Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cub Pack Tours The Clarion... So Watch Out For The Ink!

                                      October 1968
  EDITOR: Hello fellows. It’s nice to have members of Cub Pack 342 here to tour The Clarion and find out how a weekly newspaper operates. There’s one thing that I ask. Stick close together so you don’t get close to the presses and please don’t get your fingers in the ink.
  CUB: Where can I get a drink of water?
  DEN MOTHER: There will be no drinks of water necessary right now.
  EDITOR: Fine. Now if you will notice on the front page of our issue this week you will see that this is Volume 70, Number 52. This means that we are 70 years old this week. The Clarion was started in 1898 by Charles S. Seed, carried on by his son, Earl M. Seed and is now published by his grandson, Charles Seed, making it one of the oldest businesses in Rochester under the same family ownership.
  ALL: Wow! That’s old!
  EDITOR: We get our news by reporters talking with people on the phone or in person. We also attend many meetings, such as the city council or school board to obtain news. Many organizations cooperate by sending in their news by mail or bringing it into the office. Over here is where we put together the type that make up our advertisements. The ten cents you pay for the newspaper hardly pays for the paper that goes that goes into this issue., so we must sell advertising space to the merchants.
  Now come into what we call the back shop and please stay together boys. Over here are what we call job presses. We do many other types of printing here besides the newspapers, such as programs, brochures, envelopes and signs. They are printed on these smaller presses.
  CUB: Mister. How can I get this ink off my hand?
  EDITOR: In five years you'll hardly notice it. Now over here is a machine known as the Linotype. Before it was invented, each letter had to be set by hand. But the Linotype uses the keyboard which sends a group of little molds into place— one for each letter typed on the keyboard. When one line of type is completed, hot lead rushes in, forms the line of type. After it cools, it comes out down there. Watch closely and you’ll see it come out. There!
  NUMEROUS CUBS: I didn’t see anything.
  EDITOR: Over here is the Ludlow machine where the headlines are made.
  DEN MOTHER: Freddy, get away from that drinking fountain. We’ll all get our drinks later.
  EDITOR: And here the advertisements and the stories, now in type, are placed in forms to make up the pages.
  CUB: Mister. Why don’t you have any funnies?
  EDITOR: Well, we leave that job up to the daily newspapers. We are mainly interested in what is happening in our own town… Now over here is the engraving machine where the metal plates are made from which the pictures are printed.
  CUB: My sister had her picture in your paper once when she got engaged.
  EDITOR: So now she’s married?
  CUB: No. She’s engaged to another guy now. Will you run her picture again?
  EDITOR: Ahem. We’ll have to look into that… Now back here is our newspaper press. It prints up to eight pages at a time. Since we print two or three sections a week, the sections must be stuffed inside one another by hand.
  CUB: I was at the Detroit News once and THEIR press is a lot bigger than YOURS.
  EDITOR: That's a keen observation young fellow. They happen to print a half million papers every day but we only need a press to print only 7,000 a week. But did you know that for the past six months the circulation of The Clarion is more than that of the Free Press and Detroit News combined?
  CUBS: No response.
  EDITOR: That is supposed to be a little joke, you know, because there haven't been any newspapers printed in Detroit in six months because of the strike.
  CUB: Not a very funny joke.
  EDITOR: I guess you're right. Now sitting here is a huge roll of what we call newspriint. It's what we load into the press to print the newspaper on. Most of our newsprint comes from Canada and one roll weights 1,200 pounds. Any questions?
  CUB: Yeah. Why do you have girls runniing those Linotype machines. If I owned a newspaper I wouldn't want any girls around.
  EDITOR: Women make very good machine operators, sometimes better than men. In fact, women could do any of these jobs well.
  NUMEROUS CUBS: Aaach. We hate girls.
  Cub: What would happen if I fell into that barrel of ink there?
  EDITOR: I would take your picture and run it right on the front page. You want to try?
  CUB: Why are those men standing over there drinking coffee instead of working?
  EDITOR: Next question... If there are no more, this will end our tour. Thank you for coming. The door is right over there.
  DEN MOTHER: Everyone say, "thank you" to the editor.
  ALL CUBs: Thank you Mister Editor.
  ANOTHER CUB: (to the editor as they go out the door.) Happy 70th birthday, Mr Editor. You don't look like 70.
  EDITOR: Thank you son... but I'm getting there awful fast!