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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
JAM ES J. D A V IS, S ecreta ry

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
E T H E L B E R T S T E W A R T , C o m m is s io n e r

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STA TE S)
fcT
BUREAU OF L AB O R S T A T IS T IC S f ................... llOe
P R O D U C T I V I T Y

OF

LABOR

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR
IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING




MARCH, 1929

U N ITE D STA TE S
G O V E R N M E N T P R IN T IN G OFF IC E
W A S H IN G T O N : 1929

^71-

Htl D




ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This bulletin was prepared by S. Kjaer,
of the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics

CONTENTS
C hapter 1.— Summary:
Page
Trend in labor productivity and labor cost, 1896 to 1926______ _____
2 -8
Composition, stereotyping, and presswork com bined____________
2-4
Com position_____________________________________________________
4-6
Stereotyping_____________________________________________________
6, 7
Presswork________________________________________________________
7, 8
8-10
Variations in productivity and labor cost between establishments___
Com position___________________________________________________ _
8, 9
Stereotyping________________________________________ , ____________ 9, 10
_
Presswork________________________________________________________
10
Trend of employm ent________________________________________________ 10-12
Development of processes____________________________________________ 12, 13
Development of the industry_________________________________________ 13, 14
C hapter 2.— Productivity and labor cost in 1916 and 1926:
Importance of clock-time production_________________________________
15
Comparison of productivity in a representative newspaper establish­
ment in 1916 and 1926_____________________________________________ 15-21
Com position_____________________________________________________ 16, 17
Stereotyping_____________________________________________________ 17, 18
Presswork________________________________________________________ 18, 19
Combined processes_____________________________________________
19
Relation of processes to total output____________________________ 19-21
M odern average production__________________________________________ 21, 22
Union wage rates in the United States_______________________________
22
Comparison of labor cost in a representative newspaper establish­
ment in 1916 and 1926_____________________________________________ 22-25
Actual labor costs and union wage rates_________________________
22
Com position_____________________________________________________ 22, 23
Stereotyping_____________________________________________________
23
Presswork________________________________________________________
24
Combined processes_____________________________________________ 24, 25
M odern average labor costs__________________________________________ 25, 26
C hapter 3.— Productivity and labor cost in 1926 as compared with 1896:
Productivity and labor cost in composing room s_____________________ 27-30
Average production of machine operators in a representative
composing room during 1926__________________________________
27
Comparison of man-hours and labor cost for machine operators in
representative composing rooms in 1896, 1916, and 1926_____ 27-30
Productivity and labor cost in pressrooms_____________ ______________ 30-32
Comparison of man-hours and labor cost for presswork in a repre­
sentative pressroom in 1896 and 1926_________________________ 30-32
C hapter 4.— D evelopm ent of com position:
Hand com position____________________________________________________ 33-38
Type setting before 1850________________________________ ________
33
Size and measurement of com position___________________________ 33, 34
Type arrangement of newspapers________________________________ 34, 35
Records of production ___________________________________________ 35, 36
Labor cost and working conditions_________________ _____________36-38
Type founding___________________ ____________________________________ 38, 39
Typesetting machines________________________________________________ 39-42
Early inventions_________________________________________________ 39, 40
Empire composing machine______________________________________
40
Thorne composing machine______________________________________
40
M cM illan composing m achine___________________________________
41
Paige composing m achine________________________________________
41
Other composing machines______________________________________ 41, 42
The Linotype_________________________________________________________ 42-44
The Intertype________________________________________________________
44




hi

IV

CONTENTS

C hapter 4— Continued.
Page.
Line-casting machine operation______________________________________ 44, 45
Operators________________________________________________________ 44, 45
M achinists----------------------------------------------------------------------------------45
Production on line-casting m achines_________________________________ 45-54
Minimum standard of com petency______________________________ 46-50
Average production records______________________________________ 50-52
Effect of improvements in machines and in shop conditions_____52, 53
Speed production records________________________________________
54
Nondistribution_______________________________________________________ 54, 55
The M onotype________________________________________________________55, 56
M onotype operation__________________________________________________ 56, 57
Production on M onotype machines___________________________________ 57, 58
The keyboard____________________________________________________ 57, 58
The casting machine_____________________________________________
58
The Ludlow Typograph______________________________________________ 58, 59
Other machines_______________________________________________________59, 60
The Linograph___________________________________________________
59
Thompson type, lead, and rule caster___________________________
59
Elrod slug caster_________________________________________________ 59, 60
Rogers T ypograph _______________________________________________
60
Machine accessories__________________________________________________ 60-62
Automatic metal feeders_________________________________________60, 61
Electric metal p ots______________________________________________
61
Trimming attachm ents__________________________________________
62
Remelting of used m etal_____________________________________________ 62, 63
Division of com posing-room workers_________________________________ 63-65
Hand composition in modern plants_____________________________ 63, 64
Proofs and proof reading________________________________________ 64, 65
C hapter 5.— Detailed study of productivity and labor cost for com posi­
tion in 1896:
Hand method of production__________________________________________ 66-68
Composing room No. 1__________________________________________
66
Composing room No. 2 __________________________________________
67
Composing room No. 3 __________________________________________
67
Composing room No. 4 __________________________________________ 67, 68
Composing room No. 5 __________________________________________
68
Machine method of production_______________________________________69-72
Composing room No. 6 __________________________________________
69
Composing room No. 7 __________________________________________ 69, 70
Composing room No. 8 __________________________________________
70
Composing room No. 9 __________________________________________ 70, 71
Composing room No. 10_________________________________________ 71, 72
Average man-hour production and labor cost by hand and by ma­
chine methods in 1896_____________________________________________ 72, 73
C h apter 6.— Detailed study of productivity and labor cost for com po­
sition in 1916 and 1926:
Hand method of production__________________________________________ 74, 75
Composing room No. 11_________________________________________74, 75
Machine method of production_______________________________________75-88
Composing room No. 12_________________________________________ 75-77
Composing room No. 8 in 1916__________________________________77-80
Composing room No. 8 in 1926__________________________________80-82
Trend of machine output in composing room No. 8 from 1896 to
1926___________________________________________________________ 82,83
Average production on line-casting machines in composing room
No. 8, in 1926_____________________________________________ _
83
Composing room No. 13______________________________________ _ 83-85
Composing room No. 14_________________________________________ 85, 86
Composing room No. 10 in 1926___________________ ____________ 86-88
Average man-hour production and labor cost by hand and by machine
methods in 1916 and 1926__________________________________________ 88, 89
C h apter 7.— Development of stereotyping:
Flong preparation____________________________________________________ 90-92
Wet flong______________________________________________________90
Autom atic machines_____________________________________________
91
Dry flong________________________________________________________ 91, 92




CONTENTS

V

C h apter 7— Continued.
Page.
Matrix m olding_______________________________________________________92-95
Brush m eth od___________________________________________________
92
Rolling-machine m ethod_________________________________________ 92, 93
Direct-pressure m ethod__________________________________________93, 94
Drying tables____________________________________________________
94
Drying ovens____________________________________________________
95
Transmission of matrices____________________________ ___________
95
Casting of plates____________________________________________________ 95-102
Hand casting____________________________________________________
96
Metal furnaces___________________________________________________
97
Finishing machines______________________________________________ 97, 98
Automatic casting and finishing_________________________________
98
Junior Autoplate_________________________________________________ 98, 99
Pony Autoplate_________________________________________________99, 100
Related operations_______________________________________________
100
Job w ork______________________________________________________ 100-102
C hapter 8.— Detailed study of productivity and labor cost for stereo­
typing in 1916 and 1926:
Stereotyping room No. 1 in 1916___________________________________ 104-108
Productivity and labor cost for process__________________________
104
Productivity and labor cost for molding of matrices__________ 104, 105
Productivity and labor cost for casting of plates______________105, 106
Output per productive man-hour______________________________ 106, 107
108
Tim e records for plate casting___________________________________
Nonproductive labor_________________________________________ _
108
Stereotyping room No. 1 in 1926_________________________________ _ 108-113
Productivity and labor cost for process_______________________ 108, 109
Productivity and labor cost for molding of matrices__________ 109, 110
P roductivity and labor cost for casting of plates______________ 110, 111
Output per productive man-hour______________________________ 111, 112
Tim e records for plate casting in 1916 and 1926______________ 112, 113
N onproductive labor_____________________________________________
113
Stereotyping room No. 2 in 1926___________________________________ 114-118
Productivity and labor cost for process__________________________
114
Productivity and labor cost for molding of m atrices__________ 114, 115
Productivity and labor cost for casting of plates______________ 115, 116
Output per productive man-hour______________________________ 116-118
Nonproductive labor____________________________________________
118
Stereotyping room No. 3 in 1926___________________________________ 118, 119
Stereotyping room No. 4 in 1926___________________________________ 120-125
Productivity and labor cost for process__________________________
120
Productivity and labor cost for molding of matrices__________ 120, 121
Productivity and labor cost for casting of plates______________ 121, 122
Output per productive man-hour______________________________ 122-124
Time records for plate casting___________________________________
124
Nonproductive labor_____________________________________________
125
Stereotyping room No. 5 in 1926___________________________________ 125-131
Productivity and labor cost for process_______________________ 125, 126
Productivity and labor cost for molding of m atrices__________ 126, 127
Productivity and labor cost for casting of plates________________
127
Output per productive man-hour______________________________ 128-130
Time records for plate casting___________________________________
130
Nonproductive labor_____________________________________________
131
Comparison of productivity and labor cost in stereotyping, 1916
and 1926_________________________________________________________ 131-133
Molding divisions and foundry divisions______________________ 131, 132
Average man-hour production and labor cost in stereotyping._ 132, 133
C hapter 9.— Development of presswork:
Press work before 1870_____________________________________________ 134, 135
Hand and cylinder presses_______________________________________
134
R otary type presses_____________________________________________
134
Rotary stereotype presses_____________________________________ 134, 135
R. Hoe & C o _______________________________________________________ 135-142
Early experiments_____________________________________________ 135, 136
H oe double-supplement press____________ - ____________________ 136, 137
Operation of double-supplement press_________________________ 137, 138
Preliminary w ork______________________________________________ 138, 139




VI

CONTENTS

C hapter 9— Continued.
R. H oe & C o.— Continued.
Pa*e
Quadruple presses_____________________________________________ 139, 140
Sextuple presses__________________________________________________
140
Larger presses___________________________________________________
141
Other designs____________________________________________________
141
Increase in production capacity_________________________________
142
Superspeed presses_______________________________________________
142
Duplex Printing Press C o __________________________________________ 143, 144
Tubular plate web presses_____________________________________ 143, 144
Goss Printing Press C o _______________________________________________
144
Walter Scott & C o _________________________________________________ 144, 145
W ood Newspaper Machinery Corporation_________________________ 145, 146
Other rotary newspaper presses______________________________________
146
Campbell presses________________________________________________
146
Potter presses____________________________________________________
146
Seymour & Brewer presses______________________________________
146
Color presses_______________________________________________________ 147, 148
First newspaper color press______________________________________
147
Other styles of color presses_____________________________________
147
148
Hoe Universal Unit press___________________ ____________________
Effect of color printing__________________________________________
148
Type printing newspaper web presses_____________________________ 149, 150
Hoe rotary type perfecting press________________________________
149
Cox Duplex perfecting press__________________________________ 149, 150
Goss Comet press________________________________________________
150
Other styles_____________________________________________________
150
Auxiliary printing__________________________________________________ 150, 151
Changes in operation of presses____________________________________ 151, 158
Increase in circulation___________________________________________
151
Capacity of pressroom equipm ent_____________________________ 151, 152
Capacity and actual production of presses_______________________
152
Electrical press control________________________________________ 152, 153
Autom atic tension control_______________________________________
153
Changing paper rolls____________________________________________
154
Magazine paper reels__________________________________________ 154, 155
155
Limit of speed___________________________________________________
Ink distribution_______________________________________________ 155, 156
Dampening of paper_____________________________________________
156
Automatic delivery of papers_________________________________ 156, 157
Autom atic oiling devices_________________________________________
157
Fudge devices_________________________________________________ 157, 158
Changes in preliminary w ork______________________________________ 158-160
Plating of presses_____________________________________________ 158, 159
Blankets_________________________________________________________
159
Ink supply_______________________________________________________
159
Other changes_________________________________________________ 159, 160
160
Vocational division of pressroom workers____________________________
Union wage rates for pressroom w orkers_____________________________
161
Manning of presses_________________________________________________ 161-163
C hapter 10.— Detailed study of productivity and labor cost for presswork
in 1896:
Hand method of production _______________________________________ 164-167
Pressroom No. 1 in 1852______________________________________ 164, 165
Pressroom No. 2 in 1895______________________________________ 165, 166
Pressroom No. 3 in 1896______________________________________ 166, 167
Machine m ethod of production____________________________________ 167-172
Pressroom No. 4 in 1896______________________________________ 167-169
Pressroom No. 5 in 1895______________________________________ 169-171
Pressroom No. 6 in 1896______________________________________ 171, 172
Average man-hour production and labor cost by hand and by machine
m ethods__________________________________________________________ 172-174
C hapter 11.— Detailed study of productivity and labor cost for presswork
in 1916 and 1926:
Pressroom No. 7 in 1916___________________________________________ 175-180
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 175-177
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, operated at quadruple
capacity_____________________________________________________ 177, 178




CONTENTS

VII

C hapter 11— Continued.
Pressroom No. 7 in 1916— Continued.
Page.
M an-hour production on linear press, operated at quadruple
capa city. ______________________________________________________
178
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, operated at sextuple
capacity---------------------------------------------------------------------------------178, 179
Man-hour production on linear press, operated at sextuple
capacity_____________________________________________________ 179, 180
Pressroom No. 7 in 1926___________________________________________ 180-188
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 180-182
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group A ___________ 182, 183
183
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group B _____________
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group C _____________
184
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group D __________ 184, 185
Man-hour production on octuple presses, Group A ____________ 185, 186
Man-hour production on octuple presses, Group B ______________
186
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group C ____________ 186, 187
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group D ___________ 187, 188
Pressroom No. 8 in 1926___________________________________________ 188-190
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 188, 189
M an-hour production on presses______________________________ 189, 190
Pressroom No. 6 in 1926------------------------------------------------------------------ 190-203
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 190-192
M an-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 1_________ 192, 193
M an-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 2 ____________
193
Man-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 3 ____________
194
M an-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 4_________ 194, 195
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 1___________ 195, 196
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 3___________ 196, 197
197
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 4______________
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 5______________
198
Man-hour production on octuple presses, Group 3 ______________
199
200
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group 4 ______________
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group 5 ______________
201
M an-hour production on decuple presses, Group 3 ____________ 201, 202
M an-hour production on decuple presses, Group 4 ____________ 202, 203
Pressroom No. 9 in 1926___________________________________________ 203-206
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 203, 204
M an-hour production on presses______________________________ 204, 205
Production of 32-page newspapers on octuple presses_________ 205, 206
Pressroom No. 10 in 1926__________________________________________ 206-217
Productivity and labor cost for presswork____________________ 206-208
Man-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 1_________ 208, 209
M an-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 2____________
209
Man-hour production on quadruple presses, Group 3 ____________
210
M an-hour production on quadruple presses. Group 5_________ 210, 211
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 1___________ 211, 212
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 2________T____
212
Man-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 3______________
213
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 4___________ 213, 214
M an-hour production on sextuple presses, Group 5______________
214
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group 3_______________
215
M an-hour production on octuple presses, Group 4 ____________ 215, 216
M an-hour production on octuple presses, G roup 5 ______________
216
Man-hour production on decuple presses, Group 4 ____________216, 217
Comparison of productivity and labor cost in presswork in 1916 and
1926_____________________________________________________________ 217-220
Relative man-hour production___________________________________
218
Relative labor cost______ _____________________________________ 218,219
Output per productive man-hour______________________________219, 220
C hapter 12.— Introduction and development of printing:
Invention of m ovable ty p e ___________________________________________
221
Mechanical production from 1800 to 1850___________________________
221
Hand presses_______________________________________________________ 221-223
Improvements in early styles____________________________________
222
Hand presses in the United States____________________________ 222, 223
Washington hand press____ . . . __________________________________
223




VIII

CONTENTS

C hapter 12— Continued.
Page.
Productivity on hand presses______________________________________ 233-225
Labor cost in early pressrooms_______________________________________
225
Application of mechanical pow er____________________ ______________ 225, 226
Treadwell press__________________________________________________
226
226
Adams press_____________________________________________________
Cylinder presses____________________________________________________ 226-231
Koenig cylinder presses_______________________________________ 227-229
Cowper and Applegath cylinder presses--------------------------------------229
Napier cylinder presses_______________________________________ 229, 230
Hoe cylinder presses___________________________________________ 230, 231
Productivity on cylinder presses and labor cost in 1870___________ 231, 232
Inking rollers_______________________________________________________ 232, 233
Paper manufacture_________________________________________________ 233, 234
Rotary presses_____________________________________________________ 234-239
Hoe type revolving presses______________________________________
235
Cowper and Applegath type revolving press__________________ 235, 236
Stereotype plates on type revolving presses_____________________
236
Bullock rotary web presses____________________________________ 236, 237
Paper for web presses____________________________________________
237
Walter rotary web press_________________________________________
238
Marinoni rotary press____________________________________________
238
Handicaps to production on rotary presses___________________ 238, 239
Stereotyping_______________________________________________________ 239-241
Invention of process___________________________________________ 239, 240
Introduction into the United States_____________________________
240
Plaster m ethod________________________________________________ 240, 241
Papier-mach6 m ethod____________________________________________
241
C hapter 13.— D evelopm ent of the newspaper industry:
Early newspapers__________________________________________________ 242, 243
Ancient news bulletins___________________________________________
242
Printed newspapers______________________________________________
242
Early American newspapers___________________________________ 242, 243
M odern newspaper publishing_____________________________________ 243-246
Changes in production m ethods_______________________________ 243, 244
Photo-engraving______________________________________________ 244-246
Electrotyping____________________________________________________
246
246
Distribution_____________________________________________________
Number of newspapers published and copies printed______________ 246-249
All classes, from 1720 to 1925_________________________________ 246-249
Daily newspapers, 1889 to 1925_________________________________
249
249
Weekly newspapers, 1889 to 1925_______________________________
Effect of im proved methods on em ploym ent_______________________ 249, 250
Expansion of industry_________________________________________ 249, 250
Suspensions and consolidations__________________________________
250
Increases in circulation and bulk________________________________
250
Em ployment in newspaper and periodical publishing, 1889 to l9 2 5 _ 250-253
Number of workers and their earnings________________________ 250, 251
Production and workers in 1889_________________________________
251
Production and workers in 1914_______________________________ 251, 252
Production and workers in 1919_________________________________
252
Production and workers in 1923_________________________________
252
Production and workers in 1925_______________________________ 252, 253
Relative value of products for newspapers and for periodicals, 1889 to
1926.....................................................................................................................
253




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
WASHINGTON

n o . 475

m a r c h , 1929

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
CHAPTER 1.— SUMMARY
HE present study of productivity in newspaper printing deals
with composition, stereotyping, and presswork, the three
primary mechanical processes in modern newspaper printing.
The relative importance of these processes varies considerably. In
a newspaper of small circulation composition is by far the largest
item in both time cost and labor cost and may represent more than
90 per cent of the total cost of the three processes. As the circula­
tion increases, however, the composition cost, which does not vary
with the number of copies printed, declines in comparison to presswork cost, which does vary directly with the number of impressions.
Stereotyping usually represents less than 10 per cent of the total cost
when the circulation is small and decreases relatively as the circula­
tion increases.
Newspaper printing has for many years been dominated by the
daily newspapers. These have only a limited time for the production
of a single issue. In addition, competition in the speed with which
the buying public is reached is keen, especially in the large cities.
Clock-time production thus becomes the important factor, to which
both time cost and labor cost are constantly sacrificed.
The data presented in the present study are based on a recent
survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, supplemented by certain
valuable, though limited, information contained in an earlier report
by the bureau, then called the Department of Labor, on productivity
for the year 1896.1 During the recent survey detailed production and
cost data were obtained for the years 1916 and 1926. Therefore, a
summary view of productivity and labor costs in the industry' may be
had for a period of 30 years— the data being for 1896, 1916, and 1926.
It must be emphasized that such a summary can not produce
entirely satisfactory results. In the first place, the basic data for the
years prior to 1926 are extremely limited in scope. In the second
place, the output of the newspaper industry is not measurable in a
simple invariable unit. N ot only do newspapers vary among them­
selves in size and style, but the same paper may undergo great changes
in these respects over a period of time. Also, the number of impres­
sions seriously influences both time costs and money costs.
It was necessary, therefore, in the present study to adopt a rather
arbitrary unit of measurement in order to make comparisons for the
combined processes, and the unit selected is an issue of 10,000 copies
of a 4-page paper, containing 59,200 ems of 5 ^ -p o in t type or their
equivalent in larger sizes.

T

1 U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1899.




Thirteenth Annual Report, 1898.

Hand and Machine Labor.

2 vols.

2

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

TREND IN LABOR PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST, 1896 TO 1926

\ N U M B E R of inventions have speeded up the mechanical production of newspapers since 1896. While the majority of these
were intended mainly to reduce the clock time for the operations, so
as to shorten the interval between receipt of the news and the dis­
tribution of the printed papers to the public, the improvements have
also affected labor productivity. Naturally, the adoption of even
the most important inventions was gradual, depending on the indi­
vidual requirements of each establishment and on the existing com ­
petition. In consequence, all sorts of conditions existed at the same
time throughout the country, and even at the present time some of
the older methods are still being used.
C O M P O S IT IO N , S T E R E O T Y P IN G , AND P R E S S W O R K C O M B IN E D

Productivity.— As no data for stereotyping in 1896 are available,
the trend over the 30-year period for unit production by machine
methods in the three processes combined can not be determined.
A comparison can, however, be made of the unit production in 1896
by the hand method, which included composition and presswork only,
and in 1926 by the machine method, which required all three proc­
esses. In 1896 composition by the hand method, presswork on hand
presses, and folding the printed papers by hand of 10,000 copies of
a 4-page newspaper involved an average of 635 man-hours. In 1926
the same number of copies of a printed and folded 4-page newspaper,
requiring the combined processes of composition, stereotyping, and
presswork, was produced on an average in 174.4 man-hours, an
increase in man-hour output of 264 per cent. This meant that where
71 employees were required for 9 hours by the hand method in 1896,
only 25 employees for 7 hours were necessary by the machine method
in 1926.
The trend for the three processes combined, from 1916 to 1926, is
indicated fairly well by the experience of a representative newspaper
establishment for which all the necessary data were available. In
this establishment it required in 1916, 215 man-hours to turn out
10,000 copies of a 4-page newspaper, while in 1926 the same pro­
duction required only 158 man-hours, an increase for the 10-year
period of 36.5 per cent in man-hour output. Consequently, 27
employees working 8 hours were required in 1916, while 23 employees
working 7 hours were necessary in 1926.
The above figures, however, apply only if no more than 10,000 copies
are produced from the same four pages. The number of man-hours
per unit of production does not expand in the same ratio as the
number of units. The time cost for composition remains stationary,
regardless of how many copies of the paper are printed. This is im ­
portant, as composition is by far the largest factor in total time cost.
The time cost for stereotyping also remains practically the same, being
affected only in a minor degree by the number of presses operated.
The time cost for presswork, however, advances in the same ratio as
the number of units. Under the hand method of 1896 each additional
unit involved 250 additional man-hours, or about two-fifths of the
total man-hours for one unit. B y the machine method the time cost
for presswork is only 1 per cent of the total time cost for the unit, so
that duplications of units can be made at comparatively slight increase
in time costs.



A PRINTING OFFICE OF THE 16TH CENTURY, WHERE IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED OVER 6,000 MAN-HOURS TO TURN OUT 10,000 MODERN 4-PAGE
NEWSPAPERS, NOW EXECUTED IN THREE SEPARATE DEPARTMENTS, SUCH AS SHOWN IN THE THREE FOLLOWING ILLUSTRATIONS. IN 175
MAN-HOURS




a modern c o m po sin g r o o m , w her e




Composition N ecessary

for

10,000

fo u r -page

N ewspapers

requires

163

m a n -hours

3

SUMMARY

In 1916 each additional unit from the same four pages was produced
in the representative establishment at a time cost of 1.8 man-hours,
and in 1926 of 1.7 man-hours. Man-hour output was consequently
determined by the multiples of units produced, as follows:
T a b le 1 . — Man-hour output of specified numbers of copies of a 4-page section in
a representative establishment, 1916 and 1926
Number of man-hours
worked i n -

Number of copies produced
per man-hour in—

Number of copies of a 4-page section printed
1916
10,000. .......................................................................
50,000..................... .................... .......... ...................
100,000. __...............................................................
500,000........ .................................... .................... .
1,000,000.............. .......................................................

215.1
222. 3
231.2
303.0
392.6

1926
157.5
164.1
172. 5
239.0
322.2

1916
46. 5
225.0
432. 5
1, 650. 3
2, 546. 8

1926
63.5
304.6
579.9
2,092. 0
3,103.9

The actual trend of time cost was affected by the production of a
larger number of 4-page sections in 1926 than in 1916, caused by in­
creases in the circulation and also in the page contents of the issues.
In this establishment the circulation had advanced 25 per cent and
the bulk of the issues approximately 108 per cent, resulting in an in­
crease of 150 per cent in the number of units turned out, as against an
increase of 93 per cent in the number of man-hours. This was equal
to an actual increase of nearly 30 per cent in man-hour output of
4-page sections for the combined processes in the establishment.
Labor cost.— Actual man-hour labor costs are partially regulated by
the wage rates; but they are also affected by the amount of overtime
involved in the work, as the hourly rate for overtime in newspaper
printing is customarily 50 per cent higher than the regular rate. In
addition the labor costs per unit are influenced by increases or reduc­
tions in man-hour output, so that the trend of labor costs per unit
may differ widely from the trend in man-hour labor cost or in basic
wage rates.
The absence of data in the 1896 survey for the entire personnel in
composing rooms using the machine method, and the omission of the
stereotyping process for that period, restricted the use of labor costs
for unit production in 1896. Only for composing rooms using the
hand method solely, for hand compositors, for line-casting machine
operators, and for presswork, were data available for comparison with
later years.
Under the hand methods used in 1896 composition and presswork
were the only processes required for unit production. The labor
cost amounted to $82.74 for composition and $33.33 for presswork, a
total of $116.07 for the first unit of 10,000 copies of a 4-page section.
Each additional unit was produced at a total cost of $33.33, so that
the average cost per unit declined with the increase in unit output.
In 1926 the stereotyping process was included. The labor cost for
unit production was $215.04 for composition, $11.36 for stereotyping,
and $2.76 for presswork, a total of $229.16. The cost for each suc­
ceeding unit was $2.76, the cost of the presswork. So, while the labor
cost for the first unit was 98 per cent higher in 1926 by the machine
method than in 1896 by the hand method, the production of five
units in 1896 cost almost $1 more than the production of eight units
in 1926.



4

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Like the trend in production, the trend in labor cost for the three
methods combined can be determined only for the last 10-year period
and through labor costs for 1916 and 1926 in a representative news­
paper establishment. The labor cost for the first unit of production
in 1916 was $135.77. B y 1926 it had advanced to $200, an increase
of 47 per cent. Additional units from the same four pages carried
labor costs of $1.19 in 1916 and $2.06 in 1926. Actual labor cost per
unit was, therefore, like man-hour output, regulated by the number of
units produced, as follows:
T a b le 2 .— Labor cost of specified numbers of copies of a J^-page section in a rep­

resentative establishment, 1916 and 1926
Total labor cost in—

Labor cost per 10,000 copies
of a 4-page section i n -

Number of copies of a 4-page section printed
1916
10,000...........................................................................
50,000 .........................................................................
100,000 ...................... ...............................................
500,000 ........... ........ ..................................... - ..........
1,000,000...................... ........................... .................

$135.77
140. 55
146. 52
194. 25
253. 92

1926
$200.00
208.23
218. 52
300.85
403. 76

1916
$135. 77
28.11
14.65
3.89
2.54

1926
$200.00
41.65
21.85
6.02
4.04

The actual trend in labor cost in this establishment was regulated
by the proportionate increase in the number of units turned out in
1926, as compared with the output in 1916. The increase was almost
150 per cent, due both to growth of circulation and to increase in
the number of pages printed per issue. The actual labor cost per
unit for the establishment was $4.81 in 1916, in 1926 it was $7.27,
an increase of 51.1 per cent.
C O M P O SIT IO N

Productivity.— B y 1896 the evolution from hand composition to
machine composition had made some progress, but a number of
establishments still existed in which all of the type was set by hand.
In 1916 the bulk of the news composition was on machines, and by
1926 a relatively larger portion of it was by that method. Part of
the type, however, was still set by hand, so that in a modern compos­
ing room both machine and hand methods are in use.
In 1896 the actual type setting by the hand method for the 4-page
unit required an average of 350 man-hours in five composing rooms;
by the machine method in five other composing rooms an average of
about 57 man-hours was necessary, an increase of more than 500 per
cent in man-hour output by the machine method over the hand
method. Some increase in output of line-casting machine operators
has taken place since then, as shown by the trend for this labor group
in a typical composing room. In 1896 the specified unit production
in this establishment required about 66 man-hours; in 1916 it required
71 man-hours, through the employment of a proportionately larger
number of operators to meet the demands of clock-time production
speed created by competition. In 1926 the unit was produced in a
little over 64 man-hours, an increase in man-hour production of more
than 10 per cent over 1916 and of about 3 per cent over 1896.
In another representative establishment there was a wider variation.
In 1896 the type setting on a unit of production on line-casting:




A MODERN STEREOTYPING FOUNDRY. WHERE STEREOTYPING NECESSARY FOR 10,000 FOUR-PAGE NEWSPAPERS, TOGETHER WITH THE
M o ld in g O pe ra tio n , re q u ire s Less Than 10 m an-hours







A MODERN PRESSROOM. WHERE 10,000 FOUR-PAGE NEWSPAPERS ARE PRINTED EVERY

MAN-HOURS

SUMMARY

5

machines took a little over 52 man-hours; in 1926 it took less than
44 man-hours, an increase in man-hour output of 19 per cent.
Other operations were also necessary in composing rooms, such
as assembling the type, proof reading, and machine adjustments.
These did not add to the output. Consequently man-hour production
for the entire composing room depended partly on the proportion
of nonproductive labor employed therein, and the trend for the entire
personnel might vary considerably from the trend for compositors
alone.
According to data of the 1896 survey an average of 385 man-hours
were required for the composing rooms employing the hand method
to turn out four pages of an average modern newspaper. Figures
secured during the survey for this study show that in 1916 the same
result was attained in a representative composing room in 204 hours
by combined machine and hand methods, an increase in man-hour
output of nearly 90 per cent. In 1926 only 145 man-hours were neces­
sary in the same establishment for the total composing-room work on
four pages, an increase of over 40 per cent in man-hour output during
the 10-year interval 1916 to 1926. In other words, it required 40
employees 10 hours by the hand method in 1896 for production equal
to four presentrday newspaper pages. Using both machine and hand
methods the same output was reached in 1916 by 26 employees in 8
hours, and in 1926 by 21 employees in 7 hours.
Labor cost.— According to wage studies by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics the average hourly basic wage rates for hand compositors
advanced approximately 200 per cent from 1896 to 1926. The increase
for machine operators during the same period was about 180 per cent.
Hand compositors and machine operators* constituted the principal
labor groups in composing rooms, but other groups existed with lower
or higher hourly rates. These, together with the varying proportion
of overtime in the different establishments, affected the actual hourly
cost for composition as a whole, resulting in an increase of approxi­
mately 350 per cent in the man-hour labor cost between 1896 and
1926.
Labor cost per unit of production is determined by the actual
man-hour labor cost and man-hour output. In 1896 the weighted
average labor cost for the composing-room work per unit, in the
establishments using the hand method, was $82.74. In 1916 it was
$126.75,, or 53 per cent more, in a representative establishment,
using both machine and hand methods, and in 1926 it had>risen to
$182.71, equal to 44 per cent above the 1916 unit cost; but the
weighted average labor cost for several establishments in 1926 was
higher than for the single establishment, reaching $215.04. Figured
on the average basis, the advance in the labor cost per unit for the 30
years was only 160 per cent, in spite of the 190 per cent increase in
basic hourly rates and the 350 per cent increase in actual man-hour
labor cost.
The weighted average labor cost in 1896 for setting sufficient type
by hand for four pages was $72.16; by the machine method in the same
period it was $33.64. As the average labor cost for news operators in
1926 could not be separated from that for hand compositors, the trend
of labor cost for unit production by machine operators can be deter­
mined only for two individual establishments. In one of them the
average labor cost for four pages of news composition was $44.05 in
1896; in 1926 it had advanced to $92.57, an increase of 110 per cent.




6

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

In the other establishment the labor cost rose from $33.15 in 1896 to
$47.04 in 1926, an increase of only 42 per cent. These extreme dif­
ferences were caused by the variation in wage rates because of the
different geographical location of the establishments, and by the
variation in the relative increases in man-hour output.
S T E R E O T Y P IN G

Productivity.— The survey of 1896 did not cover stereotyping, in
which comparatively old style methods were then used. In the
survey for this study, however, data were obtained for 1916 and 1926
in a representative establishment using modern methods during both
periods. In this establishment 8.9 man-hours were sufficient in 1916
for the stereotyping of four average pages of the newspaper, whereas
in 1926 it required 10.6 man-hours, a decrease in page output per
man-hour for all employees of nearly 16 per cent.
Stereotyping consists of two separate operations, the molding of
matrices and the casting of plates. One matrix is ordinarily molded
from each type form, so that four pages require four matrices, but the
number of plates cast from each matrix varies according to the number
of presses operated for printing the required number of newspapers
in the time allotted for that purpose. In the establishment for which
the above data on productivity in stereotyping were obtained changes
in molding methods, to facilitate clock-time production of matrices,
had been made between 1916 and 1926. Increases in page contents
and in circulation had raised the number of pages molded daily 115
per cent and the number of plates cast daily 140 per cent, but it was
necessary to turn out the increased quantities in practically the same
number of clock hours each day as for the previous, smaller produc­
tion. The change in molding methods had reduced the clock time
for the molding operation more than 50 per cent, but it had also re­
duced the man-hour production of matrices over 29 per cent for the
portion of labor actually engaged in that operation.
In 1926 an average of 56.7 plates was necessary for each four pages
molded, while an average of 50.8 plates per four pages was sufficient
in 1916, as the circulation was smaller and fewer presses were used.
M an-hour output of plates for the portion of labor actually engaged in
that operation had increased over 10 per cent, but the additional
man-hours for the molding operation and for other labor were reflected
in a decrease of 6 per cent in man-hour output of all employees. The
main object of the changes had, however, been achieved, though at
the expense of man-hour production. In 1916 it took eight minutes
to deliver the first plate to the pressroom after the form had been
received from the composing room ; by 1926 the clock time had been
reduced to four minutes.
Labor cost.— The hourly wage rates for stereo typers between 1896
and 1926 advanced about 140 per cent, according to wage studies by
the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase between 1916 and 1926
was around 84 per cent. While the majority of the workers received
the basic rates, some were paid more or less per hour. In a representa­
tive establishment such differences in hourly rates, together with
variations in relative overtime, were reflected in the actual man-hour
labor cost, which advanced only 64 per cent in the 10-year period
1916 to 1926. In this case, however, the labor cost for the unit was
further increased through the decrease in man-hour production during




SUMMARY

7

the interval. In 1916 the labor cost per unit was $7.83. B y 1926 it
had risen to $15.23, an advance of nearly 95 per cent, though the
increase for the man-hour labor cost was only 64 per cent. The
decrease in man-hour output was caused by the change in working
methods for the purpose of speeding up clock-time production.
PRESSW ORK

Productivity.— In 1896 the rotary press had displaced other presses
in the larger newspaper establishments, but in some of the smaller
plants the hand press was still used and the newspapers were folded
by hand after printing. According to figures for the 1896 survey an
average of 250 man-hours were necessary for printing and folding
10,000 copies of a 4-page newspaper in pressrooms using the hand
method. The rotary presses of that period advanced man-hour
output greatly, reducing the time cost of unit production. The
weighted average time cost in 1896 for the unit production in the
pressrooms surveyed, in which the machine method was used, was
about three man-hours, on the basis of all employees, an increase over
the man-hour output by the hand method of more than 8,000 per
cent. This meant that while it required 25 employees for 10 hours to
produce the unit by the hand method, 3 employees for 1 hour were
sufficient by the machine method.
The trend of labor productivity in modern newspaper pressw-ork
between 1896 and 1926 is shown by a comparison for a typical press­
room, on the basis of operating time for the machines. In 1896 it
required 1.53 man-hours to produce 10,000 copies of a 4-page section
of the newspaper, while in 1926 the same number was turned out in
1.32 man-hours, an increase in man-hour output of more than 70 per
cent. The large rotary presses are ordinarily operated intermittently,
depending on the time allotment for printing the required number of
newspapers. Time is necessary for preparing the presses for opera­
tion, and the proportion of actual productive man-hours on a machine
to total man-hours worked vary considerably. Figures for the 1926
survey give a range of 16.3 to 70.3 per cent. In this pressroom the
productive time for the workers presumably maintained nearly the
same relation to the total working time during both periods, so it is
reasonable to assume that the 13 per cent decrease in man-hours
between 1896 and 1926 also applied to the total hours.
The trend between 1916 and 1926 can be more definitely determined
through data for another representative establishment, surveyed for
this study. In this establishment it required 1.79 man-hours in 1916
to produce 10,000 copies of a 4-page section, while in 1926 the same
result was accomplished in 1.66 man-hours. This represented an
increase of nearly 8 per cent in output per man-hour.
Labor cost.— The hourly wage rate for pressmen increased about 190
per cent between 1896 and 1926, according to wage studies by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, and approximately 90 per cent between
1916 and 1926. The average labor cost per man-hour during 1896
was 266 per cent more in pressrooms using the machine method than
those where the hand method was used. The average man-hour
labor cost in machine-method pressrooms rose 136 per cent during
the 30 years from 1896 to 1926, a smaller advance than that for the
basic wage rate, caused by a relative increase in lower priced labor
and variations in relative amount of overtime.




8

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

The average labor cost for unit production in hand-method press­
rooms during 1896 was $33.33; in machine-method pressrooms during
the same period it was only about $1.33, or, due to the tremendous
increase in output, 4 per cent of the cost for the hand method. The
average unit cost in 1926 by the machine method was $2.76, an
increase of 108 per cent over the cost for the machine method in
1896, as compared with an increase in wage rates for pressmen of
190 per cent and an increase in man-hour labor cost of 136 per cent.
The labor cost per unit between 1896 and 1926 in modern news­
paper presswork, based on actual operative time for the machines in
one representative pressroom, was nearly twice as high as the average
labor cost. The unit cost in 1896 was 51.7 cents; by 1926 it had
reached $1,615, an advance of more than 210 per cent. The labor
cost for the idle-machine time was not included in either case. It
would probably have made the complete labor cost from 33 to 50
per cent higher for both periods, but would not have changed the
percentage of increase greatly.
A more definite trend of complete unit labor cost for presswork
can be determined for the 10 years from 1916 to 1926 from data for
another representative pressroom. In 1916 the labor cost per unit
in this establishment was $1.19; by 1926 it had advanced to $2.06,
an increase of over 72 per cent. The rise in man-hour labor cost for
this pressroom during the 10-year interval was about 86 per cent,
but the unit cost was modified through an 8 per cent increase in
man-hour output.
VARIATIONS IN PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST BETWEEN
ESTABLISHMENTS

'T 'H E figures cited previously to indicate trend of production are for
A individual establishments, and while probably quite accurate
for that purpose are not representative of average conditions in dif­
ferent plants. A wide variation is created through differences in fac­
tory and sales conditions. Labor costs per unit of production also
vary greatly in the different establishments, so figures quoted for
the trend of a process in a single establishment can not be regarded
as representative for the entire process. The number of man-hours
required for the production differs, and even where these correspond
the prevailing wage rates may be twice as high in one locality as in
another.
C O M P O SIT IO N

Productivity.— In 1896 hand composition was used exclusively in
some newspaper establishments. Unit production (10,000 copies of a
4-page paper) in those surveyed at that time required from 250 to 500
man-hours, giving a weighted average of 385 man-hours. In other
establishments machines were used for most of the typesetting, but
the data did not cover the total employees in the process. In 1926
the average time for unit production, by combined machine and hand
methods and for the entire personnel of each composing room,
ranged from 144 to 205 man-hours, with a weighted average of 163
man-hours.
Production on line-casting machines depends considerably on per­
sonal ability of the operators, but varies also according to the class of
the product, whether news or advertising composition. In 1896
practically only news composition was produced on machines, and the




SUMMARY

9

time required for turning out enough to fill 4 pages ranged from 52 to
66 man-hours, with a weighted average of 57 man-hours.
A tabulation of weekly production records for operators on news
composition during 1926 in one establishment showed a range of 46.6
to 50.3 man-hours per unit. The lowest average by one operator for
the full five weeks in the tabulation was 40.3 man-hours, but a
weekly average as low as 38.5 man-hours was reached by the same
individual. The highest average for one operator was 61.6 manhours.
In another establishment, where unit production in 1896 required
an average of 52.3 man-hours, this had been lowered to 43.9 manhours in 1926, an increase of 19 per cent in man-hour production
during the 30 years. These averages for 1896 and 1926 were con­
siderably lower than the general average for 1896, or that shown in
the above-mentioned establishment for 1926, respectively. The
variations were caused partly by driving the machines in this com­
posing room at a higher speed, but also were probably influenced by
the operators there being paid on a production basis. In 1926 the
average time requirements for production of the unit for the indi­
vidual news operators in this establishment for a 2-week period ranged
from 39 to 59 man-hours, but some exceptional records existed, such
as 18 man-hours, the minimum, and 106 man-hours, the maximum.
In a third establishment the production of a 4-page unit by machine
operators in 1926 required an average of 62.1 man-hours. This was
nearly 30 per cent more than in the first composing room and 40 per
cent more than in the second composing room. One of the important
factors in the extended time was the inclusion of advertising composi­
tion, from which the news composition could not be separated, and
which ordinarily requires more time.
Labor cost.— The labor cost for unit production by the hand
method in 1896 ranged from $60.19 to $113.24, making a weighted
average of $82.74. The cost in 1926, by combined hand and machine
methods, ranged from $182.71 to $270.99, with a weighted average of
$215.04, or about 160 per cent more than by the hand method in
1896The labor cost per unit for the entire composing room personnel
by the machine method in 1896 can not be determined from the
data, only the labor cost per unit for machine operators on news
composition being separable. This ranged from $23.55 to $44.04,
with a weighted average cost of $33.64, a reduction of 53 per cent
from the cost for the hand compositors in the same period, which
ranged from $52.10 to $105.24 with a weighted average of $72.16.
ST E R E O T Y P IN G

Productivity.— The time cost for production of the unit varied
greatly in the five selected stereotyping rooms of the 1926 survey,
depending on the number of presses operated in each establishment.
This was principally regulated by the circulation of the respective
newspaper, as it required more presses to turn out a large number of
copies than a small number in the same clock time. M ore presses
meant more plates per page. The time cost ranged from 3.9 to 13.7
man-hours, with a weighted average of 9.1 man-hours.
Labor cost.— Decided differences existed in the number of manhours required in the various establishments of 1926 for unit produc9819°— 29------ 2




10

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

tion. These resulted in a proportionately wider range of labor costs
for stereotyping than for the other two processes— from $4.34 to
$16.42, with a weighted average labor cost of $11.36.
PRESSW ORK

Productivity.— Printing on hand presses and folding the newspapers
by hand, in establishments surveyed in 1896, required from 240 to
270 man-hours per unit of 10,000 copies of a 4-page paper, giving a
weighted average of 250 man-hours. Unit production by the ma­
chine method in the same period required approximately from 2.3 to
3.2 man-hours, with a weighted average of about 3 man-hours. In
1926 the necessary man-hours ranged from 1.66 to 3.68, with a
weighted average of 2.55 man-hours for each unit turned out. As
previously pointed out, presswork differs from composition and
stereotyping in that it expands with increased output.
Labor cost.— The labor cost per unit for printing on hand presses
and folding the printed papers by hand in 1896 ranged from $25.77
to $50.33, giving a weighted average cost of $33.33. By the machine
method in the same period it was reduced to an approximate range
of from 69 cents to $2.76, with a weighted average of about $1.33,
or 4 per cent of the cost for the hand method. In 1926 the labor
cost for the machine method ranged from $1.96 to $4.16, resulting in
a weighted average of $2.76, or 108 per cent above the average i$
1896 for the machine method.
TREND OF EMPLOYMENT

A N E W SPA PE R has only a certain amount of time for the mechanical production of each issue, regardless of whether it
contains 4 or 60 pages, so the production of a larger number of pages
naturally requires more workers. Census figures for the United
States do not segregate wage earners employed on newspapers from
those employed on periodicals, and accurate comparison for the trend
of employment for 1896 can be made only for the total number
employed on newspapers and periodicals combined. Between 1889
and 1919 the wage earners employed in manufacturing newspapers
and periodicals increased 40 per cent. Between 1919 and 1923 a 4
per cent reduction took place, but the number employed in 1925
exceeded that for 1923 by 1.2 per cent.
Composition.— From an employment standpoint composition is the
most important process in the mechanical production of newspapers.
Approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the total man-hours for the
three processes are taken by it under normal conditions, though in
the production of only 10,000 copies of a 4-page newspaper the
relation is 95 per cent.
Before the introduction of the linotype it required 16 compositors
for approximately seven hours to set sufficient type for four pages of
a representative newspaper at that time. Distribution of the type
required about one-half that number for the same length of time,
while other hands necessary in composing-room work would probably
bring the personnel on a 4-page daily newspaper to about 40.
A decided change was created by the evolution from hand composi­
tion to machine composition. One machine operator could set
approximately four times as much type as one hand compositor.
The time previously devoted to distribution of type, about one-fifth
of the total time, was reduced to a very small fraction. Three or




SUMMARY

11

four hands were eliminated, out of every five formerly engaged in
setting and distributing type. Consequently the adoption of the
machine method displaced a great number of typesetters. Others,
engaged in assembling the products, in proof reading, or other duties,
were still necessary and were not affected materially, while some new
vocations were created.
The application of machine methods to composition, however,
stimulated the growth of the industry, which soon expanded suffi­
ciently to absorb the displaced workers. In a comparatively short
time more compositors were employed than formerly, and the num­
ber continued to increase until after the World War. Suspensions
and mergers of publications since that time have reduced the number
of newspapers and created more or less unemployment, though part
of this has in turn been eliminated through further growth in the
industry.
The principal reasons for the larger number of composing-room
employees, in spite of the increased man-hour output, were the
establishment of new publications and, especially, the constantly
increasing number of pages in the daily issues. In one typical estab­
lishment, for example, the average daily issues consisted of 12 pages
in 1896, 24 pages in 1916, and 36 pages in 1926. The Sunday issues
contained an average of 48 pages in 1896, of 54 pages in 1916, and
of 60 pages in 1926. The number of different editions published
daily had also increased through the years. Consequently, 115 per
cent more pages were turned out in 1926 than in 1916, and these
contained approximately 122 per cent more new type than the 1916
pages. But as the clock time alloted for the composing-room work
was no longer in 1926 than in 1916, the demand for larger production
was met by the installation of more machines and by the employment
of more operators, as well as of other labor, resulting in an increase of
73.5 per cent in total man-hours.
Stereotyping.— From an employment standpoint stereotyping is
relatively the least important of the three processes. The ordinary
proportion of the man-hours for the three processes devoted to
stereotyping does not exceed 10 per cent, and for the production of
10,000 copies of a 4-page newspaper it is only 4 per cent.
The invention in 1900 of the Autoplate equipment, which was
rapidly adopted by the larger daily newspapers, revolutionized the
casting of stereotype plates. Only 4 employees were required to
turn out the same number of plates as 12 formerly produced by the
hand method. It served, however, especially to reduce the clock
time for plate production, and the facilities afforded through it
increased employment of stereo typers.
The two main factors in employment of additional stereotypers,
in face of increased man-hour production, were the same as those for
composing-room employees, but to these was added the constant
growth in circulation. Data for 1896 are not available, but the
trend between 1916 and 1926 in a representative establishment
reveals the employment of additional men to speed up the clock­
time production. The average number of pages per issue advanced
approximately 45 per cent during the interval. Together with the
additional number of editions published daily in 1926, it resulted
in 115 per cent more pages being stereotyped than in 1916. A 15
per cent rise in circulation necessitated the use of more presses to
produce sufficient newspapers in the allotted time. Consequently



12

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

140 per cent more plates were needed in 1926 than in 1916, and to
accomplish this in the required clock time, more equipment had been
installed and the working force increased 155 per cent.
Pressworlc.— In modern newspaper production the proportion for
presswork of the total man-hours for the three processes ranges
from 20 to 30 per cent. While it represents only 1 per cent in the
production of a single unit (10,000 copies of a 4-page paper), the
man-hours for the process expand directly with multiple production
from the same four pages, while the man-hours for the other two
processes remain stationary.
The transition from the hand press to the rotary press permitted
3 hands to accomplish what it had required 250 hands to do. The
subsequent expansion of the industry, however, provided a steady
growth in pressroom employment, as in the other two processes,
though a drop has been experienced in recent years. Presswork was
mainly affected by the same issues as stereotyping— new publications,
more pages per issue, and increase in circulation. Comparison of
similar periods in 1916 and 1926 for a representative establishment
shows that the increase in circulation and in bulk of the newspaper
had raised the output of pages 150 per cent, which had been accom­
plished through an increase in employment of 131 per cent.
DEVELOPMENT OF PROCESSES

first newspaper which continued publication for an extended
period in this country was established in 1704, with an equip­
ment of a few fonts of type and a slow, cumbersome hand press. The
large modern newspapers of 1926 were turned out in plants equipped
with numerous machines for casting and setting of type, for produc­
tion of stereotype plates, for printing and folding of the papers, and
for other auxiliary processes.
A hundred years after the establishment of the first newspaper the
publications were still produced mechanically in the same manner as
the first one. Printing was done directly from hand-set type on hand
presses, and the printed papers were folded by hand. All of the
radical changes which have assisted in creating the modern news­
paper have taken place since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The possibilities of steam for motive power influenced the inventions
of automatic or semiautomatic machines for direct use in the printing
industry, or to produce material for its development, such as the
paper-making machine which permitted manufacture of an unlimited
supply of cheap paper. The development of the printing press, in
the beginning a cylinder press and later a rotary press, with gradually
increased speed and the addition of folding and assembling mechan­
isms, permitted printing of larger and more newspapers per hour.
The perfecting of curved stereotype plates as a substitute for type
permitted faster production and, through duplication of pages, the
installation of sufficient presses to insure printing the required
number of copies of the paper in the allotted time. Semiautomatic
production for the composing room was effected through line-casting
machines, which permitted printing a greater number of pages in the
newspaper and reduced the distribution of type. Distribution was
later entirely eliminated through the introduction of other composingroom machines.
While many of the inventions or improvements have reduced the
operating cost for the publishers, another feature has become even



SUMMARY

13

more prominent. Speed, and more speed, is demanded first of all.
The vast importance of modern events, their sudden and frequent
occurrence, and the desire of the public for immediate knowledge of
such transactions, together with competition and the aim of each
newspaper to publish the events in advance of its contemporaries,
have resulted in making speed the paramount issue. The shortest
possible time between receipt of the news and its publication is an
important sales factor. It is often not only a question of minutes,
but of seconds. Newspaper publishers naturally try to keep their
mechanical production at the lowest possible cost, but on the larger
newspapers often sacrifice all for speed. Consequenty development
of the various processes has been principally along the line of reduc­
tion in clock time, rather than in man time or in money cost.
B y 1896, line-casting machines had been installed in the composing
rooms and rotary presses in the pressrooms of the larger daily news­
papers. The closing year of the century saw the introduction of
automatic machines for the stereotyping process, completing mechan­
ization of the three processes. B y 1916, improvements had taken
place in the machines used and other machines had been added,
notably type-casting machines, which practically eliminated distribu­
tion in the composing room.
Between 1916 and 1926 the machines were further improved
through time-saving and labor-saving devices, though no startling
innovation was brought out. The most notable improvement was
the adoption in recent years of dry molding in the stereotyping
process, which reduced clock time greatly. Attention was directed
strongly toward layout of establishments, cooperation between depart­
ments, factory management, and building facilities, subjects which
were not included in the surveys but which exert immense influence
on production. As a result many newspaper publishers have recently
established up-to-date and model plants for their products, and applied
efficiency methods to the printing processes.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDUSTRY

a few newspapers were published in the early days, and they
were mostly weekly issues. They rendered no practical assist­
ance to business, as the inadequacy of transportation confined the
influence of each newspaper to a very limited area. There were not
many stirring events in any individual community. News from other
places arrived infrequently, and interested the people only in a general
way. The majority of the settlers had lived long without news­
papers, and continued to do so after they were obtainable.
B y 1850, the number of newspapers in the United States had risen
to 2,302, with an average aggregate circulation for that year of
3,832,306 copies per issue. The population of the country had passed
the 23,000,000 mark, but towns were widely separated and travel to
and fro was difficult. Less than 10,000 miles of railway existed.
While about 11,000 miles of telegraph lines had been erected, the
capacity of the wires was limited and the bulk of the news was
received by mail. At least 10 days were required for news to reach
New York from Europe and three times as long from San Francisco.
Newspapers increased in value as advertising mediums with the
growth of the towns, their importance as commercial centers, and
their accessibility. Before 1810 the circulation of the most widely
read daily did not exceed 900 copies, and only a few of the weekly



14

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

or semiweekly newspapers had a circulation of over 600 copies per
issue. In 1871 there existed 548 newspapers with a circulation of
more than 5,000 copies per issue and 11 newspapers with a circulation
of over 10,000 copies per issue.
Expansion of railway and telegraph systems, laying of the transAtlantic cable, and the invention of the telephone rendered com­
munication with both surrounding territory and distant parts easy
and created an abundant supply of news. The desire of the people
for information, the continual growth in population, and the everincreasing demand for advertising space made it difficult for pub­
lishers to print sufficient copies and sufficient pages in each copy to
satisfy the public. The difficulties were solved through the intro­
duction and use of machinery in the various departments during the
latter part of the nineteenth century, which transformed newspaper
publication into an industry requiring elaborate factory processes
and was instrumental in creating the great publications of the present
day. It was assisted by further developments in facilities for news
gathering and for distribution of the printed papers, such as the wire­
less, the automobile, and finally the airplane.
Number of publications.— B y 1896 newspaper publishing had made
considerable progress. Figures from the United States census show
that 12,658 newspapers were being published in 1889, of which over
10,000 were weekly issuss and only about 1,600 were issued daily.
The total number of newspaper publications increased 26 per cent
during the following 10 years, and around 12 per cent between 1899
and 1909, reaching nearly 18,000, of which 2,600 were daily, 520
were Sunday, and almost 14,000 were weekly issues. A drop of over
11 per cent took place between 1909 and 1919 and another reduction
of about 37 per cent between 1919 and 1925. Returns for 1925 show
only 9,869 publications, including 2,116 dailies, 597 Sunday editions,
and 6,435 weeklies. The number of daily newspapers thus increased
about 31 per cent between 1889 and 1925, while the number of weekly
newspapers decreased 40 per cent.
Growth in circulation.— In 1889 the aggregate circulation per issue
was nearly 38,000,000 copies, more than 8,000,000 of which were for
the daily newspapers. Ten years later it had risen to over 58,000,000
copies, with more than 15,000,000 of these for the daily publications.
B y 1909 it was above 61,000,000 copies, over 24,000,000 of which
were for the dailies. B y 1919 it had grown to over 75,000,000, with
more than 33,000,000 of these for the daily publications. In 1925
it had reached nearly 81,000,000, over 37,000,000 of which were for
the daily newspapers. The aggregate circulation per issue of the
daily papers had thus increased 346 per cent between 1889 and 1925,
though the increase for the total publications was only 113 per cent.
Increase in bulk of issue.— The increases in bulk affected mainly the
daily and Sunday newspapers. In 1896 the daily issues contained
on an average 12 pages while the average Sunday issues consisted of
48 pages. B y 1916 the average size of the daily issues had risen to
24 pages and of the Sunday issues to 54 pages. In 1926 increases had
been made to 36 pages for the daily issues and to 60 pages for the Sun­
day issues, equal to an increase of 200 per cent over the 1896 size for
the daily newspapers and of 25 per cent for the Sunday newspapers.
The majority of the newspapers had also changed the width of the
pages during the interval, adding one extra column of type, thus
increasing the type content per page about 10 per cent.



CHAPTER 2.— PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST IN 1916
AND 1926
IMPORTANCE OF CLOCK-TIME PRODUCTION

H E mechanical production of newspapers has developed into as
much of a factory operation as the manufacture of automobiles
or of textiles, and consequently the industry has to cope with
typical factory problems, such as improvements of processes and
materials and reduction of waste, while in addition it is affected by
the limited time for production. In the larger cities, where competi­
tion is keen, time has become the most important factor, all othe«r
considerations being dominated by it.
During the past 10 years there has been no revolution in processes
in newspaper manufacturing, but the processes existing in 1916 have
been constantly improved. While to a certain extent the aim of the
large daily newspapers has been to increase man-hour output or to
reduce man power, their main objective has been the reduction of
clock time in the interval between receipt of the news and publication
thereof, and the majority of improvements have been made with
that end in view.
A daily newspaper has a 24-hour limit for production, but where
both a morning and an evening edition are prepared in the same
establishment, the limit for each is only 12 hours. As this time limit
includes the preparation of copy, both news and advertising, the
actual clock time for mechanical production is greatly curtailed, and
this shortening of the time allotment ordinarily necessitates a com ­
paratively larger working force. In the processes where actual pro­
ductive work is intermittent this would involve additional man-hours
and would lessen the man-hour output. As a weekly publication
has seven times 24 hours for the production of each issue, it can
ordinarily perform the work with a relatively small personnel, though
often requiring comparatively more man-hours than are required
for the same amount of work on a daily newspaper.

T

COMPARISON OF PRODUCTIVITY IN A REPRESENTATIVE NEWSPAPER
ESTABLISHMENT IN 1916 AND 1926

In the present study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics records
were obtained from one modern newspaper establishment for selected
period in 1916 and in 1926, permitting a comprehensive comparison
for the different operations during the two periods and showing the
progress for a decade in a printing office where a large morning news­
paper was published every day of the week. While the development
in this establishment represents, of course, only the changes on one
specific newspaper, it may be considered typical of the development
in the industry during the past 10 years, since the equipment and the
working methods in the plant were up to date for the periods studied.
As the number of pages published daily had practically doubled during
the decade, rendering a complete daily paper useless as a measure of
comparison, a 4-page section was selected as the basic unit. Data
for both 1916 and 1926 were converted to this unit, and the results




15

16

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

were tabulated separately for each of the three common processes on
all modern newspapers— composition, stereotyping, and presswork—
and also for the three processes combined. Other processes, such as
photo-engraving and electro typing, were not considered as they
existed on some but not on all newspapers. Manufacture of color or
rotogravure supplements were also excluded for the same reason, and
distribution of the printed papers was not taken into consideration.
C O M P O S IT IO N

A comparison for the composing room of the production of four
average pages during a selected period in 1916 and in 1926 is presented
in Table 3 :
T a b le 3 . — Man-hours worked in 'production of four pages of composition on a rep­
resentative newspaper, 1916 and 1926, and per cent of increase in output per

man-hour

Occupation

Man-hours worked to pro­
duce 4 pages of compo­
sition in—
1916

Increase in
output per
man-hour

1926

Productive labor:
Machine operators...................................................................
Hand com positors....................................................................

53.5
37.7

43.7
28.7

Total....................................... ................. ................................

91.2

72.4

Nonproductive labor:
Machinists__________ _____ ______ ___________ __________
Machinists' helpers.._______ ____________________________
P roofreaders.______________ ________________ ____ _____
M ake-ups..................... ............ .................................................
Laborers___________ _______ ____________________________
Supervisory employees______________________ ____ ______

7.2
4.2
23.6
20.7
45.5
11.9

4.0
2.6
19.8
14.4
27.2
4.8

Total.........................................................................................

113. 2

72.8

All employees............................................. ...........................

204.3

145.2

Per cent

25.9

40.7

The output of the composing room was nearly 115 per cent more
pages in the 1926 period than in the 1916 period. In neither period
did all of the pages consist entirely of newly set type, as the number of
pages printed in the main edition each day was only 50 per cent of the
total number of pages in all the editions for the day, but the actual
increase in type set was 122.7 per cent. The number of line-casting
machines had been increased 50 per cent, and other labor-saving
devices had been added, while the number of workers had been
increased, as shown by a 73.5 per cent increase in man-hours. The
increase in type production per man-hour for all composing-room
employees was 40.7 per cent.
The output per man-hour for machine operators on news com po­
sition alone had risen 10.6 per cent, partly through substitution of
new and improved machines for the older styles used in 1916, while
the man-hour output was also boosted greatly through setting a
relatively larger proportion of advertising matter on machines during
the 1926 period, so that the increase for total productive labor was
nearly 26 per cent. In 1916 nonproductive labor constituted 55.4
per cent of all employees in the composing room, but by 1926 it had




PRODUCTIVITY IN

1916 AND

17

1926

been reduced to 50.1 per cent. This reduction and the decrease in
man-hours for the unit production, resulted in an increase of 40.7 per
cent in man-hour output for the composing room.
S T E R E O T Y P IN G

A comparison for the stereotyping of the production of four average
pages during a selected period in 1916 and in 1926 is shown in Table 4:
T a b le 4 . — Man-hours worked in production of a J^-page section in stereotyping on
a representative newspaper, 1916 and 1926, and per cent of decrease in output

per man-hour

Occupation

Man-hours worked to
stereotype a 4-page
section in—
1926

1916

Decrease in output
per man-hour

Pages

Plates

Per cent

Productive labor:
Molders _ _
_
____ ___________ ____ ____
Packers
_
___ _________________________ ____
Autoplate operators__________ _______ ________________
Cylinder tenders . ________________ __________ _______
Metal-pot tenders..____ ______ _____ ___ ______ ______
Shaver tenders_____ ______ ___ ______ ________________

1.5
1.2
1.6
1.6
1.0
1.0

Total______________ _____ __________________________

8.0

9.2

Nonproductive labor:
Jobmen
__
_________ _________________________
Supervisory employees ____ ___ _____ _
___ ____ _____
_

.6
.4

Per cent

13.0

2.9

15.8

6.0

1.5
2.3
1.7
1.7
.9
.9

1.3
.2

T o t a l.................................................................. ......... .......

1.0

All employees........... ..........................................................

8.9 |

1.5
10.6

The 4-page section used as the unit of production involved the
molding of one matrix for each page and the casting therefrom of the
number of plates required for the number of presses operated, the
number of presses operated fluctuating according to the page contents
of the issues and the circulation demands.
During the interval between the two periods the dry-flong method
had been substituted for the wet-flong method in molding. New
machinery in large quantities had been installed because of the new
method and the 115 per cent increase in pages, which also necessitated
an increase of 187.7 per cent in man-hours in the molding operation.
The principal reason for the change to dry flong was the saving
effected in clock time for the molding operation— more than 50 per
cent— but it also reduced the man-hour output of matrices by the
labor actually engaged in the work 29.3 per cent.
Autoplate equipment was used during both periods for the casting
of the plates. The capacity of the equipment had been doubled
during the decade, though in neither period was the total capacity
in use all of the time. More presses were operated in 1926 than in
1916, necessitating casting of 56.7 plates for each four pages instead
of 50.8 plates as formerly, an increase of 11.6 per cent in plate casting
per unit, or 139.9 per cent in plate output for the establishment.
Man-hour output of plates by the actual foundry workers had ad­
vanced 10.3 per cent, but the increase in proportionate man-hours
for packers and job men effected a decrease of 6 per cent in man-hour
output of plates for the entire stereotyping room.




18

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

The increase of 115 per cent in pages, and of 155.3 per cent in
man-Lours in stereotyping in order to obtain the desired clock-hour
speed for the process, that having become the .most important factor,
resulted in a decrease of 15.8 per cent in man-hour production of
the 4-page unit. In 1916 eight minutes were required to deliver the
first plate to the pressroom after receipt of the form from the composing
room ; by 1926 the time had been reduced to four minutes.
PRESSW ORK

As only an insignificant portion of time was required to turn out
one 4-page section, the unit of production used here for presswork is
the printing of 10,000 copies of an average 4-page section. A com­
parison of the output for the pressroom during a selected period in
1916 and in 1926, on such basis, is presented in Table 5:
T a b le 5 . — Man-hours worked in the 'pressroom on 10,000 copies of a 4-page section
of a representative newspaper, 1916 and 1926, and per cent of increase in output

per man-hour

Occupation

Man-hours
worked
to
print
4-page
section
(10,000 copies) i n 1916

Increase in
output per
man-hour

1926

Productive labor:
Pressmen in charge,........... ......................................................
Journeymen__ ____ ________________ ____________________
F lyboys__________ _____ ________________________________

0.18
1.04
.38

0.15
.93
.35

Total.................... ....................................................................

1.61

1. 43

Nonproductive labor:
Laborers.............................. ........................................................
Supervisory employees........ .....................................................

. 10
.09

.17
.05

Per cent

Total. ........................................................................................

.19

.23

All employees.......... ..............................................................

1.79

1.66

12. 2

7.8

Practically all of the 1916 equipment was still in use during 1926,
but as the number of pages in the daily issues had grown from a
minimum of 14 and a maximum of 24 to a minimum of 18 and a
maximum of 52— an increase of nearly 115 per cent— and the circu­
lation had risen 40.8 per cent, new, larger, and faster presses had
been added so that the increased output could be handled in the same
clock time. The page capacity had been increased 128 per cent and
the speed capacity nearly 7 per cent. The maximum page capacity,
however, was not used continuously during either period.
The operation of more presses necessitated additional press crews,
while the operation of larger presses called for larger crews, and con­
sequently the number of man-hours had increased 131.4 per cent in
the decade. As the number of 4-page sections printed had risen
149.6 per cent in the same time, the result was an increase of 7.8 per
cent in the man-hour output of 4-page sections, approximately 1 per
cent higher than the increase in speed capacity for the equipment.
Actual operation of the presses was intermittent, and the productive
man-hours of the press crews in 1916 constituted only 55 per cent of
their total man-hours; by 1926 the proportion was still less, averaging
50 per cent.




PRODUCTIVITY IN

1916 AND

19

1926

The use of larger presses and the printing of larger newspapers
affected also the clock-time production of 4-page sections. As the
man-hours for the pressmen in charge equaled the clock time for
presses, the increase in clock-time production of 4-page sections was
25.5 per cent.
C O M B IN E D PR O C E SSE S

The number of man-hours actually required during the selected
periods in 1916 and 1926 for composition and stereotyping on an
average 4-page section of the newspaper, and for presswork on 10,000
copies, is given in Table 6:
T

6 . — Man-hours worked in the composition, stereotyping, and presswork on
10,000 copies of a 4-page section of a representative newspaper, 1916 and 1926,
and per cent of change in output per man-hour

able

Man-hours worked in—
Process
1916

1926

Increase in
output per
man-hour

Composition_______ __ ____________________________________
Stereotyping___________ ................................. .......... .......... ..........
Presswork__________________________________________________

204.3
8.9
1.8

145.2
10.6
1.7

Per cent
40.7
1 15.8
7.8

Total........................................................................... ..............

215.1

157.5

36.5

1 Decrease.

The production of 10,000 copies of an average 4-page section in this
establishment during the 1916 period required 204.3 man-hours for
the composition, 8.9 man-hours for the stereotyping, and 1.8 manhours for the presswork. During the 1926 period only 145.2 manhours were necessary for the same amount of composition, a decrease
of 29 per cent, but the man-hours for stereotyping had risen to 10.6,
an increase of 19.1 per cent. The man-hours required for the press­
work had been reduced to 1.7 hours, or 5.5 per cent. The total manhours involved in all three processes had been lowered to 157.5, or
26.8 per cent.
R E LA TIO N OF PR O C E S S E S T O TO T A L O U T P U T

Composition, stereotyping, and presswork are but steps in the
preparation of the final product of the newspaper plant. Conse­
quently the total man-hours devoted to the production of a specific
unit, such as 10,000 copies of a 4-page section, actually constitute the
time equivalent for the output of such a unit, if that quantity only is
published. A vast difference is created in duplications of that unit.
Composition remains stationary, regardless of how many units are
printed, as each page is complete in itself. Stereotyping on a large
daily newspaper also remains practically stationary (subject to the
number of presses operated) whether 100,000 or 5,000,000 copies are
printed, though it would require proportionately fewer man-hours if
such a small number of copies as 10,000 of a 4-page section were
desired. In that case only 2 plates for each page would be necessary,
or 8 plates for the 4 pages, instead of the 51 or 57 plates required in
the selected establishment to turn out within the time limit the
number of copies required for its large circulation.




20

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

Consequently, production of subsequent units means only the
additional man-hours for the presswork thereon. These man-hours
increase proportionally to the number of units printed, and the total
man-hour production of an establishment is therefore regulated by
the total number of copies printed and the number of pages contained
therein. In the selected establishment, for instance, the man-hour
production for the three processes was 1,346.5 copies of 4-page sections
during the 1916 period. The total-man hours for the three processes
had increased 92.7 per cent by the 1926 period. The total output
had increased 149.6 per cent in the same time, so that the man-hour
production had changed to 1,743.8 copies, an increase of 29.5 per cent.
In spite of the higher man-hour production there had been no reduc­
tion of employees. The growth in circulation and page contents,
together with clock-time requirements, had necessitated additional
workers, as shown by the increases in man-hours for the various pro­
cesses— 73.5 per cent for the composing room, 155.3 for the stereo­
typing room, and 131.4 for the pressroom.
The man-hours for presswork on 10,000 copies of a 4-page section
were only approximately 1 per cent of the total man-hours for the
three processes. Consequently the increase in the total man-hours
through printing additional units was small, and the man-hour output
increased rapidly as the number of units advanced. A tabulation,
showing the relative changes of total man-hours and of man-hour
output through duplications of units, is given in Table 7:
T a b le 7 . — Man-hour 'production of composition, stereotyping, and presswork on

specified numbers of copies of a \-page section of a representative newspaper in
1916 and 1926

Number of manhours worked i n Number of copies of a 4-page section printed
1916

10,000.............. .................. ...........................................
20,000
30,000.................................. ..........................................
40,000............. .......... .....................................................
50,000.............................. .............................................
100,000...........................................................................
150,000...........................................................................
200,000............................................................................
500,000............................................................................
1,000,000.......................... ............................................

215.1
216.9
218.7
220.5
222.3
231.2
240.2
249.2
303.0
392.6

1926

157.5
159.2
160.8
162.5
164.1
172.5
180.8
189.1
239.0
322.2

Number of copies pro­
duced per man-hour
in—
1916

1926

46.5
92.2
137.2
181.4
225.0
432.5
624.5
802.7
1, 650. 3
2,546. 8

63.5
125.7
186.6
246.2
304.6
579.9
829.8
1,057.7
2,092.0
3,103. 9

Increase
in output
per manhour

Per cent
36.6
36.3
36.0
35.7
35.4
34.1
32.9
31.8
26.8
21.9

In this establishment the man-hours for presswork on 10,000
copies in 1916 were 1.8, so that each additional 10,000 copies required
only 1.9 man-hours more than the total number of hours for all three
processes. While 10,000 copies required 215 man-hours, 500,000
copies involved only 303 man-hours, and an additional 500,000
copies only 90 man-hours more. In 1926 the presswork was per­
formed with 0.1 man-hour less, making only a minor difference in
proportionate increase, but the one-fourth reduction in total manhours for the three processes accentuated the differences, making
considerable variation in man-hour output. Another factor made
still more of an actual change. The growth of circulation and the




PRODUCTIVITY IN

1916 AND

21

1926

more voluminous newspapers printed in 1926 were responsible for
the production of a greater number of sections in that period than in
1926. Consequently, the actual increase would not be based on the
same number of total copies produced, as listed in the table, but
would be raised proportionately.
MODERN AVERAGE PRODUCTION

/COMPOSITION.— The preceding data refers only to the trend of
^
man-hour output, and can not be taken as representative of
production for the industry as a whole. Considerable fluctuation
exists in the number of man-hours required for each process, as
shown by a comparison of data for several newspaper plants. Four
of the establishments included in the survey for this study furnished
records which afforded a comparison of the man-hours required for
the composition on an average 4-page section of the respective news­
papers. As the pages of the four newspapers differed in dimensions,
and consequently contained varying amounts of type, the data for
three of them were converted so as to correspond with that of the
fourth one, thus placing all of them on a uniform basis. The com­
parison given in Table 8 shows an average of 162.69 man-hours for
composition in the production of the 4-page section taken as the base.
T

able

8 . — Number

of man-hours worked in specified processes in the production of
four pages in several modern newspaper establishments in 1926
Number of man-hours worked on a
4-page section

Per cent of average

Establishment1
Composi­
tion

Stereotyp­
ing

Presswork
(10,000
copies)

Composi­
tion

Stereotyp­
ing

Presswork

No. 1_______ ___________
No. 2.................................
No. 3..................................
No. 4.... ..............................
No. 5 ____ ___________

145.19
144.12
156.14
205. 30

10. 63
3.88
5.69
13. 65
11. 82

1. 66
2. 37
2.69
2. 35
3. 68

89.2
88.6
96.0
126.2

116.4
42.5
62.3
149.4
129.4

65.1
92.9
105.5
92.2
144.3

Average__________

162. 69

9.13

2. 55

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 The figures for the three processes are not for identical establishments.

