True to Type: Running America’s Last Linotype Newspaper

True to Type: Running America’s Last Linotype Newspaper


– This is a one-man operation. I do the whole thing myself. The Saguache Crescent is
the last hot-metal newspaper in the United States. And probably about anywhere. (languid music) My family purchased the newspaper in 1917. It’s just what we’ve always done. You know, it’s either stay in it or get out, and it’s easier to stay
in than get out actually. I’ve been working here
since I was 12 years old. I’ve been publisher for 37 years. The linotype that I use to set the text for the newspaper we
bought brand new in 1921. I have about 440 subscribers. I print about 530 papers. We’ve put in anything that
people want to announce. You know, anything that’s going on. A lot of times it’s an obituary. (hammer taps) All right. (languid music) I’ve just maintained the
traditional printing method at The Crescent simply because there hasn’t been any reason to change. I’m not old enough for it to
have completely worn me out. I’ve just been able to
just go on week to week. The future of the paper is that it’ll be put out
next week I’m pretty sure. Probably a week after that, and, it could be 20 years, it could be two years. I don’t know. I think I’m as amazed
about it as most people.

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25 thoughts on “True to Type: Running America’s Last Linotype Newspaper”

  • My husband was the last Linotype [intertype] apprentice mechanic at The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia. His mechanical skills are amazing, and can be transferred to motor vehicles, sewing machines etc. He is currently a locomotive train driver [railway engineer]

    He would love to volunteer and maintain an Intertype C4 for a weekly broadsheet like The Saguache Crescent but alas it will be in his dreams..

  • Robert Grant King says:

    I operated Linotypes and Intertypes since I was in high school and then until I had my last job on my own Intertype which was donated to me by the publisher of the Waukegan Sun (Illinois) This machine was housed at a Boy Scout camp in Northern Wisconsin. I used it for several years to publish promotional literature for the camp. After leaving the Camp which I was Administrator and Ranger (winter months) I put the machine in storage, along with other "hot type" machines and materials. After several years of absence, my wife decided that she needed the space for her operation of the bakery and gave away all the printing equipment FOR SCRAP!!!! including the Intertype! GONE TO BE SEEN NO MORE! I could have cried!!!

  • foolish_ carpenter says:

    I like how a lot of their stories are about people who are the last of their craft and keep it up despite the times.

  • That linotype is almost 100 years old. It must have been nice when people cared about building things that could last more than 3-4 years before completely breaking down and becoming irreparable.

  • It's a beautiful machine. The man looks a little sad… poor guy. If he needs, I could take over.

    If he hires people who are basically still toddlers

  • Teodoro Cervantes-Leon says:

    When printing involved that much work, what was printed became important. Had to say more with fewer words. And it needed to be something important. Digitization has polluted communication in many ways, as much as it has enabled easy communication.

  • As a teenager, I set type on a composing stick and ran job presses.  I was a lino operator from 1958 to 1980, when my company switched to computers.  I learned the typewriter keyboard, and did page make-up on the computer, but it was never the same as getting my hands dirty

  • CaptainStarkiller says:

    That machine looks beautiful, kinda reminds me of the old school sewing machine my grandmother had with all the crank and wheels.

  • Alexander Zhizhko says:

    Amazing!
    I think he can make some kind of paid experience, where people can participate in this process, if he wants.
    I would definitely pay for such experience.

  • Well this is very cool. My dad just passed yesterday. The world is one less linotype operator. He did this for 20+ years , in Canada then for 15 so me years at the Chronicle – Examiner in San Francisco. I remember visiting the newspaper in the late 1960s as a 8-9 year old kid. It was a noisy, hot , scary place with gruff older men. I know he toiled away on graveyard shift night after night after night. I wish I could have taken him to see this little newspaper before he passed…. Thanks for posting…

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