    > bunch to take to the string end, so passing them on to a man who lifted
                    > the
                    > bundles (two at a time) from the workbench to take them to the waiting
                    > horse
                    > drawn waggon for taking to the newsboys who shouted them for sale at
                    > street
                    > corners, and the shops that redistributed them in the different localities
                    > of the city.
                    >
                    >
                    > Graham Moss
                    > Incline Press
                    > 36 Bow Street
                    > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                    >
                    > http://www.inclinepress.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On 31/1/10 03:03, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >> I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help
                    >> me...
                    >> My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at
                    >> the
                    >> city's newspaper.
                    >> I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large
                    >> newspaper like that would have used at that time.
                    >> Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get
                    >> very
                    >> inky through the course of her daily job.
                    >> Can someone please point me in the right direction?
                    >> Thank you.
                    >>
                    >> Anita Mae Draper.
                    >>
                    >> www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    --
                    Richard Polinski
                    Front Room Press
                    Milford, NJ
                    http://frontroompress.com
                    http://frontroompress.blogspot.com
                  • Graham Moss
                    Thanks for that Rich. I taught the history of industrialization for quite a few years, and was pleased to be able to directly address the enquiry in the terms
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                      Thanks for that Rich. I taught the history of industrialization for quite a
                      few years, and was pleased to be able to directly address the enquiry in
                      the terms that the enquirer set. Pre-civil war illustrations don¹t really
                      cut it when it come to St Louis in the 1870s, by which time sensibilities
                      had changed quite a lot, to be changed drastically again around the First
                      World War of course. The problem with the current enquiry is how the woman
                      might have got inky on the job. The life of a romantic novelist must be
                      quite difficult, unless they don¹t mind being laughed at of course. At
                      present I¹m working on doing the fact correcting for a short story for
                      another writer, set in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately trade magazines help a
                      lot.


                      Graham Moss
                      Incline Press
                      36 Bow Street
                      Oldham OL1 1SJ England

                      http://www.inclinepress.com








                      I can't speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle class
                      women had to work, especially before they were married, during the 19th
                      century as well as before and after that time. Clothing factories, textile
                      mills, and printing houses are but three examples. The post on my blog to
                      which I referred in my previous email shows a pre-Civil War illustration
                      of women working in a large printing house feeding cylinder presses, among
                      other things. Even when a woman was married and had to stay home with the
                      children she often did piece work with the children helping. Then as now
                      people did what was necessary to support themselves and their families and
                      then as now there were jobs available.

                      There is a long history of women in all types of craft and industry,
                      including printing, from this country's first settlements to the present
                      day. The vast majority of these women did not live in Park Ave.-type homes
                      and have afternoon tea before shopping at Macy's, as is so often portrayed
                      in books, on television and in the movies. Life for them and their male
                      partners often consisted of long hours of mere drudgery whether in a
                      factory, home workshop, or on a farm. Getting dirty and working hard were
                      the common denominators.

                      Rich

                      --






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Anita Draper
                      Wow! You certainly are a great bunch of people to get to know. Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions and gave me info. I now have a lot of places to
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                        Wow! You certainly are a great bunch of people to get to know. Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions and gave me info. I now have a lot of places to check out and websites to research.
                         
                        To answer Graham's question - the reason I wanted my heroine 'inky' is because:
                         
                        The last time she saw the Hero, an Outlaw, he was running from the law with a bullet in his shoulder. She doesn't know if he's dead or alive. He's not on good terms with his father who owns the newspaper, The St Louis Clarion (yes, I made it up). The heroine waits months at home but can't stand not knowing. So she goes to St Louis and takes the first job available at the Clarion. She's a cook with no newspaper experience. I could have her apply for a job in the food section of the paper, but that's so ... boring. I need to put her in a position where she'll do anything just to be near the Hero's family in case they hear word about the Hero. I want to show my heroine working long, messy hours just for a scrap of information on the man she loves.  
                        Because the hero is heir to a publishing empire, the Hero's father has to find the heroine in this grimy, menial position. Because then he knows she's not just a gold digger but truly loves his only son.
                         
                        And Graham - the readers would have laughed at me if I'd finished my ms without this research because what I have now is just my imagination:
                         
                        - she's working in the basement/pressroom and her job is cleaning the ink off pieces of equipment that's held the letters - I can't remember what they're called - so they can be re-used.
                         