Stereotyping.— Records from five establishments permitted a
similar comparison for stereotyping. The man-hours required for
stereotyping a 4-page section of each newspaper varied greatly,
principally because of the different number of presses operated, which
regulated the number of plates cast for each page. The number
cast was 14.2 for establishment No. 1, 2.8 for No. 2, 6.2 for No. 3,
12.8 for No. 4, and 13.7 for No. 5, giving an average of 10.7 plates
per page. As shown in Table 8 an average of 9.13 man-hours was
required for the stereotyping of the 4-page section chosen as the unit.
Presswork.— Records obtained in five newspaper plants afforded a
similar comparison of the man-hours required in each establishment for
the presswork on each 10,000 copies of the basic 4-page section. Differ­
ences, created by the number of papers printed, the number of hours
per issue, and the number of hands per press, are shown in the com­
parison presented in Table 8. An average of 2.55 man-hours is
given for presswork on 10,000 copies of the 4-page section used as the
base.



22

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

No attempt has been made to present combined man-hour output
for any establishment except the one selected to show the trend
between 1916 and 1926. Different types of establishments were
selected so as to obtain a fair average for comparison within the pro­
cesses and not for the entire output of each establishment; therefore
the figures for the three processes can not be combined, since the
data are not for identical establishments.
UNION WAGE RATES IN THE UNITED STATES

T y A G E rates advanced generally in all industries during the period
between 1916 and 1926, and newspaper publishing was no
exception. According to data published in the union wage studies
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, increases in the average union
hourly wage rate for the principal workers ranged from 83.2 to 96.4
per cent, as shown in Table 9:
T

able

9 . — Average basic union wage rates in newspaper publishing, 1916 and
1926, by occupation
Rate per hour

Occupation
1916
Hand compositors, d a y ... $0. 582
.657
Hand compositors, night.
.578
Machine operators, d a y ..
.657
Machine operators, night.

1926
$1.120
1. 249
1.135
1.260

Per
cent of
in­
crease
92.4
90.1
96.4
91.8

Rate per hour
Occupation
1916
Stereotypers, day________ $0. 540
.618
Stereotypers, night..........
Pressmen, d a y _____ ____
.553
Pressmen, night.................
.591

1926
$0.992
1.138
1. 013
1.155

Per
cent of
in­
crease
83.7
84.1
83.2
95.4

COMPARISON OF LABOR COST IN A REPRESENTATIVE NEWSPAPER
ESTABLISHMENT IN 1916 AND 1926
ACTUAL LA BO R COSTS AND UNION W A G E R ATE S

Union wage rates were not the same in all localities, and increases
therein were also different. The hourly rate for 1916 in the estab­
lishment selected as representative of the trend of production ex­
ceeded the average hourly rate, and the percentage increases varied
somewhat from the average increases for the country. But basic
hourly wage rates for the principal occupation in each process and
average actual man-hour cost for the entire process were very different.
While the principal occupation constituted the largest group of work­
ers in a process, and while these workers were paid a certain rate dur­
ing the regular shift, each process required a number of other workers,
some of whom were paid a higher and others a lower rate, so that the
average actual man-hour rate was dependent on the proportion of
such workers. In addition, a higher hourly rate was paid, ordinarily
50 per cent, for overtime; therefore the proportion of overtime in the
total man-hours had considerable influence on the actual labor cost
for the unit.
C O M P O S IT IO N

For comparison of actual labor costs in the representative estab­
lishment studied the same units were taken as in the comparison
of production. The actual labor cost during the selected periods in
1916 and 1926 for composing-room work on four average pages is
presented in Table 10:




PRODUCTIVITY IN

1916 AND

23

1926

T a b le 1 0 . — Labor cost for composition on four pages of a representative newspaper,
1916 and 1926, by occupation

Composition
on 4 pages—
Occupation
1916

1926

Per
cent
of in­
crease

Composition
on 4 pages—
Occupation

Per
cent
of in­
crease

$62.91
41.16

65.6
41.1

T otal.........................

67.16

104.07

55.0

Nonproductive labor:
Machinists............. .
Machinists' helpers...
Proof readers...............

6.68
1.26
15.95

5.70
1.29
28. 60

.4
2.4
79.3

1926

Nonproductive labor—
Continued
Make-ups___________
Laborers
Supervisory employ-

$15.50
9.92

$20. 43
13. 60

31.8
37.1

11.27

Productive labor:
$37.99
Machine operators.
Hand compositors ___ 29.17

1916

9.02

» 20.0

T otal__....................

59. 59

78. 64

32.0

All employees_____

126. 75

182. 71

44.1

1 Decrease.

While the hourly wage rate for both machine operators and hand
compositors in this establishment had advanced 100 per cent during
the interval, the increase in actual hourly earnings for the two occupa­
tions was only 95 per cent, because of reduction in overtime. The
actual man-hour earnings for all employees had risen 102.9 per cent,
but as 30 per cent fewer man-hours were required in 1926 than in 1916
for composing-room work on the unit, the increase in the labor cost
of unit production was only 44 per cent.
S T E R E O T Y P IN G

A comparison of labor costs in the same establishment for stereo­
typing four average pages during the selected periods in 1916 and
1926 is presented in Table 11:
T a b le 1 1 . — Labor cost for stereotyping four pages of a representative newspaper,
1916 and 1926, by occupation

Occupation

Stereotyping
on a 4-page sec­
tio n -

Per
cent
of in­
crease

1916

1926

Productive labor:
Molders.......................
Packers........................
Autoplate operators..
Cylinder ten d ers___
Metal-pot tenders___
Shaver tenders______

$1.38
.96
1.31
1.28
.80
.80

$2.15
3.19
2. 36
2. 36
1.30
1. 21

56.2
232.0
80.4
84.7
61.8
51.1

Total.........................

6. 53

12. 51

Occupation

Stereotyping
on a 4-page sec­
tion—

Per
cent
of in­
crease

91.4

1916

1926

$0.47

$1.89

.83

.76

1 8.1

T otal........................

1.30

2. 65

103. 9

All employees_____

7.83

15.23

94.4

Nonproductive labor;
Jobm en______ ______
Supervisory em ploy­
ees.............................

300.7

1 Decrease.

The hourly wage rate for stereo typers in this establishment
increased only 70 per cent between 1916 and 1926. The rise in the
actual hourly rate for productive labor was a little less— 67.5 per
cent— and the advance in actual man-hour earnings for all employees
was still less— only 63.7 per cent. As it required over 19 per cent
more man-hours in 1926 than in 1916 for the stereotyping on the unit,
the increase in labor cost of unit production mounted to 94.4 per cent.



24

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING
PRESSW ORK

A comparison of the labor costs in the same establishment, during
the selected periods in 1916 and 1926, for printing 10,000 copies of a
4-page section, is presented in Table 12:
T a b l e 1 2 .— Labor

cost for presswork on 10,000 copies of a 4~Va Qe section of
representative newspaper, 1916 and 1926, by occupation

Occupation

Printing 4-page
sections (10,000
copies)

Per
cent
of in­
crease

1916
Productive labor:
Pressmen in charge...
Journeymen................
Flvhnvs

$0. 22
1. 25
.29

36.5
64.0
120.1

1. 06

1. 76

Occupation

1926

$0.16
.76
.13

Printing 4-page
sections (10,000
copies)

66.9

Per
cent
of in­
crease

1916

$0.03
.11

$0.16
.14

407.1
27.3

.14

Nonproductive labor:
Laborers......................
Supervisory.................

1926

.30

115.0

1.19

2.06

72.5

Total
Total

a

All employees..........

The hourly wage rate for journeyman pressmen in this establish­
ment rose 90 per cent between 1916 and 1926. The increase in their
actual hourly earnings was only 83.3 per cent, but that in the actual
man-hour earnings for all employees was closer— 85.6 per cent. As
the number of man-hours required in 1926 for the presswork on the
unit was 7.3 per cent smaller than in 1916, the increase in labor cost
for printing 10,000 copies of a 4-page section was 72.5 per cent.
C O M B IN E D PR O C E SSE S

The actual labor costs during the selected periods in 1916 and 1926
for composition and stereotyping on an average 4-page section of the
newspaper, and for the presswork on 10,000 copies, is presented in
Table 13:
T

1 3 .— Labor cost for composition, stereotyping, and presswork on 10,000
copies & a 4-page section of a representative newspaper, 1916 and 1926
f

able

Labor cost i n Process

Per cent
of in­
crease

1916
C omposition______________________________________________________ _____
Stereotyping____________ _____________________ _________________________
Presswork_______ _ ____________________________ _______________________
_
Total........................................................ ....................................... ................

1926

$126.75
7.83
1.19

$182. 71
15. 23
2.06

44.1
94.4
72.5

135.77

200.00

47.3

Labor costs for the combined processes in the production of 10,000
copies of a 4-page section increased 47.3 per cent between 1916 and
1926, but the output of additional sections increased the labor costs
only ‘ by the comparatively small amounts for presswork thereon.
Consequently, the labor cost for each additional 10,000 copies was
only $1.19 more in 1916, or $2.06 more in 1926. A tabulation of the
labor costs for various multiples of the unit during the two periods is
presented in Table 14:




PRODUCTIVITY IN

1916 AND

25

1926

T a b le 1 4 .— Labor cost for composition, stereotyping, and presswork on each

specified number of copies of a J^-page section of a representative newspaper in
1916 and 1926
Labor cost i n Number of copies of a
4-page section printed
1916

1926

47.3
47.5
47.7
47.9
48.2

Labor cost i n Number of copies of a
4-page section printed
1916

1926

100,000.............................. . $146. 52 $218. 52
150,000................................. 152. 48 228.81
200,000.......... ...................... 158. 45 239.11
500.000_____ ____ ___ 194. 25 300. 85
253. 92 403. 76
o
o
o

10,000................................... $135. 78 $200.00
20,000................................... 136.97 202. 06
30,000................................... 138.16 204.12
40,000_................................. 139. 36 206.17
50,000................................... 140. 55 208.23

Per
cent
of in­
crease

Per
cent
of in­
crease
49.2
50.1
50.9
54.9
59.0

The actual increase in labor cost for the selected establishment was
regulated by the number of 4-page sections produced therein at each
specific period, the increase in such sections during the interval
making the increase in labor cost per unit smaller than if there had
been no change in the total number of pages produced.
The total labor cost for each 10,000 copies of a 4-page section dur­
ing the 1916 period was $4.81. During the following 10 years the
total man-hours increased over 92 per cent. The total labor cost for
the composing room advanced over 250 per cent, that for the stereo­
typing room over 315 per cent, and that for the pressroom over 330
per cent, making an increase in weighted labor costs for the three
processes combined of 277.1 per cent. But the total output of 4page sections had increased 149.6 per cent during the period, making
the actual labor cost for the three processes combined for each 10,000
copies $7.27, an increase of only 51.1 per cent.
MODERN AVERAGE LABOR COSTS

TUST as the trend of production in a single establishment can
** not be taken as representative of production of the industry as
a whole, so the trend of labor costs, shown in the foregoing data for a
single establishment, does not indicate representative labor costs for
the processes. In addition to variations in the number of man-hours
required in the different establishments for the production of a speci­
fied unit, there is a difference in the prevailing wage rates in the
localities in which the establishments are situated.
9819°— 29-------3




26

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

Composition.— A comparison of labor costs in four modern news­
paper plants for composing-room work on an average 4-page section
of the respective newspaper, converted to a uniform page size, is pre­
sented in Table 15:
T

able

1 5 .— Labor cost in specified processes in the production of four pages in

several modern newspaper establishments in 1926
Labor cost on a 4-page section
Establishm ent1
Com po­
sition

Stereo­
typing

Per cent of average

Presswork
(10,000
copies)

Compo­
sition

Stereo­
typing

Presswork

1..................................
2..................................
3 ................................
4.................................
5 ...................... .......

$182.71
195. 56
211.00
270.99

$15. 23
4. 34
4.99
16. 42
15.80

$2.06
2.34
3.28
1.96
4.16

85.0
91.0
98.1
126.0

134.1
38. 2
43.9
144.5
139.1

74.6
84.8
118.8
71.0
150.7

General average. __

N o.
No.
No.
No.
No.

215.04

11.36

2.76

100.0

100.0

100.0

1The figures for the three processes are not for identical establishments.

The respective labor cost for composition on an average 4-page
section ranged from $182.71 to $270.99 in the four establishments,
giving an average of $215.04 for the unit.
Stereotyping.— A similar comparison of labor costs for stereotyping
on an average 4-page section in five modern newspaper plants is
also presented in Table 15.
The variations created through differences in the number of manhours required in each establishment are decidedly noticeable, and
together with differences in hourly wage rates for the workers create
a range of $4.34 to $16.42 in the labor cost of stereotyping a 4-page
section, with an average cost of $11.36.
Presswork.— The labor costs in five modern newspaper plants for
presswork on each 10,000 copies of an average 4-page section of the
respective.publications, are also shown in Table 15.
The differences created through considerable variation in the hourly
wage rates, together with the diverse number of man-hours for the
unit production, are very marked in this process also. The cost of
presswork on each 10,000 copies of a 4-page section ranges from $1.96
to $4.16, giving an average labor cost of $2.76.
As the data were secured for comparison within the processes, and
not for comparison of the entire output of each establishment, the
labor costs for the three processes can not be combined, as the figures
are not for identical establishments.




CHAPTER 3.— PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST IN 1926 AS
COMPARED WITH 1896
PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST IN COMPOSING ROOMS

R O M the standpoint of time cost, composition is the most
important process in the mechanical production of a modern
newspaper, since approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the total
man-hours for the three processes are for it. The bulk of the com­
position is produced on line-casting machines, and consequently the
operators on these machines constitute the most important labor
group, not only in the composing room, but also in the entire estab­
lishment. The relative production of machine operators is therefore
of vital interest, and the labor cost of their work is an important
factor.

F

A VE R AG E PR O D U C T IO N OF M A C H IN E O P E R A T O R S IN A R EP R E SE N T A T IV E C O M P O S ­
IN G R O O M D U R IN G 1926

A GOOD comparison of actual accomplishments is afforded by a
^
tabulation of individual production of line-casting machine
operators on news composition in the establishment selected as a
representative modern newspaper plant. Figures, showing the
number of man-hours required to produce sufficient news type to fill
four pages of the newspaper, are presented in Table 16:
T

able

1 6 .— Man-hours required for production of four pages of news composition
on line-casting machines in specified periods, 1926
Average man-hours required b y Period

Night force
D ay force
Regulars

Substitutes

First week........................................................................... ......... ................
Second week________ __________________________ ________________
Third week__________________________ ______ _____________________
Fourth week................... ........ .......... .......................... ................. ..............
Fifth week_________________________________ ________ _____________

48.8
47.2
47.4
50.2
46.9

48. 8
48.3
48.6
46.6
48.6

49.4
50.3
48.5
47.9
47.7

All 5 weeks__________________________ ____ __________________

48.1

48.2

48.8

Considerable variation existed in the average production for the
individual news operators, due partly to personal ability and partly
to differences in idle time because of shop conditions or machine
trouble. The lowest average for the full five weeks for the produc­
tion of the unit by one operator was 40.3 man-hours, but weekly
averages for the same individual ranged as low as 38.5 man-hours.
The highest average for one operator was 61.6 man-hours.
C O M P A R IS O N OF M A N -H O U R S AND LA B O R C O ST F O R M A C H IN E O P E R A T O R S IN R E P ­
R E SE N TA TIV E C O M P O S IN G R O O M S IN 1896, 1916, AND 1926

Records for 1916 and 1926 of the representative establishment
which were obtained during the survey for this study afforded a
comparison of output over a 30-year period, as data for 1896 for




27

28

PRODUCTIVITY OP LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

machine composition for the same establishment had been secured
during a former survey.1 The data for all three years were converted
to a unit composed of machine composition sufficient to fill four
pages of the newspaper as published in 1916 or 1926, and the result
is presented in Table 17:
T

able

1 7 .— Man-hours worked and labor cost for machine operators in composi­
tion of four pages of a newspaper, 1896, 1916, and 1926
Man-hours worked

Year

Occupation

N um ­
ber

Per cent of
change, com­
pared with—
1896

Linotype operators
Linotype and Intertype operators _______
Linotype, Intertype, and M onotype key­
board operators............................ .................

1896
1916

66.1
71.0
64.3

-2 .7

Amount

1916

Per cent of
change, com­
pared with—
1896

$44. 045
50. 297

+ 7 .4

1926

Labor cost

-9 .5

+14.2

92. 573

+110.1

1916

+80.1

In 1896 the machine operators consisted entirely of linotype opera­
tors. In 1916 part of them operated linotypes and part of them
intertypes, there being no difference as far as either production or
labor cost was concerned. In 1926 monotype keyboard operators
were included, and as the average production for these operators is
ordinarily higher than that for operators on line-casting machines,
the man-hours per unit may be reduced slightly; but as the manhours for monotype operators amounted to less than 5 per cent of
the total man-hours for the group, the variation could not have been
great.
It required 66.1 man-hours for the linotype operators in 1896 to
produce sufficient type to fill four pages of the newspaper. The
production was presumably, as in the two succeeding periods, cor­
rected matter and probably consisted entirely of news composition, as
very little advertising composition was set on machines at that
time. In 1916 the same amount of news composition required 71
man-hours, an increase of 7.4 per cent, as competition and the con­
sequent necessity for speed in publishing necessitated a larger force
of operators than would otherwise have been required. In 1926 a
similar output was produced in 64.3 hours, nearly 10 per cent less
than in 1916 and 3 per cent less than in 1896.
The labor cost for the unit, which was $44,045 in 1896, had in 1916
increased to $50,297, or 14.2 per cent. B y 1926 the labor cost had
advanced to $92,573, or 110 per cent above the 1896 labor cost,
which was less than the actual increase in man-hour labor cost, as
the unit was turned out in shorter time.
Data for linotype news operators during 1926 were also obtained for
another morning newspaper establishment which had been included in
the 1896 survey, but which differed essentially from the first estab­
lishment in that the operators were paid a piece rate instead of a
time rate. This permitted a second comparison for an individual
establishment, of production and labor cost for linotype composition
during the two periods, which is presented in the statement following:
i U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1899.




Thirteenth annual report, 1898.

Hand and Machine Labor.

2 vols.

PRODUCTIVITY: 1926 AS COMPARED W ITH

29

1896

Man-hours worked and labor cost for linotype operators in compositio7i of four pages
of a newspaper, at piece rate, 1896 and 1926
Number of man-hours worked:
1896__________________________________________________
1926__________________________________________________

52. 3
43. 9

Per cent of decrease_______________________________

16. 1

Labor cost:
1896__________________________________________________ $33. 152
1926_________________________________________________ ' 47.037
Per cent of increase_______________________________

41. 9

As the page on this newspaper varied in size from that published
in the previous establishment, the data for production and labor cost
have been converted to that o f four pages containing the same amount
of type as for the first establishment. Details could not be obtained
for working methods during the 1896 period, but they were presum­
ably much the same as in the later period. About one year previously
the composing room had been installed in a new building, w^hich was
considered up to date then, and the equipment was probably modern
at that time (though it would not be considered so now), consisting
of linotypes of the early single-magazine style. The 1926 survey
was made about one year after the establishment had again been
located in a new plant— a splendid example of present-day factory
style— where new, modern equipment had been installed. The
machines were equipped with multiple magazines, electrically heated
metal pots, and automatic metal feeders. They were driven at a
higher speed than ordinarily provided by the manufacturers, produc­
ing an average of 6
to 7 lines per minute of operating time, with a
maximum of 73^ lines. Each operator went to the copy cutter’s
desk for copy, took his own product to the bank, set and inserted his
own corrections, and inserted all heads in his takes. A decrease of
16.1 per cent in man-hours in production of the 4-page unit had been
effected between the two periods. Two of the operators were em­
ployed on the day shift, but the man-hours for these aggregated
only 3 per cent of the total man-hours. The rest of the operators
were employed on the night shift. In the 1926 period great varia­
tion existed in the individual records for the operators. According
to data secured for daily production for two weeks, one operator
required an average of 18 man-hours to turn out the unit chosen, the
minimum record, and another required 105.8 man-hours, the maximum
record; but the average time required by the majority of the operators
ranged from 39 to 59 man-hours.
The labor cost for the unit had increased 41.9 per cent by the 1926
period. It was regulated in this establishment by the amount of com­
position produced, as the operators were paid on a piecework basis.
During the 1896 period the rate was 14 cents per 1,000 ems, presum­
ably for either 5 ^ , 6, or 7 point type. In 1926 varying amounts
were paid, according to the size of type. The rate for 5 or 6 point
type was 17 cents per 1,000 ems for night work and 16 cents for day




30

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

work. The rate for 7-point type was 21 cents for night work and 19
cents for daywork. The rate for 8-point type was 1 cent per 1,000
ems higher than for 7-point, and that for 10-point 2 cents per 1,000
ems more than for 8-point. Additional line-age was allowed for diffi­
cult matter, such as mixed faces, tabulations, etc., so that all pro­
duction and pay was based on straight news composition.
Data for still another establishment permitted a general analysis
of machine production for the selected period in 1926. This was also
a morning newspaper, where the operators were paid on a time basis,
as in the first establishment. Approximately 80 per cent of the manhours were on night work and the remainder on daywork. M ost of the
type consisted of 53^, 6, and 8 point type, but some heads and display
type were produced on the linotype and intertype machines. All
the other sizes were converted to 6-point ems for computation. The
pages of this newspaper contained a different number of ems than
the pages in the other two publications, so the man-hours and labor
costs were computed for the amount required for four pages of the
newspaper issued in the first establishment (the original unit). It
required 62.1 man-hours to produce such a quantity in this composing
room, nearly 3 per cent less than in the first composing room, or
40 per cent more than in the second one. The difference was partly
caused by the location of this newspaper plant in an old building,
which did not allow such an efficient arrangement of the work as in the
other two modern establishments. The increase in man-hours was
also reflected in the labor cost for the unit, which amounted to $89.94,
or 3 per cent less than in the first composing room, but 90 per cent
more than in the second one.
PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST IN PRESSROOMS
C O M P A R IS O N OF M A N -H O U R S AND LA BO R C O ST FO R P R E S S W O R K IN A R E P R E S E N T ­
A TIVE P R E S S R O O M IN 1896 AND 1926

A S ONE of the pressrooms included in the present study had also
^
been included in the 1896 investigation,1 it is possible to compare
machine production therein during the two periods. The data for
the 1896 period covered only the number of man-hours required in the
actual operation of the presses by the press crews, or productive labor
in the process, to print a certain quantity of newspapers, together
with man-hours for the nonproductive labor during the same clock
time, and the respective labor costs for both groups. No account was
taken of the preparatory time involved, which would have approxi­
mately doubled both man-hours and labor costs. The data were
converted to the unit previously used for presswork, 10,000 copies of
an average 4-page section of a newspaper, and corresponding data
were prepared from the 1926 records. The results are presented in
Table 18:
1 U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1899.




Thirteenth annual report, 1898. Hand and Machine Labor.

2 vols.

PRODUCTIVITY: 1926 AS COMPARED W ITH
T

able

31

1896

1 8 . — Man-minutes worked and labor cost for presswork (operating time only)
on 10,000 copies of a 4-page section of a n&wspaper, 1896 and 1926
Man-minutes worked
Occupation
1896

1926

Per cent
of
decrease

Labor cost

1896

1926

33.0
22.7
25.3

$0.087
.309
.056

$0.164
.816
.186

Per cent
of
increase

Pressmen in charge.........................................
Journeymen................................... .................
F lyb oys............................................ ............ .

9.9
47.3
16.8

6.6
36.6
12.5

89.3
164.4
234.0

Total productive la b o r .-....................

73.9

55.9

24.6

.451

1.166

158.5

Laborers............. .......... ..................................
Supervisory employees............. ....................

15.8
2.0

18.5
5.2

i 17.3
*164. 5

.035
.030

.289
.159

717.5
431.3

Total nonproductive labor...............

17.7

23.7

i 33.8

.066

.449

585.2

All employees........................................

91.6

79.4

13.3

.517

1.615

212.6

i Increase.

In 1896 the equipment consisted of 1 sextuple press, capable of
printing* twelve 4-page sections per cylinder revolution; 6 quadruple
presses, each capable of printing eight 4-page sections per cylinder
revolution; 1 triple press, capable of printing six 4-page sections per
cylinder revolution; and 2 double presses, each capable of printing
four 4-page sections per cylinder revolution. This would give a
total production of seventy-four 4-page sections per cylinder revolu­
tion if each press was used at full plating capacity. Such was,
however, not always the case, but the portions used were regulated
by the number of pages in the daily issue. If, for instance, the issue
contained 12 pages, the full plating capacity of the triple press could
be utilized, but only one-half of the capacity of the sextuple press
and three-fourths of the capacity of each quadruple press. If the
issue contained 16 pages, the full plating capacity of the entire equip­
ment could be used, except one-third of the triple press. If it con­
tained 20 pages, on the sextuple press and the triple press only fivesixths of such capacity could be utilized, and on each quadruple press
only five-eighths, while the double presses could not be used at all,
thus reducing the possible production to forty-five 4-page sections per
cylinder revolution. The data secured were for the production of a
48-page issue, which permitted of the use of the entire plating capacity
of the presses to give the maximum production.
The sextuple press was at that time the largest style manufactured
and quadruple presses were the sizes most commonly found in
large newspaper pressrooms. The sextuple press was operated by a
crew of 11, each quadruple press by a crew of 8, the triple press by
a crew of 6, and each double press by a crew of 5. No information
however, was given as to the total man-hours for each press crew.
All preparatory time was omitted in the data, only the time when
the presses were actually operated being considered. The presses
were presumably run at a maximum speed of 12,000 cylinder revolu­
tions per hour, judging from the production attained, but some time
was, of course, lost in changing of rolls and through the usual operating
delays, and this was not specified nor deducted. Steam was used
for motive power, and proportionate man-time for both an engineer
and firemen were included in the original data, but has been eliminated
from this compilation.




32

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

By 1926 the equipment had been greatly enlarged, consisting of
sextuple, octuple, and decuple presses, which had a total productive
capacity of two hundred and fort}^ 4-page sections per cylinder
revolution, and which could be operated in many different combinations
according to requirements. Except for the Sunday morning issue,
only part of the equipment was used at one time, and the entire
plating capacity was seldom used, but the necessary equipment
was operated as quadruple units, sextuple units, octuple units, or
decuple units. The number of hands in each press crew was regu­
lated by the size of the unit, regardless of whether the entire plating
capacity for this or only a portion of it was used. For a quadruple
press the crew consisted of 7 or 8 hands, for a sextuple press, of 8 or 9
hands, for an octuple press, of 11 or 12 hands, and for a decuple press,
of at least 14 hands. The presses contained numerous improvements,
which were not invented when the early styles of 1896 were built.
Some of them were provided with magazine reels for the paper rolls,
with newspaper conveyors on the deliveries, with automatic tension
control, or with other labor-saving devices. Electric roll hoists were
used and the ink fountains were supplied by the use of air pressure.
Electricity had supplanted steam as the motive power, permitting a
push-button system of press control and more flexibility in arrange­
ment. The presses were operated at various maximum speeds
according to type of machine, so that on one part of the equipment one
hundred and twelve 4-page sections could be produced at the rate of
12,000 per hour, on another part 32 sections at the rate of 13,200 per
hour, and on the remainder, 96 sections at the rate of 18,000 per hour,
clock time.
For the purpose of comparison with the 1896 period, similar data,
consisting of the man-time required for the press crews, or productive
labor, in the actual operation of the presses, were prepared from the
1926 records. This operative time consisted of the combined time
from the starting to the stopping of the presses on the various editions
each day, including the time consumed in changing paper rolls or
in other operating delays. As the number of these productive manhours for the productive labor constituted 49.3 per cent of the total
man-hours for the group, a similar proportion of the total man-hours
for the nonproductive labor was added, making a total of 1 hour
and 19.4 minutes in 1926 for the production of ten thousand 4-page
sections, as against 1 hour and 31.6 minutes in 1896, or a decrease of
13.3 per cent in man-hours. For productive labor alone the de­
crease was nearly 25 per cent, but a decided increase in proportionate
man-hours for nonproductive labor was responsible for the smaller
decrease in total man-hours.
The labor cost involved in production of the unit (ten thousand
4-page sections) was 51.7 cents in 1896, based on productive time for
all employees. In 1926 it had risen to $1,615, an advance of 212.6
per cent, caused especially by the general increase in wages through­
out the country between the two periods, but augmented by the
increase in man-hours for the nonproductive labor. It must, how­
ever, be remembered that this cost, as well as the man-time in the
table, covers only the productive time, and that the actual labor cost
for the unit in this pressroom was practically double the amount in
1926 and presumably also in 1896. The same condition also applies
to the man-hours.




CHAPTER 4.— DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION
HAND COMPOSITION
TY P E SE T T IN G BEFO RE 1850

H E use of movable types had its start in Europe about the
middle of the fifteenth century. At the beginning of the six­
teenth century, composition, the process of setting type for
printing, had passed the experimental stage and was in practical use.
Its progress remained stationary from then until the middle of the
nineteenth century, when typesetting machines began to appear.
Hand composition is a manual operation. The single types are picked
up, one by one, from their compartments in the type case and as­
sembled side by side into lines. Spaces, pieces of metal similar to type
but less than type-high, are placed between the words, and sometimes
between the letters, to fill out each line to the desired length, an opera­
tion called justifying. When the small tray in which the types are
assembled, called a composing stick, is filled, the contents are trans­
ferred to another and larger tray, called a galley, where the job is
gradually built up. A stick will hold about 13 lines of 12-point type,
while a galley will hold approximately a column. A proof of the type
set is taken and compared with the original copy for errors, and any
errors are corrected in the galley. The type is made up into pages,
extra leads, rules, or blank slugs being inserted where needed. Each
page is inclosed in a metal frame, known as a chase, locked firmly in it
by wedges, and delivered to the pressroom for printing. Such as­
sembling of the types requires both an extensive special knowledge
of practically all educational subjects and considerable dexterity of
the hands. After printing, the type is distributed by hand, and the
spacing materials are replaced in the respective compartments of a
case or other container.
It can be readily seen that hand composition is naturally slow.
In A Collation of Facts Relative to Fast Typesetting, compiled by
William C. Barnes and others, and published in 1887, it was stated
that 40 years previous “ the printer who could set 1,200 ems per hour
was deemed a fairly quick hand; at 1,400 he was fast; 1,700 was won­
derful, and 2,000 ems an hour was considered among the physical
impossibilities.”

T

SIZE AND M E A S U R E M E N T OF C O M P O S IT IO N

Size of type is determined by the height of the face of capital letters,
including the slight projection, or shoulder, at the foot of each letter,
which provides a small separation between the lines. In former days
each size of type was known by a specific name, but the modern dis­
tinction is based on the point system, in which 72 points practically
equal one inch, or 996 points 35 centimeters. Correctly figured, a
point is 0.0138 inch, slightly less than one seventy-second inch.
The body of 12-point type is twelve seventy-second inch high,
while the width from right to left varies according to the width of the
letter or character. A number of older compositors still use the
names of the former system and, as these are often found in references
to the industry, a table of equivalents is presented as Table 19.




33

34

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING
T

Point
size

able

Former name

3H Brilliant.
Diamond.
Pearl.
5
Agate.
5H
Nonpareil.
6
Minion.
7
Brevier.
8
Bourgeois.
9
Long primer.
10
11
Small pica.
12
Pica.
English, or 2-line minion.
14
2-line brevier.
16
Great primer.
18

1 9 . — Type size equivalents
Point
size
20
22
24
28
30
32
36
40
42
44
48
54
60
72

Former name

Paragon, or 2-line long primer.
2-line small pica.
2-line pica.
2-line English.
5-line nonpareil.
4-line brevier.
2-line great primer.
Double paragon.
7-line nonpareil.
Canon, or 4-line small piea.
4-line pica.
9-line nonpareil.
5-line pica.
6-line pica.

An em is the unit by which composition is measured. It is not a
fixed uniform measure, but varies according to the size of the type.
In each case it is the quantity of type which occupies a space in a line
equal to the height of the type body, or slightly more than the height
of the capital letters. A 12-point em is, consequently, 12 points in
height and 12 points in width. This size, previously called pica, is
frequently, though not always, meant when the word “ e m ” is used
without a designated size.
Alphabets of the same point size, and even of the same class, do not
always contain the same number of ems, as the letters may be pro­
portionately wide or narrow, called fat or lean, respectively. If the
differences are very pronounced, the styles are called extended or
condensed. Wide letters required fewer pick-ups from the case for a
certain number of ems, while narrow letters called for more. Some
difference was also created by variations in the length of the line, the
shorter lines requiring more transfers from the stick to the galley.
An ordinary newspaper line of 6-point type, 25 ems wide, contains
an average of 40 types. In continuous setting it would require setting
and spacing each line inside of 60 seconds to attain a rate of 1,500 ems
an hour. This would mean approximately 40 pick-ups from the case
and the justifying of a line every 60 seconds.
T Y P E A R R A N G E M E N T OF N E W S P A P E R S

Until 1760 newspapers in the Colonies were printed on half sheets
of varying sizes and shapes, the earlier size being ordinarily 7 by 9 or
10 inches, but about that time most of the Boston journals began
printing a whole sheet, 15 by 19 inches, regularly. Half sheets
contained from 3,000 to 7,000 ems, according to the size of type used,
and whole sheets double that amount, which is equal to the contents
of one and two columns in the ordinary newspaper of the present
day. Long primer (10-point type) was commonly used. A page
ordinarily contained 2 columns, each 3 inches in width, though at
times it was set in a single wide column. In 1827 and for some time
afterward leading New York daily newspapers were about 24 by
35 inches, but later changed to 35 by 59 inches. The New York
Herald, when established in 1835, was a 4-page paper 30 by 24 inches,
containing 4 columns per page, closely set in minion (7-point type).
The penny papers, first introduced in 1833, came out in reduced
sizes, but many of the important papers retained the large sizes,




35

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

called blanket sheets, for a number of years. In 1853 the Journal of
Commerce in New York published a sheet containing 2,057 square
inches. Daily composition on these blanket sheets often exceeded
700,000 ems.
In 1880 minion (7-point type) was commonly used on newspapers
for reading matter, and nonpareil (6-point) or agate (5 ^2-point) for
advertisements. The 1880 Census of the United States gives the
average and aggregate ems of type set per issue on newspapers in this
country during that year: Average: Daily, 74,147 ems; weekly,1
57,197 ems; aggregate: Daily 66,140,266 ems; weekly,1 490,753,756
ems.
M odern newspaper pages are divided into columns varying from
2 to
or 2 % inches in width. The latter size w as for a number of
x
years the standard on newspapers, with seven columns per page, but
conservation of paper and standardization have resulted in almost
general adoption of 8 columns, each 12, 12
or 13 ems pica in width.
The common basis of measuring space in a newspaper column is the
agate, or 53^-point, line. As there are 14 agate lines in one inch,
each inch of space is figured as 14 agate lines, regardless of how many
actual lines of reading matter it contains. Type may be set solid or
leaded. When solid, the lines of type are set close against each other.
When leaded, thin strips of metal, usually 2 points or one-thirtysixth of an inch in thickness, are placed between the lines. All leads
more than 2 points in thickness are called slugs.
R E C O R D S OF P R O D U C TIO N

M any compositors became very efficient. A table published in
Barnes’s Collation of Facts Relative to Fast Typesetting gives the
best records for the period ending 1886. This table is reproduced
here, with additional columns showing net production of corrected
output, as Table 20:
T

able

2 0 .— Best records for hand setting of type
Gross
amount

Name

Place

Type

Date

Corrected
type

Size® Meas­ Hours
ure 6
Per
Per
Total hour Total hour

Philadelphia Mar. 27,1886 Nonpareil. _
____ do______ ____ do_______ ' ____ do_____

m

28
28

New Y o r k .. Sept. 10,1885 ____ do_____
do_____
Philadelphia Mar. 18,1886 ,
New Y o r k .. June 4,1885 M inion___

16
17|
15|

29
28
25

« l

____ do.........
Nonpareil-.
j M inion___
____ do.........
1
j Brevier___
! M inion___

16
17!
17
151

22\

« 1 2,093 2,093
2, m i
H 3,119 2,079f
« l 2,064 2,064
c 3 6,075 2,025 5, 787^ 1,929$
« 1 2,025 2,025 1, 959 1, 959
4 8,062| 2, 015| 7, 762^ 1,9401

29, 1885
27,1886
19, 1870
4,1885
1,1886
15, 1885

i

151

28
23|
25
25
25

3,416 2, 277| 3, 316 2,2101
3,347 2,231 3,197 2 ,131|

2,160 2,160
1| 3,220 2 ,146| 3 ,157£ 2,165
*3 6,350 2,116! 6, 037* 2,012^
C
N

Dec.
Mar.
Feb.
June
Mar.
Dec.

H

H

O

C incinnati..
Philadelphia
New Y o r k ..
____ do______
Rochester__
New Y ork—

171

CO

Alex, D u guid..
Jos. W. M c­
Cann.
W m. C. Barnes.
Do . .
Jos. W . M c­
Cann.
Alex. Duguid._
Thos. C. L ev y .
Geo. Arensberg.
Ira Som m ers...
Jos. Farquahar.
Jos. W. M c­
Cann.
Wm. C. Barnes.
W .H . Van Bib­
ber.

I

____ do______ -------do----------- ____ do.........
M e m p h is ... Feb. 19,1886 ! Brevier___

15 1
12|

25

i

• The number of ems contained in the lower case alphabet (26 letters).
h The number of ems contained in each line of type set.
« Sticks were emptied by assistant.
Includes weekly periodicals.




4 7, 951 1, 987f 7, 376 1,844
3
4,935 1,645

36

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

These records can not be considered as average production, even of
experts, as they were made in tournaments, ordinarily conducted for
short periods daily and under specific rules, or as a result of wagers,
also involving few hours. The average speed in setting type did not
exceed 1,500 letters, or i,000 ems per hour. There were, however,
many who did not participate in contests, but produced excellent
averages in lengthy periods of regular work. Data for a couple of
such instances, are given by Barnes as follows: Robert Bonner,
employed on the American Republican of New Brunswick, N. J., in
1846, set in 24 consecutive hours 32,997 ems solid minion (7-point),
25 ems wide, from reprint copy, or an average of 1,374% ems per
hour. The following extract is from the Daily Press of Troy, N. Y.,
for December 13, 1873:
Fred W. Schneider, a compositor em ployed on this paper, in the year ending
to-day set and distributed in 312 days, 10 hours per day, 3,234,203 ems, an
average of 10,366 ems per day; highest day’s work 17,485; in 38 consecutive
days he set an average of 12,000 ems per day, and for 5 weeks he averaged 70,000
ems per week. He had no departm ent2 and his work was straight matter from
the hook.

As compositors were paid according to the number of ems set, more
attention was directed to speed in setting of type than in distributing
the used material. Distribution was considerably faster than setting.
The following records are cited by Barnes: F. S. More, of Cleveland,
Ohio, distributed, in 1868, 5,040 ems solid nonpareil (6-point) without
a break-line,3 in 52
minutes, later 4,060 ems minion (7-point) in 40
minutes— a rate of 6,000 ems an hour. This was remarkably fast
as the average compositor will throw in but little over 4,000 ems an
hour, and very few reach 5,000. William Beatty, of the Toledo
Evening Bee, could set about 1,800 ems an hour and could distribute
nearly 6,000 ems an hour, with average speed of 5,000.
R in gw alt4 also gives some examples of fast hand setting. In 1845
John J. Hand, compositor on the American Republican, New York,
lacked only 32 ems of setting 32,000 ems solid minion (7-point) in 24
hours. In 1852 Thomas T. Sutliffe, compositor on New York Courier
and Enquirer, set in one hour 2,487 ems solid nonpareil, all para­
graphs run in. In 1853 Charles M cDonnell, compositor on Ports­
mouth Tribune, set 8,240 ems in 4 hours, or 2,060 per hour. In 1858
William Mink, compositor on Pittsfield (Mass.) Eagle, set 10,046 ems
solid minion in 4 hours and 45 minutes. In 1870 Andrew W. M c ­
Cartney, compositor on Chicago Evening Post, set and corrected
95,600 ems in 4 days of 6}^ hours each and 2 days of 7 hours each, a
total of 40 hours.
LA BO R C O ST AND W O R K IN G C O N D ITIO N S

During the first stages of the printing business the method of pay­
ing the workers therein was probably similar to the method employed
in any other business during its infancy— that of established daily
wages. It is not known just what wages were paid to compositors,
but they were probably about the same as for other skilled help,
quoted by Timperley 5 at 6d. per day in London about 1512. Hand
compositors were later paid by the page, until about 1775, when
2 The material measured did not include any pick-ups of standing matter.
aA break line is a short line at the end of a paragraph.
4 Ringwalt, J. Luther: American Encyclopedia of Printing, Philadelphia, 1871.
* Tim perley, C, H .: Dictionary of Printers and Printing. London, 1839.




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

37

payment by ems or by letters was adopted. After piecework was
established, the prices paid in London were regulated by the size of
the type set, interruption for make-up, imposing, and correcting
being more frequent with large type than with small type. In 1785
before a proposal was made by the workers in London to establish a
fixed price, the prevailing rate per 1,000 letters appears to have been
4d. for English (14-point), 3 ^ d . for long primer (10-point), and
33^d. for brevier (8-point). In Scotland during the same period 4d.
was paid for long primer, but only 23^d. for brevier. Type was
measured by ascertaining the number of ems of a specific type con­
tained in a space of given size, if set solid, and multiplying the result
by two, as the average width of the letters were judged one-half that
of the letter M . M ethods of measurement and rates of pay in this
country were probably very similar.
In 1810 the master printers agreed to a scale for London of 6d. per
1,000 for ordinary letters, including English and brevier, but 6j^d.
for minion (7-point) and 7d. for nonpareil (6-point), all solid type,
with J^d. additional per 1,000 for leaded type. Foreign language
and other special items ranged from J^d. additional to double rate.
This scale was amended in 1816 to % d. less per 1,000 for all material
copied from print.
While this scale was specifically for job work, the same rates pre­
sumably prevailed also for newspaper work, for which nothing special
was given until a committee report in 1820 (published by Timperley
in his Dictionary of Printers and Printing) gave the following scale:
Abstract of the scale for news compositors
Morning papers: £2 8s. Od. per week, 3s. lOd. per galley, 11 H d. per hour.
Evening papers: £2 8s. 6d. per week, 3s. 7d. per galley, 10% d. per hour.
Sunday papers, having galleys of various lengths: 8 K d . per 1,000, or lOd. per
hour.
The galley on morning papers consisted of 120 lines long primer and 40 after
lines, or 88 lines minion and 30 after lines. Twelve hours on, including lunch
time, and 12 hours off, was the original agreement, but 10 hours were specified
for evening papers.

From the time of the Revolution, to about 1850, compositors on
newspapers in this country were paid for the amount of work per­
formed and not for the time spent in the composing rooms. This
time was especially irregular for compositors on morning newspapers.
While the majority of the type for the issue was set up by midnight,
there was always a possibility in seaboard cities that some ship might
arrive late in the evening, carrying important news from abroad.
Consequently the compositors either had to hang around the office
or had to go home subject to being called, so that such late news
could be included in the forthcoming edition of the paper.
There was no uniformity in the prices paid, though the rates on
morning papers were on the average higher than those on the evening
papers, on account of night work. The ordinary piece rate paid in
New York in 1800 was 25 cents per 1,000 ems, but the majority of
the compositors were paid at the rate of $7 per week. Apprentices
worked 11 or 12 hours daily until 1830, when the State legislature
fixed the maximum daily working time at 10 hours for mechanics
without special agreements. The earnings of New York compositors
in 1803 were around $8 or $9 per week. An interesting tabulation
of hours and wages ranging back to 1833 can be found in a publica­




38

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

tion by this bureau (then called the Department of Labor) on Wages
in Commercial Countries.6 A later publication on Wages and Hours
of Labor,7 covered the period of 1890 to 1903, and the bulletins of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics on Union Scale of Wages and Hours of
Labor, brings the information up to date. These sources show the
variation in wages and hours, according to localities. Where piece­
work was performed, considerable variation existed according to
individual ability. Kingw^alt states that in 1864 the office of the
Sacramento Union contained, in proportion to the number of men
employed, more rapid compositors than any other office in the coun­
try. The paper was set in solid type, and the average earnings of
each compositor amounted to $1 for each working hour. The men
received 75 cents per 1,000 ems.
According to De Vinne,8 compositors in New York during 1862
received 35 cents per 1,000 ems on morning newspapers and 31 cents on
evening papers. The scale of 1867 called for 50 cents per 1,000 ems
on morning newspapers for common or straight matter, with one and
one-half price for difficult work. It guaranteed 2 hours’ continuous
composition between 1 and 5 p. m., and 5 hours' continuous composi­
tion between 6 and 12 p. m. Compositors working after 3 a. m. were
to be paid 40 cents per hour, in addition to pay for all matter set, and
compositors working at night only, to be paid 55 cents per 1,000 ems.
Weekly wages were fixed at $24 for 6 days, and daily hours at 10, with
2 of them between 1 and 5 p. m., except for compositors working all
night, who were to be paid $22 for 6 nights of 8 hours each. The rate
for evening newspapers was 45 cents per 1,000 ems, with a guaranty of
3 hours’ continuous composition between 3 a. m. and 12 m., and 4
hours between 12 m. and 5 p. m. The rate for overtime work was
35 cents additional per hour. Weekly wages were fixed at $20 for 6
days. De Vinne estimates that for New York evening newspapers
the actual labor cost in 1871 per 1,000 ems would be: Compositors, for
matter delivered on galleys, 45 or 46 cents; make-up and stone work,
3 to 6 cents; proof reading and superintendence, 15 cents or more;
total, 63 to 80 cents.
At the time the linotype was introduced, wages were practically
everywhere on a piece basis, with the price per thousand ems set
regulated by the union scales. The publishers were required to give
employment at typesetting for a fixed minimum number of hours
each working-day, generally 6 or 7, but varying according to locality.
Distribution ordinarily brought the working-day up to 10 hours.
Employers often stipulated a fixed amount of production as a condi­
tion of employment, as in one city in 1888 hand compositors were
required to set a minimum of 40,000 ems per week of 59 hours, or
678 ems per hour.
TYPE FOUNDING

Y y 'H IL E each printer designed and cast his own type during the
**
early days, type founding soon developed into a separate
industry and the type used in this country during the colonial period
was practically all imported from Europe. The first type cast here
appears to have been by a printer in Germantown, now a part of
Philadelphia, Pa., about 1735, but the operation was not of any
importance. A later attempt was made in Connecticut in 1769,
6 U. S. Commissioner of Labor, Fifteenth annual report, 1900. 2 vols. Washington, 1900.
7 U. S. Commissioner of Labor, Nineteenth annual report, 1904. 2 vols. Washington, 1905,
8 D e Vinne, Theodore L., The Printers Price List: New York, 1871.




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

39

followed by several other attempts. The first successful type foundry
was started in Germantown in 1783. The metal was poured into hand
molds by spoons, a slow and cumbersome process, and it required
considerable skill for a workman to produce 400 letters per hour.
The first type-casting machine invented in the United States was
patented by William Wing, of Hartford, Conn., in 1805. It cast 20
or 30 types at a time, all projecting from a shank like the teeth of a
comb.
In 1834 Daniel Bruce, jr., of New York, invented a force pump for
filling hand molds with molten metal, which doubled the output and
made it possible to cast larger type. This encouraged him to renew
his efforts to manufacture a type-casting machine, and four years
later a machine was patented by him which employed the force-pump
principle and would cast an average of 40 letters of 14-point type or
smaller per minute. Further improvements were developed, and in
1843 a better machine was patented by him which would turn out 100
letters per minute.
The product of the Bruce machine, however, required finishing by
hand. Another style, which cast the type by direct steam pressure
without the pump, and also finished the type automatically, was
invented by Henry Barth, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1885. Both of
these machines are used by the type foundries of the present day, but
the product is no longer employed in newspaper printing except by a
few small country weeklies. Henry Barth also devised the kerning
machine for cutting down type bodies to special sizes, as well as a power
shaving machine for leads. The introduction of the linotype in 1886
brought type founding back into the printing plant, though only
partially and in a different style from that used by the early printers.
TYPESETTING MACHINES
EARLY IN VE N TIO N S

TO U R IN G the early part of the nineteenth century typesetting was a
^
slow process. While the adoption of stereotyping permitted
duplication of each page and, consequently, the printing of several
copies of the same page«at one time, the number of pages in each issue
was limited by hand composition and was not sufficient to meet the
demand. Attempts were made to overcome this condition by invent­
ing a mechanical substitute for the compositor. The first typesetting
machine was patented in 1822 in England, by William Church, of
Boston, Mass., in connection with a type-casting machine which
would produce an entire font of type at one time. The types were
arranged in inclined channels, ejected on a horizontal plane by the
operator of the keyboard, and pushed to a collecting tube by rocking
arms, which were m oved by a clock mechanism released by depres­
sion of the keys, forming a continuous line. The line was divided
and justified by hand.
The first American patent for a typesetting machine was issued in
1842 to J. H. Young and A. Delcambre for the Pianotj^pe, which had
been brought out in England two years previously and was used in
a small way in that country and in France. The type was released by
the keyboard operator from the tubes into converging inclined
grooves, sliding to a stand, where a second operator justified them
into lines. An English type-distributing machine was patented in




40

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

the United States in 1843 by its inventor, F. Rosenborg. It was
practically a reversed composing machine, operated by means of a
keyboard.
A number of different ideas were projected, both in England and
the United States, but type-composing machines did not come into
practical commercial use until 1853, when patents were issued both
here and in England to W . H. Mitchel, of Brooklyn, N. Y ., for a type­
setting machine, followed a year later by patents for a distributor.
The composing machine was provided with vertical tubes for the
types which, on striking the keys, were ejected by plungers, conveyed
on belts or tapes to a traveling band, and by it to the receiving point,
where a second operator divided them and justified the lines. M ore
than 100 different machines were invented before 1885. Nearly all
of these set type, but not with sufficient economy over hand setting,
and the majority disappeared as quickly as they were brought out.
Prominent among these were the Alden typesetter and distributor
of 1857, the Empire, and the Thorne, all using type supplied by the
foundries. The two last named were the only practical typesetting
machines in the United States in 1885.
E M P IR E C O M P O S IN G M A C H IN E

The Empire, brought out under that name in 1880, was previously
known as the Houston, the Greene, and the Burr. The types were
arranged in vertical tubes, from which they were ejected by a pusher,
actuated by a finger key. They were passed down the channels of
a guide plate to a common point, and pushed forward from there to
the end of the line previously composed. Two men and one boy
were required for the operation, the boy taking care of the distributor
which was a separate machine. The output ranged from 4,000 to
6.000 ems per hour, but the machine did not become very popular
and less than 200 had been placed in use when manufacture ended
in 1904.
TH O R N E C O M P O SIN G M A C H IN E

The Thorne was the first combined setting and distributing ma­
chine. The type was contained in vertical tubes around a rotating
disk, upon which they were dropped when released by the keys.
They were carried, in the order of their release, by a traveling band to
the assembling point, where they were formed into a continuous line.
This was divided by the second operator into lines of the desired
length, and justified by hand. An automatic device enabled the
machine to take a whole galley of used type, line by line, and distrib­
ute the characters correctly in the various tubes. It was usually
operated by two men, as one operator alone could compose only
3.000 to 4,000 ems per hour, but with an assistant to justify, the
production could be increased to about 9,000 ems per hour. The
first patent was issued to Joseph Thorne, of Hartford, Conn., in 1869.
Four different styles were developed later— the Thom e, the Simplex
for newspaper single column, the Simplex for bookwork, and the
Unitype, for general purposes. When manufacture was discontinued,
about 1914, around 2,000 machines had been installed.




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

41

M cM ILLAN C O M P O SIN G M A C H IN E

John E. M cM illan, of Ilion, N. Y ., introduced a typesetting
machine in 1884, which was used in combination with a separate
justifying machine. A later model, brought out in 1890, contained
a series of type channels in four rows, and a double machine was
provided with two such reservoirs, either of which could be swr
ung
into position, permitting the use of different sizes of type. The
types were pulled from the channels by striking the keys, and dropped
by gravity to the assembling point in front of the keyboard. After
a line was completed, it was transferred to a carrier in the justifier
where the thin spaces were automatically exchanged for thicker ones.
If the line was not then sufficiently filled out, it was carried to other
places, where the process was repeated until it was spread to proper
size. In 1894 the justifier was combined with the typesetting part
in a newspaper machine, three of which were used on the New York
Sun for several years, and other offices also installed them. Auto­
matic distribution was accomplished at the rate of 10,000 ems per
hour by means of a separate machine on the rotary disk principle.
Three operators were required to handle the full equipment.
PAIGE C O M P O S IN G M A C H IN E

A complete setting, justifying, and distributing machine, tke Paige
compositor, was started by J. W. Paige, of Rochester, N. Y ., in 1872,
but not completed until 1887. Manipulation of a keyboard formed
the types into words, which were automatically advanced, spaced,
and deposited on galleys, with leads if desired. £)ead matter was
distributed automatically. A machine was installed in the Chicago
Herald in 1894. It worked well, but proved too complicated, as it
contained about 18,000 separate parts, and the patent, which* was
granted in 1895, was assigned to Mergenthaler, who in the meantime
had perfected assembling of type matrices for casting type in lines.
O T H E R C O M P O S IN G M A C H IN E S

In 1896 a 1-man typesetting and justifying machine was invented by
Alexander Dow, of New York, which was capable of composing from
5 to 12 point type. The types were released from the channels by
touching keys, pushed into a central channel, and from there into the
assembler. Touch on a special key removed the line to the justifier,
where the temporary spaces were replaced automatically by the
proper spaces. A separate rotating disk distributor was used.
Another machine, patented in 1902 by Frank B. Converse, jr., of
Louisville, K y., was provided with two vertical type reservoirs, for
roman and italic or roman and head letters, which could be shifted
into position by a hand lever. Automatic justification was accom­
plished by pressure of a line key.
Other type-composing machines which were brought out in England
were successful for a time, but did not affect the industry materially.
Among these were M ackie's Pickpocket, patented in 1867, which was
controlled by a paper ribbon, perforated on a keyboard, but which
necessitated justification by hand. It was used by the Manchester
(England) Guardian. The most popular one was the Kastenbein
composer, patented in 1869, which was operated by a treadle. It
9819°—29------ i




42

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

was used by the London Times, together with the W ick’s rotary type
caster, which provided new type for it and eliminated distribution,
and produced 60,000 types per hour, being operated by one man and a
boy. Where the Kastenbein composing machine was used with
foundry type, as was the case in this country, separate hand distribu­
tion of type into hoppers was necessary. Other notable British
machines were the Hattersly, which was operated without power,
used by the South Wales News, and the Fraser, used in Edinburgh,
Scotland. Both of these machines, which were patented in 1872,
required justification by hand.
Attempts were also made to produce impression machines, such as
the first Mergenthaler machine, the St. John Typobar, and the Rogers
Impression Typograph, as well as type-casting and composing
machines.
THE LINOTYPE

T^HE typesetting and distributing machines increased production
A
and would, no doubt, have been developed further, but methods
were completely revolutionized by the application of another principle
in a machine introduced by Ottmar Mergenthaler, of Baltimore, M d.,
in 1885. Instead of assembling the types, this machine composed
single type matrices, released from their respective reservoirs by the
manipulation of finger keys on a keyboard. The brass matrices, with
intervening spaces between words, were assembled side by side, the
indented characters on the edge of each forming a line. As soon as a
complete line was set up, a touch on a handle by the operator started
the automatic performance of the succeeding operations. The
matrices were justified and transported to a casting mechanism, where
they formed one side of a mold, in which was cast a composed and
justified line of new type on one bar, or slug. The slug, which was
type-high, was delivered on a galley, accurately trimmed and ready
to be placed in the form. The matrices which had been used for
casting the line were carried to the top of the machine and distributed
to their proper reservoirs, to be used over again. The self-adjusting
spaces were also returned to their starting point. While these auto­
matic operations were taking place, the operator was assembling another
line of matrices. The machine, which was called the “ Lin-o-type,”
because the type was cast in a solid line, required only one operator.
As his duties were limited to the operation of the keyboard, except
lifting one hand for an instant to send the completed line to be cast,
the speed of the machine was limited only by the speed of his fingers.
After the line had been used it was remelted for future recasting,
distribution of type being made unnecessary. The slugs were also
easier to handle than composed single type, and rendered make-up
more simple, as 25 lines could easily be picked up at one time without
danger of pieing.
A crude machine was finished in 1885, in which the matrices were
assisted to the assembling point by gusts of air from an air pump. A
second model, improved but also of the blower style, was the first
commercially operated linotype. It was installed in the New York
Tribune, where the first linotype slug to be used in a newspaper office
was produced on July 3, 1886. Further improvements were made,
such as substitution of an assembler belt for the air blast, and the




intertype

L ine -casting M achine Equipped W ith 3 Main

42— 2




m ag azin es and

3 Side Magazines

L inotype L ine -casting

m a c h in e

42— 1




Equipped

w it h

2 M ain

m ag azines and

2 Side Magazines

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

43

fifth model, finished in 1890, was practically the same as the machine
of to-day.
With this model the linotype became a commercial success and
rapidly eliminated typesetting by hand. For a number of years it
was considered the only machine adapted to newspaper composition.
M any different models have been constructed by the Mergenthaler
Linotype Co., of New York City, though the principal development
has been on lines of productive variety or for special features, rather
than for increase of speed. There has been very little change in the
productive capacity after the standard speed of 6J^ lines per minute
had been definitely established, though some individual establish­
ments operate the machines at a higher rate of speed. Competition
by other composing machines during recent years has tended to
standardize the linotype, and at present the manufacture is confined to
only a few models.
Adaptability has been greatly increased by improvements in con­
nection with the magazine, which contains a number of vertical
channels in which the matrices are stored, and occupies the upper
part of the machine, together with the distributing device. In the
early styles only a single fixed magazine was provided. Later
another magazine was added, which was also built in but with a
swinging device that permitted either magazine to be placed in
position for the delivery of matrices. Model 5, of which a number
are still in use throughout the country although not manufactured
since 1917, was provided with a single removable magazine that
allowed substitution of another magazine with matrices for different
faces or sizes of type. Removable magazines were provided in all
later models, and split magazines were subsequently introduced,
divided so that the upper part remains in the machine and only the
lower half is changed, rendering the operation simpler and quicker.
In the beginning the linotype was thought to be adapted only to
small type, such as that used for text and for classified advertising.
Each newspaper usually adopted certain sizes and styles for these
and installed machines to produce the same. Other styles and
sizes of type, when needed, such as for headings or display advertising,
were set by hand or produced on other kinds of machines. Later,
special models which would produce larger type were manufactured.
Although only about 15 seconds were required for changing a
magazine, other methods were sought for supplying different styles
of type. The result was the multiple-magazine machine, in which
were added a third and a fourth main magazine, as well as one or two
auxiliary magazines, all responsive to a single regular keyboard.
The operator on one of these machines can assemble matrices from
two magazines in the same line without shifting his hands from the
keyboard. As most matrices, up to and including 14-point size,
have two letters or characters on their edges, the range at one time
would be four different faces or sizes. A touch on a lever swings any
of the other magazines into operative position whenever desired,
giving a range of up to eight different styles with double-mold
matrices. This versatility has extended the use of the linotype to
the setting of all kinds of heads and display advertisements, both
with the models carrying single regular keyboards and with a special
model. The latter is equipped with a regular keyboard for its four
main magazines and a separate keyboard, conveniently located, for




44

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

its two auxiliary magazines. Consequently, there are 12 different
styles, or 850 characters, instantly available direct from the key­
boards, and ranging from 5 to 36 point, which can be mixed at will.
In some of the other models the range includes 60-point.
B y adjusting the mold, slugs can be produced of varying thickness
to accommodate the size of the type, and of different lengths to suit
the width of the text. For newspaper use the latter varies ordinarily
from 123^2 to 42 ems of 12-point type, or from 2%2 to 7 inches.
THE INTERTYPE

TN 1893 W. S. Scudder, of Brooklyn, N. Y ., introduced the monoline
composing machine, which utilized matrix bands, or strips, in place
of single matrices. Manufacture in the United States was prevented
through infringement on some of the linotype patents, and a factory
was established the following year in Canada. About 1,200 machines
were sold before the interests were acquired by the manufacturers of
the linotype in 1905. The inventor later introduced another machine,
the intertype, based on the general design worked out by Ottmar
Mergenthaler and resembling the linotype strongly, which is manu­
factured by the Intertype Corporation, of New York, N. Y. It per­
forms the same functions in practically similar manner, but some differ­
ences exist in small mechanical details.
Profiting by the experience of the other manufacturers, a basic unit,
consisting of the main part of the machine, without magazines, was
adopted for the production of ordinary sizes of slugs. This can be
supplied, according to requirements, with standard interchangeable
equipment of one, two, or three main magazines, and one, two or three
side magazines. The side magazines, which carry matrices up to and
including 60-point, are controlled by a separate keyboard, so located
that it can be fingered simultaneously with the main keyboard. The
maximum equipment gives a possibility of 12 different faces with 2letter matrices. A different basic unit is used for slugs ranging from
30 to 42 ems, or 5 to 7 inches in length, though constructed to use the
same standard equipment as the ordinary unit. A recent feature, the
intertype mixer, sorts and distributes mixed type matrices automati­
cally after use. A single distributor box moves back and forth from
one magazine distributor bar to the other and places each matrix
on the right bar for its respective magazine. The first intertype, a
single-magazine model, was installed by the New York Journal of
Commerce in 1913. Competition with this newer, similar machine is
no doubt responsible for the later developments in the linotype—
standardization and reduction of the many different styles previously
manufactured.
LINE-CASTING MACHINE OPERATION
OPERATORS

V y H I L E each manufacturer considers his product superior to that
* *
of the other, the linotype and intertype are so nearly alike that
they can well be considered as one, especially so far as the influence
on labor productivity is concerned. One operator is required for each
machine, and his work would be exactly the same regardless of which
of the two machines he used, being regulated specifically by the shop
practices of the establishment. In a large or medium-sized plant his




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

45

copy is either delivered to him or obtained by himself from the copy
cutter, who allots the “ takes ” or sections. A “ take ” is the part of an
article or of an advertisement, given to a compositor to set up. Large
jobs are often divided, for the purpose of getting them done more
quickly. While setting the take he keeps the metal pot supplied
with metal equal to the amount of slugs produced, unless the machine
is equipped with an automatic feeding device. A machine used con­
stantly will require two small ingots, or pigs, weighing around 3
pounds each, about every half hour. The ingots are customarily
distributed to the machines by machinists' helpers, who in some cases
also feed them into the metal pots.
After the take is finished or the receiving galley is full, the slugs
are taken to the bank, as the depositing stand is called, either by
the operator or by seme one assigned to that task. The bankman
either turns the galley over to the operator of a proof press, or proves
it himself. After the proof readers have compared the proof with
the original copy and marked the errors, the proof is usually returned
to the same operator so that he can recast the lines to be corrected.
Any change, even as small as the addition of a comma, requires re­
setting and recasting of a whole line. If several words are added or
taken out the compositor may have to recast a number of the following
lines, sometimes clear to the end of the paragraph. In a few compos­
ing rooms all of the corrections are made by special operators.
M A C H IN ISTS

The operator is not concerned with the mechanical functions of the
machine. These are taken care of by one or more linotype machinists,
the number being determined by the number of machines in a plant.
Machinists repair and adjust the machines, see that they are running
properly, change matrix magazines, and often supervise the remelting
of the metal. Helpers ordinarily clean the machines, tend the remelt­
ing furnaces, and assist the machinists generally.
Conditions in small establishments differ somewhat. A composing
room containing less than four machines is usually considered a small
plant. In such a plant the functions of a machinist are ordinarily
performed by one of the operators who has sufficient knowledge of
the mechanism to act as a machinist-operator. Overlapping of
functions usually increases in the same proportion as the size of the
establishment decreases. The duties of an operator in a small plant
may vary considerably and embrace several of the functions per­
formed by specialists in a large plant.
PRODUCTION ON LINE-CASTING MACHINES

T IN O TY PE S were first introduced in newspaper plants. Both
^
linotypes and intertypes are essentially fitted for newspaper com­
position, which demands speed first of all, especially as the time draws
near for publication, even at the sacrifice of workmanship. While
they are also used in periodical and in book and job printing plants,
the great m ajority of the machines have been installed in newspaper
establishments.
After 1890 hand composition was rapidly supplanted by machine
composition. Before that time the average rate of setting type by
hand was only about 750 ems per hour, and few compositors averaged




46

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

as high as 1,000 ems per hour. Hand compositors were ordinarily
paid at piece rates, in fixed amounts per 1,000 ems. With the adop­
tion of the linotype the payment on piece basis was in most places
gradually changed to a time basis. The requirement of a minimum
number of hours disappeared and the maximum number of hours per
working-day became the important factor. This was, in most cases,
fixed at eight hours. While a number of labor-saving inventions
changed the vocations of the skilled workers to mere machine tenders,
the action of the linotype was different, as the amount produced by
this machine was directly proportional to the skill of the operator.
Some time was naturally required to accustom the former hand com ­
positors to manipulation of the linotype, and production was compara­
tively slow in the beginning, even though three times faster than
hand setting.
M IN IM U M STA N D A R D OF C O M P E T E N C Y

Minimum competency requirements for linotype or monotype oper­
ators have often been stipulated in agreements between employers
and employees. This so-called “ dead line” varies somewhat in
different localities, and has been changed from time to time in some
of them. For New York it was fixed in 1894 at 18,000 ems of 6-point
per 8-hour day. This minimum standard was, inside of two years,
so far below the actual minimum production that it did not mean
anything, as shown in a report by M r. Ethelbert Stewart on printing
and publishing.9 In 1904 this standard was raised to 24,000 ems per
8-hour day and increased again later. The agreement in effect during
July, 1926, specified:
No man shall be deemed a com petent machine operator unless he sets a mini­
mum of 4,500 ems of solid nonpareil (6-point), corrected matter, per hour, from
straight narrative copy free from intricacies and impediments, either as to short
takes, long waits, or long walks. In offices where the body type of the newspaper
is other than nonpareil, 4,200 ems of minion (7-point), or 4,000 ems of brevier
(8-Doint') shall be the test under the same conditions as stipulated above.

Similar stipulations, in varying forms and with different competency
requirements, are in effect in many cities, sometimes covering all of
the newspapers therein and sometimes only a portion of them. A
tabulation prepared from data furnished by the American Newspaper
Publishers Association, showing various dead lines, or standards of
competency, in 110 specified cities of the United States at the present
time, is presented in Table 21.
T o facilitate comparison the number of hours constituting a regular
day’s or night’s work in each city is shown in the table. In six of the
cities the shift hours for day work and night work differed, creating a
variation in production on a shift basis, and so they were listed sepa­
rately. In the m ajority of cases dead lines are stipulated as a specified
number of ems of a certain size of type per hour, or per shift, though'
in recent years the line count has been substituted in quite a few
places and stipulation made for a specific number of lines per shift
and occasionally per hour. In the latter cases the figures were con­
verted to number of lines per shift. In 23 of the cities a specific
amount was stipulated for two or more different sizes of type, and
these are all shown in the table. Where a specific type size was not
9 U. S. Commissioner of Labor. Eleventh special report, 1904. Regulation and Restriction of Output in
the United States, Washington, 1905.




47

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

stipulated, it was assumed to be for 6-point and listed as such. The
length of the line was stipulated in less than one-third of the cases, and
the column widths for the remainder were obtained from other rec­
ords. A column is given showing the average number of lines required
per hour in each case. In comparing these figures it must be remem­
bered that the number of lines produced per hour increases propor­
tionately as the size of the type is increased, but that the number of
ems produced per hour decreases proportionately.
T

able

2 1 . — Dead lines for linotype and intertype operators on newspapers in
specified cities of the United States
Stipulated dead line
C ity

Allentown, Pa..............
Anaconda, M on t..........
Anniston, Ala., night._
Anniston, Ala., d a y _
_
Auburn, N. Y ., night..
Auburn, N. Y ., d a y ...
Augusta, Ga..................
D o ............................
Beaver Falls, P a ...___
D o ............................
Boston, Mass..... ..........
Bridgeport, C onn.........
Buffalo, N . Y ...............
Burlington, V t .............
Butte, M on t.................
Charleston, S. C ______
Charleston, W . V a____
Chattanooga, T enn___
D o ...........................
Chicago, 111___________
Cincinnati, O hio_____
Clarksburg, W. V a___
Columbus, Ohio...........
Concord, N. H .............
Danville, 111.................
Dayton, Ohio________
Decatur, 111....................
Denton, T ex..................
Elmira, N. Y ................
Evansville, In d ............
D o ............................
D o ............................
D o ............................
D o ............................
D o ...........................
D o . .........................
Fall River, Mass..........
D o ...........................
D o . . . ................
Fargo, N. D a k .............
Flint, M ich ...................
Fort Wayne, Ind _____
Grand Forks, N. D a k .
Great Falls, M on t.......
Greensboro, N. C .........
D o . .........................
Harrisburg, P a ............
Haverhill, Mass______
Hoboken, N . J., night.
Hoboken, N . J., day—
Hudson, N . Y ...............
Hutchinson, Kans____
D o ............................
Jackson, M ic h .............
Jersey City, N . J ..........
Knoxville, T enn...........
La Crosse, W is............. .
Lancaster, P a__............
D o ............................
Lawrence, Mass...........
Leavenworth, K a n s„„,




Hours
per
shift

Ems
per
hour

Ems
per
shift

4,000
7K 4,500
7
8

Lines
per
shift

1,600
1,800
1.300
1.300

7
M

36.000
36.000
1, 600
1,600
4, 500
4,000
32, 500
35, 000
4, 500
5.300
7,000
7H 4,700
m 4.300
7
4,500
8

4,500

30,000
35,000

4,500
1, 600 •
72 4,000
A

1,600

5.000
4~406~
4,300
4, 200
4.000
3,800
3,500
3,200

30,000

36,000
34, 500
32, 500
5,000
1, 600
4, 500
4,000
7M 4,500
8
8
7M 5,000
8
7H 4, 000
4.000
5.000

32.000
32.000
1,600

41.000
34.000
1,540
7Vs 4.000
5.000
1,700
5.000
5.000
1,500
3,500

Col­
umn
width
(in 12point
ems)

Aver-

48

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T able 2 1 . — Dead lines for linotype and intertype operators on newspapers in

specified cities of the United States— Continued
Stipulated dead line
City

Lexington, K y .............
Lima, Ohio______ ____
Los Angeles, Calif____
D o ........ ..................
D o ...........................
D o ........ ................. .
Louisville, K y ..............
Lowell, Mass__........... .
Lynchburg, V a ............
Madison, W is............. .
Memphis, Tenn______
Meridian, M iss............
D o ...........................
Miami, Fla...................
M iddletown, N. Y ___
Milwaukee, W is...........
Missoula, M on t...........
Muncie, I n d ............... .
D o . . . . ....................
Muscatine, Iow a..........
Muskogee, Okla...........
Newark, Ohio________
New Bedford, M a s s...
Newburgh, N. Y .........
New Castle, P a .......... .
New Orleans, L a _____
D o . . . ....................
New York, N. Y .........
D o .......................... .
D o ________ _____ _
Norfolk, N e b r..........
Norristown, Pa______
Oakland, Calif_______
Oklahoma City, Okla.
D o ...................... .
D o ............... ...........
D o ____ __________
Oneonta, N . Y ., night.
Oneonta, N. Y ., day_.
Owosso, M i c h ............
Paterson, N. J..............
Pensacola, Fla..............
Peoria, 111........ ........... .
D o ........ .................
Perth A m boy, N. J.._.
Philadelphia, Pa_____
D o ........ ...........
Pittsburgh, P a _______
Port Huron, M ich___
Poughkeepsie, N. Y . . .
Reading, Pa., night—
Reading, Pa., day____
Reno, N ev ................... .
Rochester, N. Y ...........
Saginaw, M ich .............
Salem, Oreg..................
Salt Lake City, Utah.
San Antonio, Tex....... .
San Diego, Calif_____
San Bernardino, Calif.
San Francisco, C alif-.
Savannah, Ga., night.
Savannah, Ga., d a y ...
Schenectady, N . Y ___
Scranton, P a ............... .
Seattle, W ash...............
D o ..........................
D o ..........................
Spokane, W ash............
Springfield, 111..............
Stockton, Calif.............
Syracuse, N . Y ........... .
Tacoma, W ash.............

Do.......................
Do.......................




