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The Printing Business

The Printing Business image
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As wo 8at in our sancium tho olher doy, ruminating on the close of the present volume of the Signal, nntl debating in our mind wnether we üliould erase llic nnmesofall dotinq icnts of iwo yeais standiu froni our books, or wheiher we should conient oursel'-ws wiih a pp] i te dun. nnd trust ihcni for another yenr, wc feil into a irnm of ihoúgbtan ilio cunituon neglcct "to pny tbc printer," und began lo investígate tho cause. We found. upon exatuination, tbat '.bis ncgW:ci was owing in part toan igiiorance of the nature of the printing business, oiul to erroncous cönceptions of ts profiis. Wc hiové been nssurcd thal thcre are irinny ibousnnds in tliis Stnte oí both Ecxes, of adult years, w'no werc never n a printing otTice. and who supposc tliat ibe pnpcr ihey read cvery week is published by some sort of magie or algbt of hand. involving linio or no labor and expense. Ilcnce tbcy do not foei their obligation to pay the printer to be as graai as i is to pny the baker or butchtr; and hénc.0 the printer is paid lust, or no' at all. Now we havt thought that if wc could intiodu:e our subscri bers inio our ofiice. and show them the aclun sta'.e oftlie case, thcy would have more fello fceling for us, and more sensc of their own duly With the hope of bctter ncquainteancc wuli ou subscribers, and thereby increrising our mutun regard for each olher, we propose to take thos of ihem wlo are strangers to the priniing business, in imaginntion iltrongh our little establishment, that thcy may judge for thcmselvcs whether thcy, in our öiiuation could live without rcceiving tlieir ducs. All othera inny oinit the reniaiuder of ihis article.Come sir, and you madnm, wc must go up these two pair of stairs. Printers have h'gh nolimip, nnd commonly lócate for abovc their fcllow mcn,partly because their busniess will aöniit of it, nnd pnrily because thc rentsare cheaper. Mowever, wc must pay for an office tij this third story $40 or $50 a year. Thai is expense number one, to begin with. But walk in. Ilere is n presa, ñ ty cases of type, and all thc requisite fixings. Tiloso cost sometliing! Any tilingo! an establishment will cost from $G00 to 1000. and the type will wenr out in a lew ycars and must be renewcd. Tho interest on ihis. including depreciation by use, is not lcss thah $'00 a year. But let us sec wliat is going on. Tho paper is nearly ready lo come out. ílere are two men stan'ding before :hc case. Ench case contains 98 boxes, or apartments, cach letter, figure, interrogation, comma, fcc. hoving an apartment of i is own. These men are callcd compositnrs. Thcy are putting together the latcst neivs, letter by letter, with little blocks between each word callcd spaecs. l.-ook at that compositor. Jle holds a metallic box in his hand callcd o stick. IJow fast he puts in the letters, all riyht sidc up, and right end up! That stick is j is' the widih of the column in the newspaper. When bis stick gets full, ho taies out the type, and places them on o piece of board called a galtcy. Hcre is a string of ype tivo columns long. Ench compositor in setting, makes at least 15.000 inotions of his right arm in a day. But now their boxes ave empty. and they begin to distrVmtc. Thcy t.ike a lnrge handful of the old matter used in 'Inlast paper, and distribute every letter, figure ani spaco, capital letters, 'roman, or itnüc, each in its proper box, till it bc fi'lcd. Thpn they resume thcir composition again, taking ovtoi the buxey, and combining together. These types are thus separated aud combined ogain anri ognin. inïll possible ways,lill they nre worn out. A fuunt )f type, n its time, tells a vast number of very üuaimilar 8torios. When worn out, they will De sent back to the toundry to be mched again. and made anew. Now, sir. just observe, that these two men cannot aflbrd to worl; hcre 313 days eacb without wages. They must have breakfast, dinncrandeupper every day, nnd lodging every night, clothes to wear, and cash for spending money and (he doctor' s biil. Where bhall they get moncy but iroin the publiehcr: and whcre shall he get t but from liia subscribe:? Rut here is the foreman. He is just ready to makt t p- that is, he is about to place the matter for the pnper in ihc order in whicli yon will see itnextwock. He places that square iron frame. called a chnsc, two feet by ihree, on that srnooth 8tonc, and plaeos the type insido, so that, when tillcd, ho enn drive wedges, and fasten theni in. and move tliem to any part of the ofllce. First hc brings on the editorial hcad, and places n Iüiij; leading article under it. Then unother aiH anoiher till they are all oxhausted. Then come the Legislativo and Congrcssional newp. The last Foreign News must also have a place. - j Then inserí the items of General Intelligenco of all kinds. But hold: save room cnough for nll the