If you've every had cause to complain about your word processor, consider what workers at the New York Times had to go through to print a newspaper in 1978, as shown in this 29-minute movie (via John Chisholm). Columns were typeset by arranging metal letters using a special machine, and column-justification was achieved with wedge-shaped inserts that spread the words across the column. Pages were laid out by moving the metal units around by hand, as a page editor scrutinized the layout in reverse and upside down. The print room was so noisy, that many of the workers were deaf and communicated by sign language. Lots and lots of molten lead was involved.
In 1978, this hot-type typesetting process was replaced by a computerized system that printed columns on paper instead as metal negatives, but even then the layout process still involved literal cutting and pasting with letters and glue! Makes Control-C, Control-V seem like the lap of luxury!
That's all from us for this week. Have a great weekend; we'll be back on Monday. See you then!