                        Now that's funny, right? I have no basis for that - just an image in my mind.
                         
                        So I need to turn that image into fact.
                         
                        I suppose you're all nodding off now, eh?  If you're still reading, let me add this...
                         
                        I'm not telling you how this story ends but.... I also need info on the type of press needed by a one-man weekly newspaper operation in a small western town in Wyoming a few months later.
                         
                        Thanks again.
                         
                        Anita Mae.

                        www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                        www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com
                        www.twitter.com/anitamaedraper
                        www.inkwellinspirations.blogspot.com

                        --- On Sun, 1/31/10, Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...> wrote:


                        From: Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...>
                        Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Need historical information
                        To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                        Received: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 4:04 PM


                         



                        Thanks for that Rich. I taught the history of industrialization for quite a
                        few years, and was pleased to be able to directly address the enquiry in
                        the terms that the enquirer set. Pre-civil war illustrations don¹t really
                        cut it when it come to St Louis in the 1870s, by which time sensibilities
                        had changed quite a lot, to be changed drastically again around the First
                        World War of course. The problem with the current enquiry is how the woman
                        might have got inky on the job. The life of a romantic novelist must be
                        quite difficult, unless they don¹t mind being laughed at of course. At
                        present I¹m working on doing the fact correcting for a short story for
                        another writer, set in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately trade magazines help a
                        lot.

                        Graham Moss
                        Incline Press
                        36 Bow Street
                        Oldham OL1 1SJ England

                        http://www.inclinep ress.com

                        I can't speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle class
                        women had to work, especially before they were married, during the 19th
                        century as well as before and after that time. Clothing factories, textile
                        mills, and printing houses are but three examples. The post on my blog to
                        which I referred in my previous email shows a pre-Civil War illustration
                        of women working in a large printing house feeding cylinder presses, among
                        other things. Even when a woman was married and had to stay home with the
                        children she often did piece work with the children helping. Then as now
                        people did what was necessary to support themselves and their families and
                        then as now there were jobs available.

                        There is a long history of women in all types of craft and industry,
                        including printing, from this country's first settlements to the present
                        day. The vast majority of these women did not live in Park Ave.-type homes
                        and have afternoon tea before shopping at Macy's, as is so often portrayed
                        in books, on television and in the movies. Life for them and their male
                        partners often consisted of long hours of mere drudgery whether in a
                        factory, home workshop, or on a farm. Getting dirty and working hard were
                        the common denominators.

                        Rich

                        --

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









                        __________________________________________________________________
                        The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Scott Rubel
                        Anita: This is an article that will assure you that it is not far fetched for women to be involved in any part of the printing industry.
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                          Anita:

                          This is an article that will assure you that it is not far fetched
                          for women to be involved in any part of the printing industry.
                          http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/past_exhibits/women

                          If she's cleaning, she will probably get dirtier than she would if
                          she were actually printing. If she were doing this her position would
                          likely be referred to as a printers devil. These were assistants who
                          did the tasks that were a waste of time for business owners or higher
                          paid pressmen. She would be cleaning the rollers, ink plates, and the
                          type, and then she would probably be distributing the type back into
                          the drawers.

                          If you want to take her up a level, maybe she would be a compositor,
                          who would be setting the type by hand into the galleys that would
                          later be locked up into chases (the frames that hold the type in the
                          press). The smaller the business, the more functions she would serve.
                          In those days, compositors became editors of a sort, because if the
                          copy was too much for a space, she would have to choose copy to
                          remove. She wouldn't be called an editor, but that is the function in
                          many cases of a compositor.

                          I wonder if there ever was a "food section" in any newspapers in
                          1870s. I doubt it.

                          I would find it believable that she could even run a press.

                          You can stay fairly clean while working on presses if you're
                          diligent, but in a fast-paced factory situation you could become
                          blackened by end of day.

                          Even though women were not considered fairly under the laws in
                          America, the practicalities of living in the West, especially during
                          and after the Civil War, made "mens work" more available to women. In
                          Wyoming Territory (not a state yet until 1890) she had the right to
                          vote.

                          I hope that she manages to clean up and look presentable to the
                          outlaw, but as soon as he marries her, she will be expected to get
                          back to her traditional Victorian role and take care of home and
                          children.