advertisements; for we get o little for them though the subscribers fail. Put in tho Rcceipts, (how short the list is,) and also the Marriages and Deaths, that the femnle world may not be disappointed. And here is o list of nolices, reügious, political, literarj, and of evnry other sort. All of these the printer is expected to publish gratis,ahhough t muy sometimos cost him n dollar a week to put theni in type. Pay in'lced! saye Mr. Poüticinn, or Mr. Professor : what n incan spirited fcllow, to think of asking pay for insertinga notice purely ior the public accommodation 1 Uut the forenian hns just fin6hcd making up. and has driven the wedges so as lo lock vp all ihe type safely in the iron chssc. He placea ihc forvis on the presa, and calis on Bill 10 get up the roller. Thut black eyed boy, with lus face all over smuttcd with ink. ma'am, is known the World through as the derü. That has been lus designation since the days of Dr. Fnuitus, the first prnterof Bibles. Very frequcntly his acts show that hc is rightly named. Bill gets up the roller, a composition oí glue and molasses, (that costs nioney) nnd put on the ink. (Our ink bilí is $40 a year.) This roller, after bcing turned with o crank to disribu;e the ink alike to nll paits, is rolled over the type, and being soft and elastte, it touches evciy letter., leaving on it n sufikiency of ink ;o print the paper. The press man spreads on a sheet, and pulls the press unon it, the pressure on each sheet being equal to the weight of sevcral tons. Bill is deepalchcd with iho proofto the Editor with nllhastc. Hc cuts it into slips, pastes on to whit paper, puts on his spcctacles. itrcads it nll through. letter by letter, and co mm a by comma, marking every error on the margin. In ench column oro at k-ost 8,000 pieces oí metal or 224,000 in the whole paper. Any of these out of thcir proper place, will make an error. Henee the wonder is, that thore are errors n papers, but that they aro so ew. Bul Bill hns come back with the proof, nnd each compositor is now at work concciing his errors - a very landable employment! But anothcr prooi mu6t be taken that the Editor niay examine and eee if the errors aro rightly correeted: for, as in other offairsof lile, it is possible, in correcting one error, to make another and greater onc. But now the recise is finished, and the pressman is preparing to work off the papers. Do you ece that pile oí paper, as large a two men can lift ? Thcre aro ncarly 2,000 sheets in it.-'hese are not to be hnd for nothing. Paper is Cah; and thc pubüsher hasjustpaid Fifteen Ddars n caeh for K- about $800 a year, tfcet must o had: for the newspnper must come out at all vents. To fail cr single wcek would disnppoint I housands: antl U ísíl Jrcqxtwithj would destroy ■ all coníñience ín thc paper. Henee the printer - s in she posilion ifl whidrRev. J. P. Cleveland wished the politicians might beplnced-he must 'atninl up to the rack. fodder or no fodder," and get oui the pnper ín scason, whether he have any nenns of doing it, br n-t. Bul hore is the girl carrying oíf ihe pnpers lo a fojding rnom. It will lake her more titán a day 0 finish ihoni all. and work hard. She cannot work for nothing, rcmember! There 3 a boy fulding to qarry ihrough thc village. He must linvc a quarler every wee!;, which is more than the 1 1 .ves on a good fartu. There is thc clerk preparing to nuil the papera lie rnust have at least a dollar a week, or $52 a year. See whnt a pile óf wrnpping paper he cuts up into different bizes forenvulpes for packnges. (Thnt paper Coate $17 a yenr.) He eecurcstlic pnckage with pnste, (even (hal costs aomething: for it is made of the best superfino flour, wlnch wc buy by thc pnilful.) The larger packagea, of 25 or 30 papers earh, are lied with twine, which costs us ina year as muchas two or three new lints. - The mail. when ready for the post office, will ■ nr.kcsix or seven bushels, which we put into thrce bngs, (thcy cost a trifle) and send them to tiie office. This is to be done 52 limes a year. and this coets us $6,50.Thu?, yon sce, good friends, ihnt thcrc is noiliing done in n printing office without pny. - Not a type is act or distributed. or a paper foldcd, without compcnsation to those who do it. But you ask if the business is not profitoblc T Where can yon find a wealihy, printer, unlcss at the onts of Government, whcre they gormnndize out of ihe public trensury? VVhn' business can bc nameil in which therc arr more fiilurcs than in puLüshing? But as you hnve now been thro' the office, niakea cast for yourself on the profi'.s of the business. Hcre are the data: Reckipts. Froni Job work and Advertieing, one yenr $4C0 Li ]800subscribers, deductingngenlB fees, losses by deaths, insolvencies, runaway. errors. &c. - 1.13 ca ch 2,025 $2,425Leaving just thirtynine dollars clenr annual profit to tho publislurs ! Dut our story is long enougli for ihis week: and wc will not cnlr.rge furiher, nswe think ilie morul of it cap not bc mistaken !