Hours
per
shift

Ems
per
hour

Ems
per
shift

Lines
per
shift

1, 540
1,400

8

7H 5,200
74 5.000
3

5.000
4,800
4,500
1,600

7H

5.000
4.000
60,000
28,000
32.000
32.000
30.000
4, 000

7K 4,200

1,500

3, 500
4.000
4.000
1,400
1,600
34,000
1,800

7,500
7, 500
4, 500
72
V
7Yt 4, 200
7H 4,000

7
7

1, 600

4.000

7H 5.000

7 3, 300
M

41.000
38, 000
35.000
32.000

3, 300

m

1,600
1, 300
5.000
4, 500
4.000
1,400

7h

5, 000
5,000
4, 500

7H
7H

*24,”666’
32.000
32.000
30.000

8

4,000
1,600
1,800

6,000
5, 500
7 4, 800
M

7

7H
7
7
7

72
^
8
m
8
7
7
7

7
8
6
6
7
7
6
6
6M
7
6
6
8
6
8
7
8
6
8
8
8
7
7
6
6
5M
6
6
7
8
8
8
6
5Yl
6
7
8
6
6
8
8
6
7
8
7
VA

1,500

8
8

ize
of
rpe
in
nts)

1,600

5.000
5.000
5.000
30.000
32.000
4,600
4,100
3, 520
5,000
30,000
5,000
35,000
1, 300
1, 300
1.300

7
6
7
8
6
6
6
6
7
8
6
6
7
7
6
6
6
6
6
6
7
8
6
6
6
6
6
7
8

Col­ Aver­
age
umn
width num­
ber of
(in 12point lines
per
ems)
hour

12H

13
12 H
12
12 H
12
12

12M

12'A
13
12J*
12
12
13
13
12
13
12
12
12
13
13
12H
12
12 H
12
12
12X
12X
12H
12
12 H
12
12
12
12
12
13
13
12
13
12
12M
12^
12H
12H
123^
12^
12
1214
12X
12M
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
1234
12H
12
12
12
13
12H
12
12
12 M
123^
12H

192
175
208
209
233
233
187
200
225
179
320
146
222
153
192
194
204
175
194
222
205
175
200
177
225
286
312
180
196
213
200
213
208
183
198
212
222
127
127
200
169
208
210
213
182
171
233
180
187
160
170
160
166
166
200
225
250
229
233
213
208
208
208
150
160
191
198
195
192
150
208
182
186
186
186

49

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION
T

able

2 1 . — Dead lines for linotype and intertype operators on newspapers in
specified cities of the United States— Continued
Stipulated dead line
Hours
per
shift

City

8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8

Tarrytown, N . Y__ _______ ___
_______ ______
Terre Haute, Ind. .... ................. _ _ .................... .
D o . ...................................................................... Do
...... ...................................................................
Do
............................................................... ..........
Toledo, Ohio........................................... ............ .......... .
D o ...............................................................................
Do ...................... .................................................. .
Trenton, N. J ______ ______ _____ ____ ____ _______
Union City, N . J__________ _ ________ __________
W aco, Tex__________________ ____________________
............................. ........................................
Do
D o ........... .................................. .......... .................
Washington, P a............... ................. ............ .......... .......
Do
____ ___________________ _____ __________
Wheeling, W . V a. _ _
..
__
D o .......................................................................... .
D o ..............................................................................
Wilkes-Barre, P a...........................................................
Worcester, Mass______________ __________________
Zanesville, Ohio...... .......................... .............................

Ems
per
hour

Ems
per
shift

Size
of
type
Lines
(in
per points)
shift

24, 000

6

30, 000

Col­ Aver­
age
umn num­
width
(in 12- ber of
point lines
per
ems)
hour

6
7
8
6
7
8
6
7
6
7
8
7
8
6
7
8
7
6
8

4.200
4.200
3,600
3,200
4,000
3, 600
3, 200
4.000
4.000
6.000
5.500
5.000
3.500
3.500
4.000
4.000
4.000
1,440
5, 500

12
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
12H
12**
12
12
12
12
12
12H
12H
12H
12H
12M
12 1
1

125
138
161
161
164
154
161
164
160
187
250
266
277
170
194
160
187
213
180
250
208

A great variation exists in the dead lines for the different cities, as
shown in a tabulation of the highest and lowest amounts stipulated
for each of the different sizes of type and column widths, expressed
both in lines and in ems, given in Table 22:
T

2 2 . — Lowest and highest average number of lines and ems per hour required
in deadlines for linotype and intertype operators in 110 cities of the United States

able

Column width in 12-point

12 ems......... ..........................................................
D o .......................... ..................................... .
D o . . ............... ...............................................
D o . . ........ ........... ........................... ..............
D o ____ _____________ ____ _______ _____
D o . . . _____ __________ ________ _______
D o _________________ _________ _________
D o _____________________________________
12.5 ems............. ............................ .................. .
D o ............. ..................................................
D o ____ _________________ ______________
D o ____ _________________ _____________ _
D o ........ ........................................................
D o ...... ................... ................................ .
13 ems........... ............. ............ ........................... .
Do__................... ...........................................
D o ................. .................................... ............
D o ........ .................................... ................... .

Size of
type (in
points)

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
6
ey2
6%
7
8
5V2
6
7
8

Lines per hour
Lowest
171
125
170
194
250
264
267
266
171
140
217
225
180
160
138
127
161
164

Ems per hour

Highest
286
312
266
277
250
264
267
266
171
320
217
225
233
233
138
200
224
218

Lowest

•

4,500
3.000
3, 500
3,500
4.000
3,800
3, 500
3, 200
5, 000
3, 500
5, 000
5.000
3,850
3.000
4.200
3, 300
3,600
3.200

Highest
7,500
7, 500
5, 500
5.000
4.000
3,800
3, 500
3.200
5.000
8.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
4, 200
5,200
5,000
4,250

In some of the cities additional provisions covered other sizes of
type. In Augusta, Ga., all type above 7-point is measured as 7point. In Cincinnati, Ohio, a reduction of 2,400 ems per day is
allowed for each increase of one point in size. In Dayton, Ohio,
where the regular dead line was fixed at 4,000 ems per hour, an aver­
age of 3,000 ems is considered a fair hour's work in all offices where
the size of type and the width of measure fluctuate, or where intricate
work is performed. In Meridian, Miss., a reduction of 2,000 ems




50

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

per day is allowed for each increase of one point in size above the
customary 8-point. In Miami, Fla., a reduction of 2,000 ems per
day is allowed for each increase of one point in size above the cus­
tomary 6-point, and all type matter set less than 13 ems in width
is measured as 13 ems. All intricate and tabulated matter is meas­
ured as double. It was often stipulated that due allowance be made
for time lost through no fault of the operator. Shop conditions in
the various localities influence production materially. In nearly all
of the cities tabulated each operator goes to the desk of the copy
cutter for his alloted takes and, after the type is set, carries the
slugs to the bank. Consequently the distance from the machine
to the copy cutter or the bank is an important factor. It is ordinarily
as short as possible for the layout of the plant, but varies from 2 or
3 steps up to as much as 40 feet. In some places the copy is delivered
to the operators, and in a few composing rooms the slugs are removed
from the machines by other labor. In practically all of the places
named each operator, after receiving the first proof, also resets and
recasts all lines containing errors, and in many offices he also inserts
the corrected lines in the galleys and takes out those with the errors.
The condition of the copy is likewise important, and the dead-line
provisions for several cities, such as Bridgeport, Conn., Elmira, N. Y .;
Fort Wayne, Ind., Peoria, 111., Rochester, N. Y ., and Wilkes-Barre,
Pa., prescribe that it must be legible. In Savannah, Ga., however,
it is required that an operator must handle in a workmanlike manner
any and all copy placed on the hook.
A VE R AG E PR O D U C T IO N R E C O R D S

The actual production was often considerably more than that stipu­
lated. A committee from Indianapolis, which investigated the con­
ditions in New York during February, 1891, reported the average
production per linotype operator at 3,000 ems per hour, and that it
believed a speed of 4,000 ems was possible.
In a report from the New York Typographical Union to the Bureau
of Statistics of Labor of the State of New York in 1895, the average
production of linotypes was given for several establishments, as shown
in Table 23.
T able 2 3 . — Machine composition in New York in 1895

Establishment

No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 6
No 7
N o. 9

...............................
.............
...............
.................
...............................

N um ­
ber of
lino­
types
in use

50
48
28
20
18
12

Average pro­
duction per
machine
Establishment
Ems
per 8hour
day
28,000
28,000
25.000
35.000
28.000
24,000

Ems
per
hour

3,500
3,500
3,125
4,375
3,500
3,000

No.
No.
No.
No.

10...................................
11..................................
12..................................
13..................................

Average, all machines

N um ­
ber of
lino­
types
in use

12
12
12
10

Average pro­
duction per
machine
Ems
per 8hour
day

Ems
per
hour

22,000
32,000
24,000
24, 000

2,750
4,000
3,000
3,000

27, 532

3,441

The report does not state whether the establishments were all news­
paper plants or whether some magazine or book publishing houses
were included. The year and the number of machines would, how­
ever, indicate that all of them belonged in the former class. Neither




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

51

is there any information regarding what sizes of type were set on
the machines. The size of the type makes considerable difference,
as it takes approximately two minutes longer per 1,000 ems for each
increase of one point. Consequently, if it takes 15 minutes to pro­
duce 1,000 ems of 7-point type it will take about 30 minutes to turn
out 1,000 ems of 14-point type.
In a previous investigation by the Department of Labor, covering
production on linotypes in 27 newspaper composing rooms,1 the
0
average output of all compositors in each establishment for a 1-week
period ranged from 3,267 to 6,200 ems per man-hour. Records of
individual operators, in five selected representative establishments
among the 27, varied from 2,847 to 8,219 ems per man-hour. In 4 of
these establishments, containing 148 operators, only 19 of them pro­
duced less than 4,500 ems per man-hour. In the fifth establishment
the output per man-hour for individual operators ranged from 2,847 to
5,326 ems, with only 4 out of the 23 operators passing the 4,500 mark.
Tables 32 to 49, inclusive (pp. 69 to 89), contain additional figures
on linotype and intertype production, gathered by the Department
of Labor in a previous investigation of hand and machine methods,
as well as figures secured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in various
establishments during the survey for this study.
Additional information on actual production of linotype operators
in 1926, furnished by six newspaper establishments, show a wide range
of output. This may be partly due to different methods of computing
the production, though presumably the same general systems are in
vogue all over the country. A tabulation of the data is presented in
Table 24.
The original data contained the number of hours per shift, the
hourly production, the size of the type, and the width of the column.
The production was furnished in ems per hour but expressed in various
ways by the different establishments. For establishments Nos. 1, 2,
and 3 it was stated that the general average was, respectively, 4,000
ems 7-point, 4,500 ems 6-point, and 4,880 ems 7-point type per hour,
but no statement was made of the number of operators employed or
of individual records. For establishment No. 4 the production figures
evidently covered only the output of the most competent operators,
as the amounts were all considerably above customary averages and
the list included only 18 operators— just a part of those employed
there. The individual production for 4 of these was given at 7,500
ems 6j^-point, for 6 at 8,000 ems 6 3^ point, for 3 at 8,500 to 9,000
ems 6j^-point, for 2 at 9,000 ems 5-point, and for 3 at 9,500 ems
5-point type per hour up to 10,500 ems. Details of shop conditions
or methods of measurements were not included. For establishment
No. 5 the average individual production of seven operators was
furnished, three of whom produced 3,763 ems 7-point type per hour
each, while the others produced varying amounts. For establish­
ment No. 6 the average individual production was furnished for 11
operators, 3 of whom produced only 7-point type, while the other 8
turned out both 5J^ and 7 point type and were listed for each size.
The number of ems per shift was computed on the basis of shift
hours and the number of ems per hour. The production was also
expressed in number of lines per shift, as well as lines per hour, in
similar manner as for the dead-line tabulation.
“ U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1905.




Eleventh special report, 1904.

Regulation and restriction of output,

52

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

T able 2 4 . — Production of linotype operators in six newspaper establishments
Production
Establishment

Hours
per
shift

No.
N o.
No.
No.

1 .............................. ..................
2____________________________
3 ................... ........... .................
4 ................................ .................
D o ______ ______________ ____
D o .____ ______ _____________
D o _______________ ____ _____
D o .............................. ...............
D o ...................................... .
D o __________________________
No. 5........... ........ .............................
D o ...................................... ........
D o ................. ........................
D o ......................................... .
D o __________________________
No. 6__________ __________ ______
D o __________________ _______
D o ........ ......... ...........................
D o . .................... ........................
D o . ____ ______________ _____
D o ____ ____________ ____ _
D o ........ ......... ...........................
D o __________________________
D o __________________________
D o . . _______ ________ ____ _
D o __________________________
D o __________________________
D o . ______ _____________ _____
D o __________ _______________
D o __________________________
D o __________________________
D o . _____ ____ ____ _________
D o ____ _____________________
D o __________________________

Ems per
hour 1

7K
8
8
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8

Ems per Lines per
shift
shift
29, 333
36, 000
39,045
52, 500
56.000
59, 500
63.000
63,000
66, 500
73, 500
35,472
27,952
32, 784
26, 752
30,104
51,056
48,352
60,064
67,176
49,840
53,088
44, 536
59,200
51,840
46,696
44, 240
51,056
48,352
60, 064
67,176
49,847
53, 088
44, 536
59, 200

4,000
4, 500
4, 880
7, 500
8,000
8, 500
9.000
9.000
9,500
10,500
4,434
3,494
4,098
3, 344
3,763
6, 382
6,044
7,508
8,397
6,230
6,636
5,567
7, 400
6,480
5,837
5, 530
6,382
6, 044
7, 508
8,397
6, 230
6, 636
5, 567
7,400

Column Average
width (in number
of lines
12-point
ems)
per hour

Size of
ty p e ;n
points

1,251
1,440
1,900
2,373
2,534
2, 695
2,849
2,625
2,737
3,059
1,656
1,304
1,528
920
1,408
1,816
1, 728
2,144
2, 392
1, 776
1,896
1, 584
2,112
2.520
2,272
2,152
2.520
2,352
2,920
3, 264
2, 424
2, 584
2,160
2, 880

7
6
7
VA
6y2
&A
qv2
5
5
5
7
7
7
5H
7
5H

172
180
237
339
362
385
407
375
391
437
207
163
191
115
176
227
216
268
299
222
237
198
264
315
284
269
315
294
365
408
303
323
270
360

13H
12}4
12
12
12
12
12
10
10
10
12^
123^
12H
12V2
12V2
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12

&A
&A
5A
y2
5A
VA
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7

5

* See text following.
■

A tabulation was also made of the lowest and highest hourly aver­
age production for each of the different sizes of type and column
widths, expressed both in lines and in ems, which is presented in
Table 25.
T a b l e 2 5 .—

Lowest and highest averages of hourly production for linotype operators
in six newspaper establishments

Column width in 12-point

10 e m s............. ............. .......... ..........................
12 e m s............................................. ............. .......
D o ____ __________ ________________ ____
D o ........ - ........................................... ...........
12.5 em s............................. ....................................
D o ...................................................................
D o ........................ ..................... .......... ..........
13.5 ems______________________ _______ _____

Size of
type (in
points)

5
5M
ey2
7
6
7
7

Lines per hour
Lowest
375
198
339
237
115
180
163
172

Ems per hour

Highest
437
299
407
408
115
180
207
172

Lowest

Highest

9,000
5, 567
7, 500
4,880
3,344
4,500
3,494
4,000

10,500
8,397
9.000
8,397
3, 344
4,500
4,434
4.000

EFFECT OF IM P R O V E M E N T S IN M A C H IN E S AND IN S H O P C O N D ITIO N S

Average actual hourly production has increased since the survey in
1895, partly through improvements in the machines, such as multiple
magazines, partly through labor-saving accessories, such as auto­
matic metal feeders, and partly through application of efficiency
methods to shop management. Multiple magazines permit the oper­



DEVELOPM ENT OF COMPOSITION

53

ator to use different faces or sizes by touching keys or levers, instead
of getting up from his seat to remove the magazine and insert
another, or of waiting while the machinist is making the change.
Automatic metal feeders eliminate the periodical feeding of ingots into
the metal pot, and insure more continuous production. Among the
methods of efficiency introduced is that of providing typewritten copy,
which prevents waste of time in deciphering illegible handwriting and
results in greater speed by the operator. In most plants the operators
go to the copy cutter's desk for their “ takes,” and also deliver the
finished galley of slugs to the bank. While this breaks the m onotony
of manipulating the keyboard, considerable productive time might be
lost if the distance from the machine to either place is long and the
takes are short. In some plants both of these functions are performed
by other help, insuring practically continuous machine production.
Though linotype machines are ordinarily adjusted in the factory for
a maximum production of
lines per minute and intertype ma­
chines for a maximum production of 6 lines per minute, quite a
number of plants have found it expedient to change the drive pinions
so as to secure higher speed. The manufacturers of the linotype
advise that the speed should not exceed 8 lines per minute and that
it is preferable to increase only to 7 or 7
lines per minute. The
manufacturers of the intertype claim that the speed of that machine
can be increased without damage to 9 lines per minute. A machine
operating continuously at the rate of 6 lines per minute on 6-point
type, 12J^ ems pica column width, would produce 9,000 ems per
hour. A t the rate of 6 ^ lines per minute, the production would be
9,500 ems per hour, at 7 lines per minute 10,500 ems per hour, at 7J^
lines per minute 11,250 ems per hour, at 8 lines per minute 12,000 ems
per hour, and at 9 lines per minute 13,500 ems per hour.
Continuous production is, of course, out of the question and the
actual production is in all cases reduced in proportion to the percent­
age of idle machine time. This might fluctuate from 25 to 50 per
cent of the total working time for an operator, according to shop
conditions, such as length of takes and distance to the desk of the copy
cutter or to the bank. During the last few hours of a shift, the takes
are often very small, an article being divided among a number of
operators, to insure quick clock-time production, which naturally
retards production for the individual operators.
Occasionally some productive time is lost through machine trouble.
Whenever this occurs in a large shop, the operator stops the machine
and signals the machinist, w^ho makes the necessary adjustments.
In a small plant, equipped with more than one machine and using a
machinist-operator, it might result in stopping not only the machine
where the trouble developed, but also that used by the machinistoperator. No data covering this subject could be discovered or se­
cured, and consequently all figures for production have been treated
as if the work of the operators was continuous. There is another
feature in connection with stops for the operators, the significance of
which is often lost sight of. The work requires a great deal of con­
centration, especially when setting difficult copy such as tabulations.
For that reason it often takes quite a while for the operator, after a
stoppage or even after just an interruption through temporary dis­
traction, to get back into the same productive state as before the
disturbance. If many interruptions occur, the average production
is decreased in proportion.



54

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING
S PE E D PR O D U C T IO N R E C O R D S

Records of possible production furnished by the manufacturers of
the machines show figures which greatly exceed the averages obtained
in the newspaper plants. They were, of course, results obtained under
very favorable conditions and by a few expert operators, working
under pressure and sometimes on machines speeded higher than ordi­
narily. In most cases the tests were for approximately one day’s
duration. For such a period a maximum speed might be reached,
which could not be maintained during a protracted length of time,
even under similar working conditions. A number of the tests,
some of them covering extended periods, resulted in records of con­
siderably over 10,000 ems per hour, as shown in Table 26:
T

able

2 6 . — Linotype and intertype speed records, furnished by machine manu­
facturers

Operator

No. 1—
D o.
N o. 2 ...
N o. 3 „ .
No. 4 ...
N o. 5___
No. 6 ...
N o. 7—
N o. 8—
N o. 9 ...
N o. 10__
N o. 11..
No. 12, _
No. 13..
No. 14..
N o. 15__
N o. 16..
N o. 17..
No. 18..
No. 19. .
D o.
D o.
D o.
N o. 20..
D o.
D o.
D o.

Length of test period

7.50 hours..
6 months...
7 hours___
6 hours___
6.75 hours..
6.58 hours..
8 hours___
5 hours___
6 hours___
10 hours...
12 hours__
7 hours___
1 hour.......
8 hours___
7.25 hours .
7 hours___
1 week___
____ d o____
38 hours.. .
30 minutes.
____d o .........
d o _____
d o .........
.d o,.
.d o..
.d o..
.d o..

Average
number
of ems per
hour

Remarks

14, 560
11, 000

10, 760
13,167
12, 700
12,540
13,287. 5
i 12,000
11, 548
1 10,000
13,066. 7

Corrected 6-point, 26 ems per line.
Worked in regular manner, unaware
of being measured.
Corrected 6-point.

5>6-point, 28 ems per line.

i 11,000

14.000
12,131
14,620. 7
12,858
10.000
19,000
12, 797. 4
Per half hour
4,752
4,664
6,030
6,720
5, 616
5,500
6, 720
7,488

5K-Point, 28 ems per line.

Corrected 5 and 5% point.
Two operators alternating, by periods.
10-point, 22 ems per line.
Do.
6-point, 30 ems per line.
Do.
8-point, 24 ems per line.
Do.
5-point, 32 ems per line.
Do.

i Over.

NONDISTRIBUTION

THHE change from hand composition to machine composition affected
A
another important item, the distribution of used material.
After using foundry type it was necessary to pick out the rules and
leads and distribute them in their proper racks, sorted according to
thickness and length. Cuts, either electrotypes or photo-engravings,
and borders also had to be separated and stored.
The type remain­
ing was distributed into the respective compartments of the type
cases. Linotypes and intertypes partially eliminated distribution, as
all slugs produced on them could be thrown together for remelting.
Only type which was larger than the capacity of the machines required
distribution. In the beginning this capacity was limited, but it was
increased from time to time. In 1916 any letters larger than 36point, or half an inch high, were either foundry type or cast on other




Used t y p e . O ne L etter at a T im e ,
Fo r m e r ly req u ir ed O ne-fourth to O ne -th ir d
OF THE COMPOSITOR’S TIME

h a n d d is t r ib u t io n o f
w h ic h




No n d is tr ib u tio n
s o r tin g

and

of

Used

h a n d lin g

in to t h e h e l lb o x for

p r in t in g
by

M a t e r ia l , e lim in a t in g
Entire page

d u m p in g th e

R em elting

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

55

styles of machines, but during recent years the capacity has been
increased to 60-point, or' five-sixth of an inch in height.
Installation of other styles of machines, which make rules, leads,
borders, or display letters, has expanded the nondistribution feature
so that in a modern plant it is necessary only to pick out the electro­
types and photo-engravings from the forms.
All that remains can
be dumped together and sent to the remelting furnace.
THE MONOTYPE

A T T H E time the linotype was being introduced, Tolbert Lanston,
of Washington, D. C., was experimenting with a device for
producing types or spaces individually and assembling them in suc­
cessive lines of desired width. A patent for his invention, the mono­
type, was applied for in 1885 and granted in 1887. It consisted of
two independent mechanisms, a keyboard machine and a type-casting machine. The keyboard was used for perforating a paper ribbon
with holes representing characters.
The ribbon was transferred by the operator, when desired, to the
casting machine, which functioned automatically, but was controlled
by the positions of the perforations in the paper. The separate types
and the spaces were automatically cast, trimmed, and ejected upon a
galley in proper position, forming lines and columns, in reverse order
to that in which the strip was punched. In one respect the product
w~as identical with that of the linotype— no distribution was required
for either and all of it could be remelted to make new material.
In the beginning the machine was not of much value to newspaper
publishers and seemed especially adaptable to magazine or book
printing plants. The first keyboard w^as controlled mechanically,
by electricity. In the next model a change was made to pneumatic
control— the method still used. The first casting machine, which
made type by compression, was a failure. Pneumatic action was
adopted for the second model, but other changes were required, and
the fourth model, brought out in 1894, was the first machine put to
practical use. It was installed in a commercial printing plant in
Washington, D . C. Although it produced 3,600 ems per hour, it was
considered too expensive for general use. After additional improve­
ments, the sixth model was turned out in 1897. This was intended
especially for newspaper work and formed the basis of the present-day
machines. It was of reduced size, containing only 132 characters,
which were increased two years later, in the seventh model, to 225
characters, the present standard.
The ordinary monotype keyboard is provided with the universal
typewriter arrangement of keys, but with a greater number of alpha­
bets, and is operated similarly to the keyboard of a typewriter. Each
depression of a key produces a perforation in a paper ribbon on the
top of the machine, the ribbon being advanced automatically and
rewound on a spool. When the end of a line of the desired size is
reached, a pointer on the justifying scale indicates the proper keys
to strike for automatic spacing between words for correct length.
A duplex keyboard, which carries two ribbons, is also used. On this
the same copy can be set in two different type sizes or measures at
one operation, or each of the two sections of the keyboard can be
used independently.




56

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The casting machine is controlled by the perforations in the paper
ribbon prepared on the keyboard, all the functions being performed
automatically after the ribbon has been transferred to it and the
machine started. As the paper feeds through, the matrix case moves
so as to place the matrix for each selected character in its proper
position over the mold, the mold is adjusted to the correct width for
the body of the character or space, and molten metal is forced into
the mold. The cast is cooled, trimmed, and ejected. When the last
letter of a line has been cast, the finished line is automatically placed
on a galley, and when the last line has been delivered the machine
stops. B y substituting different matrices and molds, various sizes
or faces of type can be produced, within certain limitations.
According to the manufacturers, the Lanston M onotype Co., of
Philadelphia, Pa., more than 500 daily newspapers are equipped with
monotypes for part of the work. The ordinary composing machine,
as manufactured at present, casts and sets 5-point to 12-point type in
justified lines. It can also be used to produce type for hand setting.
By adding special attachments, type as large as 36-point, can be cast,
or leads, slugs, and rules can be produced in continuous strips or cut
to measure. The introduction of this machine enabled newspaper
plants to eliminate hand composition in headings up to one-fourth
inch in height, and in complicated matter to which the line-casting
machines were not then adapted, as well as to cast larger display
type and strip material. The matrix case contains 225 different
matrices of 12-point size, or smaller, but only 135 of 14 or 18 point
sizes.
A different model, the type-&-rule caster, produces type for hand
setting, from 5 to 36 point, or with proper attachments, manufactures
leads, slugs, and rules. The operation of a third style, the lead-slug&-rule caster, is confined to casting of leads, slugs, and rules only,
either in continuous strips up to 25 inches or cut to measure. A fourth
model, the material-making machine, produces not only the ordinary
strip material— leads, slugs, and rules— but also design borders in long
or short pieces, as well as one-column cast strips. A new model, the
giant caster, was brought out in 1926. It produces large type (42 to
72 point), borders, decorative material, and spacing material of same
sizes from 4-point, or one-eighteenth inch, to 30 inches in length.
Some newspapers use composition equipment, consisting of key­
boards and composing machines, as well as strip or material-making
machines. Others use the latter only.
MONOTYPE OPERATION

'T 'H E handling of monotype composition equipment differs con■
L siderably from the handling of line-casting machines, as the
former consists of two separate machines. The keyboards function
only when manipulated by the operators; hence, they require constant
attendance of one person for each keyboard, ordinarily one who is
capable also of taking care of it and attending to minor repairs.
While the casting machines operate automatically, they are compli­
cated and their mechanism is delicate, making it necessary to have
someone watch them. In a plant where the equipment consists
of only one keyboard and one composing machine, both are cus­
tomarily handled by one man, who operates the keyboard while the
casting machine is running. Whenever any trouble develops on the




56—1




Monotype K eyboard

an d

Monotype Composing M ach in e

Monotype T ype
50— 2




an d r u le

Ca s tin g

m a c h in e

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

57

latter machine, it stops automatically. In such case the operator,
after finishing the line on which he is working, adjusts the difficulty,
starts the caster again, and then returns to his work on the keyboard.
He also changes the ribbons, matrices, and molds, when required,
and supervises the mechanical operation of the machine. It is esti­
mated that he works two-thirds of the time on the keyboard, during
which time he will also be running the caster, and that he will be
busy on the latter exclusively during the other third, really dividing
his time equally between the two mechanisms. On a large newspaper
using several machines, each keyboard is handled by one operator
and there is ordinarily one attendant to every two casting machines,
with a monotype machinist supervising the operations, making the
adjustments, and tending to repairs. Where the type is not composed
but merely cast on the machines and stored in the type cases, a hand
compositor is, of course, required for assembling, just as with foundry
type.
Practically the same methods are followed for the finished product
as for that from line-casting machines. As the product consists of
single types, it is not necessary to recast entire lines in case of minor
corrections, as is the case with slug composition, such corrections being
made by the substitution of the needed characters from a type case.
PRODUCTION ON MONOTYPE MACHINES

TV/TOST of the general explanation for production on line-casting
machines applies also to production on monotype keyboards,
taking into consideration the later introduction of the latter machines.
In most of the larger cities operators on both are classed as machine
operators, with similar rates of wages.
While type is produced in assembled form, ready for printing, from
both line-casting machines and monotype equipment, figures for
production for the two groups are not comparable. Each machine
occupied until recently a special field of its own. The line-casting
machine was intended for rapid production, especially of straight
matter for newspapers, where editions must be prepared promptly
and typographical accuracy is often sacrificed for speed. The mono­
type was primarily better adapted to book and job composition, or for
production of larger type than could be turned out on slugs. The
subsequent developments of lead, rule, and material-casting machines
increased the scope of monotype equipment. In recent years there
has been considerable overlapping of products from the two sources.
THE KEYBOARD

The production of the monotype keyboard depends entirely on the
ability of the operator. According to the manufacturers a record of
18,000 ems an hour has been made, but the generally accepted high
record is 14,300 ems per hour, produced by a demonstrator on the
machine. M onotype characters have fixed relations in width to the
em for each size, based on the proportion of 53 average roman charac­
ters equaling 25 ems. For purposes of computation an em is divided
into 18 units. The characters vary greatly in width, according to
whether the alphabet is extended or condensed. Some types are
very thin, the same letter may vary from 3 to 18 units in width,
maldng a radical difference in the number of keys to be struck in the
9819°— 29------- a




58

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

production of a specified number of ems. The high record naturally
differs considerably from the practical working average, which holds
closely around the dead lines in Table 21. (See p. 47.) A school
conducted by the manufacturers requires a minimum of 4,000 ems
per hour for finished operators. A keyboard operator can easily
keep ahead of one composing machine. In a plant where several of
the latter are used, there are ordinarily two keyboards for every
three composing machines.
TH E C ASTIN G M A C H IN E

The capacity of the composing machine varies according to the
type sizes and the individual operating speed. For 4 to 12 point it
is usually adjusted at 140 revolutions per minute, which will give a
maximum production of 3,962 ems per hour. For 14-point it is
ordinarily fixed at 128 revolutions per minute, and for 18-point at
110 revolutions per minute, giving maximum output of 3,622 and
3,113 ems per hour, respective^. For small sizes it is sometimes
regulated at 150 revolutions per minute or more. The manufac­
turers claim that one firm (in Pittsburgh, Pa.) operates successfully
at 160 revolutions per minute, and that one newspaper (in New
York, N. Y .) produces 53^-point type at 180 revolutions per minute.
The material-making machine has a capacity of 4,848 single-column
leads, or 2,820 single-column 6-point slugs, or 1,920 12-point borders
per hour. When operated on continuous strips its capacity is 780
linear feet of 2-point leads, or 672 feet of 6-point slugs, or 276 feet of
12-point borders per hour. The new giant caster will produce
approximately 650 square inches of metal spacing and cut-mounting
furniture per hour.
Casting of type, strips, or furniture is, of course, a mechanical
process and depends greatly on the running condition of the*machines,
as well as the number of stops necessary for changes or adjustments.
The manufacturers claim that the average production on newspapers
reaches 70 per cent of capacity. Additional figures on monotype
production are included in data on pages 77 to 89.
An important time saving has been effected through the resulting
expansion of nondistribution by the use of monotype equipment.
Approximately one-half of the total contents of a form is strip mate­
rial. When this is produced on the monotype, there is no need to
pull the form apart and spend time in distributing the strip material.
The whole page can be dumped into a receptacle and taken to the
remelting furnace, saving practically the entire time of distribution.
THE LUDLOW TYPOGRAPH

A different style of machine, the Ludlow typography is used in some
^
newspaper composing rooms for producing large display type,
cast in single lines. It was invented by Washington I. Ludlow, of
Cleveland, Ohio, in 1905, and is manufactured by the Ludlow T ypograph Co., of Chicago, 111. It is usually operated by hand compositors
several sometimes working intermittently on one machine. Brass
matrices, which are kept in cases, are assembled by hand in a special
composing stick, in a similar manner to the hand setting of type.
The line is justified with brass spaces and locked in the stick by
tightening a thumb screw. The stick is clamped into casting position
in the machine and hot metal forced into the mold, forming the type-




L udlow T ypograph
58— 1




Elrod L ead ,
58—2




r u le , and

Slu g Caster

DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

59

face line on a slug having either a 6-point or a 12-point body. Types
over 12 points high are cast with an equal overhang on each side of
the slug. When used in a form the overhangs are supported by low
blank slugs, cast automatically in the same machine. Types smaller
than 12-point are cast on 6-point bodies, if required to print solid,
and the overhangs treated similarly in the form. After casting, the
matrices are distributed by hand into the cases, where they are kept
for future use. The machine is seldom utilized for small sizes of type;
but it will cast letters from 6 to 60 points in height in a line any length
up to 2 6 ^ ems, or 4%2 inches. It will also cast slug spacing material
and borders.
OTHER MACHINES

VX^HILE the linotype, intertype, monotype, and typograph are the
* * representative machines in present-day newspaper composing
rooms for production of printing material, other successful machines
are also found.
TH E LIN O G R A PH

A slug-casting machine, the linograph, which is used in some plants,
was invented in 1912 by Hans Pedersen, of Davenport, Iowa, and is
manufactured by the Linograph Co. of that city, resembles the lino­
type or the intertype, and embodies the same principles but with
slight variations in details, such as vertical matrix magazines. It will
cast lines of any length from 4 up to 30 ems pica, or three-fourths of
an inch to 5 inches. With special matrices it will produce borders
or ornaments up to 24-point, and with special block and slides will
cast rule borders up to 30 ems pica, or 5 inches in length. A late
model, brought out in 1923, is equipped with 12 magazines in one
frame, and provided with a power lift to bring the proper one into
position. As in the other two styles, one operator is required for
each machine.
T H O M P S O N TY PE , LEAD, AND RULE CASTER

Individual type is produced in several composing rooms on the
Thompson type, lead, and rule caster. The type-casting machine
#was invented by John S. Thompson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1905, and
was later adapted to include leads and rules. It casts single types,
5 to 48 point, spacing material, borders, and slugs, leads, or rules, cut
automatically to desired lengths. Different sizes of type are obtained
by changing the mold body pieces to the size required, placing
matrices of desired character in the matrix holder, and attaching
holder to machine. H ot metal, which is forced into the mold by
each revolution of the machine, is hardened instantly by a water
cooling device. The type is pushed out automatically, being trimmed
on the way. The manufacturers, the Thompson Type Machine Co.,
of Chicago, 111., claim a type production of 8 to 150 casts per
minute, the smaller sizes being turned out more rapidly than the
larger ones. Leads, slugs, and rules also can be cast, though these are
not made in the mold itself but in a body piece inserted in the moldELRO D LEAD , RULE, AND SLUG C ASTER

Up to a few years ago the most productive strip-casting machine
in use was the Elrod lead, rule, and slug caster, manufactured by
the Ludlow Typograph Co., of Chicago, 111. It casts strip material
from 2 to 12 points in thickness, according to the mold used. The
metal is forced into the mold by a plunger in the metal pot and the



60

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

continuous strip is pulled from the mold by a special mechanism, in
strokes of from Yi inch to
inches according to the thickness of
the strip. A special cutting arrangement severs the strip into the
desired lengths. Approximately 15 pounds of 1-point strips in 40-em
lengths are produced per hour. M any of these machines are used
throughout the country, though they have been gradually replaced
in the larger plants by the monotype material-making machines,
which have a wider range of products, the Elrod caster being confined
to plain strip material.
R OGE R S T Y P O G R A P H

Another matrix-composing and slug-casting machine, the Rogers
Typograph, was invented in 1888 by John Raphael Rogers, of Lorain,
Ohio. Because it infringed on Mergenthaler patents the factory was
moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Canada, where it remained until the
expiration of the patents, when the American Typograph Co. was
established in Detroit, Mich., in 1907. The firm later went out of
existence. The matrices were suspended by eyes on wires, placed at
an angle of 45°, spread in fan shape at the rear and converging into
a common vertical plane in front. The matrices, which were released
by touching keys on a regular keyboard, slid down the wires through
gravity and were assembled at the front of the machine. The line
was spaced between the words automatically with disks. The mold
was brought against the matrices, and closed by the spout of the metal
pot. ^ force pump ejected the molten metal from the metal pot into
the mold to form a slug, w^hich was pushed into a galley by a mechanical
finger. The wire frame was tilted back, returning the matrices by
gravity to their original positions. The machine, which required only
one operator, cast any size of book type and produced about 3,000 ems
per hour.
In 1891, before the linotype was fully perfected, a contest of de­
vices for machine composition was held in Chicago, 111. The judges
reported that, while the linotype showed bursts of superior speed,
the Rogers typograph produced the best and most economical result,
as it was set up ready for running in 90 minutes, required no attention
except from the operator, and ran smoothly. The M cM illan machine
was judged to give the highest typographical excellence, but it was
too expensive, as it required three operators.
MACHINE ACCESSORIES
A U TO M A TIC M E TA L FE ED ERS

Modern attachments to the various composing and casting ma­
chines have also affected production. Automatic feeding of ingots to
the metal pots was first attempted by supplying either slugs or the
ordinary small ingots at fixed intervals, as proposed in a patent issued
to Joseph N. Chamberlain, of Springfield, Mass., in 1899. Other
styles of automatic metal feeders were subsequently developed, in
which larger ingots were used, saving time for the operators by keep­
ing the metal pots filled automatically. In the Margach feeder,
invented in 1914 by Andrew L. Margach, of Utica, N. Y ., the ingot is
suspended from a hook on a chain, in direct contact with the molten
metal, and is lowered automatically as required to keep the metal at
uniform level. The ingot weighs about 25 to 30 pounds, or the
equivalent of 8 to 10 ordinary small ingots. The Simplex feeder




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

61

consists of a clasp frame, holding a long, trapeziform ingot, weighing
about 24 pounds, also in direct contact with the molten metal and
lowered gradually as adjusted. The Knoop feeder, invented in 1919
by J. H. W. Knoop, of Highland Park, Pa., is somewhat similar,
using a long cylindrical bar of approximately the same weight. The
Newton feeder and the Reliable feeder also consist of holders, through
which the long ingots are kept in contact with the metal, but the Lee
feeder, invented in 1913 by George E. Lee, of Cleveland, Ohio, is
based on a different principle. The cylindrical ingot, which is about 3
inches in diameter, rests in a melting cup suspended above the metal
pot. The cup, which in the earlier model is heated by gas and in the
later one by electricity, melts the metal, which drips down into the
pot. The Monomelt system, which was invented by George L.
Curee, of Minneapolis, Minn., in 1921, was based on the early idea
of direct melting of slugs or other dead material, eliminating ingot
casting. It consists of an additional metal pot, placed on top of the
regular metal pot on the machine. It is provided with agitation to
force dirt and ink to the surface for skimming off, and with thermostat
control to maintain a uniform height of metal in the regular pot, so
that every time a slug is cast the same amount of metal is fed into the
main pot from the auxiliary pot. Where the filling of the metal pots
is performed by the machinists instead of by the operators, the time
saving naturally affects the machinists’ helpers directly. The manu­
facturers of automatic metal feeders, however, claim an additional
time saving for the machinists in either case, as automatic feeding
keeps the metal at a constant level in the pot, eliminating connected
machine trouble.
E LECTRIC M E TA L P O T S

The method of heating the metal pots also has some bearing on
hourly production. The fuel can be either gas, electricity, gasoline,
or kerosene. In a hygienic survey conducted by the bureau during
1923 and 1924, 3,575 type-casting machines were noted, of which
64.7 per cent were equipped with gas-fuel metal pots.1 Analysis of
1
the data disclosed that this ratio could not be accepted for news­
paper production, as only 2,066 machines were located in the 64
newspaper printing plants then surveyed. Gas was used for fuel on
1,073 of these, or approximately 52 per cent, and electricity on the
remainder. Since the period of that survey there have been a number
of changes from gas to electricity, due to better electrical heating,
especially for linotypes and intertypes. Electric metal pots are also
used on the other machines, except the Elrod slug caster. The
automatic control of heating in electric pots requires no attention
from the operator and, as the temperature is easily regulated, machine
troubles are reduced. The electric heaters can, in addition, be started
automatically, through a time-clock attachment, so that the metal
will be ready for casting when the operator arrives. With gas-heated
pots it is necessary to have someone come in early to light the burners,
so that the 38 pounds of metal in the pot will be melted before the
metal is needed by the operator. Gasoline and kerosene are seldom
used for fuel except in small communities where gas is not available,
and are hardly important enough for consideration in connection with
production.
u U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bull. No. 392: Survey of Hygienic conditions in the Printing Trades.
Washington, 1925.




62

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING
T R IM M IN G A T T A C H M E N T S

In some newspaper plants part of the line-casting machines have
been provided with attachments for automatically sawing off portions
of the slugs, this being sometimes required to make them of correct
length to fit around cuts or in special spaces. For several years the
M ohr lino-saw, patented in 1912, was the only device for that purpose
but recently the Miller slugotype saw has also been introduced.
The simple adjustment on these attachments to various desired odd
lengths often saves the time of the operator by making changes of
molds unnecessary, but it especially saves time later for the hand
compositors, who usually trim the slugs to required lengths.
REMELTING OF USED METAL

A N O TH E R operation has been added to the composing room
through the use of casting machines— the remelting of slugs or
type. This is ordinarily under the supervision of the chief machinist
on a large newspaper, or of the foreman of the composing room on
small newspapers, but is occasionally apportioned to the stereotyping
department. The material to be melted is either dumped on the floor
and shoveled into the kettle of the metal furnace, or dropped into the
kettle from a trap above. The molten metal is stirred occasionally,
the dross is skimmed off, and the metal is poured into ingot molds.
In some places ordinary stereotype metal furnaces have been
adapted by attaching an ingot casting device, by which the metal is
pumped into the ingot molds by means of a long lever, and the ingots
are discharged by pulling another lever. In other plants small
furnaces of various manufacture are used, which also require stirring
of the metal by hand. Some of them are provided with outlet valves
and spouts, wiiile others require the use of a ladle to dip out the metal
and pour it into the molds. One style frequently seen is the DoubleQuick automatic metal furnace, in which the metal is stirred by
rocking a handle that operates a mixer. It is provided with a circle
of molds, which revolve around the outside of the furnace under the
outlet valve. The manufactures claim that a full kettle of metal, or
1,000 pounds, can be poured and cast in about 20 minutes. The
majority of furnaces are equipped for gas fuel, though some are still
found which are heated by coal, involving additional work in supply­
ing fuel.
A newer style consists of the Supreme metal furnace and the
M onarch Monometer. These are provided with automatic mixers,
automatic temperature control, and movable spouts for pouring the
molten and refined metal into water-cooled molds. They render
the work easier and more pleasant, but apparently retard man-hour
production of actual ingot casting when large molds are used, as shown
by a comparison with hand pouring in a large establishment. It
required
hours of actual pouring by 2 men to produce 400 ingots,
emptying 10,000 pounds of metal from one of the special furnaces
through the spout into 12 water-cooled Margach molds, one man
pouring and the other emptying the molds. The same result was
accomplished in three hours by the two men dipping from an ordinary
metal furnace by hand, each man using a 25-pound ladle and 6 watercooled Margach molds.
In a few plants the usable metal is also extracted from the dross,
which is collected by skimming the metal, involving the tending of




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

63

special furnaces for that purpose, but the majority find it more con­
venient to ship the dross to the metal supply houses for that operation.
In the early days of machine composition a number of the plants
mixed their own metal, but this sometimes resulted in a poor grade
which did not work well in the machines and retarded production.
At present practically all plants obtain the metal already mixed from
the supply houses, many of which have conducted extensive research
in suitable mixtures for the various machines and in the developing
of a combination to fuse at the lowest temperature possible.
In some of the large plants one or even two special workers, com­
monly helpers, are occupied in ingot casting and connected work
during the entire day shift. This is especially the case where a
large number of machines are operated on both day and night shifts.
On small newspapers the work is often performed by one of the
apprentices during part of the shift.
DIVISION OF COMPOSING-ROOM WORKERS

V y HEN newspapers were first established in the United States there
™ was only one class of craftsmen, who performed any and all
of the necessary operations. With the increase in production divi­
sions occurred, such as the separation of the composing room from
the pressroom. The compositors later began to specialize, separat­
ing into straight-matter compositors, ad compositors, proof readers,
and make-up men. Adoption of machines changed the divisions
somewhat, practically eliminating the straight-matter hand men and
substituting linotype or monotype operators for them and adding
machinists. The introduction of nondistribution reduced the num­
ber of hand men still further, especially among the less skilled, who
had been kept mostly at simple tasks. In the small plants of the
early days the foreman was an active worker, but as the composing
rooms grew larger his duties became gradually more executive, and
supervisory assistants were placed in charge of the various divisions.
These changes did not take place at the same time in all of the
plants, and consequently all sorts of divisions of work might exist
at any given time even among composing rooms in the same city.
At the present time each special operation in a large modern com­
posing room is almost a trade in itself, while in the small ones there
may be unlimited overlapping.
H A N D C O M P O SIT IO N IN M O D E R N PLAN TS

Straight-matter, or news, compositors have been supplanted by
operators on the various machines, mostly specialists on a certain
style. During recent years the ad compositors have also felt the
influence of the machines, which have been developed to assemble
type that formerly could be set only by hand. As a rule these
newer machines have been installed in the larger composing rooms
alone, and there is proportionately more hand setting of ads and
of headings for news material in the smaller plants. The product
of the machines must, however, be put together, rules and leads
inserted, and corrections made. Slugs, leads, and rules require
cutting to certain lengths, an operation usually performed by hand
compositors, unless produced in correct sizes on the machines.




64

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The old-fashioned hand cutters are still used in some places, but
since 1910 power machines have gradually supplanted the hand
implements on most newspapers. The Miller saw trimmer, either
stationary or portable, is commonly found in composing rooms.
Some use other styles of trimming machines, such as the Trimosaw,
the C. & G. Trimmiter, the Superior, or the Laclede saw trimmer,
also the Rouse rotary mitering machine. A quantity of slugs, leads,
or rules can be cut in a single operation on one of these machines,
while on a hand cutter it is necessary to cut them one at a time.
Several of the power machines are, like the Miller saw trimmer,
equipped with miterers, jig saws, drills, and routers, increasing the
scope of the machines. These attachments are often used for the
trimming of oversize cuts, or for making corrections on the cuts. On
some large newspapers the cuts are placed in charge of a compositor,
who proves them, stores them, and attends to trimming them when
required. In other places they may be stored in the counting room
or advertising office, so that only occasional trimming is required
of compositors, and in still other places the trimming is performed
by the stereot}^pers.
Aside from the time actually consumed in cutting slugs, leads, and
rules, considerable time was wasted by the compositors in walking
to and from the central rack where the material to be cut was usually
stored and from which it had to be obtained, the cutting being done
by the compositor as each piece was required. Adoption of improved
type cases, equipped with worktable tops and individual slug and lead
racks, also disposed of many waste steps and helped to increase pro­
duction. An individual test was made by one compositor on a New
York morning newspaper in 1916 after some of the improved cases
had been installed. Under the old system each compositor cut his
own material, secured from a central rack, though using a power
saw. This was timed for one night and a comparison made with the
following night, when quantity-cut leads and slugs were used from the
individual rack on the worktable. The result was a saving of 30
minutes for the night by the latter method, or 6.7 per cent.
P R O O FS AND P R O O F R EA DIN G

Proofs are taken of all material to be printed. In some plants
special helpers are employed to operate the proof presses, while in
others the operation is performed by compositors. The type is inked
and covered with a sheet of paper, large enough to leave sufficient
space for corrections, and pressure is applied to deposit the ink on the
paper. The proofs are turned over to the proof readers, who com­
pare them with the original copy and mark the mistakes. Proof
readers are commonly former compositors and are often considerably
older than the average worker. They are usually assisted by copy
holders, who read the original text to the proof readers. The speed
of this work is entirely dependent on the individual and is not subject
to any general change.
After the proofs have been read the errors are corrected by substi­
tuting new material. This is customarily done by the hand com­
positors. The corrected printing material is made up in pages by
the make-up men, and locked up in the chases with grooved wedges,
for stereotyping. Make-up men, who are either hand men or opera­
tors but specialized, constitute another group in which results depend
on personal ability.




DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION

65

The early method of taking* proof was by aid of a planer, a solid
block of hardwood with a felt-covered surface, which was placed on
the paper £nd tapped lightly with a mallet. M oving the planer over
a large surface took considerable time, and quicker work was obtained
after the proof press had been introduced. The galley with the type
was placed on the bed of the press. The type was inked by hand and
after it had been covered with the paper, a metal roller covered with
felt was rolled over it, giving the proof. In another style the pressure
was supplied by a curved segment, covered with felt or with paper,
which turned while the bed with the galley was moved under it by
the turning of a crank. The crank movement and the traveling bed
were also combined with a cylinder, on which the proof paper was
held by grippers. There are still a number of the older styles in use
throughout the country, but faster methods were found necessary
because of the demands of the large department stores and other
heavy advertisers, who often required from 50 to 200 proofs of their
advertisements in advance of publication. Coupled with this was
the constantly increasing number of pages issued, especially the huge
Sunday editions. These were produced during practically the same
number of working hours and consequently in a large composing
room, required several proof presses and operators. The develop­
ment of the Wesel electric proof press solved the problem. Different
styles of these are used. In one style the inking rollers and the rubbercovered impression cylinder are carried over the form by endless
chains, returning under the bed, where the rollers are supplied with
ink. The operator places the paper on the type after the inking
rollers have passed over it, and removes it after the passage of the
impression cylinder. The balance of the operation is performed
automatically. One model, for heavy work, is claimed by the manu­
facturers to be capable of producing 40 proofs per minute from the
same galley. Another style is provided with an inking mechanism,
a rubber-covered impression cylinder, and a roll of proving paper,
all mounted on a carriage which travels over the top of the bed.
Going in one direction the rollers ink the form. On the return the
impression is secured, while sufficient paper is drawn from the roll
and cut to suitable length. Proof presses are made in various sizes,
some large enough for proving full pages.




CHAPTER 5.— DETAILED STUDY OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
LABOR COST FOR COMPOSITION IN 1896
N 1894 an investigation was started by this bureau (then called
the United States Department of Labor) to determine the rela­
tions of hand and machine methods in a number of industries.
The report thereof 1 contained several tables showing production of
composition on newspapers. Other tables, prepared from these, are
presented in this chapter for comparison with similar tables containing
data from the survey for the present productivity study. For con­
venience of comparison at that time, the data presented in each table
in the early report was for 10,000 ems of tpye, and these figures have
been converted to show productivity per man-hour for the productive
labor and for all employees, time cost for each of the various labor
groups engaged in the man-hour output for all employees, and the
corresponding labor costs for such portions of the man-hour. Addi­
tional information, taken from the previous report, is also presented.

I

HAND METHOD OF PRODUCTION
C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O . 1

HPABLE 27 contains data for setting type by hand on a newspaper
x
in 1895.
T able 2 7 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting of type in news-

paper co?nposing room No. 1, 1895
Cost of man-hour
production

Manminutes
worked in
producing
10,000 ems

Average
production
per manhour

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Productive labor: Compositors_________

943.2

Ems
636.1

$0.140

Minutes
45.0

$0.105

Nonproductive labor:
Provers__________________ _________
Proof readers____ _________ _________ _
C opyholders......................... ...................
Supervisory employees................. ..........

10.5
104.8
104.8
94.3

. 167
. 167
. 100
. 167

.5
5.0
5.0
4.5

.001
.014
.008
.012

Occupation

Total nonproductive la b o r ................
All employees_____________________

314.4
1, 257. 6

Tim e cost

Labor cost

.144
477.1

15.0

.036

.141

60.0

.141

The working-day consisted of 10 hours, and the total time con­
sumed by 8 workers in setting 171,750 ems of leaded type had ap­
parently been considered. Compositors, who set the type and in­
serted the leads, were paid on a piece basis— 22 cents per 1,000 ems.
No information was given regarding the size of the type, nor if the
work included making up into pages. It is presumed that the duties
consisted only of actual setting, correcting, and leading out the type,
together with proof reading. All of the nonproductive help were
paid on time basis. The prover operated a small hand-power proof
press.
1 U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1899.

66




Thirteenth Annual Report, 1898.

Hand and Machine Labor.

2 vols.

67

PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION: 1896
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O. 2

Table 28 contains data for setting of agate (53^-point) and non­
pareil (6 point) type by hand on a newspaper in 1896. The workingday consisted of 9 hours, and the total time consumed by the 43
workers in producing 369,000 ems of type had seemingly been con­
sidered. All were paid on a time basis. As no other explanations
were given, the work presumably consisted of just setting and cor­
recting the type.
T able 2 8 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting of agate and non­

pareil type in newspaper composing room No. 2, 1896

ManAverage
minutes
production
worked in
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Occupation

Productive labor: Compositors___ _______
N onproductive labor: Supervisory em ­
ployees____________ ____________________

600.0

All employees________________ _____

629.2

Ems
1,000. 0

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

$0.444

Minutes
57.2

.694

2.8

.032

.456

60.0

.456

29.2
953.6

$0.424

C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 3

Table 29 contains data for the setting of brevier (8-point) type by
hand on a newspaper in 1896.
T able 2 9 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting brevier type in news­

paper composing room No. 8, 1896

ManAverage
minutes
worked in production
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Occupation

Productive labor: Compositors___________

916.7

Ems
654.5

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

$0.166

Minutes
60.0

Labor cost

$0.166

The working-day consisted of 10 hours, but only a single worker
and presumably just the work of setting and correcting 36,000 ems
of type had been considered. He was paid on a time basis.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O. 4

Table 30 contains data for the setting of brevier (8-point) type by
hand on a newspaper in 1896. The working-day consisted of 10
hours, and the total time consumed by the five workers in producing
18,000 ems of type had apparently been considered. All were paid
on a time basis. The tabulation evidently covers just the setting
and correcting of type.




68

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T able 3 0 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting of brevier type in

newspaper composing room No.
ManAverage
minutes
production
worked in
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Occupation

Productive labor: Compositors.
Nonproductive labor: Supervisory em­
ployees___ _ _ ___ ______________ _ ___
All employees_______ _

_

1,066. 7

Labor
cost per
man-hoar

Cost of man-hour
production
Time cost

Labor cost

545. 5

$0. 200

Minutes
58. 2

. 250

Ems
562. 5

33.3
1,100. 0 ;

1896

1.8

.008

.202

60.0

.202

$0.194

C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O. 5

Table 31 contains data for the setting of minion (7-point) type
by hand on a newspaper in 1895.
T able 3 1 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting of minion type in

newspaper composing room No. 5, 1895

Occupation

ManAverage
minutes production
worked in
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems
Ems
666.7

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time cost

Productive labor: Compositors___________
Nonproductive labor: Supervisory em­
ployees________________________________

900.0
10.0

All employees______________________

910.0

.168

Minutes
59.3

.250

1.167

Labor cost

1.165
.003

60.0

The working-day consisted of 10 hours, and the total time consumed
by the 4 workers in producing 60,000 ems of type had seemingly
been considered. Compositors were paid on a piece basis— 25 cents
per 1,000 ems. The supervisor was paid on a time basis. The work
presumably was just the setting and correcting of the type.
These tables for hand composition show considerable variation in
man-hour production for compositors, ranging from 562.5 to 1,000
ems. This variation may be due to differences in the type sizes, in
the shop practices, or in the ability of the workmen. Table 26,
which shows an exceptionally high production, was for a large news­
paper in a large city, while the others were for comparatively small
establishments. The work was probably more specialized in the
former. Table 27 is for leaded type, w^hich means the additional
work of inserting the leads. This table also includes proving and
proof reading for the process, while the others include supervisory
help only. The latter does not appear in Table 29, probably because
the solitary worker acted also in that capacity. The difference in
man-hour labor costs is due mostly to locality, which ordinarily ac­
counts for variations in wages. In the previous report the informa­
tion was not presented for a comparison of these various tables with
each other, but for the comparison of each table with another that
covered a plant where similar work was performed by the machine
method. (See Tables 32 to 36.)




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

69

1896

MACHINE METHOD OF PRODUCTION
C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O . 6

T^ABLE 32 contains data for the setting of type with linotypes on
A
a newspaper in 1895. The working day for linotype operators
consisted of eight hours and for those of the other employees of nine
hours. The total time consumed by the seven workers of each division
in producing 246,400 ems of type had apparently been considered. All
were paid on a time basis. No information was given regarding the size
of the type. Linotype operators were substituted for hand com­
positors, except one man, the bankman, who leaded out the matter
on the galleys. The tabulation included proving, proof reading, and
supervisory help, similar to items for hand setting in Table 27, with
which it is comparable. It also contained the vocation of machinistengineer, for keeping the machines in running order and furnishing
operating power. This was not necessary under hand setting, but
was required for machine production. The provers operated small
hand-power proof presses.
T able 3 2 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of type in

newspaper composing room No. 6, 1895

Occupation

ManAverage
minutes
production
worked in per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Machine operators____________
Bankmen____________________

136.4
21.9

Total, productive labor___

158.3

Provers_____________________ _
Proof readers_________________
Supervisory employees----------Machinist-engineers__________

26.8
43.8
21. 9

Total, nonproductive labor

Ems
4, 398.

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time cost

$0.438
.358

Labor cost

Minutes
30.0
4.8

I. 219
.025

3, 790. 3

114.4

.1 1
1
.222

.370
.556

21. 9

All employees_____________

.011

5.9
9.6
4.8
4.8

.036
.045
.030

2, 200. 2

C O M P O SIN G R O O M NO. 7

Table 33 contains data for the setting of agate (53^-point), non­
pareil (6-point), and minion (7-point) type on a newspaper in 1896,
with linotypes.
T able 3 3 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of agate, non­

pareil, and minion type in newspaper composing room No. 7, 1896

Occupation

Productive labor: Operators------Nonproductive labor:
Machinists-------- -----------------Machinists’ helpers_________
Supervisory employees______

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Ems
4,319.6

$0. 615

Minutes
49.7

$0. 509

. 677
.313
.951

2.9
3.0
4.4

.033
.015
.070

138.9

8.2

8.3
12.3

Time cost




Labor cost

10.3

Total, nonproductive labor
All employees........... ...........

Cost of man-hour
production

ManAverage
minutes
production
worked in
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

3,577.8

.627

.627

70

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The working-day consisted of 8 hours, and the total time consumed
by the 42 linotype operators and the 7 other workers who were em­
ployed at nonproductive labor in producing 6,260,750 ems of type had
evidently been considered. All were paid on a time basis, but the
operators received different rates, varying from $27 to $33 per week.
Amounts paid them have been adjusted according to the time worked
at each rate, and the man-hour labor cost shown for operators is
average rate on such basis. The same procedure has been followed
with others, where varying rates existed in any group. An additional
item of 5 cents appeared in the original table for rented steam power,
the actual cost for production of the 10,000 ems. This item has
not been included in Table 33, as it does not involve workers in the
establishment. Table 33 is comparable with Table 28.
C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O. 8

Table 34 contains data for setting agate (5j^-point), nonpareil
(6-point), and minion (7-point) type on a newspaper, in 1896, with
linotypes. The working-day consisted of 8 hours, and the total time
consumed by the 26 linotype operators and the 6 other workers in
producing 5,016,816 ems of type had seemingly been considered. All
were paid on a time basis. The actual cost of 0.75 cent for rented
power has not been included in the table, which is comparable with
Table 29.
T able 3 4 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of agate, non­

pareil, and minion type in newspaper composing room No. 8, 1896
Cost of man-hour
production

ManAverage
minutes
worked in production
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Occupation

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Ems
3, 584. 2

$0. 667

Minutes
49.8

$0. 553

.677
.313
.938

3. 4
3.4
3.4

.038
.018
.053

Productive labor: Operators............ ..........

167.4

Nonproductive labor:
M achinists.... .............................. ......... .
Machinists’ helpers_____ ____ ________
Supervisory em ployees.................. ........

11. 4
11.5
11.4

Total, nonproductive la b o r .,........... .
All em ployees..................................

34.3
201.7

Time cost

Labor cost

.642
2, 974. 7

10.2 |

. 109

.662

60.0

.662

C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O. 9

Table 35 contains data for setting of agate (53^-point), nonpareil
(6-point), and minion (7-point) type on a newspaper in 1896? with
linotypes.




71

PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION: 1896

T able 3 5 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting o f agate, non­

pareil, and minion type in newspaper composing room No. 9, 1896
ManAverage
minutes
worked in production
per manproducing
hour
10,000 ems

Occupation

Productive labor: Operators_______ ____
Nonproductive labor:
Machinists___________________________
Machinists’ helpers___________________
Supervisory employees_______________

136.9

Ems
4, 382. 8

Total, nonproductive labor_________

39.5
176.4

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

$0.625

Minutes
46.6

$0. 485

.729
.313
.990

15.8
7.9
15.8

All employees______________________

Labor
cost per
man-hour

5.4
2.7
5.4

.065
.014
.089

.750
3,401. 4

13.4

.168

.653

60.0

.653

The working-day consisted of eight hours, and the total time con­
sumed by the 17 linotype operators and the 5 nonproductive laborers
in producing 3,651,300 ems of type had evidently been considered. All
were paid on a time basis. Actual cost of 10 cents for rented power
has not been included in Table 35. The table is comparable with
Table 30.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O. 10

Table 36 contains data for setting of agate (53^-point), nonpareil
(6-point), and minion (7-point) type on a newspaper, in 1895, with lino­
types. The working-day consisted of eight hours, and the total time
consumed by the 11 linotype operators and the 2 other employees in
producing 548,200 ems of type had apparently been considered. Oper­
ators were paid on a piece basis— 14 cents per 1,000 ems. The others
were paid on a time basis. In the table in the previous report from
which Table 36 was compiled there was included in the time worked
in the setting of 10,000 ems 4.4 hours each for 1 engineer, at $3 per
10-hour day, and 1 fireman, at $2 per 10-hour day, but these items
have not been included in Table 36, in order to keep the tables uniform.
The table is especially comparable with Table 31, but as the type
sizes are similar and the personnel proportionally the same as those
in Tables 33, 34, and 35, it is also comparable with them and their
analogous tables for hand composition.
T a b l e 3 6 .—

Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of agate, non­
pareil, and minion type in neswpaper composing room No. 10, 1895

Occupation

Productive labor: Operators.....................
Nonproductive labor:
Machinists___________________________
Supervisory employees________ ______

Average
production
per manhour

Labor
cost per
man-hour

132.4

Ems
4, 531. 7

$0. 634

Minutes
53.0

$0. 560

.515
.770

3.5
3.5

.030
.045

8.8
8.8

Total, nonproductive labor_________

17.6

A11 employees______________________

150.0




Cost of man-hour
production

Manminutes
worked in
producing
10,000 ems

Tim e cost

Labor cost

.642
4,000.0

7.0

.075

.635

60.0

.635

72

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

The man-hour production by the machine method also shows a
variation for the productive workers— the operators— though propor­
tionally less than was apparent for the hand compositors, ranging
from 3,584.2 to 4,531.7 ems. The variations are probably due more
to differences in shop practices or conditions than to differences in
the skill of the operators.
AVERAGE M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION AND LABOR COST BY HAND
AND BY MACHINE METHODS IN 1896

\ D E C ID E D increase in production is, however, noticeable for the
machine method when the five tables for it are compared with
the five tables for the hand method, as shown in Table 37. Allow­
ance must be made in such comparison for the difference in size of
type (which is shown in Tables 28 to 36). Man-hour production, in
each establishment, is shown for the productive labor alone, and also
for all employees, which includes time for the nonproductive labor
that was necessary in the process. Labor cost per man-hour both
for productive labor and for all employees, is also shown. The
averages are based on total man-hours, total production, and total
labor cost for the five establishments in each group.
T able 3 7 . — Comparison of man-hour production and labor cost for 10 newspaper

composing rooms, 1895 and 1896
Man-hour production
for—

Man-hour labor cost
for—

Method of production and establishment
Productive
labor

All
Productive
All
employees
labor
employees

Hand method:
No. 1________ ____ _______________ _______ _______
No. 2_______________________________ _____ _______
N o. 3 ________ _______ ________ _______ __________
N o. 4________ ______ _____________________________
No. 5_______________ _____________________________

Ems
636.1
1, 000. 0
654. 5
562. 5
666.7

Ems
477.1
953.6

Average.______ _____ _________ ______ __________
Machine method:
No. 6__________ _______ _____ ___________ ____ _
No. 7.......... ............................................. .........................
N o. 8__________________ _____ ______ _____________
N o. 9........................ ......... ........... ................. ............. .
N o. 10.............. ................... ........... .................................
Average_________ __________ _____________ _____ _
Increase for machine method over hand m ethod............

$0.141
.456

545.5
659.3

$0.140
.444
.166
.200
.167

677.8

615.9

.207

.215

3, 790.3
4,319.6
3, 584. 2
4,382.8
4, 531. 7

2, 200. 2
3, 577.8
2,974. 7
3,401.4
4,000.0

.420
.615
.667
.625
.634

.366
.627
.662
.653
.635

4,161. 9
Per cent
511.1

3,097.9
Per cent
403.0

.590
Per cent
185.2

.567
Per cent
163.7

.202
.168

The weighted averages reveal that over six times as much type was
turned out per man-hour by the productive labor in the five establish­
ments using the machine method as in the five establishments using
the hand method. It must, however, be considered that a certain
amount of supervision was required in both methods and that the
machine method necessitated additional help, so that a comparison
between the man-hour production for all employees would be more
indicative than that for the productive labor only. The averages for
all employees reduces the increase, but still shows more than five times
the amount of type per man-hour produced by the machine method
than by the hand method.




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION: 1896

73

The labor cost per man-hour varies considerably for the two
methods, although the periods involved were all within two years,
1895 and 1896. This is partly due to the data for the machine
method covering establishments in larger cities, where higher wages
and shorter working shifts prevailed. The averages show that where
the machine method was employed, the labor cost per man-hour for
productive labor was 185 per cent more than the cost in establish­
ments using the hand method, and for all employees was nearly
164 per cent more. These data for hand composition and early
machine composition assume new importance for comparison with
present day composition, as revealed by the survey just finished, data
for which are presented in chapter 6.
9819°— 29--- 6




CHAPTER 6.— DETAILED STUDY OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
LABOR COST FOR COMPOSITION IN 1916 AND 1926
U R IN G the latter part of 1926 an investigation was com ­
menced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to ascertain if
any changes had taken place in labor productivity of news­
paper composing rooms, as well as of other departments. Establish­
ments were visited and data were secured from production records
and pay rolls of the firms. Personal inspections were made of the
different operations and the conditions under which they were
performed. In addition, explanations were obtained from super­
visory forces of special conditions, peculiar to each establishment,
which might affect production. M any of these conditions which
would prove very interesting, unfortunately can not be described
without disclosing the identity of the establishment.
The survey was directed toward securing data on actual accomplish­
ments in regular daily work, not on what could be done under the
most favorable circumstances. Figures were obtained for periods of
one m onth’s duration in each establishment, day by day, to insure a
fair and impartial average. As each place used a special system of
its own for records, much detail work was necessary in securing the
information, so that the facts could be presented in a uniform manner
for all of the establishments. Considerable tabulation and compila­
tion were required later to reduce the data to a man-hour basis. The
resulting data for the composing rooms are presented in Tables 38 to
48. The composing rooms investigated in this survey have been
given numbers following those given the composing rooms included
in the previous survey, with the exception of two which were also
investigated in the early survey and so are given the same numbers,
thus facilitating comparisons for the same establishments during
different periods.
Information relating to other departments is
shown in the chapters relating to such departments.

D

HAND METHOD OF PRODUCTION
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 11

Hand composition, with the use of foundry type, is almost a thing
of the past on newspapers in cities of any size; but one establishment
was found where it was still used. Table 38 contains data for this
establishment, which issues a weekly publication:
T

3 8 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in hand setting of 10-point type
(with make-up and subsequent distribution) in newspaper composing room No. 11,
1926

able

Occupation

Man-hours
Average
Labor cost
worked in production per manproducing
per manhour
hour
292,260 ems

Productive labor: Compositors___________
N onproductive labor: Supervisory em­
ployees
_ _________________

1,129. 5

All employees............................... ........

1, 345. 5

74




Cost of man-hour pro­
duction
Tim e cost

Labor cost

216.0
217.2

$0.270

Minutes
50.4

$0.227

.602

Ems
258.8

9.6

.096

.323

60.0

.323

PRODUCTIVITY

0$

COMPOSITION: 1916 AND

1926

*75

Table 88 CpVerS the eritire typographical work on the publication.
The workers have beeu divided into productive labOr-—the hand eOnipOiitOr§j who set the type aild corrected the errors* and also distributed
the used material after the printing was finished— and nonproductive
labor j those who read the proofs, made up the pages, and supervised
the other work. Accurate figures could not be obtained for the
setting of type alone, for no record was kept of the time devoted to
any single operation. As the publication was issued weekly, it con­
sisted of one edition only. Consequently, the number of pages made
up corresponded with the number of pages in the issues, requiring less
work on make-up than is customary on ordinary daily newspapers.
Both production and labor costs have been computed on the same
basis as in the previous chapter, to show productivity per man-hour
for productive labor alone and for all employees, and the time cost
and labor cost for each of the different groups engaged in the man-hour
output for all employees. The few employees, who all worked 9 hours
per day, daywork, were paid on a time basis, and did not have any
overtime. Wages for compositors ranged from $14 to $17 per week,
an unusually low rate compared with the ordinary wages of the period
for the trade— $30 to $65 per week.
MACHINE METHOD OF PRODUCTION

The tabulations for the next four composing rooms also cover the
entire typographical work on each publication, but differ from the
preceding one, as part of the type was set by machine and part of it by
hand. Machine operators have, therefore, been grouped with hand
compositors as productive labor and, while man-hour production
is shown for the operators alone where possible, and also for total
productive labor, the computations have been made on the basis
of man-hours for all employees.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 12

Table 39 contains data for setting 25,116,360 ems of type with
line-casting machines and 2,925,676 ems by hand, on a newspaper
in 1926, including proof reading and make-up.
T

39.-— Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of 5}/2, 6, and
8 point type, and hand setting of larger type reduced to 6-point measure, in news­
paper composing room No. 12, 1926

able

Occupation

Man-hours
Average
worked in
Labor cost
producing production per manpGr iiieii*
hour
28,042,036
hour
ems

Machine operators_______________________
Hand compositors________________________

6, 586. 8
5,846.0

Ems
3,813.2
500.5

Total productive labor______________

12,432. 8

2, 255. 5

Machinists............... ........................................
Proof readers____________ ______________
Laborers.__ _____ ____ __________________
Supervisory employees__________________

1, 304. 8
2,193.0
415.0
721.0

Total, nonproductive labor_________

17,066. 5




Tim e cost

Labor cost

$1.448
1. 255

Minutes
23.2
20.5

$0.559
.430

1. 358

43.7

.989

1.298
1.454
.449
1. 846

4, 633. 8

All employees_________ ________ ___

Cost of man-hour
production

4. 6
7.7
1.5
2.5

.099
. 18.7
.011
.078

1.381
1, 43.1

16.3

.375

1.364

60.0

1.364

76

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The newspaper w^as published mornings, Sundays included, but
while most of the work in the composing room was performed at
night, part of it was handled by a day shift, whose aggregate hours
were approximately one-fifth of the whole. Seven hours constituted
a net working shift, day or night, except for one day laborer in the
machine department who tended the remelting of the metal and
worked an 8-hour shift.
The group classed as machine operators consisted of linotype and
intertype operators. The type produced on the machines was
principally of three sizes, 8-point for the majority of the news text,
53^-point for some news and for the classified advertising, and 6-point
for stock and market quotations. Other sizes, required for display
advertisements or for headings, were also produced within the
limitations of the machines. To simplify compilation the em
quantities of the various kinds have been added, as if all were of the
same size. Each operator secured his copy from the copy cutter’s
desk and carried his completed takes to the bank, and also set his
own corrections. There was no record of actual operating time on
the machines, nor of delays due to machine trouble, so the production
figures are based on full working time for the operators.
The group classed as hand compositors included make-up men
and apprentices, as well as the regular hand compositors who set type
and operated the Ludlow typographs, since intermingling of duties
did not permit separation. The production listed for this group is
not the actual number of ems set of the different sizes, but has been
computed by a method commonly used. The space occupied by the
varied-size, large type in display ads and in heads of articles is
measured and computation made of the number of ems of 6-point
type required to fill it. The result is used to indicate the number of
ems set. Practically all daily newspapers of* the present period
publish several editions of each daily issue, to supply important
news as early as possible and to meet competition, or to furnish the
surrounding sections or communities with the latest news possible
according to train service or other transportation facilities. The
number of these editions naturally affects the work of the compositors,
especially the make-up men, in proportion to the number of pages
changed. In this case three separate editions were turned out daily,
and the total number of pages made up during the period was double
the number of pages contained in the final editions of the daily issues.
The group classed as machinists consisted of linotype machinists,
who also supervised the operation of the monotypes as well as slug
or rule casters in the establishment. The group classed as laborers
included the linotype laborers, mentioned previously, and provers,
who used both automatic and hand proof presses. The other two
groups covered only the vocations listed in their titles, proof readers
and supervisors.
The total man-hours for nonproductive labor were considerably
less than those for productive labor, being only 27.2 per cent as against
72.8 per cent of the total for all employees. In this table, as well
as in other tables for this survey, the labor cost per man-hour and
the actual labor cost for producing a specified number of ems naturally
show a decided increase when compared with figures in the previous
survey, due to the constant increase in daily or weekly rates of wages
and the shortening of daily or weekly working hours during the




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

1916 AND

1926

77

interim. This is a general feature affecting practically all places,
though the changes have not been uniform in all localities, and
differences consequently exist according to location of the plant.
There are, however, also special circumstances which influence
conditions in individual plants, such as the proportionate amount of
overtime and the proportionate amount of day work or night work.
The overtime rate is usually time and one-half, while the rate for
night work is ordinarily 50 cents to $1 more per shift than for day
work. In this composing room 2.8 per cent of the total man-hours
worked were overtime, all belonging to the night shift, 75.7 per cent
were night work inside of regular hours, and 21.5 per cent were day
work.
Daily wages for ordinary machine operators, hand compositors,
machinists, and proof readers were the same, but the actual labor cost
per man-hour differed for the groups. It was comparatively low for
hand compositors, due to a proportionately large number of day work­
ers and the inclusion of several apprentices, who received lower rates
of pay. Machinists also show a low average on account of a large
percentage of day workers, while the comparatively high rate for
proof readers was caused by relatively fewer day workers. The total
number of employees in each group, the actual daily rates of wages
for the different positions, and a list of the equipment, can not be pub­
lished without practically revealing the indentity of the establishment.
C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O. 8 IN 1916

Tables 40 and 41 contain data for setting partly on linotypes,
intertypes, and monotypes, and partly by hand 46,702,017 ems of
53^5, 6, and 7 point type on a newspaper in 1916. The establishment
is the one previously listed as No. 8, data for which are given in
Table 34. For that reason two tables have been compiled for this
establishment, one conforming to the classification in Table 34, and
including only part of the personnel, while the other relates to full
production and all employees in the composing room.
T

4 0 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of 5}/%, 6, and
7 point type for news composition, in newspaper composing room No. 8, 1916

able

Occupation

Man-hours Average
worked in production Labor cost
producing
per manper infill"
hour
29,016,017
hour
ems

Productive labor: Operators______ ______ _

8,712.3

Nonproductive labor:
Machinists
______ _
Machinists’ helpers._ ________ ______ _
Supervisory employees ______________

10,924.3 !