                          --Scott

                          On Jan 31, 2010, at 5:04 PM, Anita Draper wrote:

                          > Wow! You certainly are a great bunch of people to get to know.
                          > Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions and gave me info. I
                          > now have a lot of places to check out and websites to research.
                          >
                          > To answer Graham's question - the reason I wanted my heroine 'inky'
                          > is because:
                          >
                          > The last time she saw the Hero, an Outlaw, he was running from the
                          > law with a bullet in his shoulder. She doesn't know if he's dead or
                          > alive. He's not on good terms with his father who owns the
                          > newspaper, The St Louis Clarion (yes, I made it up). The heroine
                          > waits months at home but can't stand not knowing. So she goes to St
                          > Louis and takes the first job available at the Clarion. She's a
                          > cook with no newspaper experience. I could have her apply for a job
                          > in the food section of the paper, but that's so ... boring. I need
                          > to put her in a position where she'll do anything just to be near
                          > the Hero's family in case they hear word about the Hero. I want to
                          > show my heroine working long, messy hours just for a scrap of
                          > information on the man she loves.
                          > Because the hero is heir to a publishing empire, the Hero's father
                          > has to find the heroine in this grimy, menial position. Because
                          > then he knows she's not just a gold digger but truly loves his only
                          > son.
                          >
                          > And Graham - the readers would have laughed at me if I'd finished
                          > my ms without this research because what I have now is just my
                          > imagination:
                          >
                          > - she's working in the basement/pressroom and her job is cleaning
                          > the ink off pieces of equipment that's held the letters - I can't
                          > remember what they're called - so they can be re-used.
                          >
                          > Now that's funny, right? I have no basis for that - just an image
                          > in my mind.
                          >
                          > So I need to turn that image into fact.
                          >
                          > I suppose you're all nodding off now, eh? If you're still reading,
                          > let me add this...
                          >
                          > I'm not telling you how this story ends but.... I also need info on
                          > the type of press needed by a one-man weekly newspaper operation in
                          > a small western town in Wyoming a few months later.
                          >
                          > Thanks again.
                          >
                          > Anita Mae.
                          >
                          > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                          > www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com
                          > www.twitter.com/anitamaedraper
                          > www.inkwellinspirations.blogspot.com
                          >
                          > --- On Sun, 1/31/10, Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...>
                          > wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > From: Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...>
                          > Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Need historical information
                          > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                          > Received: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 4:04 PM
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Thanks for that Rich. I taught the history of industrialization for
                          > quite a
                          > few years, and was pleased to be able to directly address the
                          > enquiry in
                          > the terms that the enquirer set. Pre-civil war illustrations don¹t
                          > really
                          > cut it when it come to St Louis in the 1870s, by which time
                          > sensibilities
                          > had changed quite a lot, to be changed drastically again around the
                          > First
                          > World War of course. The problem with the current enquiry is how
                          > the woman
                          > might have got inky on the job. The life of a romantic novelist
                          > must be
                          > quite difficult, unless they don¹t mind being laughed at of course. At
                          > present I¹m working on doing the fact correcting for a short story for
                          > another writer, set in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately trade
                          > magazines help a
                          > lot.
                          >
                          > Graham Moss
                          > Incline Press
                          > 36 Bow Street
                          > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                          >
                          > http://www.inclinep ress.com
                          >
                          > I can't speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle
                          > class
                          > women had to work, especially before they were married, during the
                          > 19th
                          > century as well as before and after that time. Clothing factories,
                          > textile
                          > mills, and printing houses are but three examples. The post on my
                          > blog to
                          > which I referred in my previous email shows a pre-Civil War
                          > illustration
                          > of women working in a large printing house feeding cylinder
                          > presses, among
                          > other things. Even when a woman was married and had to stay home
                          > with the
                          > children she often did piece work with the children helping. Then
                          > as now
                          > people did what was necessary to support themselves and their
                          > families and
                          > then as now there were jobs available.
                          >
                          > There is a long history of women in all types of craft and industry,
                          > including printing, from this country's first settlements to the
                          > present
                          > day. The vast majority of these women did not live in Park Ave.-
                          > type homes
                          > and have afternoon tea before shopping at Macy's, as is so often
                          > portrayed
                          > in books, on television and in the movies. Life for them and their
                          > male
                          > partners often consisted of long hours of mere drudgery whether in a
                          > factory, home workshop, or on a farm. Getting dirty and working
                          > hard were
                          > the common denominators.
                          >
                          > Rich
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                        • checkscher
                          A few years ago I printed a little vignette about type rubbers -- a term applied to a small, but important class of female operatives . It s from New York in
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                            A few years ago I printed a little vignette about type rubbers -- a term "applied to a small, but important class of female operatives". It's from New York in the 1850s, but I suppose conditions would have been similar in the situation you write about. You can access a scan at www.heckscher.us/Transfer/The Type Rubber.pdf (capitalization important)

