Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!


The third in a series of stories sent in by Greg Fischer (aka Linofish).

Says Greg: "All the incidents happened at the Trenton NJ Trentonian, between 1958 and 1965. This was at the old Front Street building. In 1965, we moved to a brand new plant with a new Hoe Colormatic letterpress. Much improved from the old building which was said to be used at one time by the Mercer Automoble Company.

Greg has previously supplied Metal Type with a large selection of Letterpress Limericks.

THEY used to repig the Lino metal early every morning and had an ancient gas fired furnace and a four over four water cooled flip mould on the second floor.

Well, one day I arrived for work and there was great consternation and confusion around the furnace, which was right in the composing room.

Seems that during the re-pigging session, something happened to the control valve in the pot and the metal flow couldn't be shut off.

It was said that everyone was frantically looking around for any kind of container to catch it in, but it ran all over the floor and some seeped thru a crack which resulted in a shiny typemetal stalactite hovering over the press downstairs.

We pried and broke up what we could and then they called a welder in with a torch to melt off the metal from all around the furnace and moulds.

To add insult to injury, Public Service Gas came in to check out the burner and the serviceman took one look, hung a big red "CONDEMNED" tag on it, shut off the gas supply and walked out shaking his head and mumbling to himself.

They got a plumber and he had to repipe the whole thing and install some kind of a valve before PS declared it fit for duty.

Worst part was, that night they cast pigs in the old iron single moulds downstairs in the stereo department and I had to carry them up!

Copyright © Dave Hughes 2000-2015. All rights reserved.