Labor cost

2, 656.1

$0. 698

Minutes
47.9

$0.557

4.8
4.0
3.4

.065
.020
.053

.682

2, 212.0

All employees_________ ___________

Time cost

.818
.297
.950

Ems
3, 330. 5

869.6
730.0
612.5

Total, nonproductive labor_________

Cost of man-hour
production

12.1

. 138

.695

60.0

.695

The newspaper was published mornings, Sundays included. M ost
of the composing-room work was performed at night but approxi­
mately 4.5 per cent of the total time worked was outside night-shift
hours, not including the overtime of night-shift workers. Seven and
one-half hours, exclusive of the lunch period, constituted a regular
shift for night work.



78

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

Only news bperaiors hare beeii considered for productive labor in
Table 40, which reveals a considerably smaller output pel* man-hour
than liable 34 shows for the same establishment during the earlier
period, both for these and for all employees. As the only information
available for the 1896 period consisted of the figures given in the tables,
the reason for the decrease can not be determined absolutely. It was
claimed that in 1916 the bulk of the copy for the operators was
furnished during the last few hours before publication, necessitating
a proportionately large number of machines to set it up, while during
the early part of each shift a smaller number of machines could
have handled the copy supplied then. The average production was
consequently smaller than if the supply of copy had been distributed
evenly. For the different groups of nonproductive labor the pro­
portionate amounts of the time and labor cost of man-hour production
for each have been computed in the same manner as in Table 34.
The group of machinists shows an increase in time cost of over 41
per cent in 1916, indicating that a proportionately larger force of
these were employed, which is also reflected in an 18 per cent increase
for their helpers. The man-hour labor cost for the machinists also
advanced more than that for the other groups, showing an increase
of 21 per cent, while the increase for all groups was only 5 per cent.
T able 4 1 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting on linotypesy

intertypes, and monotypes of 5 ^ , 6, and 7 point type, and hand setting of larger
type reduced to 6-point basis, in newspaper composing room No. 8, 1916

Occupation

Linotype operators................................ .........
M onotype keyboard operators____________
Hand compositors__ ____ ________________
Total productive labor_____________
Linotype machinists....... ........ .......... ...........
M onotype machinists.......... ..........................
Machinists’ helpers..... ........ ............... ..........
Proof readers.....................................................
Make-ups............................................ .............
Laborers_________ __________ ____________
Supervisory employees............... ..................

Man-hours Average
w orked in production
producing per man46,702,017
hour
ems

9, 959. 3
583.0
7,434. 5
17, 976. 8

Ems
i 3,330. 5

40, 300.8

Tim e cost

Labor cost

1,158.8

$0. 707
.766
.774

Minutes
14.8
.9
11.1

$0.175
.011
.143

.737

26.8

.329

1.5
.6
1.2
6.9
6.1
13.4
3.5

.020
.008
.005
.078
.076
.049
.055

.526

22, 324. 0

All employees........................................

Cost of man-hour
production

.818
.715
.297
.676
.747
.218
.950

2, 597. 9

993.8
431.0
834.0
4, 650. 8
4,091.3
8, 981. 5
2, 341. 8

Total, nonproductive labor...... ..........

Labor cost
per manhour

33.2

.291

.620

60.0

.620

1 News composition only.

In Table 41 the entire production of type and all of the employees
in the composing room have been considered. The figures are of
especial interest for comparison with those in Table 42, which covers
the same establishment 10 years later.
The group classed as linotype operators consisted of linotype and
intertype operators. The line-casting machines were what are now
considered early models, mostly with single fixed magazines (though
some of the news machines were provided with three and some of the
ad machines with four magazines each), and did not present a wide
range of type varieties. Twelve per cent of the machines were




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

1916 AND

1926

79

equipped with M ohr lino-saws. The metal pots were heated by
gas and the ingots w
rere fed into them by hand. Eight or 10 point
type was measured on a 6-point basis, while smaller type was meas­
ured on its own basis. Tabular matter was calculated. Each
operator secured his copy from the copy cutter and delivered his
galleys to the bank, and also set his own corrections. Claims had
been made that the average production on line-casting machines
during this earlier period had been 4,000 to 4,300 ems per man-hour,
ranging from 3,400 to 5,600 ems according to the individual skill
of the operator. This was probably based on productive time alone,
as measured by clocks on machines, which gave line production and
eliminated time lost through machine difficulties. Figures furnished
for this tabulation reveal, however, that the average output per
man-hour for news composition was only 3,330.5 ems, based on the
total hours for all of the operators, as there was no record of lost
time or other delays.
Hours and wages were obtained for the monotype keyboard opera­
tors, but the actual production for them could not be separated from
the amount of type set by the hand compositors, so the total output
of the two groups was treated as a whole. The group of hand com­
positors consisted only of the regular ad compositors, who set type
for advertisements, headings, etc. The material used had been pro­
duced on the monotype casting machines. The combined hours for
the three groups mentioned reduced the average output per manhour to 2,597.9 ems.
The groups listed under nonproductive labor were practically
similar to those mentioned for previous establishments. Linotype
machinists repaired the machines and kept them running properly,
each man taking care of 12 or more machines. M onotype machinists
supervised the mechanical operation of the keyboards and the running
of the casting machines, one man handling 3 keyboards, 4 composi­
tion casters, and 2 lead and rule casters on each shift. M ost of the
display type and headings were cast on these, which were tended
directly by laborers, one for each composition caster and one for two
lead and rule casters. Machinists’ helpers and proof readers pursued
the usual duties of their vocations. Three or four editions were
ordinarily published daily, requiring considerable extra work by the
make-up men, as the number of pages published in the final daily
issues constituted only 52.8 per cent of the total number of pages
made up during the period. The group of laborers, also included
provers, who operated automatic proof presses, and one man who
worked six days a week, daywork, tending the metal furnace and
casting the ingots.
The total man-hours for nonproductive labor exceeded the total for
productive labor, being 55.4 per cent as against 44.6 per cent of the
total for all employees. As the publication was a morning paper, the
majority of the work was performed in the regular night shift, and
practically all of the overtime was for workers on the night shift. A
little over 7 per cent of the total hours was overtime, 71 per cent was
night work inside of regular hours, and almost 22 per cent was in other
regular shifts.
Regular wages were paid to linotype operators, monotype operators,
hand compositors, proof readers, and make-up men, but the actual
labor costs per man-hour for these groups varied according to the




PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

80

relative amount of nightwork, daywork, and overtime for each group.
Linotype and monotype machinists received a slightly higher rate, but
the actual man-hour costs for these were also affected by the relative
amounts of night shifts, day shifts, and overtime worked. Machinists’
helpers and laborers received comparatively low w ages, which were
x
naturally reflected in the man-hour labor costs, though the latter
worked relatively more overtime than any other group.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 8 IN 1926

Table 42 contains data for setting 57,615,783 ems of news composi­
tion and 56,408,967 ems of advertising composition, on machines or
by hand, on a newspaper in 1926, including proof reading and make­
up. The establishment is the one for which data are given for earlier
periods in Tables 34, 40, and 41.
T

4 2 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting on linotypes,
intertypes, and monotypes of 5 % , 6, and 7 point type, and hand setting of larger
type reduced to 6-point basis, in newspaper composing room No. 8, 1926

able

Occupation

Man-hours
Average
worked in production Labor cost
per manproducing
per manhour
114,024,750
hour
ems

Machine operators............... ...................... .
Hand compositors........................................ .

21, 039. 5
13, 831. 8

Total productive labor ____________

34, 871. 3

Machinists__
____ ________ _____
Machinists’ helpers______ _____ ____ ____ _
Proof readers_____________________________
M ake-ups........ ............ .................................
Laborers________________________ _____
Porters.................................... ..........................
Supervisory employees. _______ _____ ___
Total, nonproductive labor_________

Labor cost

3, 269. 9

1, 630. 9

$1.440
1.433

Minutes
18.1
11.9

$0.433
.285

1.437

29.9

.717

1. 6
1.1
8. 2
5.9
9. 5
1. 7
2.0

. 039
. 009
.197
. 141
. 086
.008
.062

1.081

35, 043. 0
69, 914. 3

Time cost

1.447
1.491
1.445
1.421
. 543
.263
1.867

1, 906. 0
1, 267. 5
9, 529. 0
6, 921. 0
11, 082. 5
2, 010. 0
2, 327. 0

All employees........ ............................. .

Ems
i 3, 684. 8

Cost of man-hour
production

30. L

,. 542

1. 258

60.0

1.258

1 News composition only.

In 1926 conditions in this establishment were changed somewhat
from those existing during the 1916 period, mainly due to the greater
number of pages published in the daily issue, which had increased
nearly 115 per cent. This had necessitated the installation of more
equipment and the employment of additional labor. The group divi­
sion of the workers differed slightly from that of the earlier period,
so that in this table separation could not be made of linotype oper­
ators and monotype operators, w^ho were classed together as machine
operators, nor of linotype machinists and monotype machinists, who
were classed together as machinists. A new group, porters, had been
added, as these constituted a direct part of the composing-room force
during 1926, while in 1916 cleaning of the floors and around the
machines was performed by the regular building porters.
The battery of line-casting machines— linotypes and intertypes—
had been enlarged 50 per cent. The majority of the machines in
use during the earlier period had been replaced by more modern
styles, which permitted a wider range of type sizes without loss of




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION: 1916 AND

1926

81

time through changing of magazines. While gas fuel was still used
for heating the metal pots, automatic metal feeders had been installed,
eliminating the frequent dropping of small ingots into the metal pots.
The proportion of machines equipped with M ohr lino-saws had been
increased to 18 per cent. There had also been a 33 per cent increase
in the number of monotype keyboards. Ludlow typographs had been
installed for the production of complete lines of larger type. These
were operated by hand compositors, three operators for two machines
on the regular night shift, and one operator for each machine, as
required, during the remainder of the shift. Type was measured in
the same manner during both periods and the shojf practices were
similar.
Based on the total man-hours for machine operators, the machine
production of news composition was 3,684.8 ems per man-hour, an
increase of 10.6 per cent over the man-hour production in 1916. The
fact that in the 1926 period monotype keyboard operators could not
be separated from line-casting machine operators may have had a
slight effect on this increase, as the former may have had a somewhat
higher production. Separation could not be made in either period
of advertising composition set on machines from that set by hand.
Improvements in machines permitted a much larger proportion of
advertising matter to be set on machines during the 1926 period,
resulting in an increas of 52.9 per cent in the man-hour production
of total advertising composition. While the output of news composi­
tion had advanced only 10.6 per cent, this larger increase for adver­
tising composition brought the total man-hour production for the
combined productive labor down to 3,269.9 ems, or an increase of
25.9 per cent over the 1916 man-hour production for the group.
Proportionally fewer hours appear for the nonproductive labor,
raising the average man-hour production for all employees to 1,630.9
ems as against 1,158.8 ems in the 1916 period, or an increase of 40.7
per cent. While the productive labor showed an increase of 94 per
cent in man-hours in the same length of time, the percentage increase
was only 33.8 for machinists, 52 for machinists’ helpers, 69.2 for make­
ups, and 23.4 for laborers, though inclusion of the porters in the latter
group would raise the percentage to 45.8. The proof readers alone
showed as high an increase in man-hours as that for the group— 105
per cent— while the supervisory force remained practically the same as
during 1916. Consequently, the number of man-hours for nonpro­
ductive labor was only slightly larger than that for productive labor.
Installation of additional monotype casting machines had increased
the number of these 83.3 per cent, but without enlargement of
personnel, as the handling of the extra equipment was added to the
previous duties of the regular machinists and laborers in that division.
Application of automatic metal feeders to some of the machines had
reduced the individual work somewhat. A new, improved style of
ingot metal furnace also permitted the casting of sufficient large ingots
to supply the additional line-casting and monotype casting machines
by one man working 6 days a week, the same length of time having
formerly been required to supply the machines of that period.
Improved automatic proof presses had been provided, increasing the
number of proofs taken in a given time, and additional trimming
machines facilitated the work of the hand compositors.




82

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

The number of editions had been increased to four or five, sometimes
ranging as high as seven. The proportion of additional pages made up
had increased to 51.8 per cent of the total, while the pages published
in the final editions of the daily issues represented only 48.2 per
cent. The proportion of overtime had been lowered to 4.2 per cent of
the total hours, and night work inside of regular hours to 64.2 per
cent, but hours in other regular shifts had increased to 31.8 per cent
of the total.
Like the 1916 period, variations existed in the actual labor cost
per man-hour for the groups receiving similar daily wages for reg­
ular work, according to the proportion of night work or daywork
and the relative amount of overtime for each group. The man-hour
labor costs shown for the different groups were practically double
the amounts for the 1916 period, due to the general rise in daily
wages for the district in which the establishment was located, though
the reductions in proportionate night work and in overtime had
lowered the average rates slightly.
TR E N D OF M A C H IN E O U TPU T IN C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O. 8, F R O M 1896 T O 1926

The man-hour output of news operators, as stated previously, was
based on their total working time. This included more or less wait­
ing time and time lost through machine trouble. As machine opera­
tors on news composition constitute the most important group of
workers in the newspaper plant, Table 43 has been prepared to
facilitate comparison of the average man-hour production (on basis
of total working time) and average actual labor cost per man-hour
for machine operators on news composition in this establishment
during selected periods in 1896, 1916, and 1926.
T

4 3 . — Man-hour production and labor costs for machine operators 1 on neivs
composition in newspaper composing room No. 8, 1896, 1916, and 1926

able

Average man-hour production

Year
Number
of ems

Per cent of increase,
compared with—

3, 584. 2
3, 330. 5
3,684. 8

Per cent of increase,
compared with—
Amount

1896
1896............................... .................................
1916............................................... ...............
1926_...............................................................

Man-hour labor cost

*7.1
2.8

1896

1916

10.6

$0. 667
.698
1.440

4.8
115.9

1916

106.1

1 Included linotype operators in 1896, linotype and intertype operators in 1916, and linotype, intertype,
and monotype keyboard operators in 1926.
2 Decrease.

The man-hour output for news operators in 1916 was 7.1 per cent
smaller than in 1896, due mostly to the necessity of having a large
force on hand to be ready for emergencies and to handle late, im­
portant news promptly, permitting the forms to be held open later
than would otherwise be possible. B y 1926 improved machines had
been installed, and the man-hour production had passed the 1896
output and was 10.6 per cent over the 1916 amount.
The man-hour labor cost for 1916 shown in this table varies slightly
from that in Table 41, as that table included ad operators, whose




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

1916 AND

83

1926

hourly earnings were somewiiat higher. The labor cost per manhour for new^s operators increased only 4.8 per cent between 1896 and
1916, but advanced 106 per cent during the following 10 years,
making a total increase between 1896 and 1926 of 116 per cent.
A VE R AG E PR O D U C T IO N ON LIN E-C A STIN G M A C H IN E S IN C O M P O SIN G R O O M N O . 8,
IN 1926

Quite a difference existed in 1926 in the man-hour output for the
total time worked, or the hours for which the operators were paid,
and the actual man-hour production registered on the machines by
clocks, based on the operating, or productive, time for the operators.
Figures were obtained of individual average production during a
5-week period in 1926, from special weekly records of machine pro­
duction, and weekly averages for the different groups of news opera­
tors based on these records are presented in Table 44:
T

able

4 4 .— Average man-hour 'production for news operators on line-casting ma­
chines in newspaper composing room No. 8 during five weeks in 1926
Average production per man-hour
Nighlt force

Period
D ay force

Regulars

First week _____________________________________________________
Second week _ ___ _ __________________________________________
_
Third w e e k _________ __________ _________ ___________ ____________
Fourth w e e k ____ ____ ______ ________________ _______ ___________
Fifth week____________________________ _ _______ ________________
Total 5 weeks__________________________________ ____ _______

Substitutes

Ems
4,850
5, 012
4, 998
4, 713
5,054

Ems
4,852
4,905
4, 877
5,077
4, 874

Ems
4, 792
4,706
4, 878
4, 944
4, 963

4, 925

4, 917

4, 856

The comparison is between day workers and night workers, the
latter being composed of “ regulars/’ who held steady positions, and
“ substitutes,” who worked when the regular hands laid off or as
extra help when more hands were needed. No attempt has been made
to compute the total average for each week nor a grand average
for the entire period, as all figures for the different groups could not
be weighted, and consequently the result would not be accurate.
Each operator set his own corrections, which were not included in
the averages, so the figures shown represent the corrected composition
only. On one Saturday night during the period 25 out of 61 operators
averaged over 5,000 ems per hour, 30 averaged over 4,500 ems, and
the others less than 4,500 but more than 4,000 ems per hour. The
highest average production of straight news matter for an individual
operator during one week was 6,956 ems per hour.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 13

Table 45 contains data for setting 61,449,945 ems of 5J^, 6, 7, and
8 point type, partly on linotypes, intertypes, and monotypes and
partly by hand (including proof reading and make-up), on a news­
paper in 1926.




84

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T able 4 5 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting on linotypes,

intertypes, and monotypes of 5}/%, 6, 7, and 8 point type, and hand setting of
larger type reduced to 6-point basis, in newspaper composing room No. 13, 1926
Man-hours
Average
worked in
Labor cost
producing production per manper manhour
61,449,945
hour
ems

Occupation

Ems

26, 062. 8

Total, productive labor______
L in o tvn e machinists
!
Linotype machinists’ helpers........................
M onotype m ach in ists___ ______________
M onotype machinists’ h elp ers ___________
Proof readers.Make-ups__________ _____ ___________ ___
Laborers
'
Supervisory employees__ __ _____
Total, nonproductive labor
All employees...... .....................

$1.438
1. 377
1.417

15, 844. 7
1, 089. 0
9,129. 2

Linotype operators____ _______
M onotype keyboard operators
_________
Hand nnrrmnsitnrs

!

2, 357. 7

Time cost
Minutes
23.5

1.6

13.5

Labor cost

$0. 562
.037
.319

210
.0

210.5
699.5
4,953. 5
2,106. 3
3,190. 0
1,978.3

1.428

38.6

.919

1.483
. 444
1.446
.604
1.437
1. 520
. 503
1.590

1,107. 5

16
.

.041

.3
.3

1.0

7. 3
3.1
4. 7
2.9

.002
.008
.010

. 176
.079
.040
.078

1. 213

14, 455. 7
40, 518. 5

Cost of man-hour
production

1 5id. (j
,

21.4

.433

1.351

60. Q

1.351

This publication differed from the preceding ones in that, while it
also was published mornings, including Sundays, the work was per­
formed in an establishment where an evening newspaper was also
prepared. For that reason practically all composing-room work
connected with it was done during the regular night-shift hours,
only an insignificant number of men being employed for it during
the day. The regular working shift consisted of seven and one-half
hours net.
The body of the publication was 7-point type set on 8-point slugs,
while 53^-point type was used for the classified advertising and, to­
gether with 6-point type, scattered through the text. Eight-point
type was also used. Market quotations and most of the advertising
were produced on monot 3rpes. Some of the larger type used for
headings or display advertising was set on display styles of line-cast­
ing machines, but type larger than the capacity of these was produced
by hand compositors on Ludlow typographs. All of the casting
machines were equipped with electrically heated metal pots. All of
the line-casting machines and part of the monotype casting machines
were provided with automatic metal feeders. Nineteen per cent of
the line-casting machines were equipped with M ohr lino-saws,
eliminating considerable slug trimming by hand compositors on the
individual power trimmers. Type production was measured in
the same way as that heretofore described for other newspapers. Each
operator secured his copy from the desk of the copy cutter, dumped
his completed takes at the bank, and set his own corrections.
The group classed as linotype operators worked on both linotypes
and intertypes. Hours and earnings were secured separately for
this group, for monotype keyboard operators, and for hand com­
positors, but the production could not be divided correctly for the
three groups, making it necessary to consider it as a whole for the
combined productive labor.
Each linotype machinist, with the
assistance of helpers, tended 12 or more machines. One monotype
machinist, assisted by 4 helpers, tended 6 keyboards and 11 casters.
Hours and earnings were obtained separately for these helpers, who




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

1916 AND

85

1926

in computations for previous composing rooms were included among
laborers. The group classed as proof readers performed the ordi­
nary functions of that vocation. While there were ordinarily five
separate editions published daily, there were proportionally fewer
actual changes of pages than on the other morning papers covered.
The number of pages carried in the final daily editions was 55.6 per
cent of the total number of pages made up during the period, leaving
only 44.4 per cent additional make-ups. The group classed as labor­
ers included one of the two men, working day shifts, tending the
metal remelting furnace and casting ingots for the casting machines.
These were producing the ingots for both morning and evening
publications, and their time and earnings have been apportioned
on an even basis, though more metal was consumed during the night
shifts than during the day shifts, as one man would be required for
each publication if they were conducted separately. Provers, using
automatic and hand-power proof presses, were also included. The
supervisory group contained comparatively fewer hours than would
have been necessary for a single publication, as some of the members
also supervised the work on the evening paper, which was prepared
in the same composing room. Both working hours and earnings
for these individuals have been apportioned between the two publica­
tions on the basis of total man-hours for each.
The total man-hours for nonproductive labor was considerably less
than for productive labor— only 35.7 per cent as against 64.3 per
cent of the man-hours for all employees. Only 3.78 per cent of the
total man-hours for the period were overtime. A slight difference
in labor costs per man-hour was again shown, due in this case to
small variations within each group of the rates for regular hours,
coupled with some overtime.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O . 14

Table 46 contains data for setting 45,365,075 ems of 5j^, 6, 7, and
8 point type, partly on linotypes, intertypes, and monotypes, and
partly by hand (including proof reading and make-up), on a news­
paper in 1926.
T able 4 6 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in machine setting of 5

6 , 7,
and 8 point type, and hand setting of larger type reduced to 6-point basis, in
newspaper composirig room No. 14, 1926
Man-hours
Average
worked in production Labor cost
producing
per manper manhour
45,365,075
hour
ems

Occupation

Ems
Linotype operators__
_ ____________
M onotype keyboard operators _ _________
Hand compositors
_ ________
Total productive la b o r _____________

• 4 384. 8
2,




__

_ __ ____

39,330.0 ;

Labor cost

1, 860. 4

1,153. 5

Minutes
20.9
2.7
13.6

$0.490
.064
.333

1.431

37.2

.887

1.434
.495
1.443
.511
1.482
1.494
.535
1. 534
1.394

1,210. 5
864. 0
348.0
1,474.5
3, 340. 3
2, 234. 6
3,167. 2
2, 306. 2
14, 945. 3

All employees.

Tim e cost

$1.407
1.413
1.471

13,698.6
1, 777. 8
8 908. 4
,

Linotype machinists._ __ ____________
Linotype machinists’ helpers___ _________
M onotype machinists.......
...... ................
M onotype machinists’ helpers____________
Proof readers____ ____ ______ ______ _____
M ake-ups_____ _____________
_________
Laborers____ ______ _________ _________
Supervisory employees_
_ ______________
Total, nonproductive labor. _______

Cost of man-hour
production

1.8

22.8

.433

1.320

60.0

1.320

1.3
.5
2.3
5.1
3.4
4.8
3.5

. 044

.0 1
1
. 013
.0 1
2
. 126
. 085
.043
.090

86

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

While the composing room covered in this table was the same as
that in the preceding survey, and the identical equipment was
emplo 37
ed, it has been designated in this instance as composing room
No. 14, because the product was for an evening paper, published six
days a week, and the work was performed by different individuals,
partly in the regular 73^-hour day shifts and partly in 7-hour night
shifts. As only six issues were prepared weekly, there being no Sun­
day issue, which ordinarily contains a proportionately larger number
of pages, the amount of type required for a given period was far less.
The grouping of the workers and the shop conditions were practi­
cally the same as those described for composing room No. 13, but the
number of daily editions was nine instead of five, involving more
changes of pages. The number of pages in the final editions for the
period was only 30.9 per cent of the total number of pages made up.
The production per man-hour was considerably lower than that shown
for the morning issue in Table 45, both for productive labor alone and
for all employees, partly on account of the many changes of pages
involved. The total amount of type produced during the period for
the morning paper w^as 35.5 per cent more than that for the evening
paper, and with equal conditions the man-hours should presumably
show similar relativity. Comparison of the total man-hours in the
two tables, however, reveals that those for the productive labor on
the morning paper exceeded those on the evening paper by 6.9 per
cent, and that the total number of man-hours for all employees was
only 3 per cent more on the morning paper than on the evening paper.
The man-hours for linotype operators, hand compositors, proof
readers, and laborers were from 0.7 to 48.3 per cent more for the
morning paper than for the evening paper, but the opposite condition
existed for the other groups, with a decrease ranging from 5.7 to 75.7
per cent, and for the total nonproductive labor, for which the decrease
came to 3.3 per cent. Contributory causes, aside from the numerous
changes in pages, can not be published without disclosing the identity
o f the establishment.
On the evening paper the proportion that the man-hours for pro­
ductive labor and for nonproductive labor formed of the total manhours for all employees did not vary greatly from that on the morning
paper, being 62 per cent for productive labor and 38 per cent for
nonproductive labor. Only 1.5 per cent of the total man-hours were
overtime, 62.8 per cent were regular day-shift hours, and 35.7 per cent
were regular night-shift hours. The labor costs were, like previous
ones, subject to small fluctuations in the rates for similar occupations.
C O M P O S IN G R O O M N O. 10 IN 1926

Table 47 contains data for setting 20,024,600 ems of 5, 5J^, 6, 7,
and 8 point type by news operators on linotypes on a newspaper in
1926. The composing room was the same as that in Table 36.
Man-hour 'production and labor cost in machine setting of 5 , 5
7, and 8 point type by news operators in newspaper composing room No. 10, 1926

T a b l e 4 t l.—

Item
Total man-hours worked in producing 20,024,600 ems.
Average production per man-hour (ems)____________
Labor cost per man-hour_____ _____ _____ _____ ___




6y

Amount
3,713.2
5,392.9
$1.071

PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION: 1916 AND

87

1926

The newspaper was published mornings, Sundays included, making
the work of practically all the news operators fall inside of the regular
night shifts, which consisted of 7 hours and 40 minutes each, actual
working time. No account was kept of idle time on the machines, so
it was necessary to make computations on full time for all operators.
As the information permitted further analysis, Table 48 is presented
giving additional details for the operators:
T

4 8 . — Average 'production and labor cost per man-hour for news operators
on linotypes in newspaper composing room No. 10 during two weeks in 1926

able

Number of ems produced
Total
manhours

Period

5-point1

7-point

First week............... . I. 878. 7 4, 667, 600 4, 557, 900
Second week_________ 1, 834. 5 5,079, 400 4, 553, 600

8 o in t2
-p

Total,
all sizes

6 8 500
8,
477, 600

1 ,110, 600
0

9, 914, 000

Total __............... 3, 713. 2 9, 747,000 9, 111, 500 1,166,100 20, 024, 600

1Includes 5

and 6 point.

Labor cost
Average
per manhour

Total

5, 227.1 $1, 960. 47
5, 511. 4 2,017.16
5, 392. 9

3, 977. 63

Average
per manhour
$1. 044

10
.1 0

1.071

2 Includes 10-point.

The overtime hours aggregated 7.4 per cent of the total man-hours,
and the regular day shift hours 3.1 per cent, the remaining 89.5 per
cent being for the regular night-shift hours. Record was kept of the
different sizes set by each operator, because the rates of pay per
thousand ems varied according to size of type— from 17 cents for 5point (including 5Y2 and 6 point), to 22 cents for 8-point and 24 cents
for 10-point, the latter being included under 8-point in the table. These
rates were for straight news matter alone, and in measuring production
the line-age was increased to cover extra rates, such as figures, tabulated
matter, mixed faces, etc., so that all production listed was on the basis
of straight news composition. For example, the operators who set
stock quotations were allowed double the number of actual ems con­
tained therein. Additional pay was given to operators who worked
more than 48 hours per week (including the time allowance of 20
minutes for lunch each shift), to compensate them for idle time dur­
ing working hours. The hourly rates for such time adjustment varied
according to individual production. A special assistant was em­
ployed to measure the strings for the night operators. He pasted the
galley proofs together, measured each size of type, and marked the
measure, with earnings for same, on the strings. Proportionate
deductions were made from the earnings of the operators for the pay
of this assistant. The time adjustments have been added to the com­
puted earnings for output of the operators and deductions made for
the compensation of the assistant, so that the figures listed under
labor cost represent actual net earnings of the operators for the
specified amounts of production.
Each operator obtained his copy from the desk of the copy cutter,
carried his product to the bank, set and made his own corrections, and
inserted all title lines in his “ takes” regardless of whether the titles
were set on his own machine or that of another operator. He also
trimmed the slugs when required, so that the material was completed
and ready for insertion in the form without further labor. The body




88

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

of the news text was 7-point type. Stock quotations were set in 5 ^ point type on 6-point slugs. Editorials were set in 8-point type on
9-point slugs for the daily issues and on 10-point slugs for the Sunday
issues. Five-point type was set on 5^2-point slugs. The machines
were of comparatively modern styles, with multiple magazines, and
were equipped with electrically heated metal pots and automatic
metal feeders. They were operated at a slightly higher speed than
customary in composing room No. 14, with an average of 6.5 to 7
lines and a maximum of 7.5 lines per minute.
The individual records for the 52 operators showed considerable
difference in man-hour production during the period. One of them
attained an average of 13,189 ems on straight news matter, and 3
others were credited with over 11,500 ems per hour each, but the latter
set stock quotations which, as previously mentioned, were allowed
double the actual line-age. Two averaged more than 8,000 ems per
man-hour, 1 more than 7,000 ems, 5 more than 6,000 ems, 11 more
than 5,000 ems, 10 more than 4,500 ems, and 6 more than 4,000 ems
each. Six operators averaged between 3,000 and 4,000 ems each,
and 4 others between 2,000 and 3,000 ems each. The last 3, who
were learners, fell below the 2,000-em mark.
Comparison of the figures in Table 46 with the figures presented in
Table 36 shows an increase of 19 per cent in man-hour production
from 1895 to 1926. The 1895 survey took place about one year after
the publication had moved into a new building, which was con­
sidered a model for that period. The equipment was presumably
new, though accurate data are lacking, but in any event would consist
of the earlier styles. The survey in 1926 was made about one year
after the plant had again moved into a new, up-to-date building and
installed modern, improved equipment. Information as to shop
conditions during the earlier survey is not available, but they were
presumably about the same as during the later period. The increase
in production may be partly due to individual ability of the operators,
but is undoubtedly also due to the improved 'housing facilities and
equipment. The labor cost per man-hour for linotype operators
advanced 68.8 per cent during the same time, attributable to the
general increase in wages for the country and especially for that
particular locality.
AVERAGE M A N -H O U R PR O D U C TIO N AND LABOR COST BY H AN D
AND BY M ACH IN E M E T H O D S IN 1916 AND 1926

The man-hour production and labor cost for all of the establish­
ments included in the 1926 survey are presented in Table 49 in
a similar manner as those for the earlier survey are presented in
Table 37. As a period in 1916 for one establishment was included,
the results for this are also presented. The individual tables for the
various establishments should be studied in connection with the table,
as the conditions were not similar in any two establishments and even
the grouping might vary sufficiently to prevent accurate comparison.
Averages for both production and labor costs have been computed
from the total man-hours, total production, and total labor costs for
all establishments where the data permitted segregation of the figures.




PRODUCTIVITY OF COMPOSITION:

1916 AND

1926

89

T able 4 9 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for one newspaper composing

room in 1916 and six newspaper composing rooms in 1926
Man-hour production
for—

Man-hour labor
for—

cost

Establishment, and method of production
Productive
All
All
Productive
labor
employees
labor
employees
1916
No. 8:
Hand ____________________________________________
Machine__ ________________ _____________________
Hand and machine com bin ed .....................................
1926
No. 11: H and________________ _____ _____ ________ ___
No. 12:
H and____________________________________________
Machine ______________ _____________ _____ - _
_
Hand and machine com bined...... ........................ ......
No. 8:
H a n d -- ___________ ________________________ ___
Machine______ _____ ____________________________
Hand and machine com bin ed ..................... ...............
No. 13:
H and_________________ ____ _ __ _____ ______
_
.
Machine
_______________ _____ __________
Hand and machine com bined........................ ..............
No. 14:
H and. ______________________________ Machine_______________________________________
Hand and machine combined............. ........................
No. 10: Machine _
__
_____ _______________
Average, all establishments in 1926:
H and__ ___ _____ ________________________ _______
M achine.- ________ ____ _____ ___ _________ ____
Hand and machine com bined_____________________

1News

Ems

Ems
$0. 774
.707
.766
.737

$0. 620

217.2

.270

.323

1,643.1

1. 255
1.448
1.358

1.364

1,630. 9

1.433
1.440
1.437

1.258

f
\
1, 516. 6

1,417
1.438
1.377
1.428

1.351

f
{

1.471
1.407
1.413
1.431
1.071

/

i 3,330.5
2, 597. 9

1,158. 8

258.8
500.5
3, 813. 2
2, 255. 5
i 3, 684. 8
3, 269. 9

2, 357. 8

1 860.4
,

1,153. 5

461.3
3, 961.9
2, 623. 9

I, 566.1

i 5, 392. 9

1

1. 480
1.404
1.398

1.320

1. 294

composition only.

The weighted averages for the productive labor in 1926 show an
output of 461.3 ems per man-hour by the hand compositors, but
3,961.9 ems per man-hour by the machine operators, nearly 760
per cent more. The average man-hour production for all employees
was 1,566.1 ems, or a little over 35 ,per cent more than the 1916
production.
The average man-hour labor cost for the hand compositors exceeded
that for the machine operators in 1926 mostly on account of relatively
more overtime work. The average labor cost per man-hour for all
employees was $1,294, or more than twice the amount for 1916.
9819°— 29------- 7




CHAPTER 7.—DEVELOPMENT OF STEREOTYPING
A STIN G of metal plates in molds made from pages of type, or
stereotyping, was invented in England in 1727, but was after­
wards abandoned until the beginning of the nineteenth century,
when it was revived there. About 1812 it was introduced into the
United States, where it was gradually adopted for bookwork. It did
not prove practical for newspaper use until after the invention in
France in 1829 of the papier-mache mold, which provided a flexible
mold that permitted casting of curved printing plates. The new
method was introduced in this country in 1850, and the first curved
plate for newspaper use was produced in 1854. After further experi­
ments papier-mache molding was adopted in 1861 by several large
newspapers, revolutionizing their mechanical production. The solid,
semicylindrical plates cast in the flexible molds, when clamped on the
presses instead of type forms, permitted printing at higher speed, and
the production of several casts from a single mold made possible the
operation of several presses simultaneosly on the same publication.
The use of stereotype plates grew rapidly, resulting in the addition
of stereotyping departments to the newspaper plants. For the limited
number of pages per issue published at the time only a few hands were
required for the work, but as the size of the publication grewx, there
developed two distinct divisions of such workers on the larger news­
papers— the molding division, which prepared the flong and molded
the matrices, and the foundry division, which cast the plates. Flong
preparation was later dispensed with in a number of modern establish­
ments, but as it is still carried on in many stereotyping rooms its
development is here described, as well as the development of matrix
molding and of plate casting.

C

FLONG PREPARATIO N
W ET FLON G

jT'OR many years each stereotyping department prepared its own
matrix material, ordinarily called flong. It was necessary first
to manufacture the special paste required, principally from starch,
flour, and dextrin, but with varying proportions and additions
according to the individual secret formula of each head stereotyper,
who ordinarily mixed and cooked it himself. A sheet of heavy, un­
sized paper, similar to blotting paper, about 20 by 24 inches in size,
was covered with a thin layer of the paste. A sheet of rice tissue
paper was placed over it and smoothed down with a roller, this opera­
tion being repeated with two or three more sheets of tissue paper.
Sometimes one or two sheets of thin blotting paper were added before
the tissue paper was applied. Ordinarily two men worked together
in preparing the flong. A sufficient quantity was made for the next
day's requirements at least, and it was left to season in a moist place.
It could not be prepared too far in advance, because of a tendency to
sour and spoil. About five hours were required to make 100 flong,
though this time was not always taken into consideration, as the work
was ordinarily performed during waiting hours before the daily rush
period commenced. Tissue-holding stands were later devised, which
allowed one man to perform the operation with the ready cut sheets.
90




DEVELOPMENT OF STEREOTYPING

91

A U T O M A T IC M A C H IN E S

About 1910 an automatic flong-making machine was invented,
which carried each kind of paper in roll form, distributed paste on the
papers as they were drawn through the machine, pressed them
together between rollers, and cut the flong to proper lengths. Several
makes of flong machines, such as the Autoflong, the Handley, and the
Norton, were placed on the market and installed in many of the larger
newspaper plants, resulting in considerable time saving. These
machines were seemingly of about equal capacity, as all of them were
advertised as being capable of producing about 2,000 flong per day.
One newspaper, which had used one of them for three years, declared
that previous thereto it had required three men working eight hours
per day to manufacture the flong for the plant, but with the aid of the
machine only two hours work per day was required to get the paste
ready and to make 400 flong. A more elaborate invention, the Rivett
flong machine, was designed by J. G. Rivett, of Chicago, about 1915.
It consisted of a combination of units, one for each sheet assembled in
the flong, fed from a similar number of rolls. Flongs in any desired
width or length and composed of any number of sheets were produced
automatically at the rate of between 300 and 400 an hour. This
machine was especially adapted to auxiliary newspaper or syndicate
service, as well as to the commercial manufacture of flong.
D R Y FLONG

A so-called dry flong, which could be molded without heating the
type form, was invented in 1893 in England by George Eastwood, of
Kingston, who had introduced some of its features in a previous
patent in 1887. It consisted of a single sheet of thick, 'soft paper,
coated with a special composition, which by a slight moistening
would be rendered sufficiently plastic to receive an impression. The
following year, 1894, a similar article was patented in Germany by
Herman Schimansky, of Berlin. While the English invention seems
to have remained dormant, the German flong was improved upon and
adopted by some of the newspapers of that country. Manufacture
of dry flong was started in several of the paper mills, and for many
years Germany was the sole source of supply for this commodity.
Samples of various kinds of dry flong were tested during 1899 in
several foundries in the United States— among others the New York
Tribune— but they were not found satisfactory. Friedrich Schreiner,
manufacturer, of Plainfield, N. J., introduced his cold method flong
in 1900. It consisted of two pieces, a coated face sheet and a gummed
back sheet, necessitating pasting together and giving a second
impression. In 1901 a German dry mat, which had been used success­
fully in England, was imported into the United States by F. Wesel
Manufacturing Co., of New York, and a few years later several other
firms began to import other varieties. In 1910 Alfred Birdsall, a
stereotyper of Pittsburgh, Pa., invented another coating for dry
flong and started the D ry M at Service Co. (Ltd.), in Pittsburgh, which
claimed to supply a number of the smaller newspapers that wanted to
avoid using heated matrix-drying tables. This product was soon
displaced by the imported German flongs, but even these were not
generally adopted. M any of the larger newspapers used them in a
limited way— for stereotyping the last forms on the several editions—
on account of the saving in time for molding.




92

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

The World War stopped importation from Germany, and manu­
facturing was taken up in this country, resulting in the introduction
of the W ood dry mat in 1916 by Benjamin W ood, of New York.
Other American manufacturers' experimented, resulting in several
flongs being produced, notable among which were Certified dry mats,
introduced in 1924 by George A. Kubler, of Akron, Ohio. Until a
couple of years ago, the wet-flong method prevailed in the larger news­
paper stereotyping rooms of the United States, but since then the
use of dry flong has made rapid strides. D ry flong is not, as the
name implies, used absolutely dry. It is a specially prepared thick
and plastic single sheet, which requires a certain amount of moisture,
necessitating proper conditioning in a humidifier and subsequent
seasoning, for good results. The dry-fiong method did away with the
preparation of paste and the assembling of the wet flong, a consid­
erable item as to man-hours on a large newspaper, especially if it is
not provided with a flong-making machine.
M ATRIX M O LD IN G
BRUSH M E T H O D

T^HE early method of molding stereotype matrices was essentially
manual. When a form was received from the composing room
it was transferred to an elevating table. A wet flong was placed, face
down, upon the type and beaten in with a flat brush, about 3 ^ inches
wide and nearly 1 foot long, provided with a handle of similar length.
After the flong had been driven down around the type, the depressions
were filled with backing powder, usually a mixture of flour and lime,
to prevent the mat from giving way under the pressure of the metal
in casting and causing smudges in the subsequent printing. A thin
sheet of paper was placed on top. The beating table was rolled up
to a steam-heated iron table, and the form pushed off on this. It was
covered with several layers of dry, soft blanketing, and placed under
an iron plate or platen, which was screwed down upon it. The heat
from the table, applied to the form, drove the moisture from the
matrix into the blankets in from four to seven minutes. The platen
was raised and the matrix lifted. It was taken to the casting division,
while the form was transferred to a form truck and returned to the
composing room. Two men usually worked together in molding a
matrix.
Heavier flong was later brought into use, and the backing powder
eliminated. It was necessary, however, to back up these matrices
in some of the larger open spaces with strips of thick felt paper, for
similar effect. This provided an additional operation connected with
molding, known as packing, and also necessitated preparation of the
strips by coating one side of the felt paper with dextrin paste, after­
wards cutting the sheets into strips. The preparation was usually
done in so-called idle time during the shift. Mechanically operated
beating brushes, such as a machine patented in 1889 by C. S. Par­
tridge, of Chicago, were installed on some of the larger newspapers,
but all brush molding was eventually abandoned for the speedier
mangle method.
R O LLIN G -M A C H IN E M E T H O D

A matrix-rolling machine was invented in 1861 by James Dellagana,
a Swiss printer who had established a sterotype foundry in London,
England, and introduced the papier-mache method in that country.




DEVELOPMENT OE STEREOTYPING

93

The molding was performed by a heavy iron cylinder. The early
machines were provided with impression cylinders at a fixed distance
above the bed, but about 1890 improved machines were introduced,
which were arranged with adjustable impression cylinders. The
form was transferred from the form truck to the table of the rolling
machine. A moist flong was laid upon it and covered with a heavy
felt blanket. Pulling a lever caused the table to move automatically
under a heavy iron cylinder, which turned in unison with the bed
movement and squeezed the flong down over the type, molding the
impression. The table returned automatically to its former position,
giving the matrix a second squeeze. The travel of the table, or bed,
in one direction under the roller consumed approximately five to
seven and one-half seconds. The form, with the matrix still clinging
to it, was transferred to the heated drying table, where it was covered
with drying blankets and dried in the manner previously described.
Machine molding rapidly supplanted brush molding in newspaper
plants of any size, as it reduced the time for molding a form. While
with each machine two men w^ere required to handle the work effi­
ciently, just as with each unit in brush molding, these men could
produce more matrices in a given time, an important consideration
with the constant increase in the number of pages per issue.
Other manufacturers of stereotype machinery also introduced
matrix-rolling machines, resulting in varying styles, though all are
constructed on the mangle principle and differ only in details. Dur­
ing the survey machines were found made by the Duplex Printing
Press Co., the Goss Printing Press Co., R. Hoe & Co., Walter Scott
& Co., F. Wesel Manufacturing Co., and W ood Newspaper M a­
chinery Corporation. Adoption of the diy-flong method necessitated
slower speed for matrix rolling to obtain the proper result. The
dry flong could be rolled one way only, as a reverse rolling caused a
double impression; and the ideal speed was found to be with a bed
travel of 20 to 2 2 seconds. This condition was responsible for
the construction of two-speed rolling machines, adapted for both
wet and dry flong, as well as machines with slow bed travel for dry
flong alone.
D IR E C T -P R E SS U R E M E T H O D

In 1926 another method— direct pressure molding— was introduced
in the United States. In this method the impression is obtained by
means of a flat, horizontal platen instead of a cylinder.
Two styles of machines were found in operation during the survey,
the American Birotadruck hydraulic press and the Hoe direct-pressure
hydraulic matrix molding press. The former machine, which was
first installed on the New York Tribune, was based on German
patent rights for this country on a machine originally invented to
produce better molding of half tones with dry flong. Direct pressure
had been used for a number of years in Europe, especially in Germany,
where it was obtained first by the use of toggle presses, but since 1911
by employment of hydraulic presses. The machine had been re­
designed to meet the American requirements of higher speed and
more pressure.
One of the machines observed in operation was provided with two
stanchions, one at each side, a table with a molding area 24 by 30
inches and projecting aprons at the front and the back, and a platen,
directly above the molding part of the table, at the bottom of the
head. The form was transferred from the form truck to the front



94

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

apron, covered with a flong and a molding blanket, and pushed onto
the molding area. Pressure on a push button started a motor, which
was located at the top of the press and directly connected with a
hydraulic pump mounted on the side of the frame and using oil as a
medium. Raising of the ram forced the table with the form against
the platen until the desired pressure was reached, when it stopped
automatically, holding the pressure or releasing it as manipulated.
The machine was adjusted to a maximum pressure of 5,000 pounds,
which was attained in 13 seconds. Solid forms, such as those con­
taining classified advertisements, required about 15 seconds contact
pressure, while open forms, those with approximately 40 per cent of
white space, were released as soon as the maximum pressure was
reached. Another form was placed on the front apron, and as it
slid into place for molding it pushed the molded form out on the back
apron for removal to a form truck. Two men were employed on
the unit during the time, one operating the machine, while the other
brought the forms to the machine, took them away, and assisted gen­
erally. With a constant supply of forms, the average time consumed
in molding was about 30 seconds per matrix. The general descrip­
tion of this machine and its manipulation also practically covers the
Hoe hydraulic matrix molding press, which was first installed on the
World, in New York, and was adapted from the hydraulic wax or
lead molding presses used in electrotyping manufactured by the
firm for over 65 years. It differed in some of the details, especially
in having four stanchions, one at each corner, in location of the
motor and the pump on the base under the aprons, and in construc­
tion of the pump. Successful demonstrations of the direct-pressure
method has prompted other manufacturers to experiment and will,
no doubt, bring out other different makes.
D R Y IN G TABLES

The real time saving through the dry-flong method occurred, how­
ever, not in the actual molding of the matrix, but through the elimi­
nation of the slow-drying process, necessary for wet flong, on the
matrix-drying table or press. The original drying table, commonly
called a “ steam ta b le /’ used in 1861 was a comparatively crude
appliance, capable of drying only one matrix at a time. Improve­
ments were continually being brought out. Several units were
combined, so that eventually it was not unusual on large newspapers
to find six platens placed side by side over one unbroken table surface.
In the beginning only steam was used for heating the table, and it
was ordinarily produced by a large boiler, using coal or gas fuel.
Independent gas-heated generators, single unit or double unit or
larger, were gradually applied in the majority of the plants. In
several places electrical heating, based on the electric matrix drier
invented by W. S. Hadaway, of New York, in 1905, was substituted
for steam. The platens on the early drying tables were screwed
down over the forms by means of a handwheel and tightened with
the aid of a bar. Pneumatic operation was applied to lower and
raise the platen, thus reducing the manual labor. A motor drive was
also devised for that purpose, and compression springs utilized with
it to increase the pressure. Operation of drying tables made it
necessary for the stereotypers to wash the drying blankets at intervals,
so as to preserve their elasticity, and some of the larger newspapers
installed special equipment for such work.




DEVELOPMENT OF STEREOTYPING

95

D R YIN G OVENS

A matrix roaster, or scorcher, was invented in England in 1885,
which permitted removal of the matrix from the form as soon as
the impression had been set, but before being entirely dry, and
the placing of it in the scorcher for final baking by dry heat. Since
less time was consumed, that procedure was gradually adopted for the
last form, called the “ starter,” or during rush periods. In the dryflong method the matrix was separated from the form as soon as the
impression had been given, whether by roller or by direct pressure.
It was backed in like manner to that of the twet matrix. The dry
flong contained a certain amount of moisture to render it plastic for
molding; but this would create steam during casting and cause im­
perfect printing plates, therefore, the matrix was placed in the
scorcher until thoroughly dry, usually for 30 to 60 seconds, after which
it was ready for the casting. No steam table was required, and
elimination of this not only reduced the time necessary for producing
a finished matrix, commonly called a “ m at,” but also created better
working conditions in the molding operation by doing away with
the excessive heat radiating from the table. It also permitted im­
mediate handling in the composing roofm of the forms returned there
after molding, instead of waiting for them to cool. The importance
of the scorcher had grown continually, but with the use of the dry
flong it became a necessity. Different styles were brought out,
mostly consisting of small gas-heated ovens provided with a curved
metal shelf on which the matrix was rested, face down, during
scorching.
The casting operations were not affected by the introduction of
dry flong, but it was found that the amount of shrinkage during
drying could be controlled and kept uniform with dry flong by proper
humidity, a condition which had not been possible with wet flong.
The normal shrinkage for dry flong proved to be about one-fourth
inch in width for an ordinary 8-column page and about two lines of
53^-point type in length. While this did not make any difference in
stereotyping, it affected the pressroom work somewhat, as it per­
mitted the use of narrower paper.
TR A N S M ISS IO N OF M A TR IC E S

In most of the larger newspapers molding was performed close to,
or in a section of, the composing room, to facilitate transportation of
forms, while the foundry section, where the casting was done, was
placed close to the pressroom, to permit speedy delivery of plates.
As the composing room was often located on the top floor of a tall
building, while the pressroom was situated at or near the bottom of
the structure, considerable distance existed in such cases between the
two sections. This was overcome by the installation of chutes or
air lifts for delivering the matrices from the molding section to the
casting section, and both packing and scorching operations were
usually performed in or adjoining the casting section.
CASTING OF PLATES

Y\THEN the flexible paper matrix was introduced in France, a
* * crude flat casting box was formed by pasting a cardboard frame
on the molded and dried matrix, and placing this between two iron




96

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

plates. Through a large opening the molten metal was poured with
a ladle on to the face of the matrix. This appliance was developed
into regular casting boxes, with the plates hinged together at one
side or end, and separated on three sides by steel strips, called gauges,
which regulated the thickness of the cast. After the matrix had
been inserted and its edges covered with the gauges, the box was
clamped together and molten metal poured through the open end with
a ladle.
Until about 1855 all plates were cast about one-sixth of an inch in
thickness. At that time James Dellagana, of London, England,
obtained a patent for casting plates type-high. This had, however,
been accomplished shortly before by Charles Craske, in New York,
while experimenting with curved plates for rotary presses. Semicylindrical boxes were devised for the curved plates, with a concave lower
plate and a convex grooved cover, supported in an iron frame near the
center of greatest weight. Considerable physical exertion was re­
quired to operate these boxes, as the appliances were heavy and a
finished plate of ordinary size contained nearly 50 pounds of metal,
though improvements were continually reducing the manual work.
HAND CASTING

In the earlier styles of casting boxes, some of which are still in use,
the matrix was placed, face up, on the lower plate while this was in a
horizontal position. Detachable side gauges were inserted to hold
the matrix in place, and an end gauge with a beveled recess was
adjusted at the bottom. The cover, which was hinged at the end, was
pulled down and clamped to the lower plate, after which the box was
tipped to a perpendicular position. A counterbalance weight on a
chain, attached to the cover and operating in a grooved wheel at the
top of the frame, assisted the workers in raising the cover or swinging
the box. The molding space was considerably longer than the plate,
to provide room for impurities and air bubbles which rose to the top
as the metal was poured. With a double-handled ladle, capable of
holding from 65 to 120 pounds according to size, the metal was dipped
from a furnace close by and poured quickly into the open top of the
box. The cover was provided with a water-cooling arrangement— a
substitute for the earlier method of pouring water by hand into fixed
recesses of the top. After the plate had cooled sufficiently, the mold
was swung back into a horizontal position and opened. The cast
was turned face up and the matrix was removed, to be again placed
in the casting box for another plate.
Two men were required to insert the matrix, put the mold together,
pour the metal, take the mold apart, and remove the cast, but as
speed was essential two casting boxes were often installed in places
where a large number of plates were required, so that one plate could
be poured while the other solidified. Boxes were also constructed
with the two halves opening sideways. In a later style of casting box
the cover was stationary in the upright position, while the bottom
plate was supported on rollers, permitting it to be moved from the
top plate and tipped to a horizontal position for insertion of the
matrix or removal of the plate, and back again, for locking the box,
with comparatively slight effort. Side gauges were placed on hinges.




DEVELOPMENT OP STEREOTYPING

97

M E TA L FU RN ACES

Stereotype metal consisted in the beginning mostly of lead, but,
like type metal, contained various alloys. Iron, steel, brass, copper,
tin, and antimony had been used from time to time. B y 1870 the
commonly accepted alloys were tin and antimony, in varying propor­
tions according to the hardness desired. The early stereotypers
mixed their own metal and kept it in proper working condition. The
plates returned from the pressroom were remelted for use in casting
new plates, and the consistency of the metal was changed through
the constant remelting. Establishment of metal supply houses
gradually relieved the stereotypers from metal mixing, and also from
much of the refining. The metal was melted in large furnaces, with
pots ordinarily having a capacity of 700 to 14,000 pounds of metal.
Pouring molten metal with a ladle into the casting box was practically
supplanted by the use of force-pump equipment for the metal furnaces,
requiring only a downward pull on a lever to send a sufficient quantity
of metal through a spout ending just above the opening in the casting
box. Pump furnaces were manufactured with either 1, 2, or 3 pumps,
and provided with a casting box for each pump. At first furnaces
were heated by coal, which required a certain amount of attention to
maintain the correct temperature. This was reduced later by the
substitution of gas, commonly used at present, or oil. Electric
heating has recently been adopted in a few places, and is claimed to
assure easy temperature control of the metal. The minimum of two
men required for the casting operation was not reduced by these
improvements, but they could produce more plates in a given time
than formerly, and with less manual effort.
FIN ISH IN G M A C H IN E S

The cast, as turned out in the casting boxes, contained considerable
surplus metal, especially the part above the height of the matrix,
commonly called the “ tail,” where the extra amount was poured in.
After the matrix had been stripped from the cast, the latter was laid
on the cylinder of a trimming machine, usually called a “ tail cutter.”
The cast was secured by one or two broad straps to the cylinder.
This was revolved slowly by means of a crank, passing the cast against
a rotating cutter, which severed the tail and left the curved edge of the
plate beveled, to insure satisfactory clamping surface on the press.
The plate was turned by hand, and its other end was trimmed in
similar manner. Power was later applied to the machine, automatic
clamping provided, and a second cutter added so that both ends of
the plate could be trimmed at the same time— all reducing both exer­
tion and the time involved.
After trimming, the plate was taken to another machine, commonly
termed a “ shaver,” where it was slipped, face down, into a semi­
circular trough, and the inner surface was planed down by a rotating
straight-edged knife to insure proper thickness, or height, of the plate.
As the top part, or core, of the casting box was provided with narrow
grooves about 1 inch apart, the inner surface of the plate was pro­
vided with ribs, reducing the surface to be shaved. Old-style shaving
machines were, like tail cutters, operated by cranks, requiring the
efforts of two men. With the application o f power drives one man
was dispensed with. Combination shaving and trimming machines
also were devised. After shaving, the plate was laid face up on a




98

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

finishing cylinder, where two men removed all superfluous metal from
the edges and deepened recesses where necessary, to prevent them
from smudging the sheet in printing. Hand planes and chisels were
used. The plate was next carried to a water trough and cooled, and
then delivered to the pressroom.
A U TO M A TIC C ASTIN G AND FIN ISH IN G

A complete change in stereotype casting was created by the inven­
tion of the Autoplate machine by Henry A. Wise W ood, of New
York. This machine, which was first installed on the New York
Herald in 1900, required only the placing of the matrix and the
moving of a lever, which started the automatic operation and pro­
duced finished plates, ready for the press, at the rate of four per
minute. Change o f matrices could be effected with the loss of only
one cast. The casting mechanism consisted of a horizontal, watercooled cylinder, around the lower half of which the plate was cast, and
which turned halfway intermittently, and a concave back below, with
a corresponding up and down movement, provided with a sliding
matrix clamp. The upward rise of the back, with the matrix, formed
the mold, into which the metal was forced by a pump in an attached
furnace. After the cast had cooled for 10 seconds, the dropping of
the back stripped the matrix from the plate, which was brought to the
top by the revolving core and pushed to the finishing mechanism
while the back closed against the other bottom half of the cylinder for
another cast. The plate passed between two saws, which trimmed
the straight edges close to the type, into a shaving chamber, where
it was shaved and the beveled edges smoothed, then over a wetting
appliance for cooling, and was ejected.
Several of the larger newspapers installed the machine. In 1908,
according to a lecture delivered in that year by the inventor, the
New York Herald had three of the machines, the World four, the
New York Times two, the Chicago Daily News four, and the Chicago
Tribune three, while others were in use on the Boston Post, the
Boston Globe, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Kansas City Star, and on
other papers in America and in Europe. The World, of New York, after
the first Autoplate machine had been installed, stated that the equipment
for 10 sextuple presses, 4 starters to the press, had been prepared in
about 15 minutes, all delays considered, while previously it used to
take 50 minutes and often an hour. By the old-fashioned hand
method a large plant required 2 men at the casting box, 1 at the tail
cutter, 1 at the shaver, 2 at the finishing block, and 1 to dip the
plate for cooling. Such a crew would ordinarily produce plates at
the rate of two in three minutes. The Autoplate machine was oper­
ated by four men, who adjusted the matrices, manipulated the control
lever, supplied metal to the furnace and removed the ejected plates,
producing about seven plates in two minutes.
JU NIOR A U TO PLA TE

The W ood Newspaper Machinery Corporation subsequently built
another machine on similar principles, which was called the “ Junior
Autoplate” to distinguish it from the former one, designated as the
Senior, or Standard. The new machine was installed in a number of
plants where the old method was still used, and also gradually replaced
the older machines, the last of which was discarded in 1926. In the




DEVELOPMENT OF STEREOTYPING *

99

operation of the new machine several of the entirely automatic func­
tions of the older one were performed by the workers. The casting
mechanism resembled in some respects the individual casting boxes.
The mold was vertical instead of horizontal, and of extra length to
insure the necessary pressure of the metal for perfect casting of the
plate. The molten metal was supplied, as in the old model, by means
of a hand-worked force pump through an overhanging spout. The
matrix was inserted by the operator in the back, which was moved to
and from the core by a hand-worked lever. A downward pull on the
pump lever filled the mold. After the cast had cooled, in about 14
to 20 seconds, and the back drawn away, stripping the matrix from
the cast, power was applied by operating another hand lever starting
the automatic function of the machine. The core was given a half
turn, carrying the cast with it and passing it against two rotating
saws to sever the tail from the plate and trim the lower beveled edge.
The straight sides of the plate had been so cast that no trimming was
needed.
The back with the matrix was again moved into casting position
by the operator and a new plate poured, which was left to cool while
the cylinder tender removed the tail piece, still hanging to the cylinder
by a couple of pins, and the plate which had been projected from the
core by the closing of the back on the other half. The plate was
laid on an inclined runway of an auxiliary finishing machine, called
the “ Autoshaver,” where it was automatically passed successively
through gates into a shaving chamber, over a water saddle, and
over a brush to a delivery stand, from which it was sent to the press­
room by the shaver tender. In some of the larger newspaper plants
automatic devices were provided for transportation of the plates.
A fourth worker, the metal tender, kept the metal pot in the furnace
filled with metal, usually consisting of plates returned from the press­
room for remelting. Plates were produced at the rate of three per
minute.
The need for several casting units resulted in the construction of
the double Junior Autoplate, consisting of an elliptical metal furnace,
with about 16,000 pounds capacity, to which were attached two cast­
ing mechanisms, each of which was operated independently by two
men and would produce three plates per minute. An Autoshaver,
which was capable of finishing six plates per minute, completed the
unit. Only one metal tender was required for the replenishing of
the metal, so the complete unit could be operated efficiently by six
men and produce six finished plates per minute. This arrangement
is commonly found on modern newspapers, some of which are provided
with four or five units.
PO N Y A U TO PLA TE

Another variety of the Autoplate was originated by Henry A. Wise
W ood, in combination with patents of Charles E. Hopkins of New
York, and called the “ Semi-Autoplate.” This consisted of a vertical
casting box, with a stationary concave back next to the metal furnace
and a- swinging convex core, combined with the features of a tail
cutter and the Autoshaver. It could be operated by one man, and
had a capacity of three plates in two minutes. It was eventually
developed into the Pony Autoplate, which recently has become very
popular for smaller city newspapers. Among the records received
by the manufacturers from users, one newspaper gave the average




100

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

production as 58 plates in 45 minutes, all work done by one man.
Another newspaper stated that on the day the machine was first
operated, the last 18 plates were made from 9 matrices in 18 minutes,
or 1 plate per minute, while the same crew with the individual machines
previously used would have consumed 45 minutes, or 2 ^ minutes per
plate. In 1926 a combination machine was introduced, the Twin
Pony Autoplate, consisting of two of the casting boxes, served by a
single finishing and cooling mechanism, which swings automatically
into position in front of either box to receive the plates.
R ELATED O PE R A TIO N S

A plate finishing, cooling, and drying machine, was introduced by
R. Hoe & Co. In some places this was utilized for the Autoshaver,
and in others it was substituted for the individual finishing machines,
for use w^ith the regular casting boxes. At the present time some of
the small plants use only the individual machines, old styles or new
styles, which naturally has a bearing on productivity.
Some of the larger modern newspapers also use auxiliary sets or
individual machines in the production of plates for color printing,
and several are equipped with auxiliary double length sets for the
production of double pages in a single plate. Plates for color printing
on rotary newspaper presses, which were first introduced on the
Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1892, required considerable routing, as a
rule, to remove part of the design. The plate was fastened on a
cylinder, wiiere its surface was brought in contact with a rapidly
revolving cutter. Both cylinder and cutter were so manipulated
by the operator as to remove all undesirable parts.
About 1900 some attempts were made to produce printing plates to
cover the width of two pages. When two plates were used this was a
very laborious and slow process, as most of the work had to be done by
hand. The common failure to secure accurate adjustment of the
lines, induced some of the manufacturers to turn out double length
machinery for such purpose, and this was installed on some of the large
newspapers.
For several years after the introduction of half tones attempts
to stereotype them did not meet with success, and preparation of
stereotype plates containing half tones involved considerable extra
work. The half tones were first curved to the same degree as the
plate. By one method they were tacked or soldered in depressions
prepared for them on the surface of the plate. B y another method
strips of metal were soldered to the backs of the curved half tones,
and after the matrix had been placed in the casting box, the half tones
were fitted into their respective positions on the matrix, where the
strips held them in place after the box was closed. In pouring the
cast the metal surrounded the anchors, imbedding the half tones in
the plate. Stereotyping of half tones was successfully accomplished
in 1897 on the New York Tribune, and is now a daily occurrence on
practically all modern newspapers.
JOB W O R K

On daily newspapers stereotyping also involves casting and finishing
of small work in plate form, commonly termed “ job work,” such as
headings, advertisements, and illustrations, from matrices furnished
by advertisers or by syndicates for supplying special features, as well




DEVELOPMENT OF STEREOTYPING

101

as metal bases for use with photo-engravings or electrotypes in the
page forms. On large newspapers special men.are employed con­
tinuously on such work, while on small ones the regular workers
perform it when time can be spared from other duties. Molding,
when necessary, is carried out in the same way as for curved plates.
Flat casting boxes of various sizes and styles, soma of them large
enough to produce full-page casts, are employed. They are usually
provided with adjustable gauges to permit casting a plate of any
required size within the limits of the box. The metal is ordinarily
poured with a ladle, though some boxes are adapted for use with
force pumps. The tail is removed by pushing the cast against a
circular saw, protruding through a slot above a small metal table,
and superfluous metal is removed from the other edges in similar
manner. As the saw cut is more or less ragged, the sides are squared
and smoothed on a trimming machine, where the plate rests on a
small sliding table, which, being pushed forward, carries the edge
against rapidly revolving cutters, a development of the old-fashioned
hand-operated shoot board and plane. Combination saws and trim­
mers, mounted on single pedestals, are commonly found in modern
plants.
The plate is next laid, face down, on the bed of a flat shaving ma­
chine, in which a straight knife planes the back to the correct
thickness.
The early shaving machines, in which the knife
head was propelled forward and backward by means of a handoperated spoke wheel, has been displaced on most newspapers by
power-operated‘ shavers. In some of these the knife head is driven
over the bed, and in others the bed travels while the knife head
remains stationary. Adjustment for desired thickness is made by
raising or lowering either the knife or the bed, according to style.
Rotary type-high planers, fitted with revolving disks containing
cutters, are used in some places.
When illustrations, or other open matter, is stereotyped, it is often
necessary to remove considerable metal from the surface of the cast
in order to prevent smudging in printing. A routing machine is
usually employed for that purpose, eliminating the slow hand chisel­
ing. It consists of a flat table, supported by a pedestal, on which
the plate is clamped, and a router bit, revolved at high speed, situated
above the plate. In one style the tool can be moved freely by two
radial arms in any direction over the surface of the plate, while in
another it is moved by means of a handwheel straight across the table,
and the latter is moved to or from the operator by means of another
handwheel. The cutter is brought into contact with the plate by
means of a foot lever until the superfluous metal has been removed.
Mortices are sometimes required in advertising plates, for which
purpose a combination jig saw and drill is commonly used in large
modern plants.
All of these machines have been developed to a high degree of
efficiency by the various manufacturers heretofore named, as well as
by Ostrander-Seymour, John Hoyle & Sons, and others. Finishing
machines, however, are merely tools, and each one requires constant
manipulation by an operator during execution of the work on it.
A special branch of stereotyping, which consists of job work on a
larger scale, is commonly termed “ syndicate or auxiliary newspaper
service.” In 1858 Isaac HeyBs, of Sheffield, England, originated the




102

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

plan of supplying small newspapers with ready-set matter for pub­
lication, in single column, type-high stereotype plates. Thin surface
plates and special bases for them were introduced by B. B. Blackwell,
of New York, in 1871. These soon supplanted the single piece,
type-high strips, but were in turn superseded, on newspapers equipped
for stereotyping, by matrices containing the syndicate matter.
Several of the large newspapers maintain or are connected with
syndicates for furnishing such service.




CHAPTER 8.— DETAILED STUDY OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
LABOR COST FOR STEREOTYPING IN 1916 AND 1926
T E R E O T Y P IN G was not included among the industrial occu­
pations considered in the 1894 investigation by this bureau,
then called the Department of Labor, so the only figures for
production available are those obtained during the survey for this
study. The tabulations of hours and wages in the publications by
the bureau 1 give some interesting sidelights on those items from
the early days up to the present time. Wages were stated to have
been 89 cents per day for stereo typers in Scotland during 1840, with
a 60-hour working week, and in 1850 wages had risen to 97 cents
per day. The earliest record for the United States was for New
York in 1857, when wages ranged from $1.67 to $2 per day, also
with a 60-hour working week, which prevailed up to 1870, wages
during that time ranging from $1 to $2.33 per day. In 1872 wages
in New York had increased to $3 per day, and the weekly hours
had been reduced to 59. Increases in wages and reductions in
hours continued periodically from then on. The information for
this study was secured in a manner similar to that for composition
and, as with the data for that occupation, was reduced to a manhour basis. ^The resulting data for stereotyping rooms are presented
in the detailed tables. Such data cover only recent periods and
modern methods, except for one establishment, in which production,
hours, and wages were also obtained for a period 10 years earlier.
While those figures can not be considered illustrative of old-style
stereotyping, as they are for a large establishment and the equip­
ment would still be considered thoroughly up to date for wet-flong
stereotyping, they present an interesting comparison for the same
plant during two periods and of the dry-flong method with the wetflong method.

S

i U. S. Commissioner of Labor, Fifteenth Annual Report, 1900, Wages in Commercial Countries; Nine­
teenth Annual Report, 1904, Wages and Hours of Labor; bulletins of the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
on union scales of wages and hours of labor.




103

104

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
STEREOTYPING ROOM NO. 1 IN 1916
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C O ST FO R PR O C E S S

T^ABLE 50 contains data for production of stereotype plates in
1916, based on total man-hours for all employees:
T a b le

5 0 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room
No. 1 in 1916 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

M olding division:
M olders___ __

Man-hours
Average
worked in
production Labor cost
per manproducing
per man21,149
hour
hour
plates
Plates

_ __ ___________ _____
___ __ _ _ _ ____
Packers.

Foundry division:
Autoplate operators
_____ _________
Cylinder tenders____________ _ _ _ _ _
Metal-pot t e n d e r s ____ _______ __ .
Shaver tenders. .................... ......... _
Total, productive labor_____________
Job men____________ _________ ___________
Supervisory employees________ ________
Total, nonproductive labor .................
All employees............................. ..........

Tim e cost

Labor cost

$0. 893
.841

i ........................

3, 317 |

6.38

240
170

Minutes
10.4
7.9

$0.154
. 107

. 799
.797
.806
.806

11.0
10.8
6.7
6.7

. 146
.143
.090
.090

.821

53.4

.730

.818
2. 030

643
492 _
_.
683
609
415
415

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction

" 3.9
2.7

.053
.093

___ _
_

1. 325

6.6

. 145

5.67

.876

60.0

.876

410 |
3, 727

The table covers the total man-hours for all operations in the stereo­
typing room of the newspaper, which was published mornings,
Sundays included. The total man-hours represent all hours the
workers were on duty in the establishment, regular as well as over­
time, and for which they were paid, including both actual productive
time and waiting time. Time devoted to lunch periods has not been
considered, even though paid for by the employers. All work was
performed at night, six hours constituting a regular working shift,
except on Saturday night when it included one and one-half addi­
tional working hours.
The workers consisted of productive labor and nonproductive
labor. The former included both the molding division, which pre­
pared, molded, and backed up the matrices, and the foundry division,
which cast the plates, and the latter contained the job men, who made
and finished flat casts for use in the type form, and supervisory employ­
ees, who directed the work. Only the finished product of the room,
stereotype printing plates, has been considered, and their production,
on the basis of total man-hours, is shown for the total productive
labor, and for all employees. The actual time and labor cost for
each group of labor involved in the man-hour production of plates
for all employees is also presented.
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA B O R C O ST F O R M O L D IN G OF M A T R IC E S

As the operations performed in the molding division and the
foundry division were distinctly different and resulted in finished
products of varying nature, separate tables have been prepared for
each of the two divisions, covering the individual product and omit­
ting the nonproductive labor. Table 51 contains data for molding
and backing up 1,666 matrices by the stereotype molding division
in 1916.



PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND
T

1926

105

a b l e 5 1 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in molding of
matrices in newspaper stereotyping room No. l .in 1916 {based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Average
Man-hours number of
worked in
forms
molding molded per
1,666 forms man-hour

Labor
cost per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction
Tim e cost

Labor cost

M olders............. ............ .......... ........................
Packers___________________ ________ _____

643
492

2. 59

$0.893
.841

Minutes
34.0
26.0

$0.506
.353

Total__.................... ............. .................

1,135

1.47

.859

60.0

.859

The wet-flong method was used, and the flong was prepared with
the aid of tissue-holding stands, the work being done mostly before
molding commenced for the day but partly on overtime. The
molding on two matrix-rolling machines and pneumatic steam tables
was done by three men. A flat gas-heated matrix scorcher was used
occasionally for the final drying. The working hours for the molders
amounted to 56.7 per cent of the total hours for the division, while
those for the packers constituted only 43.3 per cent. The average
number of forms molded was 2.59 per man-hour, based on total
man-hours for molders, and 1.47, based on total man-hours for the
division. No record was kept of imperfect matrices molded, necessi­
tating remolding, but these were claimed not to have exceeded 20
for the period studied. The daily wage rate was the same for all,
except that one of the molders received a higher rate, which, together
with a slightly larger proportion of overtime, accounts for the addi­
tional labor cost per man-hour in this group. The overtime for the
two groups aggregated 9.6 per cent of the total time involved.
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C OST FO R CASTIN G OF PLATES

Table 52 contains data for casting 31,149 plates by the stereotype
• casting division of the same newspaper in 1916.
T

5 2 .— Man-hour production and labor cost by productive labor in casting of
plates in newspaper stereotyping room No. 1 in 1916 (based on total man-hours)

able

Occupation

Man-hours
Average
worked in number of Labor cost
plates cast per mancasting
per manhour
21,149
hour
plates

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction
Time cost

Labor cost

Autoplate operators _____________________
Cylinder tenders
_________
Metal-pot tenders
- __ - ____________
Shaver tenders
________________________

683
669
415
4,15

30.96

$0. 799
.797
.806
.806

Minutes
18.8
18.4
11.4
11.4

$0.250
.244
.153
.153

Total_______________________________

2,182

9.69

.801

60.0

.801

The plates were cast by two double Junior Autoplate-Autoshaver
equipments, providing four casting mechanisms, each of which was
handled by one operator, assisted by one cylinder tender, but on
five nights of the week only three of the mechanisms were operated.
One metal-pot tender and one shaver tender were required for each
9819°— 29------- 8




106

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

double equipment, whether one or both of its casting mechanisms
were utilized. As one operator handled one mechanism, the pro­
duction per man-hour for operators— 31 plates— represents the
number' of plates cast per clock hour on one casting mechanism.
This does not, however, indicate the capacity of the machine, as it
was not operated continuously and the basic hours include all of
its idle time. The output per man-hour for the combined groups is
also based on total time worked, and determines only the hourly
production by the labor deemed necessary for such an establishment
under the special shop arrangements prevailing at that time. The
number of plates produced in this establishment, as well as in the
other plants, consisted only of perfect plates delivered to the press­
room, as no record was kept of casts spoiled during the process.
Some variation existed in the man-hour labor cost for the different
groups, due to the different amounts of overtime worked by them,
as the regular rate of daily pay was the same. The overtime for
the combined groups totaled only 6 per cent of the entire time worked,
considerably less than that for the molding division, and is reflected
in the respective labor costs per man-hour.
O U TPU T PE R PR O D U C TIV E M A N -H O U R

As records were not kept of the actual productive time worked by
the productive labor, figures were obtained of the exact time when
molding and casting operations commenced and stopped for each
edition during each day of the period studied, the time between
being considered as productive man-hours. Table 53 gives the
number of productive man-hours for each group in both divisions,
with the percentage of the total man-hours, and also for each division
as a whole. Man-hour production, based on productive man-hours,
is also presented for each of the groups and for each division.
T

able

5 3 .— Man-hour production for productive labor in newspaper stereotyping
room No. 1 in 1016 (based on productive man-hours)
Number of man-hours

Production

Productive

Occupation
Total

Total
Number

Per cent
of total

Per pro­
ductive
man-hour

M olding division:
M olders................................. ....................
Packers....................... ..............................