                            Charles Heckscher


                            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I'm a historical romance writer and I'm hoping someone here can help me...
                            > My novel is set in 1879 St. Louis, MO. My heroine gets a job working at the city's newspaper.
                            > I can't seem to find any info on the type of printing equipment a large newspaper like that would have used at that time.
                            > Specifically, I need to find my heroine a menial job where she'll get very inky through the course of her daily job.
                            > Can someone please point me in the right direction?
                            > Thank you.
                            >
                            > Anita Mae Draper.
                            >
                            > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                            >
                          • author50401
                            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
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                              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. Those printed galleys just had to get ink on the fingers which could transfer tot he face, hair, etc. as previously mentioned.

                              Proofreading was one area of the shop which would often find a woman in place.



                              --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Anita Draper <anitamaedraper@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Wow! You certainly are a great bunch of people to get to know. Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions and gave me info. I now have a lot of places to check out and websites to research.
                              >  
                              > To answer Graham's question - the reason I wanted my heroine 'inky' is because:
                              >  
                              > The last time she saw the Hero, an Outlaw, he was running from the law with a bullet in his shoulder. She doesn't know if he's dead or alive. He's not on good terms with his father who owns the newspaper, The St Louis Clarion (yes, I made it up). The heroine waits months at home but can't stand not knowing. So she goes to St Louis and takes the first job available at the Clarion. She's a cook with no newspaper experience. I could have her apply for a job in the food section of the paper, but that's so ... boring. I need to put her in a position where she'll do anything just to be near the Hero's family in case they hear word about the Hero. I want to show my heroine working long, messy hours just for a scrap of information on the man she loves.  
                              > Because the hero is heir to a publishing empire, the Hero's father has to find the heroine in this grimy, menial position. Because then he knows she's not just a gold digger but truly loves his only son.
                              >  
                              > And Graham - the readers would have laughed at me if I'd finished my ms without this research because what I have now is just my imagination:
                              >  
                              > - she's working in the basement/pressroom and her job is cleaning the ink off pieces of equipment that's held the letters - I can't remember what they're called - so they can be re-used.
                              >  
                              > Now that's funny, right? I have no basis for that - just an image in my mind.
                              >  
                              > So I need to turn that image into fact.
                              >  
                              > I suppose you're all nodding off now, eh?  If you're still reading, let me add this...
                              >  
                              > I'm not telling you how this story ends but.... I also need info on the type of press needed by a one-man weekly newspaper operation in a small western town in Wyoming a few months later.
                              >  
                              > Thanks again.
                              >  
                              > Anita Mae.
                              >
                              > www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
                              > www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com
                              > www.twitter.com/anitamaedraper
                              > www.inkwellinspirations.blogspot.com
                              >
                              > --- On Sun, 1/31/10, Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > From: Graham Moss <books.inclinepress@...>
                              > Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Need historical information
                              > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                              > Received: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 4:04 PM
                              >
                              >
                              >  
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Thanks for that Rich. I taught the history of industrialization for quite a
                              > few years, and was pleased to be able to directly address the enquiry in
                              > the terms that the enquirer set. Pre-civil war illustrations don¹t really
                              > cut it when it come to St Louis in the 1870s, by which time sensibilities
                              > had changed quite a lot, to be changed drastically again around the First
                              > World War of course. The problem with the current enquiry is how the woman
                              > might have got inky on the job. The life of a romantic novelist must be
                              > quite difficult, unless they don¹t mind being laughed at of course. At
                              > present I¹m working on doing the fact correcting for a short story for
                              > another writer, set in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately trade magazines help a
                              > lot.
                              >
                              > Graham Moss
                              > Incline Press
                              > 36 Bow Street
                              > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                              >
                              > http://www.inclinep ress.com
                              >
                              > I can't speak for the UK, but in the US many lower and some middle class
                              > women had to work, especially before they were married, during the 19th
                              > century as well as before and after that time. Clothing factories, textile
                              > mills, and printing houses are but three examples. The post on my blog to
                              > which I referred in my previous email shows a pre-Civil War illustration
                              > of women working in a large printing house feeding cylinder presses, among
                              > other things. Even when a woman was married and had to stay home with the
                              > children she often did piece work with the children helping. Then as now
                              > people did what was necessary to support themselves and their families and
                              > then as now there were jobs available.
                              >
                              > There is a long history of women in all types of craft and industry,
                              > including printing, from this country's first settlements to the present
                              > day. The vast majority of these women did not live in Park Ave.-type homes
                              > and have afternoon tea before shopping at Macy's, as is so often portrayed
                              > in books, on television and in the movies. Life for them and their male
                              > partners often consisted of long hours of mere drudgery whether in a
                              > factory, home workshop, or on a farm. Getting dirty and working hard were
                              > the common denominators.
                              >
                              > Rich
                              >
                              > --
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • Eric
                              ... 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
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                --- 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
                              • David Goodrich
                                Intrigued by the discussion, I looked over old issues of Printing History and found in Volume 1 Number 1 a review of a book titled Notes on Woman Printers in
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                  Intrigued by the discussion, I looked over old issues of Printing History
                                  and found in Volume 1 Number 1 a review of a book titled "Notes on Woman
                                  Printers in colonial America and the United States 1639-1975" by Marjorie
                                  Dana Barlow (Charlottesville (Virginia), 1976). According to the review,
                                  the book is organized by state and identifies 228 woman printers of whom 150
                                  were in the 20th century. The review also refers to an earlier book, "Women
                                  as Printers" by Lois Rather (1970). You could check these books for more
                                  information.

