Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learn Something New Every Day

When I worked for the newspaper back in 1973 I had an old Royal manual typewriter with box of yellow paper that was one continuous piece from beginning to end. I considered this when I worked there wondering why we didn't use the regular white typing paper. Even though I don't consider myself the sharpest tool in the elevator, I figured out why all by myself.
After typing a short story, I would type the word END. I then then pulled on the top of the story and ripped the story off the old typewriter along with a few inches below the bottom. I then put the in the tray for the typesetters. If the story was longer, it would be typed on one continuous piece of yellow paper and then the story was handled like the short one.
Back then, all the words in the newspaper had to be retyped by a typesetter and printed on a special paper that you could then past onto template pages of the newspaper. These template pages would then be carried to a room where a special camera would take a picture of the finished page.
Then there was some kind of magic that took place in order to put the finished pages on the printing press and the end result was the newspaper that everyone read the next Wednesday (we were a weekly paper).
The reason they didn't use individual pieces of paper, is that it would have been a nightmare for the typesetters. If a stack of stories got dropped it would take forever to sort through all the pieces and put the pages of the long stories in order. Typing them on on long sheet solved this problem.
See there, who said reading Life 101 wasn't educational?

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