643
492

274.3
216.0

42.6
43.9

Total............................. ........ .................

1,135

490.3

43.2

1, 666

3.40
Plates
68.71
68. 71
115. 44
115. 44
21.54

Foundry divison:
Autoplate operators .............................
Cylinder tenders ___________________
Metal-pot tenders __________________
Shaver tenders .................................... .
T o ta l.,............................................... .

Matrices
1,666
1,666

683
669
415
415

307.8
307.8
183.2
183.2

45.1
46.0
44.1
44.1

Plates
21,149
21,149
21,149
21,149

2,182

981.8

45.0

21,149

Matrices
6.07
7.72

The actual operation inside of these hours was, of course, inter­
mittent and provided occasional slight periods of rest while waiting
in the molding division for forms from the composing room, or in the
casting division for matrices from the molding division, except toward
the closing of each edition, when the rush work commenced. The




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

107

productive man-hours shown for the molders include only the time
engaged in molding of matrices, omitting the time used in preparing
the flong. They amounted to 42.6 per cent of the total working
time for the group, with an output of 6.07 matrices per productive
man-hour, indicating considerable waiting time. Three or four daily
editions were customary, involving molding of nearly double the
number of pages published in the complete daily issue. It was
essential most of the time to mold the matrices as fast as the forms
arrived from the composing room, to keep the way clear for the
starter 1 when it arrived. Records were obtained of the time each
starter was received from the composing room and the time the
matrix therefrom was sent to the packers. The total number of
starters during the period studied was 132. With six exceptions
only 6 minutes were consumed in molding eac h of them, five requiring
7 minutes apiece and one being turned out in 5 minutes, making an
average of 6.03 minutes, clock time.
The matrices were transported in a small electric lift from the
molding section, which was located in the composing room, to the
packing section adjoining the foundry division. The productive manhours for the packers shown include only the time for backing up of
matrices and do not take the preparation of packing into account.
The percentage of the total hours for these packers was slightly higher
than for those of the molders— almost 44— but as there were fewer
man-hours for the group the hourly production was increased to 7.72
matrices. The time records for the starters show that there was
considerable waiting time in this section also, as the backing up of
nearly 14 per cent of the starters was accomplished in one minute per
matrix, and over 35 per cent required only two minutes each. The
average clock time for the 132 was 3.25 minutes per matrix, with a
maximum of 13 minutes. On the basis of total productive man-hours
for molders and packers, the output of the division was 3.4 matrices
per man-hour.
The productive man-hours for the foundry division, given in the
table, consist only of the time occupied in casting the plates, and do
not include previous melting of the metal nor care of the machinery.
For the operators they amounted to a little more than 45 per cent of
the total hours worked by the group, and for the cylinder tenders
46 per cent, while for metal-pot tenders and shaver tenders they con­
stituted slightly over 44 per cent each, making a general average of
45 per cent. As the productive man hours for operators and cylinder
tenders were the same, the hourly production on that basis was like
wise the same for each group, amounting to 68.71 plates. This
figure also represents the actual hourly production for one casting
mechanism, based on productive man-hours for the establishment,
or 1.15 plates per minute. Figured on the basis of productive manhours for metal-pot tenders or shaver tenders, which were alike, the
average production for each double equipment was 115.44 plates per
hour. The output for the entire division, on the basis of its total
productive man-hours was 21.54 plates.
The productive hours for the foundry division constituted 66.7 per
cent of the total productive man-hours for the two divisions, while
those for the molding division were only 33.3 per cent, practically the
same relation as existed for the total working hours— 65.8 and 34.2
per cent, respectively.
i Tiie last page of each ed ition




108

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
T IM E R E C O R D S FO R PLA TE CASTIN G

One of the important items was the time consumed from the
receipt of the starter form from the composing room to the delivery
of the first plate to the pressroom, which involved both divisions.
The average during the period was 10.23 minutes, with a minimum of
8 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes.
Twelve perfect casts were ordinarily required from each matrix.
The rush, of course, was especially for the last page, or starter, of
each edition. The time records show an average, from delivery of
this matrix by the molding division until the twelfth plate was turned
over to the pressroom, of 7.38 minutes, or 1.6 plates per minute.
A minimum time of 6 minutes for production of the 12 plates was
attained in 66 out of the 111 times, while the maximum was 17
minutes, occurring only once. Part of the time— especially for the
Sunday morning issues— 18 casts were required from each matrix.
The average time involved for the production of that number was
11.53 minutes per set, or 1.6 plates per minute; a few sets took as
long as 23 minutes, but in the majority of cases the set of 18 was
turned out in 9 minutes. The average for the total starting pages
during the period was 1.6 plates per minute, clock time
N O N PR O D U C TIV E LA BO R

Job men have not been considered in any of the tables except
Table 50, as no records were kept of work accomplished by them.
The majority of the job work was performed by special labor engaged
exclusively in that operation, though when required, some individuals
from other groups also worked intermittently at it during their spare
time before or after plate casting. As the work was continuous, the
total hours for the group shown in Table 50 also represent the pro­
ductive man-hours for the work. The equipment consisted of the
ordinary machines used for the purpose, in duplicate, but included
some styles not strictly up to date. Supervisory labor also has not
been considered except in Table 50.
STEREOTYPING ROOM NO. 1 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R COST F O R PR O C E S S

The constant expansion of the publication during the decade
following 1916 was responsible for considerable change. By the end
of that period the number of pages in the daily issues had more than
doubled, the dry-flong method had supplanted the wet-flong method,
additional equipment had been provided, and the personnel had been
increased to meet conditions. Tables similar to those for 1916
have been prepared for the selected period in 1926, providing easy
comparison of the two periods. Table 54 contains data for production
of plates in 1926, based on the total man-hours for all employees,
similar to that for the 1916 period in Table 50. The explanation of
specific details given for Table 50 applies also to Table 54.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND
T

able

1926

109

5 4 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room
No. 1 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Man-hours
Average
worked in production Labor cost
per manproducing
per manhour
50,733 plates
hour

Plates

Molding division:
M olders.................. ...............................
Packers. ______________________ . _
Foundry division:
Autoplate operators _______________
Cylinder tenders __________________
Metal-pot tenders_______ ___________
Shaver tenders ____________________

Tim e cost

Labor cost

1,360
2,088

$1.414
1.369

Minutes
8.6
13.2

$0. 202
.300

1,552
1, 552
845
796

1.363
1. 363
1.375
1.364

9.8
9.8
5.3
5.0

.222
.222
.122
.114

1. 374

51.7

1.183

1.462
4.154

7.3
1.0

.178
.072

Total, productive labor____________

8,193

Job men _ _ _ _____________________
Supervisory employees__________________

1,157
164

Total, nonproductive labor________
All employees_____________________

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction

6.19

1, 321
»•’

9,514

1.797
5. 33

8.3

.249

1.433

60.0

1.433

Comparison of the two tables shows that the man-hours had prac­
tically doubled for each group except supervisory labor, and that the
total number of plates cast had advanced in about the same ratio.
The man-hour production of plates had decreased 3 per cent for all
productive labor and 6 per cent for all employees. This is partly
explained by a statement that it w
ras necessary to employ sufficient
labor to meet the demands of rush conditions during certain periods
of each shift. A general increase of 63.7 per cent had taken place in
the average labor cost per man-hour, in accord with the general ad­
vance in wages for the entire country. The time cost for the different
groups in man-hour production is relatively different than that for
1916, due to the adoption of the dry-flong method. The man-hour
production for all employees was 5.33 plates in 1926 against 5.67 in
1916, a reduction of 6 per cent, while the labor cost for the one hour’s
work was $1,433 in 1926 against 87.6 cents in 1916.
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA B O R COST FO R M O L D IN G OF M A T R IC E S

The various changes in the decade are more evident in the next
two tables, where the two divisions have been treated separately,
each with reference to its individual product, as was done for 1916.
Table 55 contains data for molding and backing up 3,580 matrices
by the stereotype molding division in 1926, being comparable with
Table 51.
T

5 5 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in molding of
matrices in newspaper stereotyping room No. 1 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

able

Occupation

Man-hours Average
worked in number of Labor cost
molding forms m old­
per
3, 580
ed per
man-hour
forms
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

M olders______________ ______ ____________
Packers . _______________________________

1,360
2,088

2. 63

$1. 414
1.369

Minutes
23. 7
36.3

$0. 558
.828

Total_______________________________

3, 448

1.04

1.387

60.0

1.387




110

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

Because the dry-flong method had been adopted, the actual prepar­
ing of the flong had been eliminated and the only operations necessary
were humidifying and seasoning. Molding was done by six men on
three direct-pressure hydraulic molding presses, with one additional
man for Sunday morning issues. Modern curved gas-heated matrix
scorchers were used by the packers for drying. The relation of
working hours for the two groups differed greatly from that prevailing
in 1916, caused principally through the additional backing up re­
quired for the dry flong. The working hours for the molders con­
stituted 39.4 per cent of the total hours for the division, while those
for the packers aggregated 60.6 per cent. An average of 2.63 forms
were molded hourly, based on man-hours for molders alone, a very
slight increase over the 1916 production. Based on man-hours for
the division, only 1.04 forms were molded hourly, a decrease of nearly
30 per cent from the 1916 output. No account was kept of imperfect
matrices molded. It was stated that in some instances they had
gone as high as five in one day, but no spoilage was evident while the
molding was observed, and the statement probably refers to the time
when the dry-flong method was taken up.
The labor cost per man-hour for the molders had increased 58.4
per cent and for the packers 62.8 per cent. The same basic wage
was paid to all, except to two of the molders who received higher
rates. As the proportion of overtime for molders was larger than that
for packers, and the average wage rate was a little higher, the labor
cost for the molders was naturally more than for the packers. The
overtime for the two groups aggregated 10.2 per cent of the total
time worked by the division, slightly more than the 1916 proportion.
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LABO R C O ST FO R CASTIN G OF PLA TES

Table 56 contains data for casting 50,733 plates by the sterotype
foundry division in 1926, and is comparable with Table 52.
T

5 6 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in casting of
plates in newspaper stereotyping room No. 1 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

able

Occupation

Autoplate operators.......................................
Cylinder tenders _____________ _________
Metal-pot tenders..........................................
Shaver tenders...........................................
Total...............................................

Man-hours
worked in
casting
50,733
plates

Average
number
of plates
cast per
man-hour

1, 552
1,552
845
796

32.69

$1. 363
1.363
1.375
1. 364

Minutes
19.6
19.6
10.7
10.1

$0.446
.446
.245
.229

4, 745

10. 69

1. 365

60.0

1.365

Labor cost
per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

Casting methods were the same as in the former period (described
on p. 105), except that both the total output of plates and the total
hours worked by the division had more than doubled. Two addi­
tional double Junior Autoplate-Autoshaver equipments had been
installed, making 4 in all and providing 8 casting mechanisms. All
8 were used on 5 nights of each week, but 7 were sufficient the other
2 nights and even fewer were occasionally adequate, as records show
that only 6 and 5 mechanisms were each used 3 per cent of the total




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND

111

1926

nights. The number of plates cast, based on the total hours worked
by the operators, was 32.69 per man-hour, an increase of 5.6 per cent
over 1916; based on the total hours for the entire division, the gain
was 10.3 per cent. As in the table for 1916, these hours included all
idle machine hours, so that the output merely represents average
production by necessary labor for the period under the conditions
existing.
Similar to the previous period, the labor cost per man-hour varied
slightly according to the relative overtime. This was highest for
metal-pot tenders, as some from this group were required to come to
work early each night in order to have the metal in proper condition
for casting. A general average increase in man-hour labor cost of 70
per cent had become effective since 1916. The overtime for the four
groups combined totaled 7.2 per cent of the total time worked, as
against 6 per cent in 1916.
O U TPU T P E R PR O D U C TIV E M A N -H O U R

The actual time devoted to matrix-molding and plate-casting
operations have been computed in the same way as for the previous
period, and the results, snowing the productive man-hours for the
productive labor in 1926, are presented in Table 57, which is com ­
parable with Table 53. The explanations accompanying Table 53
(see p. 106) apply equally to Table 57.
T able 5 7 . — Man-hour production for productive labor in newspaper stereotyping

room No. 1 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours)
Man-hours

Production

Productive

Occupation

Total

Total
Number

Per cent of
total
Matrices
3,580
3, 580

Per pro­
ductive
man-hour

Matrices
4. 79
2.83

M olding division:
M olders.. ______ _____ ___ ____ _____
Packers___________ __________________

1,360
2,088

747.6
1, 263. 6

55.0
60.5

T o t a l.............. ........................... ..........

3, 448

2,010. 2

58.3

3, 580

1.81
Plates
73.86
73. 86
105.18
105.18
21. 70

Foundry division:
Autoplate operators__________________
Cylinder tenders_________ ______ ____
Metal-pot tenders____________________
Shaver tenders____ ____________ _____

1,552
1, 552
845
796

686.9
686. 9
482.3
482.3

44.3
44.3
57.1
60.6

Plates
50, 733
50, 733
50, 733
50, 733

Total.......................................................

4,745

2, 338. 4

49.3

50, 733

The aggregate productive hours for the molders were 55 per cent
of the total time worked by the group, with an output of 4.79 matrices
per productive man-hour, a reduction of 21 per cent since 1916.
The apparent growth in productive time and drop in hourly produc­
tion were caused by the increased number of pages in the daily issues,
as the length of the regular working-day remained the same and the
proportion of overtime was only slightly greater than in 1916. Four
or five editions were published daily, resulting in molding more than
twice the number of pages published in the complete daily issue.
The man-minutes for molding of each matrix had increased, but the
records for time consumed in molding the matrices for the starters
show that the actual clock time involved for each matrix had been
reduced greatly. The total number of starters during the period



112

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

was 152. M olding the matrices for three of these required three
minutes apiece, while the rest took only two minutes each, making
an average per matrix of 2.02 minutes, clock time, a reduction of
66.5 per cent from the clock time in 1916.
The change in the proportionate relation of total hours for molders
and packers was reflected in both productive hours for the packers
and in their output. The percentage of productive hours for them
was also higher than that for the molders, being 60.5 per cent of the
total time for the group. The production was only 2.83 matrices
per productive man-hour, a decrease of 63.3 per cent from the former
period, making a total reduction of 46.8 per cent in the output per
productive man-hour for the division. Analysis of the time records
for the starters revealed that an average of 6.55 minutes, clock time,
was consumed in backing up the matrices for them, with a minimum
of two minutes and a maximum of 19 minutes. Three, five, and six
minutes were most in evidence, each being recorded for about 16
per cent of the total starters. The average clock time for both
operations in production of the completed matrix was 8.57 minutes,
while in 1916 the average amounted to 9.28 minutes, a reduction of
7.7 per cent.
The productive man-hours for the Autoplate operators, and also
for the cylinder tenders, constituted only a little over 44 per cent of
the total hours for each group. For the metal-pot tenders they
aggregated over 57 per cent, and for the shaver tenders 60.6 per cent.
The smaller proportion for the first two groups was due to operation
during part of the period of only one casting mechanism on one of
the double equipments. The man-hour production for operators
was 73.86 plates, which also represents the actual hourly production
for one casting mechanism, based on productive machine hours,
equal to 1.2 plates per minute, oi 7 per cent increase over 1916.
On the basis of productive man-hours for metal-pot tenders or shaver
tenders, the average production of each double equipment was 105.18
plates per hour, a decrease of 8.9 per cent. This average production,
however, indicates only the output in this particular establishment
and is not strictly comparable with output per double equipment
in other stereotyping rooms, for all of the casting mechanisms were
not in use all of the time. The production per productive man-hour
for the entire casting division, was 21.7 plates, or a trifle more than
the production in the 1916 period.
The productive man-hours for the foundry division constituted
53.8 per cent of the total hours for the two divisions, while those
for the molding division were 46.2 per cent, a more equal relation
than that existing during the earlier period, and also than that for
the total working hours in the 1926 period, which was 57.2 and 42.8
per cent, respectively.
TIM E R E C O R D S FO R PLA TE CASTIN G IN 1916 AND 1926

The number of perfect casts required from one matrix varied
considerably, according to the number of pages in the issue and the
consequent number of presses necessary to print the papers inside of
the specific time limit. Fourteen casts from each matrix followed
closely by 12, predominated for the week-day issues, and 24 were
necessary for part of the Sunday issues. Table 58, covers the details
of time recorded for the casting of starters during the selected period
in 1926, as compared with that for the selected period in 1916.



PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

113

T able 5 8 . — Clock time consumed in casting of plates from starter forms in news­

paper stereotyping room No. 1 in 1926, and per cent of increase or decrease compared
with 1916

Number of minutes required to cast 1 set of plates

Number of plates
per matrix

1926
1916
average

I.................................
i
L ...............................

;____________
>
....................

_

7.38
7.0
13.0
11.53

M ini­
mum

5.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
14.0

Maxi­
mum

Per cent
of de­
crease in
1926 com­
pared
Average
with 1916
5.0
6.09
7.0
8.0
9.0
21.17

Average number of plates cast
per minute

1916

1926

General average
for all plates

18.8
38.5
21.9

1.63
2.00
1.23
1.56

2.00
1.97
2. 00
2. 00
2.00
1.13

1.60

5.0
13.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
31.0

1.99

Per cent
of in­
crease in
1926 com­
pared
with 1916

20.9
62.6
28.2

24.4

A decided reduction in casting time, ranging from 18.8 to 38.5 per
cent, had taken place for three of the specific sets used in both periods.
In 1926 the production of starter plates was practically at the rate of
2 per minute, clock time, an increase of almost 25 per cent since 1916.
This and the reduction in time for the molding operation created a
shorter interval between the closing of the forms in the composing
room and the beginning of printing in the pressroom. The average
time between receipt of the starter form and delivery of the first
starter plate was 9.36 minutes, a reduction of 0.87 minute from the
time during the 1916 period. The minimum time had, however,
been lowered from 8 to 4 minutes, a very decided accomplishment.
The comparatively high average was due to a few instances, which
mounted as high as 22 minutes.
N O N PR O D U C TIV E LA BO R

As no production records were kept for the job men, this group has
not been considered in any table except the general one for all em­
ployees— Table 54. There had been a substantial advance in this
operation between the two periods, as indicated by the total manhours for the group, which had increased to five times the amount for
1916. The man-hour labor cost for the group had risen 78.6 per cent,
more than that for any of the productive labor groups, as a great deal
of overtime had become necessary. During the 1916 period the over­
time amounted only to 19.2 per cent of the total hours worked, but
by the 1926 period it had risen to 53.3 per cent. The working arrange­
ment had changed little, but the old-fashioned part of the equipment
had been replaced by modern styles. The supervisory labor group
also has been considered only in Table 54. The man-hour labor cost
for it more than doubled, but this affected the general results for all
employees alone.
Taking it all in all, man-hour production, decreased during the
time between the two periods studied, due to speeding up of clock­
time production of each unit— matrices or plates— to insure the mostessential feature in the publication of a large newspaper— the speedy
dissemination of news.




114

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
STEREOTYPING ROOM NO. 2 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C O ST FO R PR O C ESS

Different working conditions existed in stereotyping room No. 2,
which was a comparatively small establishment. The groups were
not sharply defined, for some of the labor worked during the shift in
several different occupations, according to the needs of the moment.
The data are, however, presented in the same manner as for estab­
lishment No. 1, as the division of hours for the various occupations
were similarly secured and computed. Table 59 contains data for the
production of plates in this establishment during the 1926 period,
based on total man-hours for all employees. The table is comparable
with Table 54 for stereotyping room No. 1.
T a b le

5 9 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room
No. 2 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Molding division:
Molders_______ ______ _________________________
Packers __________ _______
_ _______________
Foundry division:
Autoplate operators_____ ____ _____ ___________
Cylinder tenders__________________ ____ _ ____
_
Metal-pot tenders_________________ ____ _______
Shaver tenders
_
______

Cost of man-hour
production

Manhours
Average
Labor
worked in produc­ cost per
producing tion per man-hour
5,030
man-hour
plates
Plates

Time
cost

Labor
cost

360.6
174.3

$0. 927
1.120

Minutes
12.5
6.0

$0.193
. 113

190.4
195.1
173.1
169.4

1.305
1.108
1.132
1.123

6.6
6.8
6.0
5.9

. 144
.125
.113
. 110

1.093

43.8

.799

1.211 !
1.053
1. 554 |

2.4
10.3
3. 5

.048
. 181
.090

Total, productive l a b o r ......................................

1, 262. 8

Flong makers____________ _______ __________ _ _
Job m en.. _ __________ ________ ______ ____ _
Supervisory employees__ __________ _______ _______

68. 8
296.8
100.0

Total, nonproductive labor_____ ____________

465. 5

All employees__________________ ____ _______

1, 728. 3

3. 98

1.184 |
2. 91

16. 2

.319

1.117

60.0

1.117

As with stereotyping room No. 1, this newspaper was published
mornings, including Sundays. All work was performed at night,
the regular working shift consisting of seven hours, except on Satur­
day nights, when one additional hour was included. With this
exception, and also that in the molding division three groups— flong
makers, molders and packers— instead of the last two are included,
the explanations covering Table 50 apply also to this table.
The man-hour production of plates, for productive labor and also
for all employees, was considerably below that shown in Table 54
for the same period in stereotyping room No. 1. This was due partly
to the longer working shifts, and partly to the special conditions of
the plant. The labor cost per man-hour was also less, on account of
a lower wage rate.
P R O D U C TIV ITY AND LA BO R COST FO R M O LD IN G OF M A T R IC E S

The individual differences are shown more in detail in Tables 60
and 61, giving figures for the molding division and the foundry division
separately. Table 60 contains data for molding and backing up
1,782 matrices by the productive labor in the molding division.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

115

60 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in molding of
matrices in newspaper stereotyping room No. 2 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

T a b le

ManAverage
hours
number
Labor
worked
of forms cost per
in m old­ molded man-hour
ing 1,782 per manhour
forms _

Occupation

M olders___________________________________________
........ .......... . ___ ___ ______________ ____ _
Packers
Total_________ _________

___ _________ ______

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e
cost

Labor
cost

360.6
174.3

4.94

$0.927
1.120

Minutes
40.5
19.5

$0. 625
.365

534.8

3. 33

.990

60.0

.990

The wet-flong method was used, which required flong preparation.
Two hands worked intermittently at this, utilizing tissue-holding
stands, but were occupied in other operations during the rest of
the time. The man-hours required for the preparation of flong
amounted to 11.4 per cent of the total man-hours for the division,
while those for molding were 59.8 per cent and those for packing
28.9 per cent. As the records contained the specific time for flong
preparation, the flong makers were omitted from Table 60, but are
included in Table 59, as a separate group of nonproductive labor.
The output was 25.9 flong per man-hour, including paste making and
other work connected therewith. The labor cost per man-hour was
$1,211, considerably higher than the average for the productive labor
groups in the division, because one of the flong makers received a higher
wage rate, while in the group of molders was an apprentice, whose
lower daily wage rate reduced the hour cost.
Molding of the forms was performed by 2 hands on 5 nights of
the week, and by 3 hands on the other 2 nights on account of the
extra work for the large Sunday issues. One matrix rolling machine
was employed, with pneumatic steam tables, and one curved, gasheated, matrix scorcher. Packing was ordinarily done by one man.
It was claimed that imperfect matrices, requiring remolding of forms,
were exceedingly rare, and that no record was kept of them.
As the wet-flong method was used, the production for this molding
division is more comparable with the production of the molding
division in stereotyping room No. 1 during the 1916 period (see
Table 51) than during the 1926 period. The average number of
forms molded per man-hour was nearly double the amount molded
in stereotype room No. 1, because only the actual time devoted to
molding was recorded for it, the workers being shifted to other
operations during their spare time. The output per man-hour for
the entire division was also relatively larger. The man-hour costs
were not affected greatly by overtime, as the entire amount for the
division was only 1.8 per cent of the total man-hours.
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R COST FOR CASTIN G OF PLA TES

Table 61 contains data for casting 5,030 plates by the productive
labor in the foundry division, comparable with Table 56 for sterotyp­
ing room No. 1:




116

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T able 6 1 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in casting of

plates in newspaper stereotyping room No. 2 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)
Average
Man-hours
worked in number of
plates cast
casting
per
5,030 plates
man-hour

Occupation

Labor cost.
per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction
Time cost

Labor cost

Autoplate operators................... ............. .......
Cylinder tenders. ________________ _____
Metal-pot tenders ________ ______________
Shaver tenders. _ _______ ____ __________

190.4
195.1
173.1
169.4

26.42

$1. 305
1.108
1.132
1.123

Minutes
15.7
16.1
14.3
14.0

$0.341
.297
.269
.261

Total.................... ............. .....................

728.0

6.91

1.169

60.0

1.169

Casting was performed on one double Junior Autoplate, supple­
mented with a Hoe plate-finishing machine. Only one of the casting
mechanisms was used, requiring four hands for operation of the equip­
ment, except for the Sunday issue, when both casting mechanisms
were utilized, necessitating a crew of six. The number of plates pro­
duced, on the basis of total hours worked by the operators, was 26.42
per man-hour, or a little over 80 per cent of the production on the
same basis for stereotyping room No. 1. This was partly because
fewer plates were cast from each matrix, and partly on account of
comparatively more idle machine time between the casts. On the
basis of total man-hours for the entire division, the production per
man-hour was relatively even smaller, amounting to only 6.91 plates,
or about 65 per cent of the production for stereotyping room No. 1.
The low rate was caused by the use of a single casting mechanism
for the majority of the time, four hands being required for the
production of each plate, instead of three hands when two casting
mechanisms were used.
The man-hour labor cost was a great deal higher for the operators
than for the other groups, because of a higher daily rate paid to one
of the operators. The slight variation for the other groups was due
to a small amount of overtime, mostly for metal-pot tenders, who
came to work earlier to get the metal ready for casting. The over­
time for all four groups did not, however, aggregate 1 per cent of the
total man-hours involved.
O U TPU T PE R P R O D U C TIV E M A N -H O U R

As the workers were shifted from one operation to another when­
ever necessary and the idle machine time in the productive operations
permitted it, the actual production time for the productive labor did
not vary much from the total time for it. Table 62, which is com ­
parable with Tables 53 and 57, gives the actual total and the produc­
tive man-hours and the productive man-hour output for stereotyping
room No. 2, the flong making for the molding division and all
recorded idle machine time for the foundry division not being included.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND
T

able

117

1926

6 2 . — Man-hour production for productive labor in newspaper stereotyping
room No. 2 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours)
Man-hours
Occupation

Production

Productive
Total

Total
Number

Per cent
of total

Per pro­
ductive
manhour

M olding division:
M olders___________________________
Packers.____ _____ ___________________

i 406.8
1 196.8

360.6
174.3

88. 6
88.6

Total__________ _____ ______________

i 603. 6

534.8

88.6

1, 782

3. 33
Plates
26. 42
26. 42
29.70
29.70
6.99

Matrices
1, 782
1, 782

Foundry division:
Autoplate operators __________ ____ _
Cylinder tenders ___________________
Metal-pot tenders___ _____ __________
Shaver tenders ........... .................... .......

190.4
195.1
173.1
169.4

190.4
190.4
169.4
169.4

100.0
97.6
97.8
100.0

Plates
5.030
5.030
5.030
5.030

Total........... ............ ...............................

728.0

719.6

98.8

5,030

Matrices
4.94
10. 23

1 Includes nonproductive time devoted to flong preparation.

The data for the molding division are comparable with those in
Table 53 for the wet-flong method in stereotyping room No. 1 in 1916.
The productive time for molders and packers, constituted 88.6 per
cent of the total hours for the group. The nonproductive time for
the division was devoted to flong preparation. The output of the
molders was 4.94 matrices per productive man-hour, or 18.6 per cent
less than that produced in stereotyping room No. 1. The output of
the packers was 10.23 matrices per man-hour, or 32.5 per cent more
than in room No. 1. Three daily editions were customarily published,
one shortly after the shift started and the other two practically con­
tinuous during the latter part of the shift. The changes for editions
involved molding twice the number of pages published in the
regular daily issues. Time records for starters were not available, so
no comparison could be made for that item.
Comparison of the data for the foundry division with that in
Table 57, for stereotyping room No. 1 in 1926 indicates the difference
between a large establishment and a small one. The productive
hours for the Autoplate operators and shaver tenders were in this
case the same as the total hours worked in their respective capacity,
for they were occupied in other operations when not actually required
at the machines. Cylinder tenders and metal pot tenders were like­
wise shifted to other operations when circumstances permitted, but
show a few extra nonproductive hours in their regular occupations.
As in room No. 1 the hours for operators or cylinder tenders exceeded
the hours for metal-pot tenders and shaver tenders, on account of the
occasional operation of two casting mechanisms, requiring two each
of the former to one each of the latter. Ordinarily only two perfect
casts were made from each matrix, though occasionally four were
called for. The man-hour production for operators was 26.42 plates,
decidedly low when compared with 73.86 plates as production for
one casting mechanism in room No. 1, and emphasizing the variation
contingent on the size of the plant. This is even more apparent
when the production for metal-pot tenders or shaver tenders is con­
sidered, 29.7 plates per productive hour against 105.18 in the former




118

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IK NEWSPAPER PRINTING

establishment, or the output of the entire division, 6.99 plates per
productive hour against 21.7 in room No. 1. No records for starters
were obtainable for this division either.
The productive hours for the foundry division amounted to 57.4
per cent of the combined productive hours for the two divisions,
with those for the molding division constituting 42.6 per cent, while the
relation of the total hours worked by each division was respectively
54.7 and 45.3 per cent.
N O N PR O D U C TIV E LABOR

Job men were not considered except in the general table for all
employees (Table 59). The necessary job work was performed inter­
mittently by labor from other operations during their spare hours in
their regular occupation. The equipment consisted of a single set
of the ordinary machines for the operations. As 16 per cent of the
hours were for an apprentice with a relatively low daily wage rate,
the man-hour labor cost was reduced considerably below that of the
other groups. The man-hours for supervisory labor, which was also
considered only in Table 59, were comparatively few, because part
of the time was devoted to productive operations, among which it
was included.
STERE O TYPIN G R O O M NO. 3 IN 1926

TN stereotyping room No. 3 the labor was likewise shifted from one
operation to another as circumstances required. It consisted of
journeymen and apprentices, with some supervisory labor. As no
detailed records were kept of the specific hours devoted to each of
the different operations, division could not be made of the labor in
the same manner as for the establishments heretofore studied, but
available figures were tabulated according to the division existing in
this stereotyping room. These have been presented as Table 63, for
approximate comparison of productivity and labor cost for the process
with those of the other establishments studied.
T

able

6 3 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room
No. 8 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Productive labor:
Journeymen......................................
Apprentices. _______________________
T o ta l.................... ................... ........

Man-hours
Average
worked in production Labor cost
per
producing
per
13,202 plates man-hour man-hour

Plates

2, 386. 5

2, 626. 5

5. 53

Labor cost

Minutes
44.3
10.2

$0. 720
.080
.801

5. 03

.906

54. 5

1. 459

240.0

All employees____ ________________

Time cost

$0. 976
.470

1,938. 5
448.0

Nonproductive labor: Supervisory______

Cost of man-hour
production

5.4

.136

.937

60.0

.937

The newspaper was published evenings for six days in the week,
and on Sunday mornings. Both the regular daily working shifts for
the evening issues and the night shifts for the Sunday issue consisted
of eight hours each. As accurate figures for hours, production, and
labor cost by groups could not be obtained, all possible information




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND

1926

119

was secured from supervisors. The wet-flong method was ordinarily
used, but dry flong was employed occasionally in emergencies. The
number of workers employed daily varied somewhat, being 9 during
6.7 per cent of the shifts in the selected period, 10 during 23.3 per cent,
11 during 43.3 per cent, and 12 during 26.7 per cent of the shifts.
The daily work included flong making, matrix molding and packing,
plate casting and finishing, and job casting and finishing.
The molding equipment consisted of one matrix rolling machine,
with drying presses, partly steam heated and partly electrically
heated, and a steam heated packing table. It was operated by a
crew of from two to four hands. The number of forms molded per
shift ranged from 50 to 109, with an average of 71.2 for the selected
period, estimated at about 2.5 per total man-hour for the division.
The rolled matrix, with the form, was ordinarily placed under the
platen of the drying press within from 1 to 3 minutes after the form
was received from the composing room, and the completed matrix
placed in the chute to the foundry from 7 to 9 minutes later, making
the customary time consumed in molding and packing a matrix from
8 to 12 minutes, clock time. It was claimed that under customary
working conditions a matrix had been molded from wet flong and
four plates cast from it delivered to the pressroom in 6.5 minutes,
and that such a task had been accomplished in less than 4 minutes
during a test. With the use of dry flong in an emergency, it was
stated, the matrix could be sent to the foundry in 2 minutes after the
form was received from the composing room. Four editions were
ordinarily published, but the number of extra forms molded were only
one-half of the number in the regular daily issues.
Casting of plates was performed on one double Junior AutoplateAutoshaver equipment, with coal fuel for the metal furnace, necessi­
tating refueling and constant watching on the part of the metal-pot
tender. Ordinarily, only one casting mechanism was used, requiring
a crew of four for its operation. When both mechanisms were util­
ized, as for the Sunday issues, two other men were added. Six perfect
plates were usually required from each matrix for the evening issues,
while eight were customary for the Sunday issue. It was claimed
that three sets of 32 plates each, or 96 plates, were ordinarily pro­
duced in one hour, clock time, using one casting mechanism. As
four hands were required for the operation, this was equal to approxi­
mately 24 plates per man-hour for the division. The equipment for
job casting and finishing consisted of the usual machines for the oper­
ation, partly in duplicate.
The man-hour production of plates, based on the total man-hours
for all employees, was a little less than that shown in Table 54, for
room No. 1 during the 1926 period. The difference was practically
due to the same reasons as those for the larger variation shown for
room No. 2. The average labor cost per hour was much smaller
than that for room No. 1, on account of several factors, such as
customary lower rate for daywork and the relatively small proportion
of overtime, which in the aggregate was less than 0.4 per cent of all
man-hours. In addition, it was affected by the inclusion of appren­
tices, who received a much lower daily rate, as their total man-hours
during the period amounted to over 17 per cent of the total manhours for all employees.




120

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

STEREOTYPING ROOM NO. 4 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA B O R C O ST FO R P R O C E SS

Working arrangements in stereotyping room No. 4 were subject
to still another phase of newspaper publication, the issuing of many
editions, which is practically necessary for an evening newspaper in
a large city where competition is keen. Table 64 contains data for
the production of plates during the selected period in 1926, based
on total man-hours for all employees.
T

able

6 4 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room
No. 4 in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

M olding division:
M old ers.. # ____ _________ _____ ___
Packers_____________________________
Foundry division:
Autoplate operators________ ________
Cylinder ten d ers____________________
Metal-pot tenders__________ ____ ___
Shaver tenders________ _____________

Man-hours
Average
worked in production Labor cost
per
producing
per
29,033 plates man-hour man-hour

Plates

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

1,134.0
1, 270. 5

$1. 287
1. 250

Minutes
8.8
9.9

$0.189
. 206

1,127. 0
1,127. 0
746. 5
575.5

1. 267
1. 267
1. 249
1. 273

8.8
8.8
5.8
4.5

. 185
. 185
. 121
.095

1. 266

46.5

. 980

1. 218
.684
1. 600

2.8
8.1
2.7

. 059
.092
.071

Total, productive labor____________

5, 980. 5

Job men_________________________________
Laborers..... ............................................ ........
Supervisory employees__________ ____ _
_

358. 5
1, 037. 0
345.0

Total, nonproductive labor________

1, 740. 5

All employees___________________

7, 721. 0

4. 85

.988
3. 76

13.5

. 223

1. 203

60.0

1.203

The newspaper was published evenings during the six week days
with regular working shifts of 7}^ hours for the workers but with a
daily working period for the establishment of 15 hours, to handle the
many different editions. The explanations given for Table 50 (see
p. 104) apply also to this table, except that in this table the nonpro­
ductive labor includes an additional group designated “ laborers,” as
it was necessary to transport the plates between the foundry and the
pressroom on small electric lifts, situated some distance from the platemaking equipments. The man-hour production of plates, on the basis
of man-hours for either total productive labor or all employees, was
much smaller than that shown for stereotyping room No. 1 (see
Tables 50 and 54) principally on account of the longer daily working
periods.
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA B O R C O ST F O R M O L D IN G OF M A T R IC E S

Table 65 contains data for molding and backing up 2,263 matrices
by the molding division, on the basis of total man-hours for the pro­
ductive labor in the division:




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

121

T able 6 5 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in molding of

matrices in newspaper stereotyping room No. 4, in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Average
Man-hours number of
Labor cost
worked in
forms
per
molding
2,263 forms molded per man-hour
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time cost

Labor cost

M olders.......................... ............. .....................
.............
Packers...................................

1,134. 0
1, 270. 5

2.00

$1. 287
1. 250

Minutes
28.3
31.7

$0.606
.660

Total........................................................

2, 404. 5

.94

1. 267

60.0

1.267

To save time in molding, dry flong was used for most of the starters,
or for approximately 15 per cent of the total number of matrices
molded, eliminating that portion of flong preparation. Records
were not available of the time spent in preparing the wet flong for
the rest, which was done between the intermittent periods of actual
molding, and for which individual tissue-holding tables were employed.
Molding was done on two or three matrix rolling machines, each oper­
ated by one man. Two assistants were employed in each case to
plane down the forms, to bring the flong from the storage room, and to
send the molded matrices down the chute to the packing section near
the foundry. Pneumatic steam tables were employed for the wet
flong, while both a flat and a curved gas-heated scorcher were used
in the packing section, especially for the dry flong but also occasion­
ally for the final drying of the wet-flong matrices. The working hours
for the molders constituted 47.2 per cent of the total hours for the
division, while the working hours for the packers amounted to 52.8
per cent. An average of 2 forms were molded per man-hour, based
on man-hours for molders alone, while based on total man-hours for
the division the production was reduced to 0.94 matrice per manhour, both lower than those shown for room No. 1. The figures are,
however, not strictly comparable, on account of the variation in
conditions of publishing and shop arrangements. No account was
kept of imperfect molds, the number being claimed to be practically
insignificant.
The basic wage rate was the same for all of the productive labor
and, as the publication was an afternoon paper entailing day work,
was lower than that for the morning papers, but in this case the
actual man-hour labor cost was increased considerably through the
proportionately large amount of overtime. This amounted to 39.2
per cent of the total time for the molders and 30.9 per cent of the
total time for the packers, creating a difference of 3.7 cents in manhour labor cost between the two groups. The aggregate overtime for
the combined groups was 34.8 per cent of the total man-hours for
the division.
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LABO R COST FO R CASTIN G OF PLATES

Table 66 contains data for casting 29,033 plates by the foundry
division, on the basis of total man-hours for the productive labor in
the division.
9819°— 29------- 9




122
T

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

a b l e 6 6 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in casting of
plates in newspaper stereotyping room N o . 4, i n 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Average
Man-hours number of
worked in plates cast
casting
per man29,033 plates
hour

Occupation

Labor cost
per manhour

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction
Tim e cost

Labor cost

Autoplate operators. .....................................
Cylinder tenders.................................. ........
Metal-pot tenders........ .......... - .....................
Shaver tenders__________________________

1.127.0
1.127.0
746.5
575. 5

25.67

$1. 267
1.267
1.284
1. 273

Minutes
18.9
18.9
12.5
9.7

$0.399
.399
.261
.205

Total......................................................

3, 576.0

8.12

1. 264

60.0

1.264

Casting was performed on double Junior Autoplate-Autoshaver
equipments. Tw o of these w^ere customarily employed during the
major portion of each shift, providing 4 casting mechanisms and
requiring 12 workers for operation. Fewer pages were changed in
the late editions than in the early ones, and during the latter part
of each shift only one equipment was used, or 2 casting mechanisms,
reducing the crew to 6. Once a week an additional equipment was
employed during the busiest part of the day, providing 6 casting
mechanisms in all, with a total of 18 workers. The number of
plates cast, on the basis of all hours w
rorked by operators, was 25.67
per man-hour, or 78.5 per cent of the man-hour production on the
same basis in room No. 1. The production per man-hour on basis
of total hours for the entire division w 8.12 plates, or 76 per cent of
ras
that for room No. 1 in 1926. The reduction was due to the longer
daily periods of work, necessary because of the many editions.
The basic wage rate for all of the productive labor was the same
as in the molding division, and the man-hour labor cost was in­
fluenced by the relatively lower rate for daywork and the com­
paratively large amount of overtime. The overtime amounted to
34.8 per cent for operators and cylinder tenders, 30.7 per cent for
metal-pot tenders, and 36.1 per cent for shaver tenders, or an average
of 34.1 per cent of the total time for all the groups. For none of
the groups did the man-hour labor cost mount quite as high as that
for the molders, nor as low as that for the packers, nor was it as high
as those shown for room No. 1 in 1926.
O U TPU T PE R P R O D U C TIV E M A N -H O U R

The productive time for molding of matrices and casting of plates,
computed in the same manner as for the other establishments and
presented in Table 67, show only a relatively slight variation from
the total time involved. This table is comparable with similar
tables for the other establishments.




PRODUCTIVITY OP STEREOTYPING:
T

able

1916 AND

1926

123

6 7 .— Man-hour production for productive labor in newspaper stereotyping
room No. 4, in 1926 (based on productvie man-hours)
Man-hours

Production

Productive

Occupation

Total

Total
Number

Per pro­
ductive
manhour

Matrices
2,263
2, 263

Matrices
107
1.80

Per cent
of total

M olding division:
M olders...... ................................. ................................
Packers__________ ________________
_______

1,134.0
1,270. 5

1,095.1
1, 253.9

96.6
98.7

Total—......................... ................. ...............

2, 404. 5

2, 349. 0

97.7

2, 263

.96
Plates
26.48
26. 48
52.95
52.95
8.83

Foundry division:
Autoplate operators ............................ .................
Cylinder tenders ............................. ............ ........
Metal-pot tenders____ ________ ___________
Shaver tenders ...................... ................... ............

1,127. 0
1,127.0
746.5
575.5

1, 096. 6
1,096. 6
548.3
548.3

97.3
97.3
74.4
95.4

Plates
29.033
29.033
29.033
29.033

Total.........................................................................

3, 576.0

3, 289. 7

92.0

29, 033

The figures for the molding division presented somewhat different
problems from those for the previous establishments. Both wet
flong and dry flong were used, and separation could not be made
of time devoted to each class. Nine or ten editions were published
of each daily issue, with occasionally an additional one, involving
molding and casting more than three times the number of pages
contained in one copy. The first edition was issued early in the
daily working period, and the last one late in the period, making
the productive time as computed appear larger than actually correct
because a great amount of idle machine time existed between editions.
The productive time for the molders, as shown, constituted 96.6 per
cent of the total working hours for the group, while the productive
time for the packers was 98.7 per cent of the total hours worked by
them. The output per productive man-hour figured only 2.07
matrices for the molders, 1.8 matrices for the packers, and 0.96
matrix for the combined groups. Comparison with Table 57, for
room No. 1 during the same period, shows that this output was
43.2, 63.6, and 53.0 per cent, respectively, of the output for the same
groups in the molding division of room No. 1, all indicative of much
idle machine time. D ry flong was used for the starter forms, and
two matrices were molded from each as a precaution against acci­
dent. The average clock time consumed in molding from the starter
forms was 2.75 minutes, with a minimum of 1 minute and a maximum
of 9 minutes. The average clock time consumed in packing was 6.25
minutes, with a minimum of 2 minutes and a maximum of 17 minutes.
The productive man-hours for the Autoplate operators and also for
the cylinder tenders, constituted over 97 per cent of the total manhours for such groups, while those for the metal-pot tenders were
almost 75 per cent and those for the shaver tenders over 95 per cent of
the total man-hours for the respective group, making a general average
of 92 per cent. As with the molding division, the productive time
evidently included a large proportion of idle machine hours, which
was reflected in the production. The average output of the operators
and of the cylinder tenders was 26.48 plates per productive manhour, only 35.9 per cent of the production for the same groups in




124

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

room No. 1 in 1926. It was, however, the output of one casting
mechanism in this particular establishment, under the conditions
necessary for the work required. As complete double equipments
were used at all times, either 2, 4, or 6 casting mechanisms, the pro­
ductive hours for metal-pot tenders, and for shaver tenders, equaled
exactly one-half of those for the operators, but a variation in the
total hours for these groups changed the percentage the productive
hours were of total hours to 74.4 for metal-pot tenders and to 95.4 for
shaver tenders. The production for each of these two groups, on
the basis of productive man-hours, as well as for each double equip­
ment, was 52.95 plates, or 50.3 per cent of that for room No. 1. The
productive man-hours for the division aggregated 92 per cent of the
total hours, with an output of 8.83 plates per hour as against 21.7
plates for the foundry division in room No. 1.
The productive hours for the molding division constituted 41.7
per cent of the total productive hours for the two divisions, while
those for the foundry division aggregated 58.3 per cent, nearly the
same relation as between the total working hours for the two groups,
which were 40.2 and 59.8 per cent, respectively.
T IM E R E C O R D S F O R PLA TE CASTIN G

The number of perfect casts required from each matrix, determined
by the number of presses operated for the particular edition, ranged
from 2 to 14. Four, 8, and 12 plates predominated. Table 68 shows
the details as to clock time for the casting of starters, and is com­
parable with Table 58 for room No. 1.
T able 6 8 . — Clock time consumed in casting of plates from starter forms in news­

paper stereotyping room No. 4, in 1926
Number of minutes re­
quired to cast 1 set of
plates
Number of plates
per matrix
M ini­
mum

2 ..............................
3 . . ........................ .
4________ _____
5 .................. ............
g
8. ..............................
10..............................

Maxi­
mum

Aver­
age

3.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
2.0
3.0
5.0

7.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
6.0

5.0
3.0
2. 86
3.0
4.0
3. 86
3.93
5. 50

Aver­
age
num­
ber of
plates
cast
per
min­
ute
0. 40
1.00
1.40
1.67
1.50
1.82
2. 07
1.82

Number of plates
per matrix

i 11 . . .
i 12.............................
13___
j 14.............................

i

| General a v e r a g e
! for all plates____

Number of minutes re­ Aver­
quired to cast 1 set of age
plates
num­
ber of
plates
cast
M ini­ M axi­ Aver­
per
mum
mum
age
m in­
ute
6.0
4.0
9.0
7.0

6.0
10.0
9.0
15.0

6.0
5. 62
9.0
9. 50

1.83
2.14
1. 44
1.47
1.73

i

The average number of plates cast per minute ranged from 0.4 to
2.1, partly determined by the number cast from each matrix, with a
general average for all plates of 1.73 per minute, or 81.9 per cent of
the speed attained in room No. 1 in 1926. A smaller number of
plates was, however, produced from each matrix part of the time, and
the average production of plates was practically the same in both
places when the same number was cast from one matrix. The average
clock time between receipt of the starter form from the composing
room and delivery of the first plate from it to the pressroom was 9.71
minutes, or 0.35 minute longer than for the same function in room
No. 1 in 1926, with the same minimum of 4 minutes, and a maximum
of 21 minutes as against 22 minutes in room No. 1.



PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND

1926

125

N O N PR O D U C TIV E LA BO R

As for the previous establishments, job men were considered only
in the general table for all employees (Table 64) because no record
was kept of the work accomplished. The majority of the job work
was performed by special labor, engaged exclusively in that occupa­
tion, but also occasionally by labor ordinarily employed in other
capacity when accumulation of job work necessitated, and then
usually on overtime. The overtime for the group, however, amounted
only to 13.4 per cent of the total hours, or about two-fifths of the
percentage for the productive groups, reflected in the lower labor
cost per man-hour. The equipment consisted of a single set of the
usual machines for such work. The supervisory group, which was
also included only in Table 64, showed a relatively higher man-hour
labor cost, due to the proportionately higher daily wages, though not
subject to overtime.
The nonproductive labor in this establishment differed from that
in the others by the inclusion of a third group, designated as “ labor­
ers” because the work did not require any mechanical skill. They
transferred the new, finished plates to lifts for transportation to the
pressroom, removed the used plates from the lifts to trucks, and
cleaned the floors. The regular daily wage rate for members of this
group was only a little over half of the daily rate for productive or
other skilled labor, but the cost per man-hour was increased con­
siderably through overtime, which constituted 33.5 per cent of the
total time for the group.
STEREOTYPING ROOM NO. 5 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C O S T FO R P R O C ESS

S T E R E O T Y P IN G room No. 5 was operated in nearly the same
^
manner as room No. 4, but differed through the newspaper being
a morning issue, Sundays included, and having daily working periods
in the stereotyping room of 9 hours each, as well as having a smaller
number of editions. Table 69 contains data for the production of
plates during the selected period in 1926, based on total man-hours for
all employees.
T able 6 9 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in newspaper stereotyping room

No. 5, in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in
producing
30,303
plates

Average
production
per
man-hour

Labor cost
per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

M olding division:
M old ers.......................................... ........
Packers ___
_____
Foundry division:
Autoplate operators
_
___
Cylinder tenders _ __________ ______
Metal-pot tenders
___
Shaver tenders. _ ___________________

854
909

$1.367
1.347

Minutes
7.9
8.4

$0,179
.188

1, 051
1,051
585
585

1.362
1.362
1.365
1. 365

9.7
9.7
5.4
5.4

.219
.219
.122
.122

Total productive la b o r ......................

5, 035

1.361

46.3

1.050

Job men........... ..... _ ___________________
Laborers___
______ _______ _________
Supervisory employees__________ ____ _
_

238
800
450

1.417
.744
2. 089

2.2
7.4
4.1

.052
.091
.141

Plates

Total nonproductive labor_________

6, 523

1.258

1, 488

All employees____ ________ ______ _

6.02




4.65

13.7

.287

1. 337

60.0

1.337

126

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The newspaper was published every morning, Sundays included.
The regular working shift for individual workers was six hours for
six nights of the week, but on Saturday nights one and one-half hours
were added. The total working period for the establishment stretched
over nine hours per night. In other respects the conditions described
for room No. 4 existed also in room No. 5, including the additional
group of nonproductive labor. The man-hour production of plates,
on the basis of man-hours for either total productive labor or all
employees, exceeded that for room No. 4, but did not reach that
attained in room No. 1.
PR O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R COST FO R M O L D IN G OF M A T R IC E S

Further analysis of conditions have been presented in Tables 70
and 71. Table 70 contains data for molding and backing up 2,208
matrices by the productive labor in the molding division, on the basis
of the total man-hours worked by it:
T

a b l e 7 0 .— Man-hour 'production and labor cost for productive labor in molding of
matrices in newspaper stereotyping room No. 5, in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Occupation

M olders_________ _____ _____ _______ ____
Packers
____
______ ______________
Total

_____________________________

Man-hours
Average
worked in number of Labor cost
per
molding forms mold­
man-hour
2,208
ed per
man-hour
forms

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e cost

Labor cost

854
909

2.59

$1.367
1.347

Minutes
29.1
30.9

$0. 662
.694

1,763

1.25

1.357

60.0

1.357

W et flong was used most of the time, lu t with dry flong being
employed occasionally for the starters. Records for time devoted
by the molders to preparation of the flong were not available, prevent­
ing accurate segregation of the data. Individual tissue-holding
tables were employed for the operation. Molding was performed on
two or three matrix-rolling machines, with one operator on each
and two assistants for all. Pneumatic steam tables were also used.
Two gas-heated scorchers, one flat and one curved, were employed in
the packing section for final drying and particularly for the dry
flong when used. The working time for the molders constituted 48.4
per cent of the total hours for the division, while those for the packers
aggregated 51.6 per cent. An average of 2.59 forms were molded
per man-hour, based on man-hours for the molders alone, slightly
less than during the same period in room No. 1, where the dry-flong
method was used exclusively, but nearly 30 per cent more than in
room No. 4, where both wet and dry flong were used. Based on total
man-hours for the division, an output of 1.25 completed matrices was
attained, 20.2 per cent over the production in room No. 1 on similar
basis, and 33 per cent more than in room No. 4. The big difference
between room No. 5 and room No. 4, where the actual work was
conducted in similar manner, was due principally to the difference in
length of the daily working period. Imperfect molds were claimed
to be practically unknown, and no account was kept of them.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

127

The basic wage rate was the same for all of the productive labor.
It was higher than that for room No. 4, in spite of the comparatively
lower proportion of overtime, because of the work being performed at
night. This amounted to only 15.7 per cent of the total time for
the molders and 7.6 per cent for the packers, or 11.5 per cent for the
two groups combined. The labor cost was somewhat less than for
the same occupations in room No. 1, because of the special rates
paid in the latter place.
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C O ST FO R C ASTIN G OF PL A T E S

Table 71 contains data for casting 30,303 plates by the productive
labor in the foundry division, on the basis of total man-hours worked
by it.
T a b l e 7 1 .—

Man-hour production and labor cost for productive labor in casting of
plates in newspaper stereotyping room No. 5, in 1926 (based on total man-hours)

Man-hours
worked in
casting
30,303
plates

Average
number
of plates
cast per
man-hour

Autoplate operators ____________________
Cylinder tenders _______ ______________
Metal-pot tenders_______________________
Shaver tenders__________________ _______

1.051
1.051
585
585

28. 83

Total _ ___________________________

3, 272

9. 26

Occupation

Labor cost
per
man-hour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time cost

$1.362
1. 362
1.365
1.365
1.363 [

Labor cost

Minutes
19.3
19.3
10.7
10.7

$0.437
.437
.244
.244

60.0

1.363

Casting was done on double Junior Autoplate-Autoshaver equip­
ments. During 5 nights of the week only 5 casting mechanisms were
used, requiring 2 crews of 6 workers each and 1 crew of 4 workers,
but during the other 2 nights 6 casting mechanisms were operated,
adding 2 workers to the third crew. The number of plates turned
out per man-hour, on the basis of man-hours worked by operators
was 28.83, over 12 per cent more than that produced in room No. 4
on the same basis, but only a little over 88 per cent of the production
in room No. 1. On the basis of total hours for the division, the out­
put was 9.26 plates per man-hour, as compared with 8.12 in room No.
4 and 10.69 in room No. 1 in 1926. Only perfect plates, delivered to
the pressroom, were included and no records were kept of imperfect
casts.
The basic daily wage rate, which was the same for all productive
labor in the division, was also the same as that for the molders.
Overtime amounted to 12.1 per cent of the total time both for opera­
tors and for cylinder tenders, and 10.8 per cent of the total time both
for metal-pot tenders and for shaver tenders, making a general aver­
age of 11.6 per cent for the division, nearly the same as for the mold­
ing division, but only approximately one-third of the percentage for
room No. 4. The labor cost per man-hour was almost equal for the
four groups, considerably higher than in room No. 4, and practically
the same as that for the same occupations in room No. 1.




128

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N E W SPA PE R PRIN TING
O U TPU T P E R P R O D U C TIV E M A N -H O U R

The productive time, occupied over 90 per cent of the total time
and included a good deal of idle machine time between actual opera­
tions. Data therefor are presented in Table 72, which is comparable
with other tables of similar character.
T

able

7 2 .— Man-hour production for productive labor in newspaper stereotyping
room No. 5, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours)
Man-hours

Production

Productive

Occupation
Total

Total
Number

Per cent
of total

Per pro­
ductive
manhour

M olding division:
M olders____ ______ ________ _________
Packers______ ___
____________ . . .

854
909

778.3
863.2

91.1
95.0

Total____ ________ _________________

1, 763

1, 641.4

93.1

2.208

1.35
Plates
31.09
31.09
55. 78
55.78
9.98

Matrices
2, 208
2,208

Foundry division:
Autoplate operators_________
_____
Cylinder tenders_____________
____
Metal-pot tenders____________________
Shaver tenders.^-.____________ _______

1,051
1,051
585
585

974.5
974.5
543.3
543.3

92.7
92.7
92.9
92.9

Plates
30, 303
30, 303
30, 303
30, 303

Total____ ________ ______ __________

3, 272

3,035.7

92.8

30, 303

Matrices
2.84
2.56

The productive hours in the molding division included some of the
time devoted to preparation of the wet flong and the packing, as this
could not be separated from the time for actual molding. For the
molders the productive hours, as listed, amounted to 91.1 per cent
of the total time for the group, whila for the packers it constituted 95
per cent of the total time, making a general average for the division
of 93.1 per cent. While working equipment and conditions were
practically the same as in room No. 4, several features existed which
created differences that affected the productivity. The number of edi­
tions of each issue published was far smaller than in the former estab­
lishment, and fluctuated considerably. During one-third of the time
only three editions were published, but during another third there
were five each night, while for the remainder of the time there were
either four or six editions. Fewer editions naturally meant fewer
forms to mold and fewer matrices to back up. The number of pages
contained in one copy of the evening newspaper for room No. 4 and
in one copy of the ordinary morning newspaper for room No. 5 were
nearly the same, but the number of forms molded daily for the six
week-day issues in room No. 5 amounted only to 75 per cent of the
number molded in room No. 4. This proportion was changed some­
what through the Sunday morning issue, which contained approxi­
mately three times as many pages as the week-day issue. Part
of the plates for it were turned out during the previous night and part
on Saturday night. M ost of the Sunday issue was published in one
edition, and only the latest sections, containing current news, were
subject to the changes of pages for several editions. Including the
Sunday issue, practically the same number of forms were molded and
the same number of matrices were backed up each week in the two




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING: 1916 AND

1926

1.29

establishments, but in room No. 4 this was accomplished in six days
while in room No. 5 it was performed in seven nights. Approximately
45 per cent of the forms molded were for pages not included in the
final daily issues. The difference in time of actual working periods
for the division increased the man-hours proportionately for room
No. 4, so that the aggregate number was considerably higher than
that in room No. 5, affecting the comparative production. The out­
put was 2.84 matrices per productive man-hour for molders in room
No. 5 as against 2.07 in room No. 4, and 2.56 matrices per man-hour
for packers in room No. 5 as against 1.8 in room No. 4, or 37.2 and 42.2
per cent more, respectively. The production of the entire division,
based on total productive man-hours, was 1.35 matrices in room
No. 5, compared with 0.96 in room No. 4, about 40 per cent higher.
Compared with room No. 1, the production of room No. 5 was entirely
different, the output for molders, packers, and the two groups com ­
bined being only 59.3, 90.4 and 74.6 p3r c?nt, respectively, of the
output there, due mostly to the varied amount of idle time included in
the productive time and to the difference in wet and dry-flong methods.
Time consumed in molding and packing of starter matrices could not
be separated, but the average clock time involved in molding the
starter forms and backing up the matrices, which was dry flong part
of the time, was 14.73 minutes, with a minimum of 7 minutes and a
maximum of 26 minutes.
The productive hours for Autoplate operators, cylinder tenders,
metal-pot tenders, and shaver tenders constituted nearly 93 per
cent of the total time worked by the group. The prevailing condi­
tions of the establishments, heretofore explained, such as the number
of editions published daily, the relative number of pages for the
week-day issues, the inclusion of the Sunday issue, and the length of
the daily working period, affected also the productivity of the foundry
division. Fewer editions meant fewer plates to be cast, with other
arrangements, such as number of pages in the issue and the number
of presses operated, being equal. The number of plates cast daily
for the six week-day issues was approximately only two-thirds’of the
number cast in room No. 4. A larger number of presses were oper­
ated for the Sunday morning issue than for the week-day issues;
consequently, more plates were required, so that the entire weekly
output of plates in room No. 5 exceeded that in room No. 4, but as in
the molding division, the work was performed in seven nights while in
room No. 4 only six days were involved. The longer daily working
period, increasing the productive as well as the total man-hours for
room No. 4, was likewise responsible for the additional production
in room No. 5. The average output of the operators, and also of
the cylinder tenders (equal to production of one casting mechanism),
was 31.09 plates per productive man-hour for room No. 5, against
26.48 plates for room No. 4, or 17.4 per cent more. The average pro­
duction for metal-pot tenders and for shaver tenders (equal to the
production of one double equipment) was 55.78 plates per productive
man-hour for room No. 5 as against 52.95 plates for room No. 4.
This was only 5 per cent more, and was caused by the partial idleness
of one casting mechanism in room No. 5. The average output for the
division, which was also affected by the odd number of casting
mechanisms, was 9.98 plates per productive man-hour for room No.
5 as against 8.83 plates for room No. 4, or 13 per cent more. Com­




130

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

parison with the production of room No. 1 in 1926, on the basis of
productive hours, indicates the presence in room No. 5 of much idle
machine time, which could not be segregated. The production per
man-hour for operators and cylinder tenders, for metal-pot tenders
and shaver tenders, and for the division in room No. 5, were respec­
tively 42.1 per cent, 53 per cent, and 46 per cent of the output ob­
tained in room No. 1.
The productive hours for the molding division constituted 35.1 per
cent of the productive hours for the two divisions combined, while
those for the foundry division aggregated 64.9 per cent, a wider varia­
tion than for room No. 4, but corresponding practically with the
relation between the total working hours for the divisions.
T IM E R E C O R D S FO R PLA TE CASTIN G

The number of perfect casts required from each matrix ranged from
6 to 28 plates per matrix, according to the number of pages in each
issue, which determined the amount of presses to be operated. Table
73 shows the clock time recorded for casting of the starter plates and
is comparable with similar tables for other establishments:
T able 7 3 . — Clock time consumed in casting of plates from starter forms in news­

paper stereotyping room No. 5, in 1926

M ini­
mum

M axi­
mum

Aver­
age

Aver­
age
num­
ber of
plates
cast
per
min­
ute

3
7
9
5
5
5
6
14
20

8
12
9
9
21
23
6
14
20

4. 33
9. 50
9.0
7.0
8. 68
10. 77
6
14
20

1.38
.84
1.00
1.43
1.27
1.11
2.17
1.00
.75

Number of minutes re­
quired to cast 1 set of
plates
Number of plates
per matrix

6..............................
8................................
9...............................
10..........................
n _ _ ........: ..........
12............ .................
13............... .............
14_ .................... .
15..............................

.

Number of plates
per m atrix

16...................... .......
17
_____ ______
18.............................
22.............................
28 _______________
General average
for all plates

Number of minutes re­ Aver­
age
quired to cast 1 set of
num­
plates
ber of
plates
cast
per
M ini­ Maxi­ A ver­ min­
mum
mum
age
ute
5
5
15
24
19

12
5
15
26
19

8. 5
5
15
26
19

1.88
3.40
1. 20
.85
1. 47
1. 22

The average number of plates cast per minute ranged from 0.75
to 3.4, being regulated partly by the number of duplicates from each
matrix. The general average for all plates was 1.22 per minute,
as against 1.73 in room No. 4, or 1.99 in room No. 1 in 1926, con­
siderably lower than that in either of the last-named rooms. The
average clock time between receipt o f , the starter form from the
composing room and delivery of the first plate from it to the press­
room was 15.93 minutes, as against 9.71 minutes for room No. 4,
or 9.36 minutes for room No. 1, presumably on account of using the
wet-flong method in room No. 5. The minimum was 8 minutes and
the maximum 27 minutes, as against 4 minutes and 21 minutes for
room No. 4, or 4 minutes and 22 minutes for room No. 1. The figures
for room No. 5 correspond more nearly to those for room No. 1
during the 1916 period, when wet flong was used there also, giving a
minimum time for delivery of the first plate of 8 minutes, but a
maximum of 20 minutes and a general average of 10.23 minutes.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

131

N O N PR O D U C TIV E LA BO R

The job men were, as in establishment No. 4, considered only in
the general table for all employees (Table 69). The job work was
performed mostly by special laborers working only on such work.
The equipment was composed of a single set of the ordinary machines
used for the purpose. Overtime for the group was 26.9 per cent of
the total hours worked, more than for any of the productive labor
groups. As the basic rate was the same for these as for other skilled
labor, the man-hour labor cost was consequently higher for this
group than for the others. The supervisory group, data for which
were also given only in Table 69, showed a correspondingly high
man-hour cost, on account of the higher daily wage rates for the
individuals, though no extra compensation was included for over­
time.
Room No. 5 further resembled room No. 4 in including a third
group of nonproductive labor, designated “ laborers,” for handling
the plates and cleaning up. The regular wage rate for these laborers,
also referred to in Table 69 alone, was 72 per cent of that for skilled
labor, and the overtime for the group amounted to less than 10 per
cent of the total hours for it, making the difference in man-hour
labor cost still larger.
COMPARISON OF PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST IN STEREO­
TYPING, 1916 AND 1926
M O L D IN G D IVISIO N S AND FO U N D R Y DIVISIO NS

HTHE various stereotyping rooms from which the information was
collected differed essentially in working arrangements, each
being a fair example of some condition commonly encountered
throughout the country. The man-hour production and labor cost
for all of them for productive labor in the molding divisions and pro­
ductive labor in the foundry divisions are presented as Table 74 for
purposes of comparison.
T able 7 4 .— Man-hour production and man-hour labor cost for productive labor in

the molding and foundry divisions of five newspaper stereotyping rooms
Molding division

Establishment

Average production
per—
Total
man-hour

1916: No. 1..................................
1926:
No. 1.....................................
No. 2.................... - ..............
No. 3
. _
. .
_
No. 4.................. ......... .
N o. 5.....................................

Foundry division

Matrices
1. 47

Labor cost
per total
Productive man-hour
man-hour
Matrices
3.40

$0.859

1.04
1.81
3. 33
3.33
12. 50
.94 ............. . 96"
“
1. 25
1.35

1. 387
.990
1.947
1. 267
1. 357

Average production
per—
Total
man-hour

Labor cost
per total
Productive man-hour
man-hour

Plates
9.69

Places
21.54

$0.801

10.69
6. 91

21.70
6. 99
124. 00
8. 83
9. 98

1.365
1.169
i . 861
1.264
1. 363

8.12
9. 26

^Estimated.

The table emphasizes the variation in production, which was
influenced in the molding division by the kind of flong used, by the
number of editions published daily, and by the length of the daily




132

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

working periods and the relative amount of idle time therein as well
as by shop arrangements. Production in the foundry division, also,
was affected by conditions of a like character, as well as by the
number of plates produced from each matrix and by the amount of
equipment utilized. The man-hour labor cost differed according to
the prevailing wage rate for the locality in which the establishment
was located, but was also affected by the proportion of overtime.
A VE R AG E M A N -H O U R P R O D U C TIO N AND LABO R COST IN S T E R E O T Y P IN G

For further comparison Table 75 has been compiled, covering
man-hour production and labor cost for plates in all establishments,
on the basis of man-hours for productive labor and for all employees.
The general average was computed by dividing the total number of
plates produced in all establishments and the labor cost by the total
man-hours for productive labor and for all employees.
7 5 .— Average man-hour production and man-hour labor cost for production
of plates in five newspaper stereotyping rooms (on basis of total productive labor
and of all employees)

T a b le

Average production per
man-hour for—

Labor cost per manhour for—

Establishment
Productive
labor

_

I

All em­
ployees

.......................... ................... !

1

Plates
5. 67

$0. 821

00. 876

6.19
3. 98
5. 53
4.85
6.02

1 __...................................... ............................. ........
2_ _____ _______ ____ ________ _______ _______
3______ _______________________ ____ ____ ____
4 ______ _________________ ____ _______________
5______________ _____ ________ __________ ____

Average for 1926

Productive
labor

Plates
6. 38

1916: No. 1_____ _________ __________________ ____ ____
1926:
No.
N o.
N o.
N o.
No.

All em­
ployees

5. 33
2.91
5. 03
3. 76
4. 65

1.374
1. 099
.906
1.266
1. 361

1.433
1.117
.937
1.203
1. 337

5.60

4. 56

1. 277

1.282

Production was regulated in each establishment by the peculiar
conditions existing therein, as described in detail heretofore, determin­
ing in each case its relation to the general average, as computed.
The operations in stereotyping room No. 1 for the selected period in
1916 were virtually the same as those found in some of the other
establishments during the period in 1926, but the items therefor
have been excluded from the general average, principally because of
the low wage rate prevailing at that time as compared with modern
wage rates for similar work. The table shows a general average of 5.6
plates produced per man-hour, based on total man-hours for produc­
tive labor in the stereotyping rooms of all the establishments, and of
4.56 plates produced per man-hour, based on total hours for all em­
ployees in all of the stereotyping rooms. Comparison of the manhour production for establishment No. 1 in the two periods shows a
decrease for 1926 of nearly 3 per cent for productive labor, and of
about 6 per cent for all employees. Improvements had been made in
equipment, which rendered the labor easier, bettered shop conditions,
and permitted faster time for actual sterotyping of one page. These
arrangements, however, necessitated additional working hours, and
consequently created decrease in hourly production.




PRODUCTIVITY OF STEREOTYPING:

1916 AND

1926

133

The general labor cost in 1926 was $1,277 per man-hour for the pro­
ductive labor, and $1,282 for all employees, which included some
unskilled lower priced labor and some higher priced supervisory labor.
The 1926 wage rates were for several localities and varied considerably
for these groups. The increase over the 1916 labor cost in establish­
ment No. 1 was 67.3 per cent for productive labor, and 63.6 per cent
for all employees. It was due practically to the general increase in
wages of all kinds throughout the country during the interval.




CHAPTER 9.—DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK
PRESSWORK BEFORE 1870
H A N D AND C YLIN DER PRESSES

E C H A N IC A L appliances are necessary to produce an imprint
from type or from stereotype plates. In the beginning the
imprint was obtained by placing inked type, covered with a
sheet of paper, between two flat surfaces, which were then pressed
together by means of a screw, turned by hand. The method was
laborious and slow, resulting in only 600 impressions per day for
two hands, and from very small forms. By the early part of the nine­
teenth century improvements in the hand presses permitted produc­
tion of about 1,500 impressions per 10-hour day for one hand, approxi­
mately eight times the early production when the increased size
of the product is also considered. Application of mechanical power
increased the output to a maximum of 1,000 impressions per clock
hour on 24 by 36 inch sheets, with a crew of three hands on each
power-driven flat, or platen press.
The invention of the cylinder press permitted faster production
and the printing of larger forms, reaching 2,000 impressions per clock
hour on 36 by 48 sheets. The type form was placed on a flat bed,
which was passed under a cylinder that held the sheet and supplied
the impression. Application of power reduced the operating force
for a machine to two hands.

M

R O T A R Y T Y P E PR ESSES

Type-revolving presses multiplied the output, according to the
number of impression cylinders on the machine, giving an actual
production of 1,500 impressions per clock hour per cylinder, or about
7,000 impressions per man-hour on a 10-cylinder machine. The
type was placed on a central, revolving cylinder, surrounded by
several impression cylinders, to which the sheets were fed.
R O T A R Y S T E R E O T Y P E PRESSES

The process was revolutionized by the introduction of the Bullock
rotary press in 1863, which used curved stereotype plates molded
from the type forms and paper manufactured in a continuous web
in roll form. The substitution of stereotype plates for type forms
permitted printing at a maximum speed of about 10,000 copies of a
4-page paper per hour on a single machine with a crew of four hands.
The larger newspapers met their increasing circulation by replacing
their cylinder or type-revolving presses with rotary stereotype presses,
using single rolls, and by installing additional machines.
Production was retarded for many years through the necessity of
folding the papers by hand after printing, or of combining the product
of two or more presses when the issue consisted of more than four
pages. Considerable trouble was experienced with the paper, which
lacked uniform quality and strength, and with the ink, which was
not suitable. Experiments by printing-press manufacturers finally
eliminated these difficulties, and laid the foundation for the multiple,
134




DEVELOPMENT OP PRESSWORK

135

newspaper presses of the present day. There is no standard pattern
for these, not even for those built by one manufacturer, for conditions
as to space differ widely in the various newspaper plants and the
presses are usually designed to meet individual requirements. So
far as operation of modern newspaper presses or production thereon
goes, the various makes of the same construction period are very
similar.
While the newer styles of presses constantly superseded the older
styles on the larger newspapers, both platen and cylinder presses of
many varieties were used for the printing of newspapers in 1870 and
for many years afterward. Even at the present time quite a few
newspapers, especially country weeklies, are turned out on cylinder
presses.
R. HOE & CO.
EARLY E X PE R IM E N TS

The principal early improvements in newspaper rotary web presses
were brought out by the firm of R. Hoe & Co., manufacturers of
platen and cylinder presses. According to Ringwalt 1 a patent was
obtained in 1859 by R. M . Hoe, of New York, for “ an improvement,
the combination of the feeding mechanism, cutting apparatus, and
printing machine, for the purpose of feeding the paper from a roll
to the press, and cutting or partially cutting it into sheets as it
passes along to be printed. Also in combination with the cutting
cylinder, the employment of two pressure rollers for keeping the sheet
distended.” A roll-fed rotary press, printing from stereotype plates,
was brought out by R . Hoe & Co. after many experiments, supple­
mented by cooperation from paper makers and ink manufacturers
in providing paper of uniform quality and thickness and a suitable ink.
In this machine the web was perforated after printing and separated
by means of accelerating tapes, and the sheets were delivered by a fly.
A number of improvements were invented by the experts of the
firm, particularly by Stephen D. Tucker, or were secured from other
parties. In 1868 Hoe and Tucker had managed to direct successive
sheets into alternates pathways, one long and one short, at the delivery
end of the press, which would bring one sheet on top of the other,
so that both could be delivered together by one operation of the fly.
This was patented in 1872. Later the sheets were sent around a
collecting cylinder until six had been gathered, when they were
released for a single delivery by a fly, but still delivered flat. It
expedited delivery and gave the press a capacity of 18,000 papers
per hour, though the average actual production was 12,000 per hour.
The first press equipped with such a delivery was installed in the
office of L lo y d ’s Weekly Newspaper at London, England, in 1874;
the first one used in the United States was in the office of the Tribune
at New York.
In 1875 Tucker patented a “ folding cylinder,” carrying a rotating
blade which forced the sheet between a pair of folding rollers, by
which it was delivered. A rotary device had been previously used
by Andrew Campbell, of New York, on presses built by him for the
Jersey City Evening Journal and the Cleveland Leader, but he had
failed to secure a patent. Tucker combined collecting and folding
on one cylinder, by which several sheets could be collected, pasted
1Ringwalt, J. Luther: American Encyclopedia of Printing, Philadelphia, 1871.