                                  Perhaps more to the point would be an article in Printing History 35 (Volume
                                  XVIII, Number 1) titled "Strategies of Shopfloor Inclusion: The Gender
                                  Politics of Augusta Lewis and Women's Typographical Union No. 1, 1868-1872."
                                  Lewis was working as a typesetter at the New York World in 1868. Apparently
                                  women working in newspaper printing was common enough for them to form a
                                  union. The World began hiring women typesetters in 1865 and by 1868 had
                                  hired 100.

                                  There doesn't seem to be any reason your heroine could not have found
                                  employment in a newspaper print shop in 1879.

                                  You should also know that cleaning type was performed in a large tray where
                                  the type was washed down with a solution called "ley" which is actually
                                  mainly lie.

                                  David Goodrich


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                                • bielerpr
                                  Hi David I think the recent spelling is lye. And still the best solution for making that metal type shine like new. A bit nasty though, eats flesh, and not
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                    Hi David

                                    I think the recent spelling is lye. And still the best solution for making that metal type shine like new. A bit nasty though, eats flesh, and not aluminum friendly either (literally explosive in an aluminum pan). Those color crystals in Drano are aluminum (mixed with lye); the bubbling reaction is to make the consumer think the stuff is actually working. Household Lye (without the aluminum mini-bombs) is available in many grocery stores. It is also useful for ridding type of oxidation (but, unfortunately, not the corrosive effects of).

                                    Gerald


                                    >
                                    > You should also know that cleaning type was performed in a large tray where
                                    > the type was washed down with a solution called "ley" which is actually
                                    > mainly lie.
                                    >
                                    > David Goodrich
                                    >
                                  • David Goodrich
                                    Gerald, I agree that lye is the modern name but ley is the historic term that would have been used in 1879. See MacKellar s The American Printer , pgs
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Feb 2, 2010
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                                      Gerald,
                                      I agree that lye is the modern name but "ley" is the historic term that
                                      would have been used in 1879. See MacKellar's "The American Printer", pgs
                                      264-5. According to this, the pressman was responsible for washing the form
                                      after printing so our heroine would not have had a special position for this
                                      duty. But distributing the type afterwards sounds like a perfect job for a
                                      novice.
                                      David


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