136

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

and folded. The first of these folders was placed on a machine built
for the Philadelphia Times and operated at the Centennial Exhibition
in 1876.
Anthony, owner of an English newspaper, and Taylor secured
patents in England during 1876 for rounded bars set at an angle to the
travel of the web, by which, after being printed on one side, the web
could be reversed to present the other side to the printing cylinder.
The patents were obtained by Hoe, as were those of E. L. Ford, New
York newspaper publisher, granted in 1877, for uniting the products
of two or more printing mechanisms and producing a multiple number
of pages at one time. Assembling in such manner had previously
been accomplished by Andrew Campbell, of New York, on presses
built for the Cleveland Leader, where the webs of two presses were
run into one folding mechanism, assembled, and folded as a single
product. This idea had also been utilized in 1875 on the English
machine, the Victory press, invented by G. A. Wilson, of Liverpool.
Several patents were also purchased from Luther C. Crowell,
inventor, of Boston, Mass., who had devised an ingenious, high-speed
paper-bag machine. Among them was a longitudinal folder, patented
by Crowell in 1873, in which the web was pulled down over a Vshaped iron frame, called a “ former,” by two rollers at its lower
point, giving it a fold along the center margin. The stereotype
plates had previously been curved so that the columns of the print
ran crosswise of the web, to accommodate the first or transverse fold of
the chopping blades, but with this folder the plates were curved so
that the columns ran with the web, making the center margin of the
two pages the center of the web, where it received the first or longitudi­
nal fold.
The early presses were provided with two plate cylinders, each two
plates wide. As only half the circumference of a plate cylinder was
occupied by one curved stereotype plate, two of these were required
to complete the circle. They were ordinarily duplicates, so that
two complete 4-page papers were produced by each revolution of the
plate cylinders. By using plates from separate pages, instead of
duplicates, and a collecting cylinder, by which two sheets could be
placed together, a complete 8-page paper could be produced with­
out hand manipulation. This was quite a factor, as by 1870, 8-page
papers had become popular and considerable hand work had been
necessary to place two 4-page sheets together. Producing 8-page
papers in such manner cut the output in two, as only one paper was
printed per revolution, so in 1874 a 4-plate-wide press was devised
for turning out an 8-page paper per revolution. It was designated a
double perfecting web press.
H O E D O U B LE -SU PPLE M E N T PRESS

All of these improvements effectually reduced both labor and time
involved in the process, and finally culminated in the first of the mod­
ern newspaper presses, the double-supplement press, which again
revolutionized the methods of fast newspaper printing. The first
one was installed in the office of the New York Herald in 1882, and
consisted of a 4-plate-wide press, supplied with a double width web,
which was split in the center after printing. The resulting two
2-page-wide webs were conducted over turning bars to a folder, in
which they were brought evenly on top of each other. Another press,




DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

137

two plates wide, was placed at right angles to the main press, geared
to the same drive, and the 2-page-wide sheet from this supplement
press was associated with the other two at the top of the folder. All
three were pulled together down over the inclined “ form er/ ’ receiving
the longitudinal fold. A folding cylinder below the point, or nose, of
the former was provided with movable pins, which carried the folded
webs ahead. It revolved against a knife cylinder, in which was
mounted a sharp, serrated blade that cut the webs into page lengths.
A revolving tucker blade in the folding cylinder forced the cut-off
section between two folding rollers, giving it the second or half-page
fold, and into a revolving fly with curved fingers, another of Crowell’s
inventions. The papers were deposited on endless traveling belts
in a continuous stream, and overlapping, each paper being dropped
about three-eighths of an inch back of the previous one. A device
was later incorporated, by which every tenth, twenty-fifth, or fiftieth
paper was projected a couple of inches, indicating the count.
If the full capacity of the press was used, with double plates of each
page, a 4-page-wide roll of paper in the main press and a 2-page-wide
roll in the supplement press, two complete 12-page papers were
turned out for each revolution of the plate cylinders. Two 2, 4, 6, 8,
or 10 page papers could also be produced, according to the number of
plates clamped on the cylinders and corresponding widths and
number of webs used. By operating the collecting device and using
one plate for each page, either 16, 20, or 24 page papers could also be
produced, but only at the rate of one complete paper per revolution.
After the assembled webs had passed down over the former, the
first cut was carried around the knife cylinder or a separate collecting
cylinder, and picked up by the pins in the folding cylinder together
with the second cut, both being folded together into a single paper of
two sections. These principles were retained in succeeding presses,
though improved from time to time. For awhile mechanical devices
were employed for pasting the sheets together, but they were later
discontinued on account of the delays usually created by their
use. This style of press rapidly supplanted others previously used in
offices large enough to warrant production of 10 or 12 page papers at
the rate of 20,000 per hour, and 16 or 24 page papers at half that rate.
The maximum production was 24,000 and 12,000 papers per hour,
but changing of rolls and other delays reduced the output. Some
establishments installed several presses, as one was not sufficient to
handle the growing circulation and the increased number of pages.
This style of press became popular in England also, where eight of
them were installed in 1887 to print L loyd’s Weekly Newspaper.
O P E R A T IO N OF D O U B LE -SU PPLE M E N T PRESSES

The minimum number of hands required to operate a double­
supplement press was three. One of these, the pressman in charge
of the press, supervised the running of the machine, regulated the
flow of ink, made adjustments to facilitate proper travel of the web,
looked after the pasting device, and oiled important bearings when
required. In a small pressroom, using only one press, the foreman
performed these duties, but in large establishments a pressman was
placed in charge of each press, and the foreman acted only in a super­
visory capacity. Another worker, commonly known as a brakeman
or tension man, was stationed at the belt-shifting lever by which the
9819°— 29------ 10




138

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

press was started or stopped. He was required to watch the webs
closely and to shut down the press at once when there was danger of
a web breaking or choking in the rapidly moving machinery. He also
adjusted the tension on the paper rolls, by tightening or loosening the
wooden friction blocks, clamped around a small pulley on one end of
the roll shaft, which controlled the passage of the web through the
press. The third hand, ordinarily an apprentice, removed the papers
from the delivery, and usually kept count of the spoiled copies so
that these could be deducted from the total shown on the press
counter, thus determining the number of perfect papers printed.
When a new roll of paper had to be inserted in the press, all hands
usually participated. The rolls were made large, and about 10,000
papers were obtained from the two full rolls. When more than 15,000
papers were printed on one press, an extra hand was usually added
to take care of the oiling and to prepare additional paper for the press.
PR ELIM IN A R Y W ORK

The actual productive operation of the press was, however, only a
portion of the work involved, getting it ready for operation occupying
considerable of the total working time. With most newspapers,
especially the dailies, a certain number of copies had to be delivered
to railroad depots, post offices, news stands, and carrier routes at a
certain time, to insure distribution at a seasonable hour. For that
reason continuous production was necessary at maximum speed after
the press had been started, and all preparations were made with that
object in view. On daily newspapers the preparations also had to be
completed at a certain time, so there would be no delay in starting the
press after the last plate had been received from the stereotyping
department. The old stereotype plates had to be removed from the
cylinders and returned to the stereotyping room. The composition
rollers required washing, to free them from the paper dust and grit
accumulated during the previous run and also needed testing and
adjusting from time to time to insure perfect contact for distribution
and application of the ink. The ink fountains required filling, and at
times washing out to remove sediment. In those days ink was fur­
nished by the manufacturers in barrels containing about 500 to 600
pounds, and from these barrels the ink was commonly drawn into
coal scuttles, and then poured into the fountains.
From l j^ to 3
pounds were used for every 1,000 eight-page papers of modern size.
The muslin tympans on the impression cylinders required changing
to prevent smutting and to keep the accumulations of ink from soaking
into the blankets. The second impression cylinder was originally
made three times the size of the plate cylinders, to provide additional
tympan space, and was later reduced to double circumference, but
equal-size cylinders were finally adopted to reduce the size of the
presses. The tympans on the smaller cylinders, of course, required
more frequent changing. The felt blankets on the impression cylin­
ders required removal of the high bolsters or ridges formed in the
margins by the constant beating of the plates on the contact parts.
As the blankets wore down, underlays were required to maintain the
correct diameters of the cylinders, and eventually both the felt
blankets and the rubber blankets under them required replacing, a
task which at one time involved considerable extra work. The cuting mechanism required changing of knife blades when dull and occa­
sionally of cutting sticks in the folding cylinder.



DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

139

The entire’ machine required inspection from time to time, to
prevent bolts, nuts, screws, or keys from working loose enough to
interfere with operation or to cause breakdowns. During the run con­
siderable oil, ink, and paper dust accumulated on the machine, which
necessitated regular cleaning. The webs were usually pulled out of the
press to permit thorough cleaning and in such case required leading in
again. The paper rolls, which in the majority of places were stood on
end in the storeroom, required removal of the wrappers, transporting to
the press, insertion of spindles on which they were locked, and placing
in the brackets for them in the press or in positions close by for quick
changes. As 4-page-wide rolls ordinarily weighed 1,000 pounds, and
sometimes as high as 1,500 pounds, considerable physical exertion was
required. In small establishments the pressroom workers also often
assisted in placing the paper rolls in the stock room as they were
brought to the plants. In the early days considerable waste was
created through damage to the paper rolls, due mostly to insufficient
wrapping or to careless handling. This waste had to be taken care
of, as well as the wrappers and other waste paper from the pressroom.
A baling machine was commonly used for the waste paper. The
belting for driving the press required occasional overhauling, and at
times even the operation of the steam engine was one of the duties.
Before a run of any appreciable size all working parts in the machine
had to be carefully oiled to- prevent stoppage through hot bearings.
The new stereotype plates required clamping on the cylinders in their
respective locations, a feat which involved some exertion, because the
plates weighed about 50 pounds apiece, and also some speed (especially
for the last plates on the daily newspapers) so that the press could be
started as soon as possible. Considerable extra work resulted at times
through changes in the number of pages for the different editions,
necessitating removal of paper rolls already in the press and substi­
tution of required sizes, as well as complete changes in adjustment of
the working parts.
QU ADRU PLE PR ESSES

The double-supplement press in turn became too small, when papers
with more than 12 pages were required for the daily issues or more
than 24 pages for the Sunday issues, in order to carry the advertisments.
It was soon necessary to make two runs to secure sufficient pages and
then insert one of the sections in the other by hand, again slowing
up production. To meet this condition, II. Hoe & Co. introduced
in 1887 a larger press— known as a right-angle quadruple press, built
in the same style as the double-supplement press but with the supple­
ment part four plates wide— which would print two 16-page papers
at each revolution of the plate cylinders, twice as fast as on the
other style, or one 32-page paper in two sections but folded. It
also admitted of the printing of 14 or 28 page papers, which was
not possible on the other press. The press was equipped with two
folders, placed side by side, and both paper rolls were at floor level,
making handling easy. The webs could be carried full width toward
the folders, slit on top of the formers, and delivered through both
folders, or slit and carried over angle bars into either folder. The
first one was installed in the pressroom of the New York World. It
became very popular, especially after the second impression cylinder
had been reduced to the same size as the plate cylinder, condensing
the equipment, Together with the double-supplement press, it




140

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

displaced almost all other presses in the larger offices of the United
States, as well as in Great Britain and Australia. The name “ quad­
ruple” was given to this machine because it contained four single
presses. As the earliest rotary presses consisted of two pairs of printing
cylinders, each two pages wide and capable of producing eight pages
per revolution, a single press had come to mean a machine of that size,
and larger machines were ordinarily designated according to the
number of such presses they contained. The capacity of the quad­
ruple press was 48,000 copies of an 8-page paper, 24,000 of a 16-page
paper, or 12,000 papers of either 20, 24, 28, or 32 pages each, by
assembling.
Further improvements followed in rapid succession, by R. Hoe
& Co. and by other press builders, on the same general lines of
combining several presses, printing from several rolls of paper, and
assembling the webs in a folding mechanism, where they were deliv­
ered as single papers with the desired number of pages. Ideas
embodying time and labor saving devices were sometimes perfected
before it was discovered that they interfered with patents held by
others, resulting in considerable litigation. For a number of years
practically all inventions for improvements were purchased by R. Hoe
& Co., and it became difficult to build rotary stereotype presses
without infringing on Hoe patents. Presses in a variety of sizes and
styles were designed to meet the conditions of the different offices, as
each newspaper had problems of its own which required individual
treatment. Principal among these were size of page, number of
pages in issue, number of copies to be produced within a certain time
limit, size of space in which the press was to be erected, and shape
of this space. The last two items were responsible for the placing of
printing couples above each other, either irregularly or in regular
tiers or decks, where the floor space was limited. A double press
could be constructed in this manner with 2-plate-wide cylinders
arranged parallel in two tiers, with two rolls of paper, one above the
other, at one end, the webs being assembled in a folder at the other end.
A quadruple could be constructed with either four decks and 2-platewide cylinders, or two decks with cylinders four plates wide, to suit
available space.
SEXTU PLE PRESSES

Quadruple presses also proved too small, and in 1891 R. Hoe &
Co. installed a sextuple press in the office of the New York Herald
to supersede the two quadruples there. As implied by its name
“ sextuple,” this machine consisted of six presses, combined in one
frame. Four-plate-wide parallel cylinders were used, giving two
printing units on the floor and a third one on a deck above, each
supplied from a 4-page roll of paper. A double folder was attached
at one end. The machine would produce 24-page papers at the rate
of 2 per revolution, or collected 48-page papers at the rate of 1 for
each revolution. In addition to the varied, smaller sizes, it would
also produce 18 or 22 page papers. Its capacity per hour was 48,000
copies of a 12-page paper, 36,000 of a 16-page paper, 24,000 of a
24-page paper, or 12,000 of a 48-page paper. Machines of similar
capacity were also constructed with the printing units arranged on
three decks.




DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

141

LARG ER PRESSES

As still larger papers were demanded, the firm constructed an
octuple press, brought out in 1895, which printed from 4 rolls, was
provided with 4 folders, and had a maximum hourly capacity of
96.000 copies of an 8-page paper, 24,000 of a 32-page paper, or 12,000
of a 64-page paper. Again increasing the capacity, decuple presses,
with a capacity of two 40-page papers per revolution, were brought
out, followed with a double sextuple press, installed in the New York
Journal in 1901, consisting of two 3-deck sextuple presses with the four
folders arranged in the center, back to back. The following year double
octuple presses, 4 decks high, were constructed, with a maximum
hourly capacity of 144,000 papers up to 16 pages in size, or 72,000 of
sizes from 18 to 32 pages.
As the contents of the daily issues increased, newspaper publishers
replaced their presses with others of larger or more suitable capacities.
It was found that 14, 16, 28, or 32 pages could be produced to best
advantage on quadruple presses, while sextuple presses were better
adapted for papers ranging from 18 to 24 pages, and octuples for
papers consisting of 2 sections of unequal size, such as 26 and 30 pages
or 28 and 32 pages, folded. The presses removed from the larger
establishments were usually installed in other, and smaller plants
that also needed additional facilities, with the result that many of
the old-style presses are still in service throughout the country and a
great number of models can be found in use. In many plants
increased capacity was obtained by the addition of decks on the
presses used at the time, such as decks placed on double-supplement
presses, changing them into quintuple or sextuple presses, or on
quadruple presses, changing them into sextuple or octuple presses.
O T H E R DESIG N S

Other styles had also been introduced by R. Hoe S Co., such as
o
the 3-plate-wide press introduced in 1888, which had a capacity of
24.000 copies of a 4 or 6 page paper per hour, or half that amount of
collected 8 or 12 page papers. In 1897 a 5-plate-wide press was also
introduced, to permit special combinations and a 20-page product
from a single unit. Some styles were built with upper decks which
could be adjusted to operate at half speed, when used for the produc­
tion of papers which were not multiples of four pages. The sheets
were cut off above the former, and conducted down over it to the
folding cylinder by tapes. While these models did not become popu­
lar, compared with the other common styles, each filled its own par­
ticular need. Linear construction was introduced in 1907. The
printing units were arranged end to end, lengthwise of the press, which
was merely a return to the arrangement of the main press in the rightangle construction of 1882, requiring a right-angle turn of the webs
to enter the folder. About 1912 another design was introduced, the
Simplex newspaper press, intended especially for small daily news­
papers with a circulation of 5,000 up to 25,000. It was of the deck
type, but arranged so it could be installed as a 16-page press, con­
sisting of 2 decks with 1 folder, and increased by 8-page units up to
48 pages.




142

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
IN CREASE IN PR O D U C TIV E C APACITY

The next step in advancement was made through the invention,
patented by R. Hoe & Co., of the rotary lightning folder in 1908.
It embodied a geared folder blade in place of the cam-driven blade,
which would not work satisfactorily at higher speed. In many
places these folders were substituted for the older style, increasing
the productive capacity of the same presses 50 per cent without
additional labor or extra expense. Substitution of the new folder
gave a sextuple press a maximum capacity of 72,000 papers per
hour of 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 pages in one section; 54,000 papers of 16
pages, two-thirds of them in one section and the remainder in two
sections; 36,000 papers of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, or 24 pages in one or
two sections; or 18,000 papers of 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, or 48 pages in two
sections.
SU PE R SPE E D PRESSES

Further increase in capacity was created through the invention
of the automatic ink-pump distribution, patented by R. Hoe & Co.
in 1915, as the old method of supplying the ink from the fountain
to the distribution cylinder by means of a swinging composition
ductor roller would not permit of higher speed. The ink was forced
by means of air pressure or gravity from the main supply tank to a
small pump box for each inking mechanism, and by pumps in this
box through fine slots onto the distribution cylinder in a fine film.
Combined with some improvements of the folder and a new arrange­
ment of printing units, it resulted in the Twentieth Century Super­
speed press. The first of these was installed on the New York
Times in 1915. It was a return to the low-type unit system, all on
the floor, as previously employed in the double-supplement press,
but with the units placed tandem in any desired number and inter­
spersed with double folding mechanisms. Each unit consisted of a
double press, complete in itself, capable of printing up to 16 pages.
The cylinders of all units were placed parallel, and each unit could
be silenced at will or operated independently of the other units. The
products of several units could be assembled in one of the double
folding mechanisms. The units could also be arranged in two or
more lines, and different combinations could be obtained by cross
association, transferring webs from one line to folders in another.
The maximum speed of a Superspeed sextuple press per hour was
80,000 papers up to 12 pages; 60,000 papers of 16 pages; 40,000
papers of 14 pages and from 18 to 24 pages; or 20,000 papers of 28
to 48 pages, an increase of 11.1 per cent over the productive maximum
of the High Speed press. In the large offices the deck style was
abandoned for the multiunit style, where possible, so that when page
output increased, it was not necessary to substitute entire new equip­
ment for that previously used, but facilities could be enlarged by
adding one or more units.. Some newspapers installed 12 to 36 or
more units each, and increased the number as needed. For example,
one afternoon paper, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, installed 30
Superspeed units in 1921, 15 more in 1922, and ordered 48 additional
in 1924. By the middle of 1926,.an installation of 11 more units
brought the total up to 104 units, in decuple and octuple combinations,







hoe

U n i t -T y p e S u p e r s p e e d S e x t u p l e

press,

4 P a g e s W id e




DUPLEX METROPOLITAN SUPER-DUTY, SEM1CYL1NDRICAL PLATE, OCTUPLE PRESS, 4 PAGES WIDE

DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

143

DUPLEX PRIN TIN G PRESS CO.

/^ T H E R manufacturers had entered the field and competed strenu^
ously in devising time-saving and labor-saving improvements,
which were embodied in their particular makes of rotary newspaper
presses, usually known under the name of the firm. Among these
were the present day manufacturers, Duplex Printing Press Co.,
Goss Printing Press Co., Walter Scott & Co., and W ood Newspaper
Machinery Corporation. Notable among firms now out of existence,
but whose presses can still be found in operation in various places,
usually small, were the Campbell Printing Press & Manufacturing
Co., C. Potter, Jr., & Co., and Seymour & Brewer Printing Press Co.
The tendency to crowd the printing mechanisms together in sky­
scraper style, making access to some of the parts difficult, was coun­
tered by a new style rotary press in 1906, brought out by the Duplex
Printing Press Co. of Battle Creek, M ich., which previously had
manufactured the Cox Duplex flat-bed perfecting web press for use
in small newspaper plants. The first of these, a quadruple press, was
installed in the office of the Journal of Commerce and Commercial
Bulletin at New York. It consisted of two sections, each a double
press or four plates wide, placed end to end, with the folding mecha­
nism at one end but turned at right angles. The webs were brought
up from the cylinders and slit into 2-page-wide ribbons, each of which
was given a right-angle turn, over an angle bar, and conducted into
the folder. As the entire press was only 6 feet in height, it could
easily be operated in a room with 8 feet to the ceiling. Each set of
inking rollers was held in a swinging frame and could be swung out
by turning a handwheel, permitting the rollers to be washed without
removing them one at a time from the press. Its capacity was rated
at 30,000 per hour for 4 to 16 page papers, or 15,000 per hour for 20
to 32 page papers A second folder, added later, increased the capac­
ity for 4, 6, or 8 page papers to 60,000 per hour. Five-plate-wide
sections were also constructed.
TUBULAR PLATE W EB PR ESSES

In 1909 Henry F. Bechman, superintendent of the firm, succeeded
in perfecting a press to carry tubular plates— plates extending clear
around the cylinders. As early as 1863 John C. M acDonald and
Joseph Calverley, stereotypers on the London Times, obtained
patents in England for casting plates in tubular form, but there was
no record of any press being constructed to utilize them. The
first tubular-plate web press constructed, which was installed in the
pressroom of the Kalamazoo Evening Press, Kalamazoo, M ich., in
1909, and eventually found its way to Honolulu, Hawaii, was a 2plate-wide machine, with a capacity of 16 pages. The tubular plates
were provided with a slot along the entire length that permitted
slipping them over one end of the plate cylinders, which rested in
journals with special supports. The printing parts were arranged in
decks, with the rolls of paper at one end, and the webs were carried
straight into a folder at the other end. The single-plate-for-page
system permitted printing any number of even pages up to plate
capacity at a maximum speed of 30,000 papers per hour, in one
section, but no products were collected. The style was intended for
newspapers requiring up to 24 pages, and for any circulation. Two-




144

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

plate-wide presses were consequent^7 built up to 24-page capacity,
but later the Metropolitan Tubular Plate web press was introduced,
with cylinders four plates wide adaptable to any number of pages
as well as to any circulation. The first of these, a quadruple press,
was installed in the office of the Detroit Times in 1916.
The popularity of the low-construction unit press resulted finally in
the manufacture of a similar design, the Duplex M etropolitan Super
D uty press, constructed for use with semicircular plates. It w^as
intended for operation at the rate of 300 revolutions per minute,
giving a maximum production per hour of 36,000 24-page papers on
a sextuple press.
G OSS PRIN TIN G PRESS CO-

TOSEPH L. F IR M , foreman of the pressroom in Frank Leslie’s
^
publishing house, took out patents in 1889 for a straight-line
construction, arranging the printing couples with the cylinders
parallel, either tandem or in tiers above each other, so that the webs
could be carried in a parallel plane from the roll to the folding and
delivery mechanism at one end, regardless of the number of printing
units in the frame. In 1891, Firm constructed a sextuple press on these
principles for the New York World, but it was so crude and so badly
built that it was condemned.
Firm disposed of his patent to the Goss Printing Press Co., of
Chicago, 111., with whom he became associated, and which manufac­
tured 2-plate-wide or 4-plate-wide presses of all sizes, very similar to
the Hoe deck type presses, but included also five decks among the
varieties. In the beginning the speed capacity was only 20,000
papers per hour in single sections, with 2 papers for each revolution
of the cylinders, or 10,000 collected papers. This was increased to
25,000 and 12,500 papers, and high-speed presses, brought out later,
raised the capacity to 36,000 and 18,000, respectively, both for the
deck type and for the tandem low-construction Unit-Type, which was
also adopted by the Goss Printing Press Co.
Three-page-wide presses had likewise been turned out by the firm,
as well as a Goss Junior Straightline press, with 1 plate-wide cylinders
and type columns lengthwise of the cylinders. Only one plate was
used for each page, except on 6 or 10 page papers, when there were
2 more plates than pages. The maximum capacity per hour of a
3-deck press of that type was 20,000 papers of 12 pages, and of a
5-deck press the same number of papers of 20 pages.
W ALTER SC O TT & CO.

first successful attempt to attach a folding mechanism to the
joullock rotary web press was made by Walter Scott, foreman
on the Chicago Inter-Ocean, who invented a press in 1872, and later
established the firm of Walter Scott & Co., which erected a plant at
Plainfield, N. J., in 1884. The firm manufactured at first some small
single-roll presses, but then devoted itself to producing deck types,
similar to the Hoe or Goss presses, 2 to 4 decks high and 2 plates
wide or 4 plates wide. These were rated at a maximum capacity
of 25,000 papers per hour in single sections, with 2 papers for each
revolution of the cylinders, or 12,500 collected papers. The speed
was increased to 26,000 and 13,000, later to 30,000 and 15,000, and







DUPLEX TUBULAR PLATE ROTARV STEREOTYPE 16-PAGE PRESS, 2 PAGES WIDE




G oss H ig h - s p e e d , L o w C o n s t r u c t i o n , S e x t u p l e p r e s s , 4 p a g e s w i d e

DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

145

finally to 36,000 and 18,000 papers, respectively, for deck types.
The latter speed was also claimed for the Multi-Unit low-construction presses, designed under end-to-end patents and multiple-drive
patents of 1906, 1913, and 1914. The units were arranged with the
cylinders lengthwise of the press, and the presses were built either in
a single row or a double row of units, which could be operated inde­
pendently or in combinations. Such an equipment, consisting of
24 units with 12 folders, was installed in the pressroom of the Detroit
News in 1917. The modern, tandem arrangement was also adopted
by Walter Scott & Co. in the Straight-Unit newspaper presses, with
the units arranged in a single row, and cylinders crosswise of the
press, for which a running speed of 400 revolutions per minute was
claimed on straight products, or 350 revolutions per minute on col­
lected products. This would give a maximum capacity for a sextuple
press of 96,000 papers per hour of 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 pages in 1 section;
63,000 papers of 16 pages, partly in 1 and partly in 2 sections; 48,000
papers of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, or 24 pages in one or 2 sections; or 21,000
papers of 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, or 48 pages, collected in 2 sections or
associated and collected in 4 sections. Like other manufacturers,
Walter Scott & Co. also turned out a 3-plate-wide press, and in the
earlier da}rs manufactured a single-plate machine, the Speed King,
to produce per hour 24,000 papers of up to 16 pages, using two 2-page
rolls of paper.
W O O D N E W SPA PER M ACH IN ERY CO R PO R A TIO N

A BOUT 1896 Henry A. Wise W ood, of New York, took out patents
in connection with perfecting flat-bed web presses, which were
assigned to the Campbell Printing Press & Manufacturing Co. He
later developed the Autoplate stereotype casting machine, and
founded the firm of W ood Newspaper Machinery Corporation. In
1916 a new style of rotary web press, of extra heavy construction, was
brought out by the firm, which shortly before had located in Plainfield,
N. J. The first one was built for the New York Herald, but due to the
death of the publisher was not installed until later, and then in the
plant of the New York Daily News.
The second press was placed in the pressroom of the Philadelphia
Evening Bulletin in 1917, and two others were installed in the plant of
the Philadelphia Inquirer. These were sextuples of the straight-line
type, 3 decks high with 4-plate-wide cylinders, and claimed to possess
a running speed capable of producing 60,000 copies per hour each of
24-page papers, when operated as 2 independent sextuples, or a total
of 180,000 copies of 16-page papers when operated in combination as
3 quadruples, requiring 500 cylinder revolutions per minute. They
were provided with air brakes, to permit instant stopping. The
speed of 500 cylinder revolutions per minute was not found practical,
because the paper was of too poor a quality and inking rollers, made
out of composition, could not stand the attendant strain.
In 1925 another press, of the unit-type design, was installed in the
new pressroom of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It consisted of 12 units,
placed tandem, with 1 double folder in front of each 3 units and each
folder provided with 3 formers. The special ink mechanism was
simple and easily adjustable, free from due tor rollers, as well as
pumps and pipes. Strain on the paper was claimed to have been




146

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

reduced by special control, and the press was declared to be capable of
maintaining a daily working speed of not less than 50,000 copies per
hour of 68, 72, 76, 80, 84, 88, 92, or 96 page products, or smaller ones
in proportion, and that it could be operated safely in emergencies,
during long periods at a time, up to 60,000 copies per hour.
A small press, the W ood Bee-Line press, was also placed on the
market in 1925. It was provided with a single folder, and consisted
of one or two units, with the cylinders lengthwise of the press, and was
principally intended for the use of small city dailies. Later an
inserting mechanism was attached, which increased the flexibility by
permitting the addition of pages by twos instead of fours. This insert­
ing mechanism could also be provided for the larger press, where it
would permit increase by twos on large as well as on small products.
OTHER ROTARY NEWSPAPER PRESSES
C AM PBELL PRESSES

r ) N E of the prominent cylinder press manufacturers, Andrew
^
Campbell, of New York, established the Campbell Printing Press
& Manufacturing Co., and in 1873 constructed a perfecting press
for Frank Leslie’s printing office. It was fed from a roll, was arranged
for either stereotype or electrotype plates, and was said to print 60
sheets per minute, running moderately. Other machines of similar
type were constructed, also flat-bed web presses for newspaper work,
and later a small, so-called New M odel rotary web press was brought
out, with an hourly capacity of 15,000 copies of a 4 or 8 page paper.
Andrew Campbell is claimed to have been the first press builder to
employ rotary folding mechanism and to assemble the product of
several presses.
P O T T E R PRESSES

Another noted manufacturer of cylinder presses, Charles Potter, jr.,
of Westerly, R. I., established in 1879 the firm of C. Potter, Jr. & Co.,
later changed to Potter Printing Press Co., and introduced a single­
roll rotary web press, with a capacity of 20,000 copies of a 4-page
paper per hour. As the folding mechanism was not provided with a
former, the columns of type ran lengthwise on the cylinders. It
beaame very popular on newspapers publishing four pages, and with a
circulation of about 10,000 copies. As the circulation increased other
presses were added if floor space permitted, as on the Chicago TimesHerald, where one of these presses was installed when the newspaper
was established in 1881. One press was added each year for the next
four years. Five additional presses were installed in 1891, and two
years later decks were placed on 8 of the 10 presses, doubling their
capacity.
SE Y M O U R & B R E W E R PR ESSES

About 1893 a rotary web press was manufactured by the Seymour
& Brewer Printing Press Co., of Chicago, 111. It was of the deck
type, with 2-plate-wide cylinders, and 1, 2, 3, or 4 decks. The folding
mechanism contained many tapes, but the capacity rating was 25,000
papers per hour for single section products, or 12,000 per hour for
collected products.







S c o t t S t r a i g h t -U n i t S e x t u p l e

press,

4

pages

W id e

146—2




W o o d U l t r a -M o d e r n

o c tu ple

N e w s p a p e r P r in t in g P r e s s , 4 P a g e s

w id e

DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

147

COLOR PRESSES
FIRST N E W S P A P E R C OLOR PRESS

TTP TO 1890 no attempt had been made to produce newspapers in
^
more than one color by the rotary method in the United States.
The advance made in that respect by European publishers prompted
the Chicago Inter-Ocean to purchase an English rotary color press in
1891, for printing supplements in different colors. Learning that the
press was an infringement on American patents, a halt was called on
the installation, and a multicolor rotary web press was ordered from
Walter Scott & Co., who installed it in 1892. The first printing couple
was similar to those on the ordinary web presses, but the second im­
pression cylinder was large and provided with four-plate cylinders,
grouped around it, one for each color. The web was printed on one
side in the first mechanism, then carried around the large impression
cylinder, where the other side received successive imprints from the
yellow, red, blue, and black plate cylinlers, each provided with a
separate inking mechanism, and finally to the cutting, folding, and
delivery mechanisms. The first color supplement was printed in 1892.
In the beginning 40,000 copies were turned out on this press in the
course of a week, but productivity increased with experience, resulting
before long in a weekly output of 320,000 copies. This press was
used by the Inter-Ocean until 1902, and not many years ago was
turning out color printing for a weekly newspaper in Chicago. A
press on similar principles, but capable of printing four additional
pages in a single color, was installed on the New York World.
O T H E R STYLES OF OOLOR PR ESSES

Other press manufacturers gradually entered the field. R. Hoe &
Co., who had patented a multicolor rotary press in 1893, installed one
double press the following year for the New York World and one for the
New York Herald. This style was provided with angle bars and capa­
ble of printing a 2-page-wide web in four colors on both sides. It w
ras
the beginning of separate impression cylinders for each color, with the
web passing successively through the different printing couples to the
folder, the system finally adopted for newspaper color work. In 1895
R. Hoe & Co. introduced combination color and black presses, and in
1898 presses of that style were installed by the New York World and
the New York Journal. These were straight-line presses, capable of
producing four pages in five colors and four pages in two colors, at the
rate of two 8-page papers per cylinder revolution. The production of
color supplements became very popular, resulting in the development
of color presses in size and flexibility as well as in speed. In many of
the smaller plants, where the expense prohibited installation of a
special color press, the regular black press was modified for color work
by the addition of a few rollers to guide the w
reb and adjust the length
of travel between the printing units. So-called color decks were
introduced in 1902 by the Goss Printing Press Co., as additions to the
regular presses, and consisted of one extra pair of cylinders, with
inking mechanism, to print one or more lines in a different color, a
very popular procedure for many years.




148

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
H O E U NIVERSAL UNIT PRESS

In 1914 R. Hoe & Co. introduced a new type of color press called
the Universal Unit color and black newspaper press. The cylinders
were arranged in pairs of printing couples and in vertical tiers, and
w^ere reversible so they could print on either side of the web. The
inking mechanisms were mounted on movable carriages, and could be
pushed away for easy access to the printing cylinders. Two folders,
with four formers, permitted great flexibility in combination of prod­
ucts. The first of these was a 12-cylinder machine, on which more
than 600 different combinations could be turned out. The number of
cylinders was increased at various times, culminating in the 24-cylinder
machine, brought out in 1923. M any of these machines are
being used at present in large newspaper plants. When printing in
four colors, on three rolls of paper, this machine was rated to deliver
384,000 pages of finished newspapers per hour. B y reducing the
colors, the pages were increased proportionately. It would print 40
pages, with 16 of them in 4 colors and 4 in 3 colors, in 1, 2, 3, or 4
sections of varying number of pages in any desired relation to each
other, folded and delivered together.
EFFECT OF CO LO R PR IN TIN G

With the introduction of the modern color presses considerable
change took place in pressroom work. While the presses embodied
the same principles as those used for the regular newspaper, several
important differences existed, both in construction of the presses and
in their operation, which affected labor productivity. The plates
required adjustments on the cylinders to insure register of the different
colors. Electrotype plates, 0.1875 inch thick, were commonly used
in place of stereotype plates, which were usually 0.4375 inch thick.
At times underlays were required to correct inequalities in thickness
of a plate. Instead of the resilient, soft blankets on the impression
cylinders, these cylinders were usually covered with so-called hard
packing, consisting of one or more sheets of special cardboard and
paper, which necessitated careful make-ready to produce a proper
impression surface. This involved building up the surface of the
packing with pieces of paper to bring up low parts of the printing
surfaces and give different degrees of impression to various tones in
the forms, a slow process which greatly increased the nonproductive
time for the crew on a press. Oil-wiping devices to prevent offset
were commonly employed, consisting in a felt roller, soaked with oil,
running in contact with the impression cylinder. A slower speed,
rarely exceeding 10,000 cylinder revolutions per hour, was ordinarily
employed for color presses to insure a better quality of printing, which
increased the productive time for a given quantity of papers as well.
Production of the color and magazine sections of the larger news­
papers grew more similar to the production on the large rotary presses
in magazine or book and job printing establishments, where these had
rapidly gained favor since the construction by R. Hoe & Co. in 1886
of a rotary perfecting machine for the DeVinne Press, in New York,
to print the plain and advertising forms of the Century Magazine.
The rotary press, with its greater production, had in many cases
supplanted the cylinder press in such plants, just as the cylinder
press had previously superseded the platen press.




DEVELOPMENT OP PRESSWOBK

149

TYPE-PRINTING NEWSPAPER WEB PRESSES

A

N U M B E R of small newspaper establishments issuing 4 or 8
page papers, and even 12 or 16 page papers, each with a circula­
tion of less than 10,000 copies, installed type-printing web presses to
escape both cylinder presses and rotary web presses. For cylinder
presses the sheets had to be cut to size and fed by hand or by an
automatic sheet feeder, passed through the press a second time, and
then folded by hand or by a special folding machine, w^hich was too
slow and complicated. For rotary web presses, printing from one or
more rolls of paper, the type required stereotyping after being set up,
involving installation and maintenance of a sterotyping plant, which
was too expensive for some.
H O E R O T A R Y TY P E PE RFE C TIN G PRESS

The earliest type-printing web press in the United States was a
rotary t}^pe endless-sheet perfecting press, brought out by R. Hoe &
Co. in 1881, reverting to the type-revolving principle but adapting it
to a continuous web. It was intended especially for evening news­
papers that wanted to avoid the time or expense of stereotyping.
The type forms for both sides of the paper were placed on a central,
horizontal cylinder, which was surrounded by impression cylinders
and inking rollers. The web was passed through one side of the press,
where the first impression was received, then over turning bars and
through the other side, where the reverse impression was made,
to the folder at the other end. With four impression cylinders the
maximum speed was about 12,000 copies per hour. A machine with
eight impression cylinders was also manufactured, which was provided
with a roll of paper and a folder at each end, where twice that produc­
tion was obtained.
COX D U PLEX PE RFE C TIN G PRESS

In 1879 patents were issued to Joseph P. Cox, of Battle Creek,
M ich., for a flat-bed printing machine, using both forward and return
movement of the bed with a single cylinder. In 1884 the Duplex
Printing Press Co. was organized to develop the inventions of Cox.
Perfecting presses were built for the Grand Rapids Democrat, the
Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye, and others. These printed and folded
about 2,000 papers per hour. Reciprocating cylinders were later
substituted for the reciprocating beds by Joseph L. and Frank Cox
in a press brought out in 1890, known as the Cox Duplex perfecting
press and folding machine. It made two impressions with each
alternate movement, printing two complete papers with each revolu­
tion of the drive wheel.
The first Cox Duplex press was installed on the Rutland (Vt.)
Herald, where it printed that paper, an 8-column folio sheet, morn­
ings, and the Telegram, a 7-column folio sheet evenings, at the rate of
4,000 copies per hour. The press was provided with two beds, arranged
one above the other. Crossheads, carrying impression cylinders and
inking mechanisms, were reciprocated by means of a locomotive
drive. Paper was supplied uniformly from a roll. During the for­
ward travel of the cylinders they printed two or four pages in width,
according to the size of the press. During the return stroke of the
crossheads sufficient paper was pulled into the press to receive the




150

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

next impression, and the slack was taken up by an equalizing device.
After printing, the surplus paper was gradually distributed by another
equalizing device to the folder, which delivered, the papers at regular
intervals. When a 4-page-wide web was used, it was slit into 2page ribbons, that were brought over angle bars and a former to the
cutting and folding mechanism. Chopping-blade folders were used.
An improved style printed on both strokes, delivering two papers for
each revolution of the drivewheel, or at the rate of 5,000 to 6,000
papers per hour. Ten and 12 page presses, with wider beds to
accommodate the additional forms, were also manufactured.
GOSS C O M E T PR ESS

After the early patents on the Cox Duplex press had expired, the
Cox Brothers, who in the meantime had associated with the Goss
Printing Press Co., introduced in 1911 the Goss Comet press— a rollfeed single-action pres^. on similar principles. The beds were placed
end to end, and reciprocated under the impression cylinders by means
of a locomotive drive. Its capacity was 3,500 papers of 4, 6, 8, or
10 pages per hour. Both Cox Duplex and Goss Comet presses were
installed in many offices, where they were operated until their capacity
became inadequate. Such a press was usually handled by one press­
man and one helper.
O T H E R STYLES

In 1890 a flat-bed perfecting press with roll feed was manufactured
by Walter Scott & Co. It was provided with a reciprocating bed,
and permitted attachment of a folder, but would print only 1,600
impressions per hour on both sides. Another was introduced that
year by C. Potter, Jr., & Co., utilizing the drive, etc., from the
2-revolution cylinder presses manufactured by the firm, and using
grippers for handling the sheets.
AUXILIARY PRINTING

of the small country newspapers were supplied with sheets
ui paper containing printed newspaper matter on one side, while
the other was left blank to be filled with local news, editorials, ad­
vertisements, etc., at the local printing office. This ready-print
service, also called auxiliary newspaper service, or patent inside serv­
ice, or syndicate service, was started in this country in 1846, when a
Boston newspaper supplied a small newspaper in Vermont with sheets
of paper partly filled with the text of the President’s message to Con­
gress. The blank spaces were filled with local news by the publisher.
Similar individual service was given later by other large newspapers,
followed by ready-print service of one newspaper to several others
in 1861, and the regular establishment of commercial patent inside
service in Chicago, in 1865, for small country newspapers. The de­
mand for patent insides resulted in the establishment of several
syndicates. According to Ringwalt,2 there were nearly 1,000 news­
papers in the United States in 1871 receiving such service from New
York, Chicago, and other cities. Some of the central plants also
furnished stereotype products, plates, or matrices, to other news­
2 Ringwalt, J. Luther: American Encyclopedia of Printing, Philadelphia, 1871.




DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

151

papers, and at present more than 15,000 offices are supplied with
one form or another of syndicate service. Printing of patent insides
in the central plants was ordinarily performed on cylinder presses,
often equipped with automatic sheet feeders, which supplied the
sheets at regular intervals faster than could be done by hand, and
consequently increased production. Automatic sheet feeders had also
been used on cylinder presses in some offices having largv) editions
of newspapers, before such presses were displaced by rotary presses.
After color supplements became popular, some of the newspaper syndi­
cates, with papers in several cities, printed their color and magazine
sections in central plants for distribution to the other papers, and some
also established commercial syndicate service of color sections.
CHANGES IN OPERATION OF PRESSES

A S the presses grew larger more hands were, of course, required for
^
the operation of each machine. While a single or double press
could be operated by 2 or 3 hands, a crew of 10 or 11 was sometimes
necessary on an octuple press, with additional hands to get the paper
rolls ready for use. No fixed uniform standard existed and the
number employed on the same style of press varied according to the
requirements of individual establishments. Increase in circulation
made longer press runs, which the larger papers handled by installa­
tion of more presses, while in the smaller establishments employment
of more help was often necessary, not especially to operate the
machine but to assist in getting the press ready for operation.
IN CR E ASE IN CIRCU LATION

The remarkable growth in circulation of daily newspapers during
the past 30 years is revealed by extracts from a statement of average
daily circulation during that period of an evening newspaper, which
claimed the third largest circulation in the United States, presented
in Table 76:
T a b le 7 6 .— Average daily circulation of one evening newspaper, in specified years,

from 1895 to 1925
Year
1895
1896
1897
1898
1900

Circulation

........................... .................................
_____ ___________ _______ ________
...................................... ......................
............................................ —.......... .
...................... ........................ - ........

6,317
33, 625
59, 281
113,973
124,855

Year
1905_____ __________ ____ ____________
1910................................ ............................
1915............................................... ..............
1920........................ ...................................
1925......................... ..................................

Circulation
211,134
244, 063
356, 531
488, 687
524, 662

C APA C ITY OF P R E S S R O O M E Q U IPM E N T

The magnitude of equipment necessary for such a publication can
be realized from Table 77, showing the maximum capacity of the
104 separate 16-page units in this establishment in 1926.




152

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

T a b le 7 7 . — Maximum capacity per hour and per minute of total equipment in one

evening newspaper
Number of pages

8. . . .......................................................
16............. ......... .......... ............ ...........
24............................. ..........................
32______________ _____ ____ _______
36, 40, 44, or 48........................ ........

Copies per
hour
2, 346, 000
1,173, 000
782, 000
586, 500
469, 200

Copies per
minute
39,100
19,550
13,033
9,975
7, 820

C APA C ITY AND ACTUAL PR O D U C T IO N OF PR ESSES

Capacity, or running speed, of a press differs essentially from the
actual production of papers, which is on an average only 70 per cent
of the capacity. In theory a speed of 300 cylinder revolutions per
minute, if continued for an hour and with two papers per revolution,
should produce 36,000 copies per hour, but in practice only about
24,000 copies would be turned out. Stoppage of presses for change
of paper rolls, or at least slow-downs, reduces the number of operative
minutes in the hour. Breakage of the web, a frequent source of
stops and delays, is responsible for further reduction. A low-speed
press will show a higher percentage than a high-speed press, so that
presses running at 300 cylinder revolutions per minute, or 36,000
papers per hour, will actually produce about 24,000 copies per hour,
or 66 per cent of capacity, while presses operated at a speed of 200
cylinder revolutions per minute, or 24,000 papers per hour, will
actually produce about 18,000 copies per hour, or 75 per cent. This
is partly due to the difference in the number of rolls changed during
the course of an hour, as in a press running at 300 revolutions per
minute a roll of paper with a diameter of 32 inches would be run off
in 17 minutes, while in a press running at 200 revolutions per minute
it would last about 25 minutes. A roll of paper with a diameter of
32 inches contains about 21,000 linear feet of paper, and will produce
approximately 10,000 papers, depending on length of page.
ELECTRICAL PR E S S C O N TRO L

A number of factors have entered into the increase in production.
One of these was the application of electricity, which supplanted
steam or gas for motive power, just as these had slowly supplanted
hand power. According to the United States census of 1880, there
existed,at that time 122 daily newspapers in the country with presses
worked by hand, while in 849 others, steam powder or water power’ was
utilized. When electric power was first applied to printing presses, it
was merely a case of substituting the motor for the steam engine.
Shafting and belting were retained and, along with the motor, re­
quired overhauling from time to time by pressroom workers, unless the
plant was large enough to employ electricians or machinists.
During 1894 attempts were made to apply individual motors to
printing presses, resulting in the perfecting of direct drives, in the
beginning by belt connection but later by gear or chain connections.
Development of the controller followed. A lever or handle was first
used for the mechanical operation of the controller, requiring prac­
tically constant attention of one person during the operation of the
press or when it required turning for threading the web, putting on
the plates or taking them off, or for other functions, just as with the




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWOKK

153

previous belt system. Finally a push-button system was evolved,
which changed the manual control to automatic magnetic control and
permitted adjustments from any number of small stations. These
were placed on various parts of the presses, in convenient locations,
so each worker could revolve the press as needed. A control station
consisted of a small box, provided with push buttons for the various
operations required, permitting the press to be revolved slowly,
brought up gradually to full speed, slowed down gradually to a stop, or
stopped quickly. A safety button was also provided, which could be
pushed in to render all stations inoperative until it was pushed out,
and to prevent anyone from starting the press while someone was
working on it. On some of the larger presses more than two dozen
stations were installed.
Different systems were put out, notably the Kohler, by Kohler
Bros., now manufactured in improved style by the Cutler-Hammer
Manufacturing Co., of Milwaukee and New York, and renamed after
that firm, also the Cline, manufactured by the Cline Electric Manu­
facturing Co., of Chicago. Among others were the Jenney, manufac­
tured by the Jenney Electric Manufacturing Co., of Indianapolis,
later of Anderson, Ind., and the Sprague, manufactured by the
Sprague Electric Works, of New York, and later manufactured by
the General Electric Co., of New York, and known under that name.
The automatic push-button control released the brakeman from
standing by the lever during the operation of the press, because if
trouble occurred the machine could be stopped by any one of the
crew and at any station. An electric automatic cylinder brake was
also developed and perfected by the Cutler-Hammer Co. in 1916.
Breaking of a web caused a lever to drop, which shut off the power
and automatically applied an individual brake on each impression
cylinder. A press running at high speed could be stopped in that
manner in 10 or 20 revolutions, while without the cylinder brakes it
would usually take about 15 seconds from the time the stop button
was pressed until the machine was still.
A U T O M A T IC TE N SIO N C O N TR O L

Each tension device was originally operated separately, though by
a special device on presses turned out by Walter Scott & Co., after
1909, a single lever would, when starting or stopping the machine,
decrease or increase all tensions simultaneously. It was later de­
veloped into the Jones Automatic Tension, patented by Thomas
J. Jones, of Jersey City, N. J., in 1921, which automatically held the
tension where desired, regardless of speed, and required no super­
vision when the press was started or stopped. It resulted in doing
away with an extra tension man, previously necessary to adjust ten­
sions and side margins on the top rolls of large deck presses. On the
early style right-angle presses the tension man could observe the line­
up of the webs himself, even where required to stand at the control
lever, but on the straight-line presses it was difficult. It was often
necessary for the man in charge of the press to watch the delivery end
closely, and to signal the tension man or men to tighten or loosen
the tension on a certain roll, or how to adjust the side margins so
the webs would be in alignment. This is still the practice in many
places on the older styles of presses.
9819°— 29------- 11




154

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
C H AN G IN G P A P E R ROLLS

Floor-fed presses were satisfactory and efficient under certain
conditions, as the rolls could be changed quickly, but limited on
account of roll stands or floor space for extra rolls required. For
deck presses it was necessary to hoist the rolls into positions on
brackets, and, as a set of brackets would accommodate only one
extra roll, other rolls had to be hoisted during the run, as required.
It was at first an arduous task, during a long run, to supply the paper
to a press with four or five decks, because the rolls were raised by
means of a chain block. Some presses were later provided with wire
cables and drums, turned by handwiieels, or with hand-power geared
roll hoisting arrangements. In a number of establishments small
hydraulic lifts were used to lift the rolls to the proper levels, so .that
they could be rolled on to the brackets. In other places a doubleaction lift with a V-shaped platform, invented about 1905 by A. W.
Cochran, mechanical engineer on the Portland Oregonian, was em­
ployed. It was a rapid and easily controlled lift, which could be
moved to and from the press as well as up and down. The most
popular method was by means of the Sprague electric hoist, which
traveled on overhead I beams and was provided with a spreader bar
having suspended hooks to support the roll spindles. Such electric
hoists, with ceiling beams, were also utilized for transporting rolls
around the pressroom, or from the storeroom to the pressroom, if on
the same level. This was a better method than trucking them on the
old-fashioned 2-wheeled dollies.
Changing of rolls required cutting the web, lifting the spindle with
the empty core out of the bearings, substituting the new roll, tearing
off any damaged paper, applying a streak of paste across the web, and
fastening it to the w^eb in the press. Skilled hands could ordinarily
change a roll in about 40 seconds, depending on arrangement and
location of the roll, though on deck types it might take two minutes.
During this interval the press was standing idle, and in addition the
operation involved a gradual slowing down to a stop, and afterwards
starting slowly and attaining speed by degrees, which reduced pro­
duction. Multiplicity of rolls increased the number of stops for
replacement and devices were invented to facilitate replacement of
rolls.
M A G A ZIN E P A P E R REELS

In 1900 Irving Stone, mechanical superintendent of the Chicago
News, invented a roll stand, which supported three rolls of paper,
known as the Stone magazine reel and manufactured by the CutlerHammer Manufacturing Co. The stands were placed in the reel room
under the pressroom, one reel for each unit and directly under it, and
the web was fed up through a slot in the floor into the press. When a
roll was about to run out the press was slowed down somewhat.
A touch on a push button revolved the reel, swinging the full roll on
the top of the reel into the position formerly occupied by the exhausted
roll. The turn brought the end of the new roll, previously covered
with sticky gum, in contact with the old web, to which it adhered and
which carried it through the press. Dropping of a chain severed the
web from the old core, completing the so-called flying paster without
stopping of the press, which was again accelerated to speed. The
empty core was removed from the reel, and a new roll inserted in




155

PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

place thereof. The rolls were transported to the reels on small trucks,
operating on runways of steel imbedded tracks in the floor, provided
with turntables.
A similar reel, the Cline multiple roll stand, manufactured by the
Cline Electric Manufacturing Co., was provided with an automatic
tension device. Sidewise shifting of the reels from the pressroom
floor, to adjust the alignment of the webs, was provided for by push­
button systems. An attachment has recently been announced by the
W ood Newspaper Machinery Corporation, to be used in connection
with their new Ultra-Modern press. The attachment is claimed to
paste automatically the end of a full paper roll to that of an almost
finished roll without stopping or slowing down the press, and thus
convert the entire running time into productive time. Several of
the manufacturers have adopted a balcony or mezzanine style of con­
struction for their unit-type presses, to permit the installation of
regular roll stands or reels on the pressroom floor, feeding the webs
up to the units on the balconies above them.
LIM IT OF SPEE D

The speed of the presses was to a certain extent limited by the
strength of the paper, as a defect or weak spot in a web might pass
through the press at slow speed but would cause a break at high speed.
Breakage of the web was often responsible for considerable delay,
especially on large deck presses, where it ordinarily took from 5 to 10
minutes to thread up again. On the unit type of presses only about
two minutes were required. An example was given in a statement
by Henry A. Wise W ood, president of the W ood Newspaper M achin­
ery Corporation, regarding one of the presses manufactured by that
firm, four years after it had been installed. He claimed that the
press was restricted to two-thirds of its natural running speed on
account of the quality of paper, which had not then returned to pre­
war conditions. The press was intended for a maximum speed of 500
revolutions per minute, or 60,000 copies of a 32-page paper per hour.
On a basis of 70 per cent actual production, 42,000 papers should
have been turned out, but production reports from the establishment
showed the net output to be around 30,000 per hour, as may be
seen by Table 78:
T a b l e 7 8 .— Production

of 82-page papers on octuple press on three specified days

Copies
printed

Date

Mar. 28......................... ................... ................. .................
Mar. 2 9 ......................... ....................................................
Apr. 15-................................... .................. .......................

Spoiled
copies

Minutes
operated

Number
of paper
breaks

50,400
55, 040
49, 300

350
490
571

92
109
102

0
2
2

Average
produc­
tion per
hour
32, 870
30, 206
29, 000

IN K D ISTRIB U TIO N

Another factor, which affected the production was the liability of
glue and glycerin composition rollers to melt through the friction
created by fast speed, and scatter over the different surfaces of a
press, causing breakage of webs and long delays because of the clean­
ing up necessary before the press could be started again. This has




156

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

been partly solved during recent years by the adoption of rubber com­
position rollers, which are not affected by friction nor by hot weather.
Although a patent was issued in 1858 to Alex Schimmelfcnnig and Julius
Ende, of Washington, D. C., covering the manufacture of printing
rollers out of elastic gums, such as gutta percha, caoutchouc, etc., no
developments followed until about 1918, when rubber rollers were
introduced by the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Co., of Akron, Ohio.
T hey were first tested in the plant of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Since that time various makes have appeared on the market and have
been used on a number of different presses. Adjustment of the ink
distribution was made quicker by concentrating controlling devices
at the ends of the fountains, making them easily accessible. With the
introduction of the automatic pump system on Hoe presses, previously
referred to, it was simplified further by placing the adjustment devices
for each fountain together at one end, and locating them at one side
of the machine.
D A M P E N IN G OF P A P E S

Wetting of paper, which had been practically discontinued, was
revived by the Chicago Herald about 1916. A vaporizer was em­
ployed to dampen the webs as they unwound from the rolls, to
prevent breaks and reduce ink consumption. It was claimed to
have increased hourly production from 15,000 to 20,000 papers,
and considerably less ink was used. In using dry paper 58
pounds
of ink had been required to print fifty-four thousand six hun­
dred and eighty-six 8-page copies, but by using dampened paper
62,836 copies were printed with the same quantity of ink, a gain
of 8,150 copies, or 14.9 per cent. The method was, nevertheless,
abandoned definitely.
A U T O M A T IC D E LIVERY OF PA P E R S

When newspapers were printed in small plants and had limited
circulations, the papers were taken from the press deliveries by flyboys and carried to near-by tables, where they were bundled up or
distributed by the mailing-room force. As the plants increased in
size and editions grew larger and heavier, the mailing and delivery
rooms were moved farther away, necessitating the use of trucks or
horizontal belt conveyors, if on the same level, or of elevators or
hoists, if on different levels. It became customary to locate mailing
rooms above the pressrooms and, though elevators answered the
purpose to a certain extent, in large pressrooms too much carrying
distance was involved. They are still used in a number of places,
though usually modified from the old, hand-operated style to elec­
trically controlled lifts, which rise at the touch of a button and
return automatically when the papers are removed. A number of
establishments installed escalators, or conveyors, to transport the
papers which eliminated manual removal of the papers from the
deliveries, though a flyboy was required to watch the functioning.
The Dispatch Conveyor, named after the St. Paul Dispatch where it
originated, consisted of a system of flat leather belts in parallel pairs,
supported and driven, which carried the papers between them, as
fast as printed, in a constant stream from the press delivery to the
distributing point in the mailing room. It did not solve the problem
altogether. The frequent slack in the belts necessitated continual




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORR

157

adjustment, and the deposits of ink on the surfaces of the belts
necessitated frequent cleaning. The system was not adaptable to
space conditions in many plants. The substitution of coiled steel
wire springs, running over rollers at suitable intervals, removed the
difficulties and the system worked well on the moderate speed presses
of 1911, which printed comparatively light papers. Four years later
it was acquired by the Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Co., under
whose name it is now known, which improved it and adapted it to
the high-speed presses in up-to-date newspaper plants, the majority
of which are equipped with conveyors. The papers could be carried
horizontally, vertically, or on an incline, in any direction, at a lineal
speed of about 100 feet per minute, and laid down on the delivery
table in practically the same relation as originally laid down by the
press.
When a large number of papers were to be sent by mail, a third fold
was arranged for by a mail, or quarter-page, folder. It was provided
with a revolving blade and folding rollers, to which the papers were
led by tapes after receiving the half fold. Mail folders, which were
often detachable, did not become popular, as they did not work well
at high speed, especially on a large number of pages; and in large
newspaper establishments special mailing machines in the mailing
room did the folding as well as the wrapping of the papers.
A U T O M A T IC OILING DEVICES

Close-fitting bearings, coupled with the high speed of operation
and the pressure created, necessitated careful lubrication of the
various parts during the run, as well as before it. Instead of more
work being required on the faster presses, the manual part was grad­
ually reduced through the introduction of ball bearings and automatic
oiling devices, but especially through force feed lubricators. These
supplied the proper amount of oil to the bearings during the run,
starting and stopping with the machine, while oil could be applied by
means of a hand crank to all connected bearings when the press was
standing still. Use of several lubricator units, with a central supply
tank, practically rendered all oiling of a press entirely automatic,
and eliminated the manual task altogether where it was adopted.
FU DGE DEVICES

A special attachment, called the fudge device, was utilized in a
number of places for the printing of important late news without
involving changes of plates. While it did not affect productivity
materially, it was important from the viewpoint of the publisher, as
it eliminated the stereotyping and permitted publication in exceed­
ingly short time. It was invented by William Loveland and Harry
Sloane, of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and consisted of a
small cylindrical box, provided to hold one or more linotype slugs.
In the style developed by R. Hoe & Co., patented in 1899, the slugs
were held in place by wedges, similar to the arrangements used on
the former type-revolving presses. In the fudge boxes developed
by the Goss Printing Press Co., the slugs were cast tapered, in special
molds. A special inking mechanism was provided. If the news
were intended to appear on the first page, the usual custom, the
fudge device was arranged to print against the regular second im­




158

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

pression cylinder, but if desired on some other page it was located
correspondingly. Where the design of the press would not permit
the use of the regular impression cylinders, an additional cylinder was
provided. The corresponding space on the regular plate for the
page was left blank, or cut below printing height.
It required oidinarily about 12 minutes to get a short news item
into type, inserted in the page, and a matrix molded from it. With
five minutes more for casting two plates and locking them on the
press, a total of 17 minutes would be consumed from the time
the news was received in the composing room to be set up until the
presses were beginning to print. B y the use of the fudge device the
time was customarily about 12 minutes, and for special, anticipated
events, such as baseball scores in the world series, papers have
appeared on the street in 10 seconds after the telegraph flash for the
final score had arrived in the editorial department.
CHANGES IN PRELIMINARY WORK

y A R I O U S improvements also reduced the time required to get
*
presses ready for operation. This varied greatly in the different
establishments, according to the style of presses used, and even in
the same plant if several different constructions existed there. The
same type of press often varied considerably in accessibility, as an
individual press was often designed by the draftsmen in the factory
to occupy a special space, and in that case convenience of the workers
was a secondar}7 consideration. Deck presses involved more or less
climbing, lifting or carrying the plates up on the footboards, etc.
PLA TIN G OF PRESSES

The length of the page was always a fixed measure on each press,
one-half the circumference of the dressed cylinders, but four different
sizes were used, 2 1 ^ , 22, 23 1%, and 2 4 ^ inches. The latter was
eventually dropped, leaving three different sizes in use at present.
The width of the page was flexible, within certain limits. For many
years 7 columns, 13 ems wide, were commonly used, but with varying
margins between the pages and on the outside edges. About 1912publications began to change the width of the page to 8 columns,
12 3^ ems wide, to reduce the number of pages published, as this
would give the equivalent of an 18-page paper in 16-page form. This
change, which gained favor rapidly, meant proportionately fewer
plates to be handled by the workers.
On the older-style presses plates were clamped to the cylinder by
three or four independent clips, which had to be tightened sepa­
rately. The newer styles were provided with rapid safety plate
clamps, patented in 1908 and adopted by several of the manufac­
turers. Only one central screw required tightening, simplifying the
work and reducing the time for locking up plates more than threefourths. On the older-style presses it was also necessary to raise
the top composition form-inking rollers to place the plates on the
cylinders, but the positions of the cylinders were later changed to
render this unnecessary. Installations in many plants of automatic
plate conveyors, which carried the plates from the stereotyping
room direct to the sides of the presses, displaced the boys formerly
required to carry the plates around. Some of the conveyors were




DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

159

reversible, to carry the used or so-called dead plates back to the
stereotyping room. Color plates, where used, required considerable
extra work in adjusting them to proper printing positions.
BLANKETS

Attempts were made to use specially prepared tympans to elimi­
nate part of the changes required through the absorption of ink.
Several of these proved successful for a while, but they were rendered
obsolete by*the introduction of the so-called automatic felt blanket,
which was provided with a nonabsorbent surface to which the ink
would not adhere. Where adopted it did away with the use of tym­
pans and the work connected therewith. The automatic blanket was
patented in 1919 by the New England Newspaper Supply Co., of
Worcester, Mass. This firm also brought out an oil-proof faced
rubber blanket, and the M onocork press blanket, which had been
patented in 1917 by A. W . Cochran and F. M . Youngs, of the Port­
land Oregonian. Each of these types was intended as a substitute
for the rubber or fiber blankets previously used on the impression
cylinders under the felt blankets. As neither of them was affected
by oil seepage, which blistered the ordinary rubber blankets, fewer
changes were necessary.
IN K SUPPLY

The common plugs or spigots in the ink barrels were superseded in
the better pressrooms by ink pumps, and filling fountains by means of
a scuttle was later eliminated by the portable tank, provided with a
pump and hose, which cut down the clock time for the operation but
required two men, so that the difference in total working time was
probably very slight. Eventually storage tanks appeared, from which
the ink was forced to the fountains through fixed pipes, by gravity or
air pressure. In the large modern establishments the ink is at present
delivered by tank wagons, which fill the storage tanks through supply
pipes, doing away with all handling of ink for the pressroom workers.
The automatic fountain reduced the preparatory work for the inking
mechanism still further, by elimination of the ductor roller. Ductor
rollers necessitated use of sizes corresponding to the total width of the
plates on the cylinder, either 1,2, 3, or 4 pages, and frequently required
changing. On the automatic fountain, the supply for each page could
be shut off by separate valve control when not needed. The adoption
of rubber rollers, which did not require washing, saved considerable
time of the press crew. Less adjustment for proper contact was also
required as the rollers were not affected by heat or by humidity. Where
a press used ordinarily for the daily paper was also used on an extra
run once a week to produce color supplements for the Saturday evening
or Sunday morning issue, it involved considerable additional work.
The fountains and other ink mechanisms required careful cleaning,
especially in changing from black to color.
O T H E R CH AN GES

A number of other minor improvements, such as self-locking roller
sockets, roller washing machines, electric burning irons for removing
bolsters from the blankets, etc., assisted in reducing time and labor.
Compressed air came into general use for removal of the paper dust
produced in large quantities by the revolving knives which slit the
webs into ribbons, while on some presses suction was employed for
removing this dust at the source.



160

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

In the larger plants special laborers, or paper handlers, took care of
the paper rolls, stripped off the wrappers, and delivered the rolls to
the pressroom ready for insertion of the spindles and placing in the
presses. In small establishments the preparation of the rolls contin­
ued as one of the duties of the press workers, though simplified in
some of them by the use of electric roll hoists, or of revolvators, for
tiering the rolls, and by placing the rolls on their sides instead of on
their ends. In most of the plants the amount of paper ta b e handled
was reduced somewhat by adoption of narrower margins for the
pages, cutting down the width of the webs.
On large presses more men were, of course, required than on smaller
ones, both for the preliminary work and for the actual operation, but
larger presses produced proportionately more pages and, with the
increases in speed, produced them a great deal faster. An instance is
cited by Theodore T. Ellis, of the New England Newspaper Supply
Co., in a recent issue of the American Pressman.3
Thirty years ago the writer worked on a newspaper in the pressroom where they
had five presses running with 45 men employed, printing ninety thousand 32page papers on Saturday nights. Hours of labor were from 6 p. m. to 5 a. m.,
waste average 6 per cent. And to-day in a different office 9 men, w*orking from
9 p. m. to 5 a. m., print on one high-speed octuple press one hundred and ten
thousand 32-page papers every Saturday night, average waste one and a fraction
per cent.

VOCATIONAL DIVISION OF PRESSROOM WORKERS

T N M OST of the large establishments there was considerable shifting
A of workers from one position to another. In some plants the
duties of each member of the crew were sharply defined, and the differ­
ent functions during operation of the machine were specialized. This
resulted at first in vocations designated as head pressman and first,
second, third, or fourth assistant or helper. Later more specific
terms were used, such as man in charge (of press), tension man, oiler
and plater, and floor man or paper hustler. All of these were jour­
neyman pressmen, presumably capable of performing any of the
duties. In very large plants additional semiskilled hands were
employed as paper handlers, to prepare the paper rolls for use in the
presses, and to take care of the waste. Apprentices usually acted as
fly boys. Each vocation carried certain specified duties in preparing
the press, but the systems varied in the different localities and often
even in plants located in the same city.
Another condition also developed. As long as small 8 or 16 page
presses were used, or even 24-page presses, one really skilled man,
with the assistance of semiskilled help, could perform the necessary
adjustments and keep the machine in good order. The adoption of
the modern mammoth presses created a necessity for several highly
skilled hands, because one man could not handle all the complicated
manipulations in the comparatively short time often allotted to print
the paper. While the question of skilled or unskilled hands did not
affect the hourly productivity, except that with unskilled help the
time would have been prolonged and the production retarded, it
affected the pay roll and the hourly labor cost materially. These
items naturally also advanced through the years, as did wages and
living costs in general. The hourly labor cost was still further
increased by the reduction in weekly hours.
3 The American Pressman, published monthly b y the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants’
Union of North America, at Pressmen’s Home, Tenn.




161

DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

UNION WAGE RATES FOR PRESSROOM WORKERS

E G U LA R weekly working hours and rates of wages for pressroom
A
workers in 1899 were published in the fifteenth annual report of
the Commissioner of Labor.4 The nineteenth annual rep ort5 gave
hours and wage rates for 1890 to 1903, and later data were published
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in yearly bulletins 6 since 1912.
The wage rates, however, did not indicate the actual hourly labor
costs, because these would naturally be increased by the amount of
overtime worked. Early scales provided additional pay for over­
time, as shown by the scale of Pressmen’s Association of Philadelphia,
Pa., in 1857. Wages for hand pressmen were $11 per week, 10 hours
per day; also 25 cents per hour for regular time and 30 cents per hour
for overtime. Wages for power pressmen on Adams or cylinder
presses were $12 per week, 10 hours per day, and 30 cents per hour
for overtime.
MANNING OF PRESSES

'T 'H E minimum number of pressmen required for the operation of
newspaper presses was often stipulated in agreements between
employers and workers, being ordinarily arranged to suit conditions
for the specific locality. As considerable variation exists in conditions
it resulted in the establishment of a wide range in the number of
hands necessary, as is shown in a tabulation of prevailing minimum
requirements in 1926 for different cities of the United States,
presented in Table 79:
T a b l e 7 9 .—

Minimum number of pressmen required for operation of newspaper
presses in various cities
Minimum number of pressmen required on—

City

Akron, Ohio_______________
Atlanta, Ga_________________
Austin, Tex__________________
Baltimore, M d .1 _________
Bellingham, Wash
Boston, M ass1...................... .
Butte, M ont
________
Chicago, 111_____ ___________
Cincinnati, Ohio 1
Cleveland, Ohio___________
Columbus, O h i o __
___
Dallas, T ex____________ _____
Danville, 111
Davton, Ohio 1
Denver, Colo
Des Moines, Iowa_________ _
Detroit, M ich.1...................... .
Dubuque, Iowa
East Liverpool, Ohio
Fort Worth, Tex.1 _
_ _____
Fresno C a lif1
Hoboken N J
Indianapolis, Ind
Kansas City, M o.1.
Los Angeles, Calif.1 ..................
Louisville K y
Memphis, Tenn______________
Meriden, Conn.1........................

Double
press

Single
press

Quadruple
press

Triple
press

3

4
4
5
5
4
4-9
3
4
4

3

5
4

2
2
5-7

2
3

2

3
3
4-7

2
1
23K

2

3
3
2

2

3

2

3

2
2

3

3
3
4
3

Sextuple
press

Octuple
press

5
5
7
5

6
9
8

9-11

12-14

5
5
6-7
7
5

7
8
9
7-8

4
3-5
4
4
3

5
6
5
5

8
7
7

4-5
4
6
5
4
4
5
5
4

6
5
6
5-6
6-7
6
7
6

7

7
8-10

1 Figures for this city include one apprentice pressman on each press.
2 One man works one-half of time in stereotyping room.
4 United States Commissioner of Labor. Fifteenth annual report, 1900, 2 vols. Washington, 1900.
4 United States Commissioner of Labor. Ninteeenth annual report, 1904, 2 vols. Washington, 1905.
• U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics bulletins on union scales of wages and hours of labor.




9

162

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T a b le 7 9 .—

M inimum number of pressmen required for operation of newspaper
presses in various cities— Continued
Minimum number of pressmen required on—

City
Single
press
Milwaukee, W i s . . . ................
Minneapolis, M inn_............. ...
Mobile, Ala.1........................ _
Montgomery, Ala........... ..........
Muncie, In d ...... .........................
Nashville, T enn........................
Newark, N. J ...........................
N ew Haven, Conn.1 .................
N ew Orleans, La_____________
N ew York, N. Y ........................
Oakland, Calif_______________
Oklahoma City, O k la .._.........
Pawtucket, R . I _______ _____
Philadelphia, Pa_______ ____ _
Pittsburgh, Pa...........................
Portland, M e.1 . ........................
.
Portland, O r e g .___ _______
Providence, R . I . . ....................
R ock Island, 111........... .............
St. Joseph, M o .1 .......... ........... .
St. Louis, M o. .................... .
St. Paul, M inn........ ..................
Salt Lake City, Utah 1.............
San Antonio, Tex.3___________
San Diego, Calif.1____________
San Francisco, Calif.............. .
Schenectady, N. Y__.................
Scranton, Pa_________ ______
Seattle, Wash.1_____________
Shreveport, La.1........................
Springfield, 111.1 . . .................. .
,
Springfield, Mass.1 ____
Tacoma, W ash.1 ____________
Terre Haute, Ind.1. ............. .
Toledo, Ohio............................
Trenton, N. J_______ ...............
Tulsa, Okla________ _______
Washington, D . C .1...................
Wichita Falls, Tex.1__________
Worcester, M ass.....................
Zanesville, Ohio__.....................
Average________________

Triple
press

Double
press

2

Quadruple
press

3
3

3
4

3
2
4
3
4
4
3
4
5

3
1

4
2

4
3

2
2
1

3
3
2

2
2

3
3

2

2
3
4

3
2
3
3

2

4
3-4
3

4
2
2

5
3

2

3

3

"

4
4

i

3
4

2
2.2

3.0

3.3

5
4
3
4
3-4
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
4
5-6
7
4
4
2
4
4
4
4
5
4-5
5
5
4
6

Sextuple
press
5
6
4
6
5
6
6
6
6
6
7
5
5
5-6
7
5
5
3

Octuple
press
6

9
9
10
9
7
10
7
7

6
6
5
7
5-6
6

6-7
10

5
7

9

5
5
4
4
4
6
6

5
4
6

8

5
5
5
5
7
7

7
10
10

4.4

5.7

8.3

4

8
8

1 Figures for this city include one apprentice pressman on each press.
3 Figures for this city include flyboys.

Many agreements do not specify the number of pressmen but
provide that the prevailing number on specified sizes of presses shall
be changed only through proper adjustment. Some also contain
provision for changes in the number of men in the event of adoption
or removal of labor-saving devices.
According to the table the average minimum requirements for the
69 cities are 2.2 for single presses, 3.0 for double, 3.3 for triple, 4.4
for quadruple, 5.7 for sextuple, and 8.3 for octuple presses. In
over one-third of them each quota included one apprentice pressman,
which may possibly be the case for some of the others. While
the minimum requirement ordinarily constituted also the maximum
employed, conditions in some cities necessitated more pressmen in a
crew, such as at Atlanta and Detroit, where one additional pressman
was used on quadruple crews; Dallas, where two additional pressmen
were used on all crews; Des Moines, where two additional pressmen
were used on quadruple and sextuple crews, or one additional press­
man on octuple crews; Louisville, where two additional pressmen




DEVELOPMENT OF PRESSWORK

163

were used on quadruple crews, or one additional pressman on sextuple
crews; and Memphis, where one additional pressman was sometimes
used on all crews. Larger presses necessitated still larger press
crews, which then customarily included two pressmen in charge.
Minimum crews for decuple sizes were 15 to 17 in Boston and 11 in
New York. The Boston requirements for these, as well as for other
types of presses are considerably above the others, because the flyboys there are also pressmen, while in other places semiskilled workers
are employed as fly boy s.
The variations according to locality naturally affected man-hour
production of complete copies, as well as of 4-page sections, while
the latter item was also influenced by the number of pages contained
in the issues.




CHAPTER 10.— DETAILED STUDY OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
LABOR COST FOR PRESSWORK IN 1896
HE 1895-96 survey by the Department of Labor included presswork and the report thereof 1 carried special tables for printing
and folding of newspapers by both hand and machine methods.
These tables have been converted to show production and labor cost
per man-hour for comparison with the tables containing similar in­
formation for the 1926 study.

T

HAND METHOD OF PRODUCTION
P R E S S R O O M N O. 1 IN 1852

In one of the establishments records had been obtained for produc­
tion and labor cost in 1852 for comparison with production and cost
for similar work at the time of the survey. Table 80 contains data
for printing and folding 120,000 copies of 4-page newspapers by hand
power in 1852.
T able 8 0 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­

paper pressroom No. 1, in 1852
Man-hours
worked in Average
producing produc­
120,000 cop­ tion per
iiianies of 4-page
hour
papers

Occupation

Productive labor:
Pressmen ..................................................................
Inkers....................................... ..............................
Folders.............................................. .......................

1.440
1.440
720

T otal. ................................. ............................
N onproductive labor: Supervisory employees_____

3, 600
60

All employees_______________ ________ _______

Copies
83.3

3,660

Labor
cost per
manhour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time
cost

Labor
cost

$0.167
.083
. 100

Minutes
23. 6
23. 6
11.8

$0. 066
.033
.020

33.3

. 120
.250

59. 0
1.0

.119
.004

32.8

. 122

60.0

. 122

166.7

The personnel was divided into productive labor, which actually
performed the productive work, or operated the press and folded the
papers, and nonproductive labor, which in this case consisted of the
foreman who supervised the operations. This method has been
adhered to throughout the other tables compiled for the 1895-96
survey.
The working-day consisted of 12 hours, and the data obtained
in the survey covered a full day’s output for the press, or 1,000 copies
of a 4-page paper, together with the time required for folding the
papers and the portion of the supervision by the foreman devoted
to this press. In the original table, however, the figures had been
converted to cover 120,000 copies, for comparison with other tables.
The printing was performed on a hand press, operated by one
pressman and one inker, at the rate of 83.3 copies of 4-page papers
1 U. S. Commissioner of Labor.
Washington, 1899,

164




Thirteenth annual report, 1898.

Hand and Machine Labor, 2 vols.

PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

165

1896

per clock hour. No information was given regarding the particular
land oi hand press used, nor the size of the pages, but it is presumed
that two pages could be printed at one time, making 166.7 impressions
per hour. Folding, which was done by hand with a bone folder, was
performed in half the clock time consumed by the presswork, so that
it took 43.2 seconds for the two hands to print one newspaper and
21.6 seconds additional for a third hand to fold it, or a total of 64.8
seconds, clock time, to turn out a complete 4-page newspaper.
The pressman was paid $2 per day, or 16.7 cents per hour, while the
inker, who presumably was a boy, received one-half that amount.
The folder was paid at the rate of 10 cents per hour. Supervision
by the foreman, who received S3 per day, was not constant, and the
proportionate amount of his time chargeable to this press was only
one-half hour per working-day, resulting in a relatively small cost for
supervision.
The man-hour production, on the basis of all employees, was 32.8
copies of a 4-page paper at a labor cost of 12.2 cents.
P R E S S R O O M N O. 2 IN 1895

While data for 1852 had been obtained for one establishment alone
and data for the 1895 and 1896 periods did not cover that identical
pressroom, the figures for establishment No. 1 can well be considered
typical for the early period and those for establishments Nos. 2 and 3
as typical for the later period. Conditions had changed materially
during the 40-year interval, as shown by Table 81, which contains
data for printing and folding 90,000 copies of 4-page newspapers by
hand power in 1895.
T a b le

8 1 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­
paper pressroom No. 2, in 1895

Occupation

Productive labor:
Pressmen
____________________
Inkers
___________________________
Folders _____________ _________________ ____
Total

_________________________

Nonproductive labor: L a b orers_________________
All employees

____________________

Man-hours
worked in Average
producing produc­
tion per
90,000
copies of
man4-page
hour
papers

630
630
270 :
1,530

Copies
142.9

Cost of man-hour
production

Tim e
cost

Labor
cost

333.3

$0. 200
.083
. 100

Minutes
17.5
17.5
7.5

58.8

.134

42.5

.095

.042

17.5

.012

.107

60.0

.107

630
2,160

Labor
cost per
manhour

41.7

$0. 058
.024
.013

While data had been secured only for the production of 1,000
copies of a 4 -page paper by the four workers, in the original table
published the figures had been converted to cover 90,000 copies.
The regular working-day had been reduced to 10 hours. The
printing was performed on a hand press, operated by one pressman
and one inker. It was apparently a more efficient machine than the
one used in the 1852 period, but as information was lacking on both
the style of the press and the size of the pages, it could not be de­
termined whether the higher efficiency was due to increased speed




166

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

facilities or to the ability to print four pages at one impression instead
of two pages. The production had increased to 142.9 copies of 4-page
papers per clock-hour, represented by the output of the pressman, or
71.5 per cent more than for the 1852 establishment. Folding, which
was done by hand, w as performed in less than half the clock time
T
required for the printing, so that one newspaper was printed in 25.2
seconds, or produced, printed and folded, in 36 seconds, clock time,
44 per cent less time than that required in 1852.
The pressman, who presumably acted also as supervisor, received
$2 per day. The inker, who probably was a boy, was paid 83.3
cents per day, and the folder received 10 cents per hour. An addi­
tional hand was employed, termed “ pressman’s helper,” who may
have assisted on the press part of the time but was probably occupied
in general work, transporting the sheets, etc., and who was paid 42
cents per day. While the productive labor turned out over 76 per
cent more copies than in the 1852 establishment, the addition of this
fourth hand reduced the man-hour production, on the basis of all
employees, to 41.7 copies, or only 27 per cent above the 1852 output.
It assisted, however, in reducing the labor cost per man-hour for
all employees to 10.7 cents, or over 12 per cent less than the 1852
man-hour cost.
P R E S S R O O M N O . 3 IN 1896

A third table was published for the hand-press method, presented
here in modified form as Table 82, which contains data for printing
and folding 40,000 copies of 4-page newspapers by hand power in
1896:
T

ab le

8 2 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­
paper pressroom No. 3, in 1896

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in
producing
40,000
copies of
4-page
papers

Productive labor:
Pressmen. .................... ............ ................................
Inkers
_______ ______ ___________ _________
Folders............. ........................................ ......... .

320
320
120

T o t a l .___________ ___ ________ ___________ _
Nonproductive labor: Laborers.............. .................. .

760
320
1, 080

All employees__________________ ___________

Average
produc­
tion per
manhour

Labor
cost per
manhour

Cost of man-hour
production

Tim e
cost

Labor
cost

$0. 200
. 167
. 167

Minutes
17.8
17.8
6.7

$0.059
.049
.019

52.6

.181
.200

42.2
17.8

. 127
.059

37.0

.186

60.0

.186

Copies
125.0
333.3

Data had been obtained only for the production of 1,000 copies of
4-page papers by the four workers, but for the original table published
the figures had been converted to cover 40,000 copies.
As in establishment No. 2 the regular working-day consisted of 10
hours. A hand press was employed, operated by one pressman and
one inker. This press seemed more efficient than the one used in
1852, but not so fast as the style used in pressroom No. 2, which
the report stated might be considered representative. Information
was lacking as to the particular style of press, as well as the size of
the newspaper pages, preventing deduction of the actual reasons for
the difference in production. In this case the output of the machine




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

167

1896

per clock-hour, represented by the production for the pressman, was
125 copies of 4-page papers, 50 per cent more than in 1852, but 12.7
per cent less than in pressroom No. 2. Folding, which was performed
by hand with the aid of a bone, was executed in less than half the
clock time necessary in 1852. One newspaper was printed in 28.8
seconds, or both printed and folded in 39.6 seconds, clock time, as
against 36 seconds for pressroom No. 2, and 64.8 seconds for the 1852
period.
The pressman, who in this case seemingly acted also in a super­
visory capacity, received the same rate as in pressroom No. 2, $2
per day, but the inker was paid $1.67 per day, twice the rate paid
in the former establishment. The folder also received this rate, in­
creasing the hourly labor cost for both of these positions, presumably
on account of different wage standards for the localities in which the
establishments were situated. An additional hand was employed as
helper, for general work, who received the same rate of wages as the
pressman, $2 per day, raising the hourly labor cost for this press­
room materially above the cost in the other establishments.
The man-hour production, on the basis of all employees, was 37
copies of 4-page papers, 13 per cent more than that in 1852 but 11
per cent less than that in pressroom No. 2. The man-hour labor
cost, on the basis of all employees, was 18.6 cents, 52.5 per cent more
than that in 1852, and 73.7 per cent higher than that for pressroom
No. 2.
MACHINE METHOD OF PRODUCTION

fT ,HE use of machines, on which both printing and folding were performed in one continuous, mechanical operation, made a decided
increase in clock-time production. The number of man-hours for
operation of a single machine was also increased, but in a relatively
smaller degree, so that a material increase was effected in man-hour
production also, as shown by Tables 83, 84, and 85.
P R E S S R O O M N O . 4 IN 1896

Table 83 contains data for printing and folding 10,000 copies of
16-page newspapers by mechanical power on double and quadruple
presses in 1896:
T a b le

8 3 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­
paper pressroom No. 4-, in 1896
Cost of man-hour
Man-hours
production
worked in Average
Labor
producing produc­
cost per
10,000
tion per
copies of man-hour man-hour
Labor
16-page
Tim e cost
cost
papers

Occupation

Pressmen in charge_______________________________
Other journeymen. ____ _________________________
F ly boys____ _______ _____________________________

0.65
2.89
1.12

Total, productive labor. ____ ____________ ____

4. 66

Laborers.
_______ ___ _________________________
Supervisory employees __________________________

Copies
15,463.9

Total, nonproductive labor._ ________________

1. 22

A ll employees______ _____ ___________________

5. 88

2,146. 7




i

Minutes
6.6
29.5
11.4

.952

47.5

.755

.417
.963

.31
.92

$1.302
1.066
.423

3.1
9.3

.022
.150

12.4

.826
1, 701.2

. 926

$0.150
.524
.081

j

. 172

60. 0

.926

168

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Data had been obtained for the production of 196,850 copies of
16-page papers, but in the original table published the figures had
been converted to cover only 10,000 copies.
The publication was a morning newspaper. The regular working
shift was only six hours, on which basis the hands were paid, though
additional time was often worked at overtime rate. Part of the time
in each shift w^as devoted to preparing the presses for the actual
printing operation, but the only time considered in the original data
was the actual running time of the machines, or productive hours for
the productive labor, together with the hours for the nonproductive
labor during the same clock time. The equipment consisted of three
quadruple presses and one double press, the steam power to run
them being furnished from a separate establishment. Each quad­
ruple press was operated by 1 pressman in charge, with a crew of
5 other journeymen and 2 flyboys. The other journeymen consisted
of 1 brakeman, 1 tension man, 1 oiler, and 2 helpers. The crew for the
double press was 2 helpers and 1 flyboy less.
In the original table no separation was made of the production for
the double press and the quadruple presses, the entire production being
treated as a whole, although a double press could not produce more
than one 16-page paper for each revolution of the cylinders, whereas a
quadruple press would turn out two 16-page papers each cylinder
revolution. Consequently, the production for the double press, with
five hands, could have been only approximately one-seventh of the
total production, wdiile each quadruple press, with a crew of eight
Jiands, delivered two-sevenths of the total production. On that basis,
the average clock-hour production of the double press was 8,836.5
copies of collected 16-page papers, which also represents the manhour production for the pressman in charge, while the man-hour
production, on the basis of time for the productive labor on it, was
1,778.7 copies of collected 16-page papers.
The average clock-hour production of one of the quadruple presses
was twice that of the double press, or 17,673 copies of 16-page papers,
probably also in two sections folded together, as two flyboys were
used, which likewise represents the man-hour production for the man
in charge. As the crew consisted of only eight hands, while there
were five hands on the double press with only half the production,
the output per man hour on a quadruple press, based on total produc­
tive labor, was 2,244.6 copies of 16-page papers, or over 26 per cent
more than on the double press. The production probably was not
the same on all three quadruple presses, even though operated at the
same speed, as delays due to changes of rolls or possible breakage of
webs would create variations. The text accompanying the original
tables contained a statement that one of the quadruple presses
printed and folded 61,300 copies of a 16-page paper in 3.25 hours,
clock time, wdiich was an average of 18,861.5 papers per clock hour,
or per man hour for the man in charge, while on basis of time for
total productive labor the output was 2,357.7 papers per man hour.
All of these figures, like others for the 1894 investigation, did not
include any time for the preparatory work, but covered only the
actual running time of the machines, or productive hours. Based on
the average clock time for the quadruple presses, 4.91 copies of a
16-page paper were produced each second. This was a decided
contrast to the hand-press method in the same year, as shown for




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

169

1896

establishments Nos. 2 and 3, in which it would have required 11.8 or
13.0 minutes, respectively, to print and fold an equivalent number of
pages in 4-page sections. As the output of the double press was only
half that of a quadruple press, or 2.45 copies of a 16-page paper
per second, the same production on the hand presses would have
required 5.9 and 6.5 minutes, respectively.
The basic wage rates varied for the different positions. One of
the pressmen in charge received $4.50 per shift, while the other three
were each paid $4.28 per shift. The four brakemen received $3.50
per shift each, and the other 14 journeymen $3.33 per shift each.
The rate for each of the seven flyboys was $1.33 per shift. One
additional laborer was employed for general work, and was paid
$2.50 per shift. The supervisory force consisted of a foreman, at $9
per shift, and two assistant foremen, at $5 and $3.33 per shift, respec­
tively. The actual man-hour labor costs for pressmen in charge,
other journeymen, and flyboys indicate, however, that these groups
worked considerable overtime, because their earnings were a great
deal higher than at the basic rates.
The average man-hour production, on the basis of all employees,
was 1,701.2 copies of a 16-page paper, equal to 6,804.6 copies of a
4-page section, over 163 times that in pressroom No. 2 or nearly
184 times that in pressroom No. 3, both of ^hich used hand presses
and folded the printed papers by hand.
P R E S S R O O M N O . 5 IN 1895

The 16-page papers produced in pressroom No. 5 required the full
plating capacity of the double and quadruple presses used there,
but sometimes issues were published, containing a different number of
pages, which did not call for the full plating capacity of the equip­
ment. This was the case in pressroom No. 5, covered by Table 84,
which contains data for printing and folding 10,000 copies of a 36-page
newspaper by mechanical power on quadruple presses in 1895.
T able 8 4 . — Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­

paper pressroom No. 5 in 1895

Occupation

Productive labor:
Pressmen in charge
Other journeymen

Man-hours
worked in Average
producing produc­
10,000 copies tion per
manof 36-page
hour
papers

_________________________
________________________

1. 44
7. 92

T o t a l - ___ ____ ___________ ____ ___________
Nonproductive labor: Supervisory employees

9. 36
.56

All employees______________________________

9. 92

Copies
6,944.4

Labor
cost per
manhour

Cost of man-hour
production
Time
cost

Labor
cost

$0. 581
.470

Minutes
8.7
47.9

$0.085
.375

1, 068. 4

.487
.929

56.6
3.4

.460
.052

1, 008.1

.512

60.0

.512

Data had been secured for the production of 125,000 copies of
36-page papers, but the figures had been converted to cover only
10,000 copies in the original table published.
The publication was a morning newspaper, with a regular working
shift of seven hours. Only actual running time was recorded in the
9819°— 29-------12




170

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

original table, all preparatory time being eliminated. The equip­
ment consisted of 3 quadruple presses, each operated by a pressman
in charge, assisted by 1 brakeman, 1 tension man, and 3 helpers, a
total of 6 for each press.
As a quadruple press could not print more than 32 pages at one time,
it was necessary to make two runs for the production of a complete
36-page paper, the sections afterwards being placed together by hand.
This latter operation, termed “ stuffing,” was not considered in the
original data. While information was lacking on just how these two
runs were arranged, it is reasonable to suppose that the first run con­
sisted of one 12-page section, requiring only three-fourths of the
plating capacity of each press, and producing two of the 12-page
sections each cylinder revolution per press. That would leave 24
pages to be printed during the second run, in two collected sections,
likewise involving three-fourths of the plating capacity on each press,
one copy of which was turned out for each cylinder revolution. It
took just as long to produce 36 pages in this manner as it would have
taken to turn out 16 pages in the first run and 32 pages in the second
run, or a total of 48 pages, as far as actual running time of the presses
was concerned, and it also required just as many hands to operate
each press. The average clock-hour production of 36-page papers
for each quadruple press was only 6,944.4 complete copies, equal to
62,500 four-page papers, because it required one and one-half turns of
the plate cylinders to produce 36 pages on a quadruple press. Conse­
quently only 1.93 complete papers were printed and folded per second,
clock time, a number which looks relatively small when compared
with the output of complete papers in the previous establishment, but
each paper in this pressroom contained 36 pages, as against 16 pages
for pressroom No. 4. A proper comparison in this case would be to
treat the 36-page products as three 12-page issues, since it would take
just as long on a quadruple press to print a 12-page section as a 16page section. On that basis the average production per clock-hour
for each quadruple press was 20,833.3 copies, a considerably higher
output than in pressroom No. 4. It meant turning out 5.79 copies
of 12-page sections per second, clock time, or nearly one paper more
than was produced on the same size press in pressroom No. 4.
The basic wage rates in this pressroom varied also according to
positions. Each of the three pressmen in charge received $3.50 per
shift, and the same rate was paid to the three brakemen, while the
other 12 journeymen received $3 per shift. The actual man-hour
labor costs for the two groups were somewhat higher, due to the
inclusion of some overtime in the total time worked. The supervisory
force consisted of a foreman, who was paid $6.50 per shift. N o
flyboys or laborers were listed, so the usual work done by these in other
establishments was probably done by journeymen. In the original
table there was included the proportionate time and labor cost of a
machinist, at $5 per shift, to keep the machines in order, and a com­
bination engineer and fireman, at $3 per shift, to furnish steam power.
These two items were omitted from Table 84, as at the present time
machinists are seldom employed directly in the pressrooms and the
motive power is ordinarily electric and generally purchased outside.
The man-hour production, on the basis of total time for all employ­
ees, was 1,008.1 copies of complete 36-page papers, but figured on the
real productive basis of 12-page sections, it was 3,024.3 copies.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

171

1896

.need to 4-page sections, it equaled 9,072.9 copies per man-hour,
33 per cent more than in pressroom No. 4. The labor cost per
lan-hour, on the basis of all employees, was 51.2 cents, or only 55.3
cent.of the man-hour cost for pressroom No. 4.
P R E S S R O O M NO. 6 IN 1896

In some pressrooms more pages per issue were required, especially
for the Sunday issues, and larger presses had been installed to avoid
printing an issue in several separate sections. A sufficient number of
copies could not always be produced, however, on such larger presses
and smaller ones which formed part of the equipment were used in
conjunction with them. This was the case in pressroom No. 6,
covered by Table 85, which contains data for printing and folding
10,000 copies of 48-page newspapers by mechanical power on sextuple,
quadruple, triple, and double presses in 1896.
T a b le

8 5 .— Man-hour production and labor cost for printing and folding in news­
paper pressroom No. 6 in IS96

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in
producing
10,000 copies
of 48-page
papers

Pressmen in charge........................................................
Other journeymen ..........
.............................
F lyb oys,_
______ _

1.97
9.46
3. 35

Total productive labor_____________ _______

|
Average ■ Labor
produc­ cost per
tion per man-hour
man-hour

14. 78

Laborers. ..........
_ _ ______
______ ___
Supervisory em p loy ees..____ ____________________
Total nonproductive la b o r ___________ ____
All employees.......

...........................................

Copies
5,076.1

3.54

Time
cost

$0. 527
.392
.200

1
545.7 j

48.4

. 135
.916

10. 3
1.3

Labor
cost

Minutes
6.5
31.0
11.0

.366

676. 7

3.15
,39 '_________ 1

18. 32 |

Cost of man-hour
production

$0.057
.202
.037
.295
•

.023
.020

.221

11.6

.043

.338

60. 0

.338

Data had been obtained for the production of 444,000 copies of
48-page papers, but the figures had been converted to cover only
10,000 copies in the original table published.
The publication was a Sunday morning newspaper, with a working
shift of 8 hours, but only the actual running time of the machines for
producing the 10,000 copies of 48-page papers was considered in the
original table. As with the former establishments, preparatory time,
which would have reduced the man-hour production considerably, was
omitted. The equipment consisted of 1 sextuple press, 6 quadruple
presses, 1 triple press, and 2 double presses.
The capacities of these presses per cylinder revolution were: Sex­
tuple press, 48 pages; quadruple press, 32 pages; triple press, 24 pages;
and double press, 16 pages. The sectuple press was the only one on
which 48 pages could be produced at one time, and the original table
did not contain any data on how the sections w ere distributed on the
T
various presses, nor the number of pages in each of the different sec­
tions. Consequently it could not be determined what portions of
each press was used, nor what time or labor cost belonged to each.
The sextuple press was stated in the text to be the largest found in
the industry at that time, and to have printed and folded 72,000




172

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

copies of 48-page papers in 8 hours and 45 minutes, clock time,
was equal to 8,228.57 complete papers per clock hour, contain,
394,971.36 pages, or 2.29 complete papers per second, clock time. ■
>
required one and one-half times as long to turn out the same nun "
of 48-page papers on one of the quadruple presses, twice as Ion
produce it on the triple press, or three times as long to print and i
it on one of the double presses, which could produce only 16 pages per
cylinder revolution. The actual clock-hour production for the various
presses can not be separated. Averaging the collective time for all
of the presses, the clock-hour production of complete 48-page papers
for the entire pressroom was reduced to 5,076.1 copies, the same as
the man-hour production for pressmen in charge, equal to 60,913.7
copies of 4-page sections.
While the number of hands required for manning the various sizes
of presses were not specified, the data indicated that the respective
crews consisted of 11 hands on the sextuple press, 8 hands on each
quadruple press, 6 hands on the triple press, and 5 hands on each
double press. Consequently the man-hour production on one of the
quadruple presses or on the triple press, based on the same clock
hours for each style of press, would have been less than 92 per cent
of the man-hour production on the sextuple press, while the manhour production on one of the double presses, on the same basis,
would have been only a little more than 73 per cent thereof.
As in the other establishments the basic wage rates varied for the
different positions inside of the specific groups. One of the pressmen
in charge received $5 per shift, while the other nine were each paid
$4.57 per shift. The rates for the other 48 journeymen were: Brakemen, $3.58; tension men and rear side men, $3.43; helpers, $3.28 per
shift- The 17 fiyboys were paid $1.75 per shift each. The non­
productive labor consisted of 16 laborers, at $1.18 per shift, and a
supervisory group containing one foreman, at $9 per shift, and one
assistant foreman, at $7 per shift. The original table included an
engineer, at $4 per shift, and a fireman, at $2.50 per shift, for fur­
nishing steam power. These two items were omitted from Table 85,
as was done for pressroom No. 4. While overtime presumably existed
on some days, and would naturally increase the man-hour labor cost
during a longer period, none was included for the time covered by the
data, and the actual labor costs per man-hour corresponded with the
basic wage rates.
The man-hour production, on the basis of total time for all em­
ployees, was only 545.7 copies of complete newspapers, about onehalf the number produced in pressroom No. 5, or one-third the output
for pressroom No. 4, but each paper contained 48 pages as against
36 pages for room No. 5 and 16 pages for room No. 4. Reduced to
4-page sections the man-hour production was 6,548.4 copies, equal’
to 72.2 per cent of the number turned out in pressroom No. 5, or 96.3
per cent of the number produced in pressroom No. 4.
AVERAGE M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION AND LABOR COST BY HAND
AND BY MACHINE METHODS

'T 'O facilitate comparison of hand and machine methods for the six
establishments, Table 86 is presented, in which the production
of all of them has been reduced to the equivalent of 4-page news­
papers. In addition to presenting the data for each establishment,




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

173

1896

or rerages are shown for establishments Nos. 2 and 3 as representative
n , > the hand method in 1895 and 1896, and also the per cent of increase
f
Dei', compared with establishment No. 1, representative of the hand
)thod in 1852. In the same manner averages are given for the three
^ablishments using the machine method and also the per cent of
increase as compared with those using the hand method in 1895 and
1896. The averages were computed by dividing the total production
or labor cost, as the case may be, for each group by the total number
of man-hours worked by such group.
T a b le 8 6 .—

Comparison of man-hour production and man-hour labor cost in six
newspaper pressrooms in 1852 and 1895-96

Establishment

Method of
production

Average number
of copies of 4- Labor cost per manpage papers pro­
hour for—
duced per manhour by—
Total
All em­
produc­
tive labor ployees

1852:
N o. 1................................................................. .
1895-96:
No. 2
No. 3

H and______

33.3

32.8

$0.120

$0.122

.................... ................. ........ ............. . ____ do______
........................................... ................. ____ d o ______

58.8
52.6

41.7
37.0

. 134
.181

.107
.186

___ d o _______

56.8

40.1

.150

.134

__________________________ _________ Machine___
______ _______ ____________ ________ ___ d o. _____
______________ _________ _______ ___ ____ d o______

8, 586.8
9, 615. 6
8,120.4

6,804.8
9, 072. 9
6, 548.4

.952
.487
.366

.926
.512
.338

Average
1895-96:
No. 4.
No. 5
No. 6

Total
produc­ All em­
tive labor ployees

_

__

__ _____ __________

8, 680. 6

7, 324.2

.500

.490

Per cent
Increase for hand method of 1895-96 over hand m<ithod of 1852._
70.6
f
Increase for machine method over hand method o> 1895-96_____ 15,181. 7

Per cent
22.3
18,164. 8

Per cent
25.0
233.3

Per cent
9.8
265.7

Average__________________________________

The man-hour production of 4-page papers in 1852, on the basis
of total man-hours for all employees, was 32.8. The weighted aver­
age man-hour production by the hand method in 1895-96 on the
same basis was 40.1, an increase of 22.3 per cent. Adoption of the
machine method made a decided change, as the weighted average
man-hour production of 4-page papers by this method in the 1895-96
period was 7,324.2, an increase of 18,164.8 per cent over the hand
method in the same period.
The figures for the machine method were, however, based on
actual operating time for the machines, omitting the preparatory
man-hours, which ordinarily would equal the operative man-hours.
Consequently the actual man-hour production for each of the three
establishments would be only approximately one-half of the amount
shown in the table, while the averages would be approximately 4,340
for total productive labor and 3,660 for all employees. This would
reduce the increases for the machine method over the hand method
of 1895-96 to about 7,500 per cent for total productive labor and
approximately 9,000 per cent for all employees.
The man-hour labor cost, on the basis of all employees, was 12.2
cents in 1852. B y 1895-96 the weighted average labor cost for the
hand method had advanced to 13.4 cents, an increase of 9.8 per cent



174

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

only. The man-hour labor cost for the machine method had, how­
ever, reached 49 cents, an increase of 265.7 per cent over the hand
method in same period. Consequently, the man-hour production
by the hand method advanced over twice as fast as the man-hour
labor cost between 1852 and 1895, though neither one changed
radically. The difference between the hand method and the machine
method was more marked, as the actual increase in production was
30 times larger than the increase in labor cost.
The figures covering the output for the total productive labor
reveal that the advancement in methods permitted employment of
more nonproductive labor, to handle the general work. This in­
creased the difference in man-hour production on basis of productive
labor and all employees. The majority of the nonproductive labor
was ordinarily less skilled and lower paid workers than the productive
labor, so that employment of relatively more nonproductive labor
meant lower labor cost per man-hour than it otherwise would have
been.




CHAPTER 11.— DETAILED STUDY OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
LABOR COST FOR PRESSWORK IN 1916 AND 1926
A TA for actual accomplishments in regular work in pressrooms
were obtained during the productivity survey of 1926 by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a similar manner to that for
composing rooms and stereotyping rooms. Such information was also
reduced to a man-hour basis, and the results are presented in Tables
87 to 135. The numbering of the different establishments was con­
tinued from those of the previous survey to facilitate comparison for
one of the pressrooms, which was included in both surveys. In
the general table for each pressroom, the workers were divided into
productive and nonproductive labor, as each consisted of different
groups. The productive labor was composed of three groups— press­
men in charge (of presses), other journeymen, and flyboys, while
the nonproductive labor contained two groups— laborers and super­
visory help. As the number of pages in the daily issues varied with
the different establishments, and even from day to day in each estab­
lishment, the production was in each case reduced to 4-page papers
rendering the general tables uniform and affording easy comparison.
Only part of the man-hours for the productive labor was for actual
operation of the machines; and therefore additional tables were pre­
pared for each establishment, covering suqh productive man-hours
for the productive labor, together with the number of copies produced,
both in complete papers and in equivalent 4-page papers. A “ com­
plete” paper is a paper of the regular size, except that for a Sun­
day paper each of the several sections is considered a “ com plete”
paper. As a quadruple press would produce only 32 pages each
cylinder revolution, while a sextuple press would produce 48 pages
and an octuple press 64 pages per revolution, the data for hours and
production are presented in separate tables for each of these groups,
according to sizes of presses and different manufactures or speeds.

D

PRESSROOM NO. 7 IN 1916
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C O ST FO R P R E S S W O R K

T N ONE of the establishments data were also secured on production,
hours and wages for 1916, which permits comparison of press­
work in the same plant during iwo periods, 10 years apart, and shows
the progress thereof. Table 87 contains data for printing and folding
newspapers in 1916, on quadruple and sextuple presses, based on
total man-hours for all employees.




175

176

PRODUCTIVITY

OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

8 7 .— Man-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 15,244,302
copies of 14 , 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 page newspapers in newspaper pressroom
No. 7 in 1916

T a b le

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in Average
Labor
producing
produc­ cost per
78,162,576 tion per per mancopies of man-hour
hour
4-page
papers

___________________________
__
__ _____ _____________
__ ___ _____________

1,434.0
8, lep.o
2,977. 7

Total productive labor................ .......................

12, 571.7

Pressmen in charge
Other journeymen.
Flyboys

Laborers. ______________________ ___________ ______
Supervisory employees_______ ___________________

Copies
54, 506. 5

14,018. 7

Labor
cost

$0. 871
.731
.349

Minutes
6.1
34.9
12.7

$0.089
.425
.074

.656

53.8

.589

3.3
2.9

.018
.059

.745

1,447.0

All employees_ ________ __________________
_

Tim e
cost

.321
1. 237

6, 217.3

777.0
670.0

Total nonproductive la b o r ____ ____________

Cost of man-hour
production

5, 575. 6

6.2

.077

.665

60.0

.665

The publication was issued mornings, including Sunday morning.
The complete Sunday issue contained a larger number of pages than
the ordinary morning issue, but was printed in several sections as the
combined number of pages exceeded the capacity of the presses.
Each of these sections was treated as a separate issue of the respective
size. The daily issue on week mornings and the last sections on
Sunday mornings ordinarily consisted of three or four editions, requir­
ing a change of two or more plates for each press. Two or more
presses were held each morning after the quantity ordered had been
produced, awaiting the final O. K. from the mailing room. The
regular working shift was 6 hours per night, except on Saturday night
for the Sunday issue, when an additional 1.5 hours were included.
The equipment consisted of Hoe sextuple presses, two decks high,
provided with Kohler system of control, Stone magazine reels for the
paper rolls, Cutler-Hammer newspaper conveyors to the mailing
room above, one for each press, and air-pressure system on the ink,
which was piped from a storage tank to the fountains. These presses
were operated as individual quadruples on runs of 14 or 16 pages,
producing two papers each cylinder revolution, but as sextuples when
the issue contained 12 pages, printing four papers of that size each
cylinder revolution, or when the issue contained either 18, 20, 22, or
24 pages, printing two papers each cylinder revolution. They were
operated at a speed of from 13,000 to 14,000 revolutions per hour.
In addition, the equipment included one Hoe linear design, double
quadruple press, single deck, with two center folders, similarly pro­
vided, with exception of the newspaper conveyor. This press was
operated occasionally as a quadruple press on special 16-page issues
and as a sextuple on Sunday mornings, but at slightly less speed than
the other presses.
The crew for a sextuple press consisted of one pressmen in charge,
six other journeymen, and two flyboys, but when operated as a
quadruple press one journeyman less was used. When both folder
deliveries were used, an extra flyboy was added. The linear press,
which was not provided with a newspaper conveyor, required the




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK;

1916 AND

1926

177

additional flyboy at all times. The mailing-room employees removed
the papers from the delivery ends of the conveyors. However, con­
siderable trouble was experienced as the conveyors were not perfected
at that period, and during the Sunday morning run an extra flyboy
was also stationed at each delivery end. Each crew stripped and
handled the paper for its own press. The average clock-hour pro­
duction, equal to the man-hour production for pressmen in charge,
was 54,506.5 copies of a 4-page paper per press.
M en in charge of presses received 86.7 cents per hour for week
nights and 80 cents per hour for Saturday nights. Other journey­
men were paid 70 cents per hour for week nights and 66.7 cents per
hour for Saturday nights. The rates for flyboys were 33.3 and 36.2
cents for week nights and 26.7 and 28.9 cents for Saturday nights.
The man-hour labor costs exceeded these figures, as a little more than
3 per cent of the total time was overtime. The group termed “ la­
borers’ * consisted of extra flyboys, who took care of the waste paper,
wiped presses on nights when such presses were not operated, and
performed other general work. The supervisory group was com­
posed of one superintendent, one foreman, and two assistant foremen,
each of whom worked only six nights per week. The man-hour
production, on basis of total hours for all employees, was 5,575.6
copies of a 4-page paper, with an average man-hour labor cost of
66.5 cents.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PR ESSES, O P E R A T E D AT QU A D R U PLE
C APA C ITY

Since each of the presses w operated part of the time as a quadruple
ras
press and part of the time as a sextuple press, and as the equipment
consisted of two distinct types, the two-deck sextuple presses and
the single-deck double quadruple press, a table has been prepared for
each of these four groups, showing the productive man-hours for
each group of productive labor, compared with the total hours, and
production per productive hour of 4-page papers and of complete
papers. The productive hours were based on the actual running time
of each press. The production during this time was subject to slow­
ing down of the speed of the presses for stops between editions, and
the slow starting afterward, which naturally retarded it. No record
was kept of delays due to breakage of webs or to chokes, but these
were declared to have been practically nonexistent. Table 88 con­
tains the data mentioned for the sextuple presses, operated as quad­
ruple presses.
T a b le 8 8 .—

Production on sextuple presses operated at quadruple capacity in news­
paper pressroom No. 7 in 1916 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

N um ­ Per
ber cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge................................
Other journeymen. ...................... ..........
F lyb oys....................................................

135.4
677. 2
382. 6

95.3
476.3
262. 5

70.3
70.3
68.6

2, 283, 490
2, 283,490
2, 283, 490

23, 966.1
4, 794, 7
8, 699. 0

8, 985, 925
8, 985, 925
8, 985, 925

94, 310.7
18, 868.1
34, 232.1

Total........................... ..................

1,195. 3

834.0

69.8

2, 283, 490

2, 737.9

8,985, 925

10,774.1




178

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The production on these presses was for the Sunday issues. As
only 7 stops were made during the 11 runs, outside of the regular
stops for shutting down the presses, they were operated at practi­
cally continuous high speed, except when partially slowing down for
changes of rolls. The average number of complete papers produced
per clock hour, as shown by man-hour production for pressmen in
charge, was 23,966.1 copies, two papers per cylinder revolution.
The actual running time was approximately 70 per cent of the total
time, comparatively high because part of the runs occurred on
Saturday nights, when the machines were used nearly continuously
and very little time devoted to preparation. The output, on the
basis of productive man-hours for the total productive labor, was
2,737.9 copies of a complete paper, or 10,774.1 copies of a 4-page paper.
The number of copies of 4-page papers was reduced somewhat because
part of the issues contained only 14 pages instead of 16 pages, an
important factor.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON LIN EAR PR ESS, O P E R A T E D AT QU A DR U PLE C APACITY

Table 89 contains data for production on the linear press, when
operated as a quadruple press:
T able 8 9 . — Production on linear press operated at quadruple capacity in newspaper

pressroom No. 7 in 1916 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Occupation
Total

Complete papers

4-page papers

N um ­ Per
cent of
ber
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge......... ..........................
Other journeymen.....................................
F lyb oys........................................................

57.0
285.0
119.3

29.5
147.4
64.2

51.7
51.7
53.9

473, 930
473, 930
473, 930

16, 076. 3
3, 214. 8
7, 379. 8

1, 935, 700
1, 935, 700
1, 935, 700

65, 661. 5
13,130. 5
30,141. 7

Total...................... ..........................

461.3

241.1

52.3

473, 930

1,965. 5

1, 935, 700

8, 028. 0

M ost of the production on this press was likewise for the Sunday
issues, and there were only two stops during the 13 runs it was
operated. The average number of complete papers produced per
clock-hour was 16,076.3 copies, two papers per cylinder revolution,
only two-thirds of the production attained on the other presses. As
part of the runs were for special small issues, the actual running time
was only a little over half of the total time. The output, on the
basis of productive man-hours for total productive labor, was 1,965.5
copies of a complete paper, or 8,028 copies of a 4-page paper, also
practically two-thirds of the number produced on the other quadruple
presses as shown by Table 88. Part of the production on this press
was also 14-page issues.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C TIO N ON SEXTU PLE PR ESSES, O P E R A T E D AT SEX TU PLE
CAPACITY

Table 90 contains data in similar form for the sextuple presses,
operated as sextuples with sextuple crews, but not always at full
plating capacity.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

179

9 0 *— Production on sextuple presses operated at sextuple capacity, in news­
paper pressroom No. 7 in 1916 (based on productive man-hours for productive
labor)

T a b le

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
N um ­ cent of
ber
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge______ _______
Other journeymen_________ _____
F ly b o y s .................... ..................

1, 244
7,176
2,488

606.8
3, 640. 6
1, 213. 5

48.8
50.7
48.8

12, 223,962
12, 223,962
12, 223, 962

20,146. 0
3, 357. 7
10, 073.1

65, 758, 531
65, 758, 531
65, 758, 531

108, 374. 7
18, 062. 6
54,187. 8

T o t a l ............ ............. .........

10, 908

5,460. 9

50.1

12, 223,962

2, 238. 5

65, 758, 531

12,041.7

The usual number of pages in the paper issued daily was 20, 22, or
24 pages, in a few instances dropping to 18 pages. The last sections
printed for the Sunday issues were of similar sizes. Any of these
could be produced on sextuple presses at the rate of two copies per
cylinder revolution. On account of the several editions of each issue
there were 555 stops during the 176 runs, outside of the actual shut­
downs of presses, involving considerable running at less than full
speed. Slowing down for roll changes also took more time for sextuple
presses than for quadruple presses, as three rolls were used instead of
two. This reduced the clock-hour production to 20,146 copies of
complete papers, as shown by the man-hour production for pressmen
in charge, or about five-sixths of the production for quadruple capac­
ity. The actual running time was approximately 50 per cent of the
total working time. The output, on the basis of productive man-hours
for the total productive labor, was 2,238.5 copies of a complete paper,
or 12,041.7 copies of a 4-page paper, over 80 per cent as far as com­
plete papers were concerned of the production on the quadruple
presses, but an increase of over 10 per cent in 4-page papers, because
the issues contained a larger number of pages.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON LIN EAR PRESS, O P E R A T E D AT SEX TU PLE CAPA C ITY

Table 91 contains data in similar form for the linear press, operated
as a sextuple press:
9 1 .— Production on linear press operated at sextuple capacity, in newspaper
pressroom No. 7 in 1916 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)

T a b le

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Num ­ Per
ber cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge. ..................................
Other journeym en.....................................
Fly boys__________ _______ ___ ________

34.0
204.0
76.5

18.5
111. 1
37.0

54.5
54.5
48.4

262.920
262.920
262.920

14,196.5
2, 366. 5
7,100. 2

1.482, 220
1.482, 220
1.482, 220

80,033.5
13,341. 3
40,027. 6

Total................... .......... ............ .......

314.5

166.6

53.0

262, 920

1, 577. 7

1,482, 220

8,894. 2




180

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

The press was used only in sextuple capacity on Saturday nights
for the Sunday morning issues, and there were 11 stops, outside of
the regular shutdowns, during the eight runs. The clock-hour pro­
duction was only 14,196.5 copies of complete papers, about the same
relation to quadruple production on this press as between sextuple and
quadruple production on the other presses, but only a little over 70
per cent of the production reached on the other sextuple machines.
The actual running time was over 50 per cent of the total time. The
output, on the basis of productive man-hours for productive labor, was
1,577.7 copies of a complete paper, or 8,894.2 copies of a 4-page paper,
retaining the same relation to quadruple production of this press and
to sextuple production on the other presses, as for pressmen in charge.
PRESSROOM NO. 7 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R COST FOR P R E S S W O R K

C E V E R A L changes took place in pressrooms between 1916 and 1926,
^
especially installation of larger and faster equipment. Table 92
contains data for printing and folding of newspapers in the same
pressroom in 1926, on sextuple and octuple presses, based on total
man-hours for all employees.
T able 9 2 . — Man-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 21,470,634

copies of 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, and 52 page newspapers,
in newspaper pressroom No. 7 in 1926

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in
Average
producing production Labor cost
per
per
195,093,120
copies of 4- man-hour man-hour
page papers

Pressmen in charge..................... ...................
Other jo u rn e v m e n .____ _________________
F lyb oys________________
______ _____

2, 851.8
18, 221. 5
6, 906. 0

Total, productive l a b o r .______ ____

27, 979. 3

Laborers............................................ ..............
Supervisory employees_______ ____ ______

32,452.1

Labor cost

6,972.8

6,011.7

$1.491
1.340
.827

Minutes
5.3
33.7
12.8

$0.131
.752
.176

1. 228

51.7

1.059

6.1
2.2

.097
.081

1.293

4,472.8

All employees........................ ................

Time cost

.955
2. 249

3, 301. 7
1,171.1

Total, nonproductive la b or................

Copies
68,410. 5

Cost of man-hour pro­
duction

8.3

.178

1.237

60.0

1.237

An early edition was printed, which usually contained four or
eight pages less than the regular edition, and necessitated complete
changes of plates and adjustments on the presses used for it. The
number of editions in a single issue had increased, so that there fre­
quently were four or five stops for changes of plates, and as many as
seven in one run. The regular working shift was 6.5 hours per night,
except on Saturday night, when it was 7.5 hours, but an extra weekly
working shift of 7.5 hours had been added, worked during daytime,
for production of additional Sunday sections. The equipment still
included the Hoe sextuple presses from the former period, designated
as group A, but additions had been made of—
Group B. Goss octuple presses, Unit-Type, with three units on the
floor and one unit on the deck above, with Cutler-Hammer system of
press control, and with magnetic brake for quick stoppage;




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

181

Group C. Hoe octuple presses, Superspeed style, also with three units
on floor and one unit on the deck above, with automatic ink pump
system and Cutier-Hammer system of press control; and
Group D. Hoe sextuple presses, Superspeed Unit-Type, arranged in
parallel duo-sextuple batteries, all units on floor, with automatic inkpump system and Cline system of press control.
All presses were equipped with Stone magazine reels for paper rolls
and newspaper conveyors to the mailing room on the floor above.
All of the newer presses were operated at a speed of 15,000 cylinder
revolutions per hour, while the older ones remained at the speed
used in 1916— 13,000 to 14,000 revolutions per hour. The presses
were operated as individual sextuples on runs up to and including
48 pages, and for the smaller advance sections of the Sunday issues.
They .were operated as octuple presses when the run exceeded 48
pages, or consisted of 32 pages, and on Sunday mornings. Octuple
combinations were made from the sextuple presses by running one of
these in conjunction with a single unit from one of the other sextuples,
allowing production of one paper up to 64 pages, on each press per
cylinder revolution, or two 32-page papers per revolution.
The crew for a sextuple press consisted of one pressman in charge,
five other journeymen, and two flyboys on a single delivery. For an
octuple press three journeymen were added. As only one delivery on
each press was provided with a conveyor, it was necessary, when the
second delivery was also used, to add one or two extra flyboys to
each press, according to the distance for carrying the papers. The
mailing room employees removed all papers from the delivery ends
of the conveyors. Regular paper strippers were employed, who
delivered the rolls to the pressroom ready for insertion in the press,
relieving the press crew^s of getting the rolls ready. Paper strippers
were classed as nonproductive labor. The average clock-hour pro­
duction per press, equal to man-hour production for pressmen in
charge, was 7,528 copies of complete papers, only 70 per cent of
the production in 1916. On basis of 4-page papers the figures showed
an increase of 25 per cent, as the issues contained a larger number of
pages during the 1926 period. The reduction in clock-hour produc­
tion was partly due to the requirement of a comparatively large
number of presses, in order to produce a sufficient number of papers
as soon as possible after receipt of the plates, as the editorial and
advertising departments held the pages open for copy as long as
possible. The main cause for the reduction, however, was the size
of the daily issues, which prevented printing two copies at each
cylinder revolution in 70 per cent of the runs, and consequently
produced the papers at the rate of 1.3 copies per cylinder revolution
instead of 2 copies.
Wages had advanced in the 10-year period, in accord with the
general advance in wages for all trades throughout the country.
Pressmen in charge received $1.46 per hour and other journeymen
$1,318 per hour. The rates for flyboys varied from 66 cents to
$1,185 per hour, according to length of service. As during the former
period, the man-hour labor costs were slightly higher than the actual
wage rates, due to the overtime, but this had been reduced to less
than 1 per cent of the total time. The group termed “ laborers” con­
sisted of extra flyboys, picking up waste paper and doing other general
work, and the paper strippers. The supervisory force consisted of a




182

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

superintendent and a foreman, each working only six nights per week,
and an assistant foreman. The man-hour production, on the basis
of total hours for all employees, was 661.6 copies of complete papers,
or 65 per cent of the 1916 production, due to reasons stated previ­
ously. Figured in 4-page papers, there was an increase of approxi­
mately 8 per cent. The actual hourly labor cost, for either total
productive labor or for all employees, had practically doubled.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P A

As the presses were operated both as sextuples and octuples, and
as the equipment consisted of four different styles, eight tables were
compiled to present the output per man-hour for productive labor on
each style and size, in similar manner as for the 1916 period. Table
93 contains the compilation for Group A, operated as sextuple presses.
As the same presses were covered for 1916 by Table 90, a comparison
is afforded of the identical machines for both periods.
T a b le

9 3 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group A, in newspaper pressroom No.
7 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
Number

Per
cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge............... .
Other journeym en............. .
F ly b oys............. ......................

299.0
1,495. 0
812.5

137.1
685. 7
274. 3

45.9
45.9
33.8

1,722, 812
1, 722, S12
1, 722, 812

12, 563.4
2, 512.6
6, 281. 5

13,771, 740
13, 771, 740
13, 771, 740

100,428.4
20,085.1
50, 212.4

Total...............................

2, C G 5
O.

1, 907.1

42.1

1,722,812

1, 570. 4

13, 771, 740

12, 553. 2

The number of pages printed at one time varied from 18 to 48.
Because no more than 24 pages could be produced on a sextuple
press at the rate of two papers per revolution, and nearly 75 per cent
of the runs consisted of a larger number of pages, only approximately
1.25 papers were produced per cylinder revolution. The productive
time in this and the following tables was based on the actual running
time for each press, all stops deducted, whether at the end of each
edition or for delays due to other causes. There was an average of
four stops for each of the 50 runs made by the presses in the group,
besides 14 stops caused by delays, which naturally reduced clock-hour
production, through slowing down and starting up to speed. The
clock-hour production was only 12,563.4 complete papers per hour,
or approximately 60 per cent of the 1916 production. Figured on
the basis of 4-page papers, the output was a little over 90 per cent
of the 4-page papers turned out per clock-hour on these same presses
in 1916. The actual running time was approximately 45 per cent of
the total time. The output, on the basis of productive man-hours
for total productive labor, was 1,570.4 copies of complete papers
per hour, or a little over 70 per cent of the 1916 figures, while on the
basis of 4-page papers the production was slightly higher than in the
former period. A record was kept of delays and time consumed
thereby, which showed what might delay production in even a well-




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

1916 AND* 1926

183

regulated establishment. The causes were replating or chiseling out
errors on plates; trouble with the newspaper conveyors, which re­
quired 15 to 23 minutes for adjustment each time; with the folder,
where adjustments ranged from 10 to 25 minutes; with the blankets,
with the rollers, with the press controls, and with cylinder adjust­
ments.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEX TU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P B

Table 94 contains similar data for Group B, operated at sextuple
capacity:
T a b le

9 4 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group B, in newspaper pressroom No.
7 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Copies produced

Man-hours
Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge..........................
Other journeym en...........................
F lyb oys.............................................

114.5
572. 5
243.9

71.6
358.2
143.3

62.6
62.6
58.7

948.146
948.146
948.146

13, 236.7
2, 647. 2
6,617. 9

7.953, 733
7.953, 733
7.953, 733

111, 039.1
22,206.6
55, 515. 7

T o t a l-.....................................

930.9

573.1

61.6

948,146

1, 654. 5

7,953, 733

13,879.2

The number of pages printed in the different runs ranged from
18 to 48. Nearly 80 per cent of the runs consisted of more than 24
pages each, so the production was approximately 1.22 complete
papers per cylinder revolution. There were four stops for each of
the 18 runs made on the press, including a total of four caused by
delays. The clock-hour production was 13,236.7 complete papers,
nearly 700 papers more than for the previous group. Reduced to
4-page papers, it was 111,039.1 copies, over 10,000 copies more per
hour than for Group A. The actual running time was over 60 per
cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of productive manhours for productive labor, was less than 100 complete copies, but
more than 1,300 four-page papers per hour over the production for
Group A. The cause for one delay was a hot bearing, for another
it was cylinder adjustment; for the third, roller trouble; and for the
fourth, which consumed 20 minutes, conveyor trouble.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P C

Table 95 contains similar data for Group C, operated at sextuple
capacity.




184

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

T a b le

9 5 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group C, in newspaper pressroom
No. 7 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

369.5
Pressmen in charge_______ _____
Other journeymen.......................... ], 847. 5
855. 2
F ly b o y s .................. ...................

212.5
1, 062. 7
425.1

57.5
57.5
49.6

2, 663, 738
2,663, 738
2, 663, 738

12, 533. 5
2, 506. 7
6, 266. 6

24,091, 550
24, 091, 550
24, 091, 550

113, 356. 0
22, 670. 8
56, 676. 7

T otal...................................... 3, 073. 2

1,700.3

55.3

2, 663, 738

1, 566. 7

24, 091, 550

14,169. 3

The number of pages ranged from 18 to 48 for this group also.
As only 12 per cent of the runs consisted of 24 pages or less, the
average production per cylinder revolution was 1.12 complete papers.
There was an average of nearly 4 stops for each of the 59 runs, with
an additional total of 29 stops for delays. The clock-hour produc­
tion was 12,533.5 complete papers, slightly less than in Group A,
but reduced to 4-page papers it exceeded the Group A production
nearly 13 per cent. The actual running time was approximately
60 per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of productive
man-hours for total productive labor, was practically the same num­
ber of complete papers per hour as for Group A, but reduced to 4-page
papers it was also nearly 13 per cent more. Two-thirds of the delays
were due to replating or chiseling on the plates. Three were caused
by conveyor trouble, ranging from 10 to 14 minutes for adjustment,
and three others by folder trouble, ranging from 12 to 60 minutes
for correction. The rest were due to trouble with the rollers and
the reels.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P D

Table 96 contains similar data for Group D, operated at sextuple
capacity:
T a b le

9 6 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group D, in newspaper pressroom
No. 7 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

11,605. 5
2, 321.1
5, 802. 8

48, 543,166
48, 543,166
48, 543,166

121, 656.0
24, 331. 4
60,828.8

1, 450. 7 j 48, 543,166

15, 207.1

399.0
1, 995.1
798.0

53.3
53.3
49.6

4,630,807
4, 630, 807
4, 630,807

T o t a l.................................... 6,095. 5 j 3,192.1

52.4

4,630,807

Pressmen in charge........................
748.0
Other journeymen......................... 3, 740. 0
F lyboys____________ ____ ______ 1,607. 5




Per pro­
ductive
hour

PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

1916 AND

1926

185

The number of pages for this group did not go below 32, but went
as high as 48, making the entire production one complete paper per
cylinder revolution. There was an average of 4 stops for each of the
133 runs, besides 34 stops due to delays, which naturally reduced the
clock-hour production. This was only 11,605.5 complete papers,
8 per cent less than for Group A, but constituted 21 per cent more
copies of 4-page papers than was turned out by that group per hour.
The actual running time was a little over 50 per cent of the total
time. The output, on the basis of productive hours for total pro­
ductive labor, was 1,450.7 complete papers, like the clock-hour pro­
duction 8 per cent less than for Group A or 21 per cent more of 4-page
papers. One-fourth of the delays were due to replating or to chisel­
ing on the plates. Over one-third were caused by trouble on the con­
veyors, ranging fiom 7 to 18 minutes for adjustments. One break
of the web caused a delay of 12 minutes. Others were due to trouble
with the folders, blankets, rollers, inking system, cylindei register,
or driving clutch.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON O C TU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P A

Table 97 contains data for Group A, operated as octuple presses.
As an octuple press has practically the same capacity as two quadruple
presses, the table is comparable with Table 88 for 1916 quadruple pro­
duction on these same presses.
T a b le

9 7 .— Production on octuple presses, Group A, in newspaper pressroom No.
7, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

344.7
Pressmen in charge........... ...........
Other journeymen_____ _____
2, 757. 3
945.5
F ly b o y s ................................. .......

183.7
1, 469. 6
367.4

53.3
53.3
38.9

2, 507,279
2, 507, 279
2, 507, 279

13, 648. 8
1, 7C6.1
6, 824. 4

21, 615, 282
21, 615, 282
21, 615, 282

117, 666. 2
14, 708. 3
58, 833.1

T o ta l........................ ......... . 4, 047. 5

2,020. 7

49.9

2, 507, 279

1, 240. 8

21, 615, 282

10, 696. 9

Presses from all four groups were used, except in two instances,
when octuple runs were made, and the range for the number of pages
printed at one time was the same for all groups, 20 to 52. For this
group 40 runs were made of issues containing 32 or fewer pages and
25 runs of larger size issues, giving an average of 1.62 complete
papers per cylinder revolution. A little over 3.5 stops were made
per run, including 19 caused by delays. The clock-hour production
was 13,648.8 complete copies, less than 60 per cent of the produc­
tion by these presses as quadruples in 1916, but at that time they
were producing two papers per revolution and were subject to com­
paratively few stops. Reduced to 4-page papers, the clock-hour
production was 117,666.2 copies, a little more than 60 per cent of
the number turned out by two quadruples in 1916, due to the smaller
9819°— 29------- 13




186

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

proportion of plating capacity used during the latter period. The
actual running time was a little over 50 per cent of the total time.
The output, on basis of productive hours for total productive labor,
was 1,240.8 copies of complete papers, less than half of the 1916 figures.
On the basis of 4-page papers the man-hour production was even
smaller than for one quadruple press in 1916. One-fourth of the
delays were due to trouble with the reels, consuming from 2 to 22
minutes each. One break of the web caused a delay of 28 minutes
and an overflow of an ink fountain caused a delay of 50 minutes.
Other delays were due to replating and to trouble with conveyors,
blankets, rollers, folders, cylinder register, ink pumps, and a gear
guard. The time of adjustments ranged from 10 to 20 minutes.
M AN -HO UR PRODUCTION ON OCTUPLE PRESSES, GROUP B

Table 98 contains similar data for Group B, operated at octuple
capacity:
T

able

9 8 . — Production on octuple presses , Group B , in newspaper pressroom
N o. 7, in 1926 (based on productive nan-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

4-page papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge...............................
Other journeymen.................................
F lyboys............. . ...................................

89.8
718.6
216.5

51.4
411.3
102.8

57.3
57.2
47.5

797,670
797. 670
797. 670

15,512.8
1,939.3
7, 757. 2

7.159, 586
7.159, 586
7.159, 586

139,237.4
17,405.9
69, 625.5

T o ta l............................................

1,024. 9

565.6

55.2

797, 670

1,410.4

7,159, 586

12, 658.1

During one-half of the runs the issues consisted of 52 pages each,
one paper per revolution, while during the other half they contained 20,
22, 28, or 30 pages each, two papers per revolution, making an average
production of 1.5 complete papers per cylinder revolution. There
were 3.5 stops for each of the 16 runs, including 2 caused by delays.
The clock-hour production was 15,512.8 complete papers, over 1,850
more than for Group A. Reduced to 4-page papers, the increase was
over 21,500 copies. The actual running time was less than 60 per cent
of the total time. The output, on basis of productive man-hours for
total productive labor, was 1,410.4 complete papers, 170 more than
for Group A, but also 1,960 copies more of 4-page papers. One delay
was due to folder trouble, requiring 71 minutes for adjustment, while
the other was due to the mailing room.
M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON OCTUPLE PRESSES, GROUP C

Table 99 contains similar data for Group C, operated at octuple
capacity.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND 1926

187

T able 9 9 . — Production on octuple presses, Oroup C, in newspaper pressroom N o.
7, in 1 92 6 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours
Productive

Occupation
Total

Per
Number cent of
total

Pressmen in charge........... ...........
249.7
Other journeymen______________ 1,997.9
F ly b o y s -.........................................
661.7
Total.................... .........

Copies produced

2, 909.3

Complete papers

4-page papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

140.2
1,121.7
280.4

56.2
56.1
42.4

2, 255, 839
2, 255,839
2,255,839

16,089.0
2,011.0
8,044.2

19, 527,941
19, 527,941
19, 527, 941

139,276.4
17,408.8
69,635. 7

1,542.4

53.0

2,255,839

1,462.6

19, 527,941

12,660.9

During 25 of the runs the number of pages were 32 or less, permit­
ting two papers per revolution, while during the other 20 only one
paper per revolution was printed, making the average production
1.56 complete papers per cylinder revolution. There was an average
of 4 stops per run, including 22 caused by delays. The clock-hour
production was 16,089 complete papers, 2,440 more than for Group A,
or a little more than 21,600 copies of 4-page papers additional. The
actual running time was a little more than 55 per cent of the total
time. The output, on the basis of productive man-hours for total
productive labor, was 1,462.6 complete papers, 220 more than for
Group A, or over 1,950 copies more of 4-page papers. The majority
of delays were caused by replating or by chiseling on the plates. Four
were due to folder trouble, ranging from 7 to 26 minutes, two to con­
veyor trouble, two to roller trouble, and one to cylinder register.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON O C TU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P D

Table 100 contains similar data for Group D , operated at octuple
capacity:
T able 1 0 0 . — Production on octuple presses , Group D y in newspaper pressroom
N o. 7, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Pressmen in charge........................
Other journeym en.............. ..........
F ly b o y s ..........................................

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

636.6
5,092.6
1,562.2

336.1
2,688.4
672.1

52.8
52.8
43.0

5.894.352
5.894.352
5.894.352

17,540.1
2,192.5
8,770.1

51,244, 472
51,244,472
51, 244,472

152,490.6
19.061.3
76.245.3

T otal..................................... 7,291.4

3,696.6

50.7

5,894,352

1, 594.6

51,244,472

13,862.8

Two papers per revolution were printed during 46 of the runs,
but only one paper per revolution during the other 62 runs, giving
an average of 1.43 complete papers per cylinder revolution. There
was an average of a little over 4 stops per run, including 37 for delays.
The clock-hour production was 17,540.1 complete papers, or 3,891



188

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

more than for Group A. Reduced to 4-page papers, the increase
was 34,824.4 copies. The actual running time was a little over 50
per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of productive
hours for total productive labor, was 1,594.6 complete papers, 350
more than for Group A, or a little over 3,150 copies more of 4-page
papers. A number of the delays were due to replating or to chiseling.
Trouble with the folders was responsible in 8 cases, ranging from 6 to
40 minutes. Difficulty with ink distribution accounted for 7 more,
ranging from 5 to 28 minutes. Five were caused by conveyor trouble,
and the rest were due to rollers and to cylinder register.
P R E S S R O O M NO. 8 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R COST FO R P R E S S W O R K

T N smaller pressrooms, where the equipment consists of only one or
two presses, it is often necessary during the same shift to make
runs containing different numbers of pages. An example of this
kind was found in pressroom No. 8, covered by Table 101, which
contains data for printing and folding of newspapers, in 1926, on
presses of octuple capacity but used at times as quadruples or sextuples, based on total man-hours for all employees.
T

1 0 1 .—-Man-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 8,249,855
copies of 10, 12, 14 , 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 80, and 32 page newspapers in
newspaper pressroom No. 8, in 1926

able

Man-hours
worked in
Average
producing
16,947,140 production
per
copies of
man-hour
4-page
papers

Occupation

Pressmen in charge....................................... ............
Other journeymen _______________ ..
F lyb oys_________ . . __ _________
. . . . ..
Total, productive labor

_________________

Laborers _________ . ________________________
Supervisory employees. . ........... ..........................

2,942.8 |
692.0
390.0

Total, nonproductive labor.........................

4,024.8

Time
cost

Labor
cost

j

4, 210. 7

$1. 292
1.156
.492

Minutes
6. 2
27.1
10.5

1. 016

43.9

.743

.505
1. 590

5, 759. 0

i

1, 082. 0

All employees_____________ ___________ _

Cost of man-hour
production

10.3
5.8

.087
.154

.896

418.3
1,817.5
707.0 |

Copies
40, 519. 2

Labor
cost per
manhour

16.1

.241

.984

60.0

.984

$0.134
. 522
.086

The newspaper was published mornings, Sundays included. The
number of pages in the different press runs ranged from 10 to 32
and any issue for either week day or Sunday which contained more
than 32 pages was printed in several sections, each of which has
been treated as a separate issue of its respective size. The daily issue
on week mornings and the last section on Sunday mornings were
published in three, or occasionally four, editions, requiring changes
of several plates for each one, and customarily changes in the number
of pages also. One press was usually held a short time for the final
O. K. from the mailing room. The regular working shift was 7
hours each night for all except 2 laborers, who worked 58 hours per
week, 6 shifts of 8 hours and 1 shift of 10 hours, handling paper.
The equipment consisted of Hoe octuple presses, converted deck



PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

189

type sextuple presses by addition of extra unit on floor by folder.
They ‘were provided with Kohler system of press control and had
hydraulic elevators back of presses for hoisting paper rolls. During
four nights the productive labor consisted of 2 men in charge, 8
journeymen, and 3 flyboys, for each two presses. On two other
nights, when part of the Sunday sections were printed, one extra (lyboy was added, and on Saturday nights two more journe}^men were
also added, making each crew for that shift 1 man in charge, 6 journey­
men, and 2 flyboys. The average clock-hour production per press,
equal to man-hour production for men in charge, was 40,519.2 copies
of 4-page papers, or approximately 60 per cent of the number produced
in pressroom No. 7.
Men in charge of presses received $1,262 per hour and other journey­
men were paid $1,119 per hour. Various rates were paid to flyboys—
42.9, 50.0, and 57.1 cents per hour. The average man-hour labor
costs for men in charge and for journeymen were slightly higher than
the regular hour rate, on account of overtime, which w^as 1.26 per
cent of the total time for men in charge, and 1.78 per cent for journey­
men. The nonproductive group of laborers consisted of regular
paper handlers, at 41.4 cents and 55.2 cents per hour, and extra paper
handlers on the last night of each week, at 50 cents per hour. The
supervisory group consisted of a foreman, who worked only six nights
per week, and an assistant foreman. The man-hour production,
on the basis of total hours for all employees, was 4,210.7 copies of a
4-page paper per hour, or a little over 70 per cent of the production
for pressroom No. 7.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON PR ESSES

On account of the varied number of pages produced on a single
night, requiring perhaps both quadruple and sextuple capacity for
the same issue, no separation could be made of the production on
press capacity basis. Consequently only a single table (Table 102)
was compiled for production based on productive hours for the pro­
ductive labor:
T a b le

1 0 2 .— Production on all presses in newspaper pressroom No. 8, in 1926
(based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

Four-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

418.3
Pressmen in charge......... ................
Other journeymen______ _____
1,817. 5
F ly b o y s ...........................................
707.0

214.4
953.8
306.4

51.2
52.5
56.1

3, 249, 355
3, 249, 355
3, 249,355

15,159.1
3, 406. 9
8,196. 8

16, 947,140
16, 947,140
16,947,140

79,062.9
17, 768. 6
44,876. 0

2, 942.8

1, 564. 5

53.2

3, 249,355

2, 076. 9

16, 947, 140

10, 832. 7

T o ta l................................... .

Three main editions were printed each night, with stops of con­
siderable duration between them. The records contained the start­
ing and stopping time for each of these, but failed to show the number
and duration of stops inside of such running time. Consequently
the productive time in this table was based on the time for printing



190

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

these three editions, including the time consumed in changing of
rolls, in changing of plates for other news, or in possible delays for
adjustments, all of which would have reduced the actual running
time materially. The known stops totaled 147, which were de­
ducted from the running time and would affect it only through
reduced speed in stopping and starting, but the number of roll
changes necessary for the production would require approximately
1,000 stops, each of which also affected the production through
reduction of speed, and additionally consumed from 30 seconds to 2
minutes actual stoppage for each. The production, on basis of
productive man-hours for men in charge, was only 15,159.1 complete
papers per man-hour, also representing the clock-hour production.
It was decidedly low, at two papers per cylinder revolution, when
compared with the production for the previous establishment, but
may be accounted for by the inclusion of the stops. Reduced to 4page papers it was 79,062.9 copies, a far smaller multiple of the
complete papers than in room No. 7, caused by the decidedly smaller
number of pages in the issues. The actual running time was a
little over 50 per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis
of productive man-hours for total productive labor, was 2,076.9
complete papers per hour, relatively higher, when compared with
production for men in charge, than the similar proportion in room
No. 7. The corresponding number of 4-page papers was, like that
for men in charge, comparatively much smaller than in the fore­
going establishment.
PRESSROOM NO. 6 IN 1926
P R O D U C T IV IT Y AND LA BO R C OST FO R P R E S S W O R K

TN another establishment both morning and evening papers were
published, creating somewhat varying conditions. They were
conducted as two separate newspapers, though using the same
equipment, but with a different personnel. The data for the morn­
ing issue is presented in Table 103, which covers printing and folding
of newspapers in 1926, on quadruple, sextuple, octuple, and decuple
presses, based on total man-hours for all employees.
T

1 0 3 .— M an-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 1 3 ,5 8 5 ,8 9 4
copies of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 32, and 36 page newspapers in newspaper
pressroom N o. 6 , in 1926

able

Occupation

Manhours
worked in
producing
92,677,462
copies of
4-page
papers

Pressmen in charge........................................................
Other journeymen........... ........................................ .
F lyb oys.......................................................................... .

1,996. 3
11, 540. 2
3, 919. 8

Total, productive labor........ ..............................

17,456. 2

Laborers..........................................................................
Supervisory employees.............................................

Average
produc­
tion permanhour

Copies
46,425.8

24, 886. 2

5, 309. 2

7,430. 0

A ll employees______________________________




Time
cost

Labor
cost

$1.489
1.340
.893

M in u te s
4.8
27.8
9.5

$0.119
.621
. 141

1.256

42.1

.881

.939
1.836

5, 797. 5
1, 632. 5

Total, nonproductive labor....................... ........

Cost of man-hour
production
Labor
cost
per manhour

14.0
3.9

.219
.119

1.136
3, 724.1

17.9

.339

1. 220

60.0

1.220

PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

19 16 AND

1926

191

The publication was issued mornings, Sundays included. The
complete Sunday issue contained a larger number of pages than the
regular week-day issue, which ordinarily consisted of 28 to 36 pages,
but it was printed in several sections, each of which has been treated
as a separate issue. The daily issue on week mornings and the last
section on Sunday mornings consisted of five editions. As neither
the first nor the last edition of the regular daily issue required the
operation of all the presses used during the night, part of them were
started early and some of the others kept late in the morning. The
total number in use was operated only during three of the editions
and on the Sunday sections. The regular working shift was 6.5 hours,
net, per night, except Friday and Saturday nights, each of which
consisted of 7.5 net working hours. The equipment contained several
different makes and styles, which were accordingly separated into
five groups, consisting o f :
Group 1. Hoe sextuple presses, right-angle quadruples with decks,
with old-style folders and Kohler system of press control;
Group 2. Hoe sextuple presses, X pattern, with old-style folders
and Kohler system of press control;
Group 3. Hoe double sextuple presses, straight-line, three-deck,
with old-style folders and Kohler system of press control;
Group 4. Duplex decuple, double sextuple, and double octuple
presses, Metropolitan Super D uty type, with Cutler-Hammer news­
paper conveyors and General Electric system of press control;
Group 5. Scott octuple presses, Straight Unit, mezzanine type,
with automatic tension control, Cutler-Hammer newspaper conveyors
and system of press control. One of them was provided with Stone
magazine reels for paper rolls.
All presses were provided with air-pressure system on the ink,
which was piped from a storage tank to the fountains. Electric roll
hoists on ceiling track beams were used for transporting and hoisting
paper rolls. The maximum operating speed for presses in Groups 1,
2, and 3 was 12,000 cylinder revolutions per hour, for presses in
Group 5 it was 13,200 revolutions, and for presses in Group 4 it was
18,000 revolutions per hour.
The crew for a quadruple press consisted of one pressman in charge,
four other journeymen, and two flyboys. A sextuple crew contained
one additional journeyman, and an octuple crew three more, or eight
men in all. A decuple crew consisted of two pressmen in charge, nine
other journeymen, and three flyboys. At times, where the work
required it, an additional journeyman or flyboy was added to a crew.
Papers were carried by flyboys from deliveries not provided with
conveyors to electric lifts, for delivery to the mailing room above.
Plates were sent to and from the stereotyping room, on floor above,
in electric plate elevators. New plates were removed from the ele­
vators and brought to the presses by extra help, classed as “ laborers”
under nonproductive labor, but the used plates were returned to the
plate elevators by the press crews. Regular paper strippers, not
included in the press crews, were employed, and prepared the paper
rolls for delivery to the presses. The average clock-hour production
per press, equal to the man-hour production for pressmen in charge,
was 46,425.8 copies of 4-page papers, about 68 per cent of the pro­
duction reached in room No. 7. The difference was presumably
caused by the smaller number of pages in the daily issues for this
establishment.



192

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

Men in charge of presses received $1.46 per hour, and other journey­
men $1.3175 cents per hour. Flyboys were paid according to length
of service in trade, ranging from 66 cents to $1,185 per hour. The
actual man-hour labor costs were slightly higher on account of the
overtime, which was approximately 3 per cent of the total time for
the productive labor. The nonproductive group, termed “ laborers,”
consisted of extra flyboys, not assigned to specific presses, who
worked in a general capacity, carried plates, cleaned up, etc., and the
paper strippers. The data for the supervisory group consisted of
part time for a superintendent, and full time for a foreman and several
assistant foremen, who worked only 6 nights per week each. The
man-hour production, on the basis of total working hours for all
employees, was 3,724.1 copies of 4-page papers, only 88 per cent of
the amount turned out in establishment No. 8, practically the rela­
tion between the number of pages in the daily issues for the two
pressrooms.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON Q U ADRU PLE P R E SSE S, G R O U P 1

As the presses in the different groups were operated part time at
quadruple, sextuple, octuple, and decuple capacities, data were com ­
piled of the output per productive man-hour for the productive labor,
for comparison with previous similar tables. The data for this press­
room also afford a comparison with the same pressroom in 1896
shown in Table 85, but not accompanied by any information on equip­
ment or working conditions. Table 104 contains data of output per
man-hour on quadruple presses in Group 1 for the different groups of
productive labor, based on the productive hours therefor:
T able 1 0 4 . — Production on quadruple presses, Group 1, in newspaper pressroom

No. 6, in 1926 (based on productive moM-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
Num ­ Per cent
ber
of total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

35.3
141.1
70.5

19.3
77.3
38.7

54.8
54.8
54.9

270, 528
270, 528
270, 528

13,995. 2
3,498.4
6,995. 8

1,058,822
1.058, 822
1.058, 822

54,776.1
13,692.3
27,381.0

| 246.9

135.3

54.8

270, 528

1, 999. 0

1, 058, 822

7, 824. 0

Pressmen in charge.............................
Other journeym en................... ................
F ly b o y s ................................ ........... ........
Total.......................................... .

Total

1

Quadruple capacity was used only for the Sunday advance sec­
tions, as the daily issues and the Sunday main sections contained too
many pages to justify printing them on anything smaller than sex­
tuple presses. The number of pages printed at one time on a press in
Group 1 was either 14 or 16, produced at the rate of two papers per
cylinder revolution. The runs for the Sunday advance sections were
practically continuous, except for changes of rolls or for delays. No
stops were recorded for either, nor was any time deducted for them,
so the productive time included any that might have occurred. Ap­
proximately 60 stops were made during the six runs for roll changes
alone, which would have reduced the productive time materially, if




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

193

deducted. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for
men in charge, was 13,995.2 complete papers. The same item for the
1896 period in this pressroom, shown in Table 85, converted to two
16-page papers per cylinder revolution, was 15,228.4 papers, so the
1926 production appeared to be only 92 per cent of the former output.
This was partly through the use of different sizes of presses during the
former period, including one sextuple press. The output was, how­
ever, also less than 60 per cent of the production reached during 1916
in room No. 7 on practically similar presses but equipped with maga­
zine reels, as shown in Table 88. The running time was approximately
55 per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of productive
hours for all productive labor, was 1,999 complete papers per manhour, 30 papers less than in the 1896 period for the same room, but only
73 per cent of the production on quadruple presses in room No. 7
during 1916. On the basis of 4-page papers, the production was
7,824 copies per man-hour, equal to 96 per cent of the 1896 output for
the pressroom, or 73 per cent of the production during 1916 on quad­
ruple presses in pressroom No. 7.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N O N Q U ADRU PLE P RESSES, G R O U P 2

Table 105 contains similar data for Group 2, operated at quadruple
capacity:
T a b le

1 0 5 .— Production on quadruple presses, Group 2y in newspaper pressroom
No. 6, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

Total

ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Per pro­

Pressmen in charge_______ _____ ____
Other journeymen____ ______ __________
F lyboys______________ ___________ _____

26.9
107.7
53.9

13.3
53.3
26.6

49.5
49.5
49.4

145, 824
145, 824
145, 824

10, 947.8
2, 737. 5
5, 475. 9

541.416
541.416
541.416

40, 646. 9
10,163. 6
20, 331.1

T otal____ ____ ____ ____ _____ ___

188. 5

93.2

49.5

145, 824

1, 564. 3

541,416

5,807. 9

This group was also operated for the Sunday advance sections,
consisting of 14 and 16 pages, at the rate of two papers per cylinder
revolution. Approximately 30 rolls were changed during the four
runs but, as with the previous group, no time was deducted for these
stops nor for any delays. The clock-hour production, or output per
man-hour for men in charge, was 10,947.8 complete papers, less than
80 per cent of the production for Group 1, or about 72 per cent of the
1896 production for this pressroom. The running time was approxi­
mately 50 per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of
productive hours for the total productive labor, was 1,564.3 complete
papers per man-hour, amounting to only 77 per cent of the production
in the 1916 period for this room, or less than 80 per cent of the pro­
duction for Group 1. Reduced to 4-page papers, it was 5,807.9 copies,
per man-hour, equal to 74 per cent of the production for Group 1, or
73 per cent of the 1896 output.




194

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
M AN -HO UR PRODUCTION ON QUADRUPLE PRESSES. GROUP 3

Table 106 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at quadruple
capacity:
T

able

1 0 6 .— Production on quadruple presses, Group 8, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 6 , in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge-------------------- --------Other journeymen............... ..................
F lyb oys......................................................

57.7
230.7
145.4

38.2
152.9
76.4

66.2
66.3
52.6

567.836
567.836
567.836

14,857.0
3, 714. 5
7,429. 5

2 ,170v461
2.170.461
2.170.461

56,788. 6
14,198.1
28, 398. 0

Total.................. - ............................

433.8

267.5

61.7

567,836

2,122. 6

2,170,461

8,113. 3

All runs on presses in this group were also for 14 or 16 page ad­
vance sections for the Sunday issues, at the rate of two papers per
revolution. About 110 rolls were changed during the 12 runs, for
which no time deductions were made, and no allowance was made
for delays. The output per clock-hour, or man-hour production for
men in charge, was 14,857 complete papers, over 6 per cent more
than production for Group 1, or almost 98 per cent of the output in
this pressroom during 1896. The running time was approximately
two-thirds of the total time. On the basis of productive hours for
total productive labor, the output was 2,122.6 complete papers per
man-hour, nearly one hundred 16-page papers more than the average
for this room in 1896, and a little over 6 per cent more than the
production for Group 1. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 8,113.3
copies per man-hour, 4 per cent more than for Group 1, but only 7
copies less than the 1896 production.
M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON QUADRUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 4

Table 107 contains similar data for Group 4, operated at quadruple
capacity:
T

able

1 0 7 .— Production on quadruple presses, Group 4, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 6 , in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge...............................
Other journeym en_____ ______ ____
F lyb oys...................................................

102.0
413.6
205.4

64.7
258.9
129.4

63.5
62.6
63.0

1.057.007
1.057.007
1,057, 007

16,332.0
4,083.2
8,166. 6

4, 271,699
4, 271,699
4, 271,699

66,002.8
16,501.3
32, 803.9

Total.............................................

721.0

453.0

62.8

1, 057, 007

2,333.3

4,271,699

9,429.4




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

195

Sixteen of the runs made by presses in Group 4 were for the Sunday
advance sections of 14 or 16 pages, at two papers per revolution, but
one run was made of 28-page sections, which could be printed only on
a quadruple press at the rate of one paper per revolution, giving an
average of 1.94 papers per cylinder revolution. As with the previous
groups, no time was deducted for stops due to the 209 roll changes
nor for delays. The clock-hour production, or man-hour produc­
tion for men in charge, was 16,332 complete papers, an increase of
nearly 17 per cent over the production for Group 1, or a little more
than 8 per cent over the 1896 production for this pressroom. The
running time was a little over 60 per cent of the total time. The
output, on the basis of productive hours for total productive labor,
was 2,333.3 complete papers per man-hour, nearly 15 per cent more
than the 1896 production or 17 per cent more than that for quadruple
presses in Group 1. Reduced to 4-page papers, it was 9,429.4 copies
per man-hour, 21 per cent more than the output for Group 1, or 16 per
cent more than that produced in the 1896 period.
M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON SEXTUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 1

Table 108 contains similar data for Group 1, operated at sextuple
capacity:
T

able

1 0 8 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 1, in newspaper pressroom No.
6, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)'
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
N um ­
cent
ber
of total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge.............. ..............
Other journeymen. ...............................
F lyboys............. ..................................... .

59.2
295.8
118.3

33.4
167.0
66.8

56.4
56.5
56.5

395.817
395.817
395.817

11,850.8
2,370.2
5,925. 4

2,005,812
2.005, 812
2.005, 812

60,054.3
12,010.9
30,027.1

Total. ...............................................

473.3

267.2

56.5

395,817

1,481. 4

2,005,812

7,506.8

Presses in Group 1 were used in sextuple capacity for Sunday
sections containing 18, 20, or 22 pages, resulting in six runs at the
rate of two papers per revolution, or containing 28 or 32 pages,
resulting in three runs at the rate of one paper per revolution, giving
an average of 1.67 papers per cylinder revolution. No deductions
had been made in running time for stops, due either to the 118 changes
of rolls or to delays, and none had been recorded. The 1896 produc­
tion for the same pressroom did not present a fair comparison, as only
one sextuple press was operated at that time, and production from
it was combined with production from nine smaller presses. Sextuples
were operated in room No. 7 during 1916 and 1926, but, although
part of these were of somewhat similar type, all were equipped
with magazine reels for paper rolls, and all time lost through stops was
deducted from the running time. Comparison may be made with Table
93, which relates to pressroom No. 7 during 1926, since the presses
were very nearly like those treated of in Table 108. The clock-hour
production, or man-hour production, for men in charge was 11,850.8




196

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

complete papers, as against 12,563.4 in room No. 7, more than 94 per
cent of the latter. Figured as 4-page papers the production was only a
little over 60 per cent, on account of the smaller number of pages per
issue. The running time was over 55 per cent of the total time.
The output, on the basis of pioductive hours for productive labor,
was 1,481.4 complete papers per man-hour, as against 1,570.4 in
room No. 7, over 94 per cent of the latter. Figured as 4-page papers
it was a little less than 60 per cent of the production in pressroom
No. 7.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P 3

Table 109 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at sextuple
capacity:
T a b le

1 0 9 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 3, in newspaper pressroom No.
6, in 1926 (based on productive man-kours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

Occupation
Total

Pressman in charge__________________
Other journeymen_________ _______
F lyb oys_________ ______ ______ _____
T ota l.......... .................

Num- ! Per
cent of
ber
total

4-page papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

143.4
715.9
366. 9

47.8
238.8
95. 5

33.3
33.4
26.0

563, 435
563, 435
563, 435

11, 794. 8
2, 359. 2
5, 898. 0

3.083.945
3.083.945
3,083, 945

64, 558. 2
12,912.7
32, 282. 5

1 226. 2
,

382.1

31. 2

.563, 435

1, 474. 5

3,083, 945

8 070. 4
,

Presses in Group 3 were used in a manner similar to those in Group
1, with ten runs at the rate of two papers per revolution, and one
run at the rate of one paper per revolution. In addition two runs
were also made on the week-day morning papers at the rate of one
paper per revolution. This gave a production of 1.71 papers per
cylinder revolution. There was no record of stops for the presses
operated on the Sunday editions, outside of the 163 roll changes, and
no time was deducted therefor. For the week-day runs no record
was obtained of the number of rolls changed, but 11 other stops were
given, 5 for ends of editions and 6 for delays. Time was deducted
for delays from the combined time for the editions, but at the rate of
5 minutes per delay instead of the actual time consumed. The time
consumed in the changing of rolls for the week-day issues and in
delays on the Sunday editions would have made a considerable
decrease in the running time and consequent increase of production.
The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for men in
charge, was 11,794.8 complete papers, about 50 copies less than for
Group 1, and therefore bearing practically the same relation to Group
A of room No. 7 for 1926 as Group 1. Figured as 4-page papers it
was, however, 4,500 copies more than for Group 1, or nearly 65 per
cent of the production for room No. 7. The running time was a little
over 33 per cent of the total time. The output, on the basis of pro­
ductive hours for total productive labor, was 1,474.5 complete papers
per man-hour, practically the same as that for Group 1, and approxi­




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRE8SW ORK: 1916 AND

1926

mately 94 per cent of similar production for Group A in room
for 1926. Reduced to 4-page papers, the output was 8,070.4
per man-hour, equal to 8 per cent more than the production for
1, but only 64 per cent of the output for Group A in room
during 1926.

197
No. 7
copies
Group
No. 7

M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON S E X TU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P 4

Table 110 contains similar data for Group 4, more modern style
presses, operated at sextuple capacity:
T able 1 1 0 . — Production on sextuple presses, Group 4* in newspaper pressroom

No. 6, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

519.3
Pressmen in charge______________
Other journeymen_______________ 2, 736. 3
F lyboys............. ............................. . 1,046. 0
Total............. .........................

4, 301. 7

Per
Number cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

269.6
1,348.1
539. 2

51.9
49.3
51.6

3, 388, 689
3, 388, 689
3,388, 689

1 ,568.4
2
2, 513.7
6 284.3
,

24.062, 057
24.062, 057
24,062,057

89,244.3
17,849.1
44, 623.0

2,156. 9

50.1

3, 388, 689

1, 571.1

24, 062, 057

11,155.7

Presses in Group 4 were used in 28 runs for the Sunday sections,
ranging from 18 to 24 pages, at the rate of 2 papers per revolution,
and in 50 runs for the regular morning issues of 36 pages, at the rate
of 1 paper per revolution, making an average of 1.36 papers per
cylinder revolution. As for the previous groups, no time had been
deducted for stops on the Sunday-morning runs, in which approxi­
mately 512 rolls were changed. In similar manner, no record was
obtained of roll changes for the regular morning issues, in which there
were 179 stops on editions and 319 stops, figured at 5 minutes each,
for delays. Time was deducted for the 498 stops, as listed, but this
still left the productive time higher than it should have been. The
clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for men in charge,
was 12,568.4 complete papers, 6 per cent more than in Group 1, or
approximately the same as the average production on presses in
Group C of room No. 7 for 1926, shown in Table 95. Reduced to
the basis of 4-page papers, it was 89,244.3 copies, or 49 per cent more
than in Group 1, but less than 80 per cent of the number produced by
Group C of room No. 7, wiiich printed larger papers. The running
time was a little over 50 per cent of the total time. The output,
on the basis of productive hours for total productive labor, was
1,571.1 complete papers per man-hour, 90 copies more than for Group
1, but practically the same as for Group C in room No. 7 for 1926.
Reduced to 4-page papers it was 11,155.7 copies, 49 per cent more than
for Group 1, but less than 80 per cent of the number of copies produced
in room No. 7 by Group C.




198

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
M AN-H O UR PRODUCTION ON SEXTUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 5

Table 111 contains similar data for Group 5, also more modern
styles than in Groups 1 to 3, operated at sextuple capacity:
T

able

1 1 1 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 5, in newspaper pressroom
No. 6, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­ Per cent
ber
of total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge. ......... .................... .
Other journeymen....................................
F lyb oys............................... ........... .........

104.8
516.6
206.3

55.5
277.3
110.9

55.3
53.7
53.8

620,661
620,661
620, 661

11,193.2
2, 238. 6
5, 596. 6

4.425.933
4.425.933
4.425.933

79,818.6
15,963. 7
39,909. 2

T otal.................................................

827.7

443.6

53.6

620, 661

1, 399. 2

4,425,*933

9,977.3

Presses in Group 5 were used for four runs on 22 and 24 page Sunday
sections, at the rate of 2 papers per revolution, and on 10 runs of
36-page regular morning issues, at the rate of 1 paper per revolu­
tion, giving an average of 1.29 complete papers per cylinder revolu­
tion. No deduction was made for stops on Sunday sections, on which
104 rolls were changed, and no record was obtained of roll changes on
the regular morning issues, where 36 stops occurred for editions and
62 for delays, figured at 5 minutes each. Time for the edition stops
and for delays were deducted, as listed, but the productive time was
still excessive. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour
for men in charge, was 11,193.2 complete papers, approximately 94 per
cent of the production for Group 1, and less than any group in room
No. 7 during 1926. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 79,818.6 copies,
which was about 33 per cent more than for Group 1, but only about
70 per cent of the production for Group C in room No. 7 for 1926.
The running time was approximately 55 per cent of the total time.
The output, on the basis of productive hours for total productive
labor, was 1,399.2 complete papers per man-hour, approximately 94
per cent of the production for Group 1, but less than 90 per cent of
the production for Group C in room No. 7 during 1926. Reduced to
4-page papers it was 9,977.3 copies, 33 per cent more than for Group
1, but only 70 per cent of the number of copies produced by Group C
of room No. 7.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND 1926

199

M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON OCTUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 3

Table 112 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at octuple
capacity:
T able 1 1 2 . — Production on octuple presses, Group 8, in newspaper pressroom No.

6, in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressmen in charge...............................
Other journeymen—.........................
F lyb oys............. ....................................

117.7
941.6
347.4

44.0
352.3
88.1

37.4
37.4
25.4

722.839
722.839
722.839

16,417.0
2,052.0
8,207.6

5.466.026
5,466, 026
5.466.026

124,143. 2
15,516. 6
62,064. 6

T otal.................................... ........

1,406. 7

484.4

34.4

722, 839

1,492. 3

5,466,026

11,284.8

Presses in Group 3 were used in octuple capadty on 15 runs of 26,
28, or 32 pages for the regular morning issues, produced at the rate
of two papers per revolution. Stops on editions totaled 53, and
delays, listed at 5 minutes each, totaled 60. The nonproductive
time was deducted, but the remaining productive hours still included
time lost in changing of rolls. The clock-hour production, or output
per man-hour for men in charge, was 16,417 complete papers, over
10 per cent more than the average production for this group when
operated as quadruple presses at the same rate of two papers per
revolution. It was also 20 per cent more than the average produc­
tion for octuple presses of Group A in pressroom No. 7 during 1926,
as shown in Table 97, but the latter produced only 1.6 papers per
revolution. Reduced to 4-page papers it was over 9 per cent more
than was turned out on the same presses when operated as two
quadruples, or 5.5 per cent more than the number produced by Group
A in room No. 7, at 1.6 copies per revolution. The actual running
time was less than 40 per cent of the total time. The output, on
the basis of productive hours for total productive labor, was 1,492.3
complete papers per man-hour, only 70 per cent of the number
produced at quadruple capacity for the group but 20 per cent more
than that turned out on octuple presses of Group A in room No. 7,
which printed only 1.6 papers per revolution. Reduced to a 4-page
basis it was 11,284.8 copies, still 70 per cent of the output of two
quadruples in same group, but only 5.5 per cent more than the
number produced on octuple presses of Group A in room No. 7.




200

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON O C TU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P 4

Table 113 contains similar data for Group 4, more modern presses,
operated at octuple capacity:
T able 1 1 3 .— Production on octuple presses, Group 4, in newspaper pressroom N o.
6 , in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)

Man-hours

Copies produced
i

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
N um ber cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

463.7
Pressmen in charge......................
Other journeymen______________ 3, 704. 5
F lyb oys..................... ............. .......
928.9

165.4
1,323. 2
330.8

35.7
35.7
35.6

3.119, 614
3,119,614
3.119, 614

18,861. 0
2, 357. 6
9,430.1

22, 725,836
22,725,836
22, 725, 836

137,899.3
17,174.9
68,699.6

5, 097. 1

1,819.4

35.7

3,119,164

1,714. 6

22, 725,836

12,490.8

T otal._________ __________

Presses in Group 4 were used in octuple capacity on 14 runs of 28,
and 32 page Sunday sections, and on 24 runs of 26, 28, and 32 pages
for the regular morning issues, making a production of 1.37 complete
papers per cylinder revolution. No stops w
rere recorded for the
Sunday sections, on which 348 rolls were changed, and no roll changes
were recorded for the regular morning issues, on which occurred 106
stops on editions and 113 stops on delays, listed at 5 minutes each.
Time for the stops on editions and for delays were deducted, leaving
the rest included in the running time. The clock-hour produc­
tion, or output per man-hour for men in charge was 18,861 com ­
plete papers, or over 15 per cent more than the production of presses
of the same group when operated at quadruple capacity and at the
rate of 1.94 papers per revolution, shown in Table 107. Compared
with Group C of pressroom No. 7 during 1926, operated at octuple
capacity at the rate of 1.56 papers per revolution, shown in Table
99, it was 17 per cent higher. Reduced to 4-page papers, it was 4
per cent more than the average production when operated as two
quadruples at the rate of 1.94 complete papers per revolution, but
1.3 per cent less than the production by Group C of pressroom No. 7
at the rate of 1.56 complete papers per revolution. The actual run­
ning time was approximately 35 per cent of the total time. The out­
put, on the basis of productive hours for total productive labor, was
1,714.6 complete papers per man-hour, not quite three-fourths of the
quadruple production for same group, but 9 per cent more than the
average output for Group C in room No. 7 during 1926. Reduced to
4-page papers it was 12,490.8 copies, only 66 per cent of the production
for two quadruple presses of the same group, and practically the
same number of copies as turned out by Group C of room No. 7.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

1916 AND

1926

201

M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON OC TU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P 5

Table 114 contains similar data for Group 5, also more modern
presses, operated at octuple capacity:
T a b le

1 1 4 .— Production on octuple presses, Group 5 , in newspaper pressroom
6 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

No.

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent of
total

129.0
977.3
257.3

50.6
405.1
101.3

Total........................................... . 1, 363. 6

557.0

Pressmen in oharge_________________
Oth^r jou rn ey m en ....... .......................
F lyboys-------............ ............ .................

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

39.2
41.4
39.4

886.434
886, 434
886.434

17,508.1
2,188. 4
8, 753. 2

6, 392, 172
6, 392,172
6, 392,172

126, 252. 7
15, 780. 4
63,120.1

40.8

886, 434

1, 591. 5

6, 392,172

11,476.7

Presses in Group 5 were used in octuple capacity on 5 runs of 28
or 32 page Sunday sections, and on 26 runs of 26, 28, or 32 pages for
the regular morning issues, all produced at the rate of two papers
per revolution. The roll changes for the Sunda}7 sections amounted
to 152, but as with the previous groups, none were recorded for the
morning issues. Deduction had been made of the time consumed
in the latter for 65 delays, also figured at 5 minutes each, and for
47 edition stops, but timer for stops on Sunday sections and for roll
changes on the morning issues were still included in the productive
time. As none of these presses were operated at quadruple capacity,
comparison has been made for this group with Group 3, presented
in Table 112, where complete papers were also produced on octuple
presses at the rate of two papers per revolution, as well as with
Group C of pressroom No. 7, where production was only 1.6 papers
per revolution. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour
for men in charge, was 17,508.1 complete papers. This was over
6 per cent more than the average production attained by Group 3,
or nearly 9 per cent more than for Group C of room No. 7. Reduced
to 4-page papers, it was 126,252.7 copies, almost 2 per cent more
than for Group 3, but only 90 per cent of the number produced by
Group C. The running time was about 40 per cent of the total time.
The output, barsed on productive man-hours for total productive
labor, was 1,591.5 complete papers per man-hour, over 6 per cent
more than for Group 3, or almost 9 per cent more than for Group C.
Reduced to 4-page papers it was 11,476.7 copies, nearly 2 per cent
more than for Group 3, or 90 per cent of the number produced by
Group C.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON D E C U PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P 3

Decuple presses were also used in this establishment, as many of
the issues contained 36 pages, which could be produced on sextuple
or octuple presses only at the rate of one paper per revolution, but
at double that rate on decuple presses. Table 115 contains similar
data for Group 3, operated at decuple capacity.
9819°— 29------- 14




202

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

T able 1 1 5 .— Production on decuple presses, Group 8, in newspaper pressroom N o.
6 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

320.5
Pressmen in charge............. ........... . ........ .
Other journeymen...................... . ........ ....... 1, 442. 8
F ly b o y s ................................................ ....... 480.8

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

148.7
669.2
223.1

46.4 1.106, 084
46.4 1.106, 084
46.4 1,106,084

7, 438.4 9, 954, 756
1, 653.0 9.954, 756
4,958.9 9.954, 756

66.945.2
14,876.7
44.630.2

Total................................ ............... . 2, 244.1 1, 040. 9

46.4 1,106,084

j 1,062. 6 9,954, 756

9,563.6

Presses in Group 3 were operated at decuple capacity ou 25 runs of
36 pages for the regular morning issues, at the rate of two papers per
cylinder revolution. Stops on editions totaled 92, while other delays,
figured at five minutes each, totaled 131. Time for these items, as
listed, was deducted, but the time lost in changing rolls was still
included in the productive hours, increasing them and reducing the
production. As there were two men in charge of each press, the
clock-hour production was double the output per man-hour for men
in charge, or 14,876.7 complete papers, equal to 133,890.5 copies of
4-page papers. The running time was a little over 45 per cent of the
total time. The output based on productive hours for total pro­
ductive labor was 1,062.6 complete papers per man-hour, or 57 per
cent increase over the number of copies produced in the same room
on a mixed assortment of presses in 1896, as shown in Table 85.
Reduced to 4-page papers, it was 9,563.6 copies, or nearly 18 per cent
more than the number of 4-page papers produced per man-hour for
productive labor in the 1896 period.
M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON DECUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 4

Table 116 contains similar data for Group 4, operated at decuple
capacity:
T

able

1 1 6 . — Production on decuple presses, Group 4, in newspaper pressroom N o.
6 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Pressmen in charge.......................................
Other journeym en........................................
Flyboys...... .....................................................
Total................................................. .




Per
N um ­ cent of
ber
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

156.0
702.0
156.0

71.9
323.6
107.9

46.1
46.1
69.1

703.225
703.225
703, 225

9,780. 6
2,173. 5
6, 520.4

6.329.025
6.329.025
6.329.025

88,025.4
19, 561. 2
58, 683. 6

1,014.0

503.3

49.6

703, 225

1, 397. 2

6, 329,025

12, 575.1

PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

203

1926

Presses in Group 4 were used on 11 runs of 36 pages for the regular
morning issues, at the rate of two papers per revolution. Stops on
editions totaled 35, and other delays, which were figured at 5 minutes
each, reached 52. The clock-hour production, as for the preceding
group, was double the amount for men in charge, or 19,561.2 com­
plete papers, amounting to 31 per cent more than that for Group 3.
Reduced to 4-page papers it was 176,050.8 copies, or 31 per cent more
than for Group 3. The running time was a little over 45 per cent of
the total time. The output, on the basis of productive hours for
total productive labor, was 1,397.2 complete papers per man-hour, 31
per cent more than that for Group 3, or an increase for complete
copies of 106 per cent over the productive man-hour output for the
same room in 1896. Reduced to 4-page papers, the production was
12,575.1 copies per man-hour, 31 per cent more than that for Group 3,
but 55 per cent above the 1896 production.
PRESSROOM NO. 9 IN 1926
PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST FOR PRESSWORK

Compilations for evening newspapers differed somewhat from
those for morning newspapers, the former usually having longer
working shifts, resulting in smaller production per man-hour. As a
rule they also issued more editions of each issue, causing more starts
and stops for a similar quantity of production. Tables 117 and 118
cover conditions in establishments publishing evening newspapers.
Table 117 contains data covering printing and folding of newspapers
in 1926 on double, quadruple, sextuple, and octuple presses, based on
total man-hours for all employees.
T able 1 1 7 . — M an-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 6 ,7 8 0 ,7 9 6
copies of 8, 10, 12, 14 , 16, 18, 20, 22,
in newspaper pressroom N o. 9 in 1926

Occupation

Pressmen in charge._____ _______________ ________
Other journeymen........... ................. ...................... .....
F lyboys____ ________ _____ ______ _____ _________
Total productive labor_____________________

24,

26, 28, 30, and 82 page newspapers

Man-hours
worked in Average
producing
Labor
39,367,490 produc­ cost per
tion per man-hour
copies
of 4-page man-hour
papers

857.5
5,020. 8
920.0
6, 798. 3

5, 790. 8

2,442. 8

All employees......................................................

9, 241.0

Time
cost

Labor
cost

4,260.1

$1.052
.974
.493

M in u te s
5.6
32.6
6.0

$0,098
.529
.049

.919

44.1

.676

.472
1.457

13.1
2.8

.103
.067

.644

Copies
45,909. 6

Laborers...................... ..................................................
2,016. 8
..................................... . employees.......
426.0
Supervisory
Total nonproductive labor_______ ______ ___

Cost of .man-hour
production

15.9

.170

.846

60.0

.846

The newspaper was published evenings for 6 days a week, involving
daywork, but also Sunday mornings, involving night work. The
regular working shift was eight hours in either case. The equipment
consisted of Hoe octuple presses, three-fourths being of the 4-deck
straight-line type, with Kohler system of press control, GatlerHammer newspaper coAYeyors to the mailing room on the floor above,




204

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

and air-pressure system on the ink, which was piped from a storage
tank to the fountains. Electric roll hoists on ceiling track beams were
used for hoisting the paper rolls. One-fourth of the presses were of
low construction, unit-type design, provided with automatic inkpump system, Kohler system of press control, and Cutler-Hammer
newspaper conveyors. The regular daily issue was printed in two
sections, so that the last section would not exceed 32 pages, which
could be produced on octuple presses at the rate of two papers per
cylinder revolution. The different sections were collated, or stuffed,
by workers in the mailing room. The Sunday-morning issue, which
was considerably larger than the evening issues, was printed in several
sections for the same reason, and manipulated in same manner. As
the presses were used in octuple capacity for the last section of each
issue, they were manned by full octuple crews, though only quad­
ruple or sextuple portions of the machines might be used for the other
sections, sometimes even double presses being sufficient. On week
days an octuple crew consisted of 1 man in charge, 6 other journey­
men, and 1 flyboy, but on Saturday nights 1 extra journeyman
was added. A total of 167 runs required octuple capacity of the
presses. Sextuple capacity was sufficient for 52 runs, quadruple
capacity for 35 runs, and double capacity for 15 runs. The man-hour
production was reduced materially through the employment of fullsize octuple crews for the many runs on small-page contents. It was
still further reduced, in comparison with previous establishments, by
the proportionately larger number of hours per shift. The average
clock-hour production, based on total working time for men in charge,
was 45,909.6 copies of 4-page papers per press or a little over 67 per
cent of the production in pressroom No. 7 during 1926, as shown in
Table 92Men in charge of presses received $1,042 per hour for week days,
and $1,146, or $1,198, per hour for Saturday nights. Journeymen
were paid 91.7 cents per hour for week days and $1,008 or $1,054 for
Saturday nights. The average man-hour labor cost for these two
groups was slightly higher, due to the inclusion of approximately 4
per cent of overtime. Flyboys received varied rates, according to
length of service— 31.1 to 45.8 cents per hour for week days and 34.2
to 50.4 cents per hour for Saturday nights. The nonproductive labor
consisted of the usual groups, laborers, and supervisory help. Labor­
ers handled the paper rolls and stripped them for delivery to the press
crews, but during the operation of presses they also watched the
delivery stations of the newspaper conveyors in the mailing room.
They received 40 to 50 cents per hour. The supervisory force con­
sisted of a foreman, who worked only six shifts per week, and an
assistant foreman. The man-hour production on the basis of total
man-hours for all employees was 4,260.1 copies of 4-page papers, not
quite 71 per cent of the production for pressroom No. 7.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON P R ESSES

As full octuple crews were constantly employed, regardless of the
portion of each press actually used, there was no way of telling how
many man-hours for the different groups of workers belonged to pro­
duction on quadruple portions or sextuple portions of the octuple
presses. Consequently separate tables for production, according to
press capacity, could not be compiled in the same manner as for the




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

1916 AND

1926

205

other establishments. Only one table was prepared, Table 118, which
covers the combined production on the basis of productive hours for
productive labor:
T

able

1 1 8 .— Production on all presses in newspaper pressroom N o. 9 in 1926 (based
on productive man-hours for productive labor)

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
N um ­
ber cent of
total

291.4
Pressmen in charge_________________
857. 5
Other journeymen___ _______________ _ 5, 020. 8 1, 748. 4
Flyboys------------------- ---------------------------- 920.0
291.4
Total______________ __________ -_J 0, 798. 3 2, 331. 2

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

34.0 6,730,796 23.098.1 39, 367,490 135,097. 8
34.8 6, 730, 796 3,849. 7 39, 367. 490 22,516.3
31.7 6, 730,796 23.098.1 39, 367,490 135,097.8
34.3 6, 730, 796

2, S87. 3 39, 367. 490

16,887. 2

The productive time was based on the actual running time for the
presses. All time consumed by stops was deducted, whether due to
waiting time between editions, to breakage of the webs, to folder
chokes, or other delays. This method was the same as that used for
pressroom No. 7, but the production was at the rate of two papers
per cylinder revolution, making it more comparable with the pro­
duction during the 1916 period in that establishment, when papers
were produced there at a similar rate. The number of hands used
for the operation of the presses was also the same as that required for
the quadruple presses during that period in room No. 7, as shown in
Table 88. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for
men in charge, was 23,098.1 complete papers, 96 per cent of the 1916
production in pressroom No. 7. On the basis of 4-page papers it was
135,097.8 copies, or over 43 per cent more than the number produced
in pressroom No. 7, where only 14 or 16 page papers were printed,
while the sections printed in pressroom No. 9 ranged from 8 to 32
pages. The actual running time was 34 per cent of the total time,
differing from the other establishment in the working shifts being
one-third longer, and consequently having a larger number of total
man-hours per day. The output on the basis of productive manhours for total productive labor was 2*887.3 complete papers, or
over 5 per cent more than that for the quadruple presses in room
No. 7 during 1916. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 16,887.2 copies,
or nearly 57 per cent more than in pressroom No. 7 in 1916, again
due to the difference in the number of pages for the publications.
P R O D U C T IO N OF 32-PAGE N E W S P A P E R S ON OC TU PLE P R ESSES

An interest’ng comparison of the difference between total running
time, consisting of the combined time between starts and stops for
the different editions, and actual running time, in which time lost
for changes of rolls or caused by delays had been deducted, is shown
in Table 119, compiled from selected items for issues of 32 pages.




206
T

able

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

1 1 9 . —-Average production of 82-page papers in total and actual running
time on three octuple presses 1 in newspaper pressroom N o. 9 in 1926
Average production in—
Type of press

Total time
Per
minute

Deck-type press No. 1................................................................. .
Deck-type press No. 2........................................... ..........................
Unit-type press.......................... . .................................................

Copies
299.2
321.3
328.4

Per
hour

Actual time
Per
minute

Copies
17,951.8
19,280.3
19,701.0

Copies
385.1
422.7
351.2

Per
hour
Copies
23,107.2
25,363.1
21,070.0

i Tw o of deck type, provided with ordinary roll brackets, and one unit type, equipped with magazine
reels.

The 32-page size was selected because it required the full capacity
of an octuple press at two papers per cylinder revolution, and also
because the majority of the runs were on 32-page sections. Figures
were tabulated for two presses of the deck type, to show variations on
machines presumably exactly alike. These were provided with ordi­
nary brackets on each of the four decks for the paper rolls, and re­
quired complete stops for roll changes, approximately four stops for
every 25 minutes of continuous running. The total running time
consisted of the time from starting to stopping on each edition, com ­
bined for each issue. For the actual running time deductions were
made of the time the machine was stopped to change paper rolls,
through breakage of webs, through chokes in the folders, or other
delays. On press No. 1 the actual running time was 77.7 per cent of
the total running time. An average of 299.2 complete papers were
produced per minute, based on total running time, but figured on the
basis of actual running time the production was 385.1 complete papers
per minute. The recorded output per minute of actual running time
on all size products of the machine ranged from 308.1 to 518.6 com ­
plete papers. On press No. 2 the actual running time was 76 per cent
of the total running time. An average of 321.3 complete papers were
produced on the basis of total running time, but figured on basis of
actual running time the output was 422.7 complete papers per minute.
The recorded production per minute of actual running time on prod­
ucts of all sizes of the machine ranged from 305.8 to 496.7 complete
papers. No stops were necessary on the unit-type press for changing
of rolls, as it was equipped with Stone magazine reels, and therefore,
the actual running time was 93.4 per cent of the total running time.
It was, however, operated at slower speed than the other presses, so
while the average number of complete papers produced per minute of
total running time was 328.4, only 351.2 papers were turned out per
minute of actual running time. The recorded output of products of
all sizes on the machine ranged from 289.5 to 390.2 complete papers
per minute of actual running time.
PRESSROOM NO. 10 IN 1926
PRODUCTIVITY AND LABOR COST FOR PRESSWORK

A SOM EW H AT different proposition was encountered on another
evening newspaper, which was printed on the same equipment
as the morning issues in pressroom No. 6, but was operated as a




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

207

1926

separate newspaper. As conditions differed essentially from those
existing in publication of the morning issues and in order to avoid
confusion in comparison, the pressroom was designated No. 10 in
connection with the evening issues. Table 120 contains data for this
publication covering the printing and folding of newspapers, in 1926,
on quadruple, sextuple, octuple, and decuple presses, based on total
man-hours for all employees. This table is especially comparable
with Table 103, for the morning issues printed on the same equipment,
as showing the differences in production of morning and evening
newspapers:
T able 1 2 0 . — M an-hour production and labor cost in printing and folding 1 0,6 2 8 ,3 3 6
copies of 10, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, and 40 page newspapers
in newspaper pressroom N o. 10 in 1926

Occupation

Man-hours
worked in Average
producing produc­
71,486,433 tion per
mancopies of 4hour
page papers

Pressmen in charge........................................................
Other journeymen_____________ _____________ ____
F lyboys_________________________ _________ ______

1,918.3
11,923. 5
4,002. 5

Total productive labor.......................................

17,844. 3

Laborers________ - .......... ................................. ...........
Supervisory employees................. .......... ....................

Copies
37,265.5

6,388. 8
2,092. 7

Total nonproductive labor.... ..........................
All employees..................................... .................

4,006.1

Cost of man-hour
production
Tim e
cost

$1.338
1.192
.779

M in u te s
4.4
27.2
9.1

Labor
cost

$0.098
.540
.118

40.7

.756

14.6
4.8

.253
.120

1.156
2, 715. 5

1.115
1.042
1. 506

8,481. 5
26,325.8

Labor
cost per
manhour

19.3

.373

1.129

60.0

1.129

The publication was issued daily for 6 days each week. The daily
issue ordinarily consisted of 30, 32, or 36 pages but sometimes dropped
as low as 18 pages, and special sections of 10, 14, or 16 pages were also
printed. As a rule nine different editions were published of each
daily issue, involving the changing of two or more plates and some­
times also changing the number of pages in the issue. Only a section
of the force came to work early and operated two octuple or four sex­
tuple presses on the first edition. Another section came in later and
operated additional presses on the second edition. The rest of the
force arrived still later, to operate the rest of the presses necessary
for the day’s output. Toward the latter part of the day the number
of presses was reduced in a similar manner, leaving, customarily,
four of them to finish the daily issue. The regular working shift
was 7.5 hours per day net. The equipment was the same as that
used for the morning newspaper printed in pressroom No. 6, and
consisted of different groups, described in the text following Table
103 (p. 190). The presses were manned by the same number of hands
as for the morning issues, according to the sizes of machines used.
The average man-hour production for pressmen in charge was 37,265.5
copies of 4-page papers, or only a little over 80 per cent of the amount
produced for the morning issues.
All work was performed in the daytime, and the hourly rates of
regular pay varied from those for night work, both on account of
lower daily wages and on account of longer regular shifts. M en in




208

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

charge of presses received $1,267 per hour, other journeymen $1*133
per hour, and flyboys 56.7 or 71.1 cents per hour. The actual manhour labor costs exceeded these amounts, due to overtime, which was
over 13 per cent of the total working time, though the cost was still
less than for the morning issues. The nonproductive group of laborers
whose functions were similar to those for the corresponding group at
night, showed a comparatively higher man-hour cost, on account of
a smaller percentage of lower-priced extra flyboys. The supervisory
group included, as with the morning issues, part time for a super­
intendent, who directed both morning and evening pressrooms and
whose hours and earnings were allotted on the basis of total manhours for each pressroom, and a foreman and several assistant fore­
men. The man-hour production on the basis of total working hours
for all employees was 2,715.5 copies of 4-page papers, or less than 73
per cent of the number produced in the same pressroom for the morn­
ing edition. The reduction in output for all employees, as well as
for men in charge and for productive labor, was due mainly to the
variance in clock-hours in the regular working shifts— 47.5 per week
for 7 morning issues, and 45 per week for 6 evening issues.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON QU A D R U PLE P R E S S E S , G R O U P 1

Tabulations were prepared, on the basis of productive hours for pro­
ductive labor, for the different groups of machines and for the various
capacities at which they were operated, in the same way as Tables
104 to 116 for pressroom No. 6. Computation of productive time
was by the same method, combining the total time for the various
runs by presses in each group, according to size of presses used, and
deducting the time recorded for delays. These, like those for room
No. 6, were all figured at 5 minutes each regardless of actual time
involved. The running time, however, included time lost in the
changing of rolls, and would have been shortened considerably if it
had been possible to deduct the time lost. Table 121 contains data
for output per productive man-hour for the different groups of pro­
ductive labor on presses in Group 1, operated at quadruple capacity,
and is comparable with Table 104 for room No. 6:
T

able

1 2 1 .— Production on quadruple presses, Group I, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hou rs

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Pressmen in ch a rg e...____ _______ __________
Other journeymen............. ............ .................... .
F lyboys..................................................................
T o t a l.........................................................

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Total

8,438. 3
2,110. 9
4, 224. 5

268, 000
268, 000
268, 000

67, 506. 3
16, 887.2
33, 795. 7

i 1,206.3

268, 000

9, 650. 7

22.1
88. 4
44.2

4.0
15.9
7. 9

18.0
18.0
18. 0

33, 500
33, 500
33, 500

154. 7

27.8

18.0

33, 500

j

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Presses in Group 1 were used only at quadruple capacity in three
short runs of 32 pages each, produced at the rate of one paper per
cylinder revolution. The stops on editions totaled 11, and 7 addi­




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

1926

209

tional stops were due to delays. Approximately 12 rolls were
changed. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for
men in charge, was 8,438.3 complete 32-page papers, equal to 16,876.6
copies of 16-page papers, and was an increase over production in
pressroom No. 6 of more than 20 per cent. Reduced to 4-page papers
the output was 67,506.3 copies per hour, or more than 23 per cent
above the production in room No. 6. The added increase was due
to the product of room No. 10 being the full plating capacity of the
presses, while in room No. 6 part of it consisted of 14-page papers,
only seven-eighths capacity. The actual running time was 18 per
cent of the total time. The output on the basis of total productive
labor was 1,206.3 complete 32-page papers, or 9,650.7 copies of
4-page papers, the same relation to room No. 6 as that for men
in charge.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON QU A D R U PLE PR E SSE S, G R O U P 2

Table 122 contains similar data for Group 2, operated at quadruple
capacity, comparable with Table 105 for room No. 6:
T able 1 2 2 . — Production on quadruple presses, Group 2, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)

Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Pressmen in charge........... .................... ..............
Journeymen_________________________________
F lyboys................................................................. .
T ota l........................ - _______ _________

Num ­
ber

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

8.0
32.0
16.0

2.3
9.1
4.5

28.4
28. 3
28.3

31.060 13,682.8
31.060 3,424. 5
31, 060 6, 856. 5

248,480 109, 462. 6
248, 480 27, 395. 8
248, 480 54, 852.1

56.0

15.9

28.3

31, 060

248,480

1, 957. 2

15, 657. 2

Presses in Group No. 2 were used partly for 16-page papers, at
the rate of two papers per revolution, and partly for 32-page papers,
at the rate of one paper per revolution, giving an average production
of 1.25 papers per cylinder revolution. Seven stops were made on
editions, and two other stops occurred through delays. Approxi­
mately 10 roll changes were made. The clock-hour production, or
output per man-hour for men in charge, was 13,682.8 complete
papers, or neaiiy 25 per cent more than in room No. 6. Reduced
to 4-page papers it was 109,462.6 copies per hour, nearly 170 per
cent above the production for the morning issue, due to the difference
in size of the complete papers. The running time was less than 30
per cent of the total time. On the basis of productive hours for total
productive workers, the output was 1,957.2 complete papers, or
15,657.2 copies of 4-page papers, practically the same relation to
that of room No. 6 as that for men in charge. The presses were
evidently operated at considerably faster speed than ordinarily, as
the production showed it to be over 200 revolutions per minute,
including roll changes.




210

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
M AN-H O UR PRODUCTION ON QUADRUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 3

Table 123 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at quadruple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 106 for room No. 6.
T

able

1 2 3 . — Production on quadruple presses, Group 3, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced
Complete papers

Productive

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent
of
total

Pressmen in charge...................................... .......
Other journeymen_____________________ ____
Flyboys_______________________________ ____

15.0
60.0
45.0

4.5
18.1
9.1

30.2
30.2
20.2

Total__........................___..........................

120.0

31.7

26.4

1

Per
produc­
tivehour

Total

Per
produc­
tivehour

104.203 23,002.9
104.203 5,747.6
104. 203 11,488.8

416.920
416.920
416.920

92,035.3
22, 996.1
45,966.9

104,203

416,920

13,139.6

Total

7

3, 284.1

Presses in Group 3 were operated for 16-page papers, produced at
the rate of two papers per revolution. Only two stops were made
on editions and no delays existed. Approximately 20 rolls were
changed. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for
men in charge, was 23,002.9 complete papers, nearly 55 per cent
more than in room No. 6. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 92,035.3
copies per hour, or 62 per cent more. The added increase for the
4-page copies was due to the use of full plating capacity in room No.
10, and only seven-eighths capacity part of the time in room No. 6.
The running time was approximately 30 per cent of the total time.
The output on the basis of productive hours for total productive
labor was 3,284.1 complete papers, or 13,139.6 copies of 4-page
papers, practically the same relation to the production in room
No. 6 as that for men in charge.
M AN-HOUR PRODUCTION ON QUADRUPLE PRESSES, GROUP 5

Table 124 contains similar data for Group 5, operated at quadruple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 107 for room No. 6.
T

able

1 2 4 .— Production on quadruple presses, Group 5, in newspaper pressroom
N o. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
N um ­
ber

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Total

Per
produc­
tive
hour

Pressmen in charge..................... ........................
Other journeymen.................................................
F lyboys...................................................................

8.0
32.0
16.0

2.3
9.0
4.5

28.1
28.1
28.1

27.052 12,023.1
27.052 3,005.8
27.052 6,011.6

216.416
216.416
216.416

96,184.9
24,046.2
48,092.4

T otal.............................................................

56.0

15.8

28.1

27,052

216, 416

13, 740. 7




1, 717. 6

MODtfCtftVrtf? OF PRESSWORK: 1^16 AND 1926

211

Presses in Group 5 were operated at a higher rate of speed than
any others, but as none of the group were operated at quadruple
capacity in pressroom No. 6, while some from Group No. 4 were
operated there and not in room No. 6, comparison was made of the
two individual groups. They were operated at full plating capacity,
32 pages, produced at the rate of one paper per revolution. Seven
stops were made on editions, and two additional stops involved de­
lays. Approximately 11 rolls of paper were changed. The clockhour production, or output per man-hour for men ifi charge, was
12,023.1 complete 32-page papers, equal to 24,046.2 copies of 16-page
papers, an increase over the production in room No. 6, on Group 4
presses, of over 47 per cent. Reduced to 4-page papers it was
96,184.9 copies per hour, practically the same relation as that for
the 16-page papers. The increase over the other group shown is
comparatively larger than is actually correct, as only 1.94 papers
were produced per cylinder revolution by it. The running time was
approximately 28 per cent of the total time. The output on the
basis of productive hours for total productive labor was 1,717.6
complete 32-page papers, or 13,740.7 copies of four-page papers,
relatively the same proportion to the output in room No. 6 as that
for men in charge.
All of the tables for quadruple production showed a decidedly
higher hourly output than similar tables for room No. 6. This may
have been due to operation of the presses in room No. 10 on the
regular daily issue, while the presses in room No. 6 were operated
practically on Sunday advance sections, that did not require publica­
tion inside of a limited number of minutes. The production was,
however, also influenced by the time for delays not having been
deducted for the Sunday advance sections in room No. 6, as indicated
by the different proportion of running time to total time.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N O N SEX TU PLE PR ESSES, G R O U P 1

Table 125 contains similar data for Group 1, operated at sextuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 108 for room No. 6:
T

able

1 2 5 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 1, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

N um ­ Per
cent of
ber
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

161.7
826.8
331.8

51.0
255.0
102.0

31.5
30.8
30.7

559.745 10,975.4 4.011.900
559.745 2,195.1 4.011.900
559.745 5,487.7 4.011.900

Total........................................................ 1,320. 3

408.0

30.9

559,745

Pressmen in charge.................... .......... ..........
Other journeymen............................................
F lyboys................................................... - ........




1,371.9 4,011,900

Per pro­
ductive
hour
78,664.7
15,732.9
39,332.4
9,833.1

212

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Presses in Group 1 were used in sextuple capacity for 12 runs of
18 or 22 page papers, at the rate of two papers per revolution, and
for 7 runs of 36 or 40 page papers, at the rate of one paper per revolu­
tion, givmg an average of 1.37 complete papers per cylinder revolu­
tion. There was a total of 136 stops for editions, and 122 stops involv­
ing delays. These did not include changing of rolls, which were not
recorded. The clock-hour production, or output per man-hour for
men in charge, w^as 10,975.4 complete papers, or 13 per cent increase
over the production on the same presses in room No. 6, on the same
basis. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 78,664.7 copies, an increase
of nearly 70 per cent. The actual running time was a little over 30
per cent of the total time. The output on the basis of productive
hours for total productive labor was 1,371.9 complete papers per hour,
or 9,833.1 copies of 4-page papers, also respectively 13 and 70 per
cent over room No. 6.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE P R ESSES, G R O U P 2

Table 126 contains similar data for Group 2, operated at sextuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 109 for room No. 6:
T a b le

1 2 6 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 2, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive
Occupation
Total

Pressmen in charge_______________________ 120.0
Other journeymen__________________ .
617.5
F lyb oys__________________________________ 255. 0
T otal......... ................... ............ ........

992.5

Per
N um ­ cent of
ber
total

Complete papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

4-page papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

31.3
156.5
62.6

26.1
25.3
24.5

421.881 13,478. 6
421.881 2, 695. 7
421, 881 6, 739. 3

2, 728, 254
2, 728, 254
2, 728, 254

87,164. 7
17, 432.9
43, 582; 3

250.4

25.2

421,881

2, 728, 254

10,895. 6

1, 684. 8

Presses in Group 2 were operated at sextuple capacity for seven runs
of 18 or 22 page papers, at the rate of two papers per revolution, and
for seven runs of 36 or 40 page papers, at the rate of one paper per
revolution, giving an average of 1.5 complete papers per cylinder
revolution.. Stops on editions totaled 85, and 30 other stops involved
delays. Stops for changing of rolls were not included. As none of
the presses in this group were operated as sextuples for the morning
issues, comparison was made with production for Group 3 of room
No. 6, which was the nearest in type. The clock-hour production,
or output per man-hour for men in charge, was 13,478.6 complete
papers. Compared with production of Group 3 for room No. 6,
on the same basis, it was an increase of nearly 35 per cent. Reduced
to four-page papers, the production was 87,164.7 copies, or an increase
of almost 60 per cent. The actual running time was 26 per cent of
the total time. The output on the basis of productive hours for
total productive labor was 1,684.8 complete papers per hour, or
10,895.6 copies of four-page papers, the same relative increase as
that for men in charge.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

213

1926

M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P 3

Table 127 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at sextuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 109 for room No. 6.
T a b le

1 2 7 .— Production on sextuple presses, group 8, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Copies produced

Man-hours

Complete papers

Productive

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
Num ­
ber ofcent
total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

!
Pressmen in charge..........................................1 104.5
O ther j ourney m e n ________ _______ _______ ' 558.5
F lyb oys........................ ..................... ................. 258.0

17.0
85.0
34.0

16.3
15.2
13.2

263.314 15, 489.1 1,941,541 114, 208.3
263, 314 3,097.8 1, 941, 541 22, 841. 7
263.314 7, 744. 5 1, 941,541 57,104. 2

921.0

136. 0

14.8

263, 314

T o t a l....................................................

1,936.1 1,941,541

i

14,276.0

Presses in Group 3 were operated at sextuple capacity for four runs
of 20 or 24 pages, at the rate of two papers per revolution, and for
eight runs of 36 or 40 pages, at the rate of one paper per revolution,
giving an average of 1.33 complete papers per cylinder revolution.
Stops on editions totaled 67, and 43 other stops involved delays.
Stops for changing of rolls were not included. The clock-hour pro­
duction, or output per man-hour for men in charge, was 15,489.1
complete papers, an increase over production for the same group in
room No. 6 of nearly 75 per cent. Reduced to 4-page papers it was
114,208.3 copies, an increase of 135 per cent, due to the difference
in the number of pages printed. The running time was about 16
per cent of the total time. The output on the basis of man-hours
for total productive labor was 1,936.2 complete papers per hour, or
14,276 copies of 4-page papers, bearing the same relation to produc­
tion in room No. 6 as that for men in charge.
M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE PRESSES, G R O U P 4

Table 128 contains similar data for Group 4, operated at sextuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 110 for room No. 6:
T a b le

1 2 8 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 4, in newspaper pressroom
No. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Copies.produced

Man-hours
Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour '

Pressmen in charge............. ..................
Other journeym en.................................
F lyboys............. ......................................

362.7
1,843. 7
718.7

115.2
575.8
230.3

31.7
31.2
32.0

1.362.420
1.362.420
1.362.420

11,831. 7
2,366.3
5,915.9

9.878.196
9.878.196
9, 878,196

85, 785.5
17,157.1
42, 892. 7

T ota l..............................................

2,925.1

921.3

31.5

1,362,420

1,478. 9

9, 878,196

10, 722. 5




214

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Presses in Group 4 were operated at sextuple capacity for 14 runs of
18, 20, 22, or 24 pages, at the rate of 2 papers per revolution, and
for 29 runs of 36 or 40 pages, at the rate of 1 paper per revolution,
giving an average of 1.33 complete papers per cylinder revolution.
Stops on editions totaled 314, and 160 other stops involved delays.
Roll changes were not included. The clock-hour production, or out­
put per man-hour for men in charge, was 11,831.7 complete papers,
nearly 4 per cent less than for the same group in room No. 6. R e­
duced to 4-page papers it was 85,785.5 copies, or about 2 per cent
decrease. The running time was a little more than 30 per cent of
the total time. The output on the basis of productive hours for
total productive labor was 1,478.9 complete papers per hour, or
10,722.5 copies of 4-page papers, a similar decrease when compared
with room No. 6 as that for men in charge.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON SEXTU PLE P R E SSE S, G R O U P 5

Table 129 contains similar data for Group 5, operated at sextuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 111 for room No. 6:
T

able

1 2 9 .— Production on sextuple presses, Group 5, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total
N um ­
ber

Per
cent
of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

219.1
Pressmen in charge___________ ______
Other journeymen_____________ _____ _ 1,094.3
436.3
F ly b o y s _______________________________

86.6
432.8
173.1

39.5 1.018.649 11,769.5
39.5 1.018.649 2,353. 9
39.7 1.018.649 5,884.7

7.340.986
7.340.986
7.340.986

84.817.9
16, 963. 6
42.408.9

1,749.7

692.4

39.6 1,018,649

1,471. 2

7, 340, 986

10,602. 2

T o ta l........... .................................. .

Presses in Group 5 were operated at sextuple capacity for 8 runs of
18, 20, or 22 pages, at the rate of 2 papers per revolution, and for
14 runs of 36 or 40 page papers, giving an average of 1.36 complete
papers per cylinder revolution. A total of 177 stops was made on
editions, and 202 other stops included delays, but stops for changing
of rolls were not included. The clock-hour production, or output
per man-hour for men in charge, was 11,769.5 complete papers, a
decrease of about one-fourth of 1 per cent from the production of
same group in room No. 6. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 84,817.9
copies, or nearly 8 per cent more than that produced in room No. 6.
The running time was approximately 40 per cent of the total time.
The output on the basis of productive man-hours for total productive
labor was 1,471.2 complete papers, or 10,602.2 copies of 4-page papers,
the same relation to production in room No. 6 as that for men in
charge. Comparison of production for sextuple presses in room
No. 10 with that for room No. 6 was also affected by the printing of
the Sunday newspapers for the morning issue, and the inclusion of
lost time for delays in the productive time for these.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND 1926

215

M A N -H O U R P R O D U C T IO N O N O C TU PLE P R E SSE S, G R O U P 3

Table 130 contains similar data for Group 3, operated at octuple
pacity, and is comparable with Table 112 for room No. 6:
T

able

1 3 0 .— Production on octuple presses, Group 8, in newspaper pressroom
No. 10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

N um ­ Per
ber cent of
total

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

54.8
438.7
151.0

13.0
104.0
26.0

23.7
23.7
17.2

280.733 21,594.9 1,675,786 128,906.6
280.733 2,699.4 1.675, 786 16.113.3
280, 733 10,747.4 1.675, 786 64.453.3

T o t a l....................................................... 644.5

143.0

22.2

280, 733

Pressmen in charge.. ........................................
Other journeymen....................................... .
F l y b o y s ..... ......................................................

1. 963. 2 1, 675, 786

11, 718. 8

Presses in Group 3 were operated at octuple capacity for 8 runs of
28, 30, or 32 pages, at the rate of two complete papers per cylinder
revolution. A total of 45 stops was made on editions and 25 addi­
tional stops involved delays. The remaining productive time in­
cluded the time lost in changing of rolls. The clock-h@ur production,
or output per man-hour for men in charge, was 21,594.9 complete
papers, an increase of more than 30 per cent over the production for
the same group in room No. 6. Reduced to 4-page papers it was
128,906.6 copies, an increase of less than 4 per cent. The running
time was less than 25 per cent of the total time. The output on
the basis of productive hours for total productive labor was 1,963.2
complete papers per hour, or 11,718.8 copies of 4-page papers, bear­
ing the same relation to production for room No. 6 as that for men in
charge.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON OC TU PLE P R ESSES, G R O U P 4

Table 131 contains similar data for Group 4, operated at octuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 113 for room No. 6:
T

able

1 3 1 .— Production on octuple presses, Group 4, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Per
N um ­ cent of
ber
total

139.9
Pressmen in charge.................................... 537.9
Other journeymen...................................... 4,294.3 1,119.1
1,159.9
279.8
F ly b o y s .......................................................
Total........................................ ......... 5,992.1 1, 538. 7




Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

26.0 4.894, 288 34,989. 2 32.088.069 229,397.1
26.1 4,894,288 3,479.9 32.088.069 28,673.9
24.1 4.894, 288 17,494.0 32,088,060 114,694. 5
25.7 4,894,288

3,180. 8 32,088, 069

20,853. 8

216

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

Presses in Group 4 were used in octuple capacity on 53 runs
26, 28, 30, or 32 pages, at the rate of two papers per revolution,
on 6 runs of 14 or 16 pages, at the rate of four papers per revolutio
giving an average of 2.2 complete papers per cylinder revolution,
total of 399 stops were made on editions, and 208 others comprised
delays, not including changes of rolls. The clock-hour production,
or output per man-hour for men in charge, was 34,989.2 complete
papers, an increase of a little more than 15 per cent over the produc­
tion for same group in room 6. Reduced to 4-page papers it was
229,397.1 copies, or an increase of 4 per cent. The running time
was 26 per cent of the total time. The output based on the produc­
tive hours for total productive labor was 3,180.8 complete papers
per hour, or 20,853.7 copies of 4-page papers, the relation to pro­
duction for room No. 6 being also 15 and 4 per cent increase, respec­
tively.
M A N -H O U R PR O D U C T IO N ON O C TU PLE P R ESSES, G R O U P 5

Table 132 contains similar data for Group 5, operated at octuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 114 for room No. 6.
T a b le

1 3 2 .— Production on octuple presses, Group 5, in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced

Productive

Complete papers

Occupation
Total
Number

Per cent
of total

4-page papers

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Pressman in charge. ................
Other journeymen____________
F lyb oys__________ ______ ____

190.3
1, 523. 6
399.3

63.3
506.3
126.6

33.3
33.2
31.7

979.422
979, 422
979.422

15,477. 6
1,934. 6
7,738. 2

7.432.099
7.432.099
7,432, 099

117,447. 8
14, 680.1
58,719. 3

Total— ............................

2 ,113. 2

696.1

32.9

979,422

1, 406. 7

7,432,099

10, 676. 5

Presses in Group 5 were used in octuple capacity on 22 runs of 26,' 28,
30, or 32 pages, at the rate of two complete papers per revolution.
Stops on editions aggregated 146, and 117 additional stops were made
on delays. Time lost in changes of rolls was not deducted from the
running time. The clock-hour production, or man-hour production
for men in charge, was 15,477.6 complete papers, a decrease of nearly
12 per cent from the production for the same group in room No. 6.
Reduced to 4-page papers it was 117,447.8 copies, a decrease of 7 per
cent. The running time was 33 per cent of the total time. The out­
put based on the productive time for total productive labor was
1,406.7 complete papers per hour, or 10,676.5 copies of four-page
papers, also 12 and 7 per cent decrease from the production for the
group in room No. 6.
M A N -H O IJR PR O D U C T IO N ON DECUPLE P RESSES, G R O U P 4

Table 133 contains similar data for Group 4, operated in decuple
capacity, and is comparable with Table 116 for room No. 6.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK: 1916 AND

3LE

217

1926

1 3 3 .—

Production on decuple presses, Group 4 , in newspaper pressroom No.
10 in 1926 (based on productive man-hours for productive labor)
Man-hours

Copies produced
Complete papers

Productive

4-page papers

Occupation
Total

Num ­ Per
ber cent of
total

Pressmen in charge
Other journeymen..
F lyboys----------------

113.8
512. 3
170.5

41.3
185.7
61.9

Total________

796.6

288.9

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

Total

Per pro­
ductive
hour

294.673
294, 673
294.673

7 ,140.1
1, 586. 8
4, 760. 5

2.688.482
2.688.482
2,688, 482

65,143. 7
14,477. 6
43,432. 7

16.3 | 294,673

1 020.1

2,688,482

9,306.9

36.;

,

Presses in Group 4 were used in decuple capacity for seven runs of
36 or 40 page papers, which could not be produced on smaller presses,
at the rate of two complete papers per cylinder revolution. Stops on
editions totaled 41, and other delays aggregated 16, not including roll
changes. The clock-hour production, which was double the amount
produced per man-hour for men in charge, was 14,280.3 complete
papers, 27 per cent less than the production on the same presses for
room No. 6. Reduced to 4-page papers it was 130,286.3 copies, or a
decrease of 26 per cent. The running time was 36 per cent of the
total time. The output on the basis of productive hours for total
productive labor was 1,020.1 complete papers per hour, or 9,306.9
copies of 4-page papers, also reductions of 27 and 26 per cent,
respectively.
C O M PA R ISO N OF PRO D U CTIV ITY AND LABOR COST IN P R E S S W O R K
IN 1916 AND 1926

'T 'O afford easier comparison of the main features, Table 134 is
presented containing a comparison of man-hour production and
labor cost for the establishments surveyed, on the basis of total manhours for productive labor and for all employees:
T a b le 1 3 4 .—

Comparison of man-hour production and labor cost in five newspaper
pressrooms in 1916 and 1926

Year and establishment

Time issued

Average number
of 4-page papers
p r o d u c e d per
man-hour by—
Produc­
tive labor

Labor cost per
man-hour for—

All em­ Produc­
ployees tive labor

All em­
ployees

.
_______ _______ ________ 1916: No. 7 Mornings 1 .
________
.

6,217.3

5,575. 6

$0.656

$0. 665

1926:
Nn. fi
do. i____
No. 7___ __________________________________'____ do. 1
____
No. 8
____________________ _____ do. i____

5,309. 2
6, 972. 8
5, 759. 0

3, 724.1
6,011. 7
4, 210. 7

1. 256
1.228
1.016

1.220
1.237
.984

6, 297. 5

4,965. 8

1.225

1. 214

5, 790. 8
4,006.1

4, 260.1
2,715. 5

.919
1.115

.846
1.129

4,498. 5

3,117. 7

1.061

1.056

Average
No. 9
No. 10

__________ ___________ _____ -

Evenings L .
____ ____________________ _____
___________________ ____ __________ ____ do______

Average

__ _____________________________

Includes Sunday mornings.

9819°— 29-------15




218

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

Man-hour production was influenced by conditions peculiar to
each pressroom, as heretofore described, which regulated in each
case its relation to the general averages computed. The table con­
tains three divisions— data for pressroom No. 7 in 1916, which are
comparable with the same pressroom 10 years later; data for three
morning newspapers in 1926, which are comparable with each other
and with the weighted average for these publications; data for two
evening newspapers, also comparable with each other and with the
weighted average therefor. The weighted averages for the morning
and evening publications are likewise comparable. In comparing
one establishment with another, the individual difference^, shown in
the detailed text for such establishments, should be consulted for
proper analysis.
RELATIVE M A N -H O U R PR O D U C TIO N

Comparison of the man-hour production in establishment No. 7
during 1916 with that of 1926 shows an increase for the latter period
of 755.4 copies of 4-page papers per hour for productive labor, or over
12 per cent, and of 436.2 copies per hour for all employees, or nearly
8 per cent. Equipment and working conditions in pressroom No. 7 dur­
ing the 1916 period were thoroughly modern, and practically the same
as or even better than existed in a number of other pressrooms in 1926.
As far as production was concerned it could well have been included
with the 1926 establishments as representative of present-day press­
rooms. Comparison of the production for each of the three morning
publications with the weighted average for the group shows consider­
able fluctuation, caused mainly by variations in length of working
shifts, in sizes of press crews, and in number of pages published per
issue. In establishment No. 6 production on the basis of total manhours for productive labor was 84 per cent of the weighted average,
and on the basis of total man-hours for all employees was only 75 per
cent. In establishment No. 7 production was 11 per cent more than
the general average on the basis of productive labor, and 21 per cent
more on the basis of all employees. In establishment No. 8 produc­
tion was 91 per cent of the weighted average on the basis of pro­
ductive labor, and 85 per cent on the basis of all employees. The two
evening publications show a decided difference. In establishment No.
9 production was 29 per cent more than the average for the two plants
on the basis of productive labor, and 37 per cent more on the basis of
all employees. In establishment No. 10 the production was only 89
per cent of the average on the basis of productive labor, and only 87
per cent on the basis of all employees. Comparison of the averages
for the morning and evening publications show that the average manhour production on the evening newspapers was 71 per cent of the
average output on the morning newspapers based on the total manhours for productive labor, and 63 per cent based on total man-hours
for all employees. This was mainly attributable to the longer regular
shifts for the evening publications.
RELATIVE LA BO R COST

The actual man-hour labor cost differed from the regular hourly
wage rate. It was obtained by dividing the total amount of money
paid to each group by the net number of hours worked. The net
hours were obtained by deducting lunch periods, when paid for by the
establishment, from the regular hours worked, and adding overtime.




PRODUCTIVITY OF PRESSWORK:

1916 AND

1926

219

The labor cost was consequently also subject to individual pressroom
conditions, which regulated the relation for each establishment to the
weighted average for the respective group. The average labor cost
per man-hour for pressroom No. 7, which was 65.6 cents in 1916 for
productive labor, and 66.5 cents for all employees, had advanced in
1926 to $1,228 for productive labor, an increase of 87 per cent, and to
$1,237 for all employees, an increase of 86 per cent. Comparison of
the labor costs on the three morning newspapers with the weighted
averages therefor show a variation, partly caused by locality of the
establishment. The labor cost per man-hour in establishment No. 6
for productive labor was 2.5 per cent more than the average labor cost
for all morning publications, and for all employees was 0.5 per cent
more than the average. The labor cost per man-hour for productive
labor in establishment No. 7 was 0.2 per cent more than the average,
and for all employees was 2 per cent more than the average. The
labor cost per man-hour in establishment No. 8 was only 83 per cent
of the average cost for productive labor, and only 81 per cent for all
employees. The labor cost per man-hour for evening publications
was usually lower than that for the morning publications in the same
locality, because of longer hours in the regular shifts and a lower
regular wage rate. These items varied with the different localities,
as did hours and wages for morning publications, and the actual manhour labor costs were naturally affected by them. The man-hour
labor cost for productive labor in establishment No. 9 was only 87
per cent of the average weighted cost for all evening papers, and for
all employees was only 80 per cent of .the average. The labor cost per
man-hour for productive labor in establishment No. 10 was 5 per cent
more than the average, and for all employees was 7 per cent more than
the average. Comparison of the averages for the morning and
evening publications show that the average man-hour labor cost on
evening newspapers, for either productive labor or all employees, was
only 87 per cent of the average man-hour cost on morning papers.
O U TPU T P E R PR O D U C T IV E M A N -H O U R

To provide easy comparison of production, based on productive
hours for the productive labor, Table 135, containing a compilation
of production in all establishments on that basis, is presented. As
explained in the detailed text for the individual establishments, pro­
ductive hours were based on the actual running time of the machines,
while productive labor consisted of the workers directly engaged in
operation of the presses. Comparisons of production for each group
with that of other groups are given in the detailed text for the specific
group on preceding pages.




220

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

1 3 5 .— Man-hour production of complete and of 4-page papers in five news­
paper pressrojms, in 1916 and 1926 (on basis of productive man-hours for men
in charge (machine production) and total productive labor)

T a b le

Presses

Year and
establish­
ment

1916: No. 7 . . .

Group

Sextuple. Quadruple.
L inear.__ ____ do_____
_
Sextuple _ Sextuple_
L in ea r... ____ do_____

1926:
No. 6........ 1
2________
3 ..............
4__.........
1
3 ______
4 . . ...........
5
3________
4________
5 ______
3________
4 ______
N o. 7........ A _______
B _______
C _______
D _______
A _______
B _______

_____

_____
_____

C _________

D _______
No. 8
No. 9
No. 10___

Capacity
operated

.......

1__
2_____ . . .
3________
5________
1

_____

2 . . .........
3_.............
4________
5
3________
4 . . ...........
5________
4............. .

_____

Quadruple.
____ do_____
____ do.........
___ d o ...........
Sextuple.. .
____ d o_____
____d o_____
____ do_____
Octuple___
........d o .........
____ do
Decuple___
____ do
Sextuple.
____ do_____
____ do_____
-------do_____
Octuple___
____ do_____
-------do.........
___ d o______
All
. . . . do
Quadruple.
____ d o . . _
_
___ do
___ do.
Sextuple. . .
____ do_____
____ do_____
____ do
do
Octuple___
____d o_____
____ d o_____
Decuple___

1 Includes 2 men in charge.




Number
of hands
per press

Per
cent
pro­
duc­
tive
time
is of
total
time

Com­
plete
papers
per
cyl­
inder
revo­
lution

Number of copies produced per pro­
ductive man-hour for—

M en in charge

Total productive
labor

Com­
plete
papers

4-page
papers

C om ­
plete
papers

4-page
papers

8 or 9
9
9 or 10
10

70.3
51.7
48.8
54.5

2
2
2
2

23,966.1
16,076. 3
20,146. 0
14,196. 5

94,310. 7
65,661. 5
108, 374. 7
80, 033. 5

2,737. 9
1, 965. 5
2,238. 5
1,577. 7

10, 774.1
8, 028. 0
12,041. 7
8,894. 2

7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
11
11
11
114
J4
'1
8 to 10
8 to 10
8 to 10
8 to 10
11 to 13 ‘
11 to 13

54.8
49.5
66.2
63.5
56.4
33.3
51.9
55.3
37.4
35.7
39. 2
46.4
46.1
45.9
62.6
57.5
53.3
53.3
57.3
56. 2
52.8
51. 2
34.0
18.0
28.4
30. 2
28.1
31.5
26.1
16.3
31. 7
39. 5
23.7
26.0
33.3
36.3

2
2
2

13,995. 2
10, 947. 8
14,857. 0
16,332. 0
11,850. 8
11, 794. 8
12,568. 4
11,193. 2
16, 417. 0
18,861. 0
17,508.1
7,438. 4
9, 780. 6
12,563.4
13, 236. 7
12, 533. 5
11, 605. 5
13, 648. 8
15, 512. 8
16,089. 0
17.540.1
15.159.1
23.098.1
8,438. 3
13,682. 8
23,002. 9
12,023.1
10, 975. 4
13, 478. 6
15, 489.1
11, 831. 7
11, 769. 5
21, 594. 9
34, 989. 2
15,477. 6
7,140.1

54, 776.1 1,999. 0
40, 646. 9 1,564. 3
56, 788. 6 2,122. 6
66,002. 8 2, 333. 3
60,054. 3 1,481. 4
64, 558. 2 1,474. 5
89, 244. 3 1,571.1
79,818. 6 1,399. 2
124,143. 2 1,492.3
137, 399. 3 1,714.6
126, 252. 7 1, 591. 5
66, 945. 2 1,062. 6
88,025. 4 1,397. 2
100,428.4 1,570.4
111, 039.1 1,654. 5
113, 356. 0 1,566. 7
121,656.0 1,450. 7
117, 666. 2 1,240. 8
139, 237.4 1,410. 4
139, 276. 4 1,462. 6
152, 490. 6 1,594. 6
79, 062. 9 2, 076. 9
135,097. 8 2,887. 3
67, 506. 3 1, 206. 3
109, 462. 6 1, 957. 2
92,035. 3 3, 284.1
96,184. 9 1, 717. 6
78, 664. 7 1,371.9
87,164. 7 1,684. 8
114, 208. 3 1, 936.1
85, 785. 5 1,478. 9
84, 817. 9 1,471. 2
128, 906. 6 1, 963. 2
229,397.1 3,180. 8
117,447. 8 1,406. 7
65,143. 7 1, 020.1

7,824. 0
5,807. 9
8,113. 3
9,429. 4
7, 506. 8
8,070. 4
11,155. 7
9, 977. 3
11, 284.8
12,490. 8
11,476. 7
9, 563. 6
12, 575.1
12, 553. 2
13, 879. 2
14,169. 3
15, 207.1
10, 696. 9
12, 658. 8
12, 660. 9
13, 862. 8
10, 832. 7
16, 887. 2
9,650. 7
15,657. 2
13,139. 6
13, 740. 7
9,833.1
10, 895. 6
14, 276. 0
10, 722. 5
10, 602. 2
11, 718. 8
20,853.8
10, 676. 5
9,306. 9

11 to 13

11 to 13
6 to 9
8
7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
8
11

11
11
114

1.94
1. 67
1.71
1. 36
1. 29
2

1. 37
2
2
2

1.25
1. 22
1.12
1

1.62
1. 50
1. 56
1.43
2
2
1

1.25
2
1

1. 37
1. 50
1.33
1. 33
1. 36
2
2. 20
2
2

CHAPTER 12.— INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OP
PRINTING
INVENTION OF M OVABLE TYPE

R IN T IN G from wooden blocks and clay tablets was practiced
in Asia at an early period, and in the thirteenth century in
Europe, books were printed from hand-cut blocks. The pos­
sibility of separating the characters on such blocks was discovered,
and movable single type was introduced about 1450 by Johan Gaensfleish, commonly known as Gutenberg, at Mentz, Germany, or by
Lourens Janzoon Coster at Haarlem, Holland. The individual type
characters could be placed side by side to form words, which could be
combined into sentences and paragraphs, and finally arranged together
in pages. After printing they could be taken apart and used again
in other combinations. This was the first of the important steps in
the mechanical development of printing, winch eventually*led to the
production of the modern newspaper. Combined with the invention
of the crude printing press of that age it made multiple production a
commercial possibility.

P

M ECHANICAL PRO D U CTIO N F R O M 1800 TO 1850

A T TH E beginning of the nineteenth century, though at least 350
^
years had passed since the introduction of movable type, fre­
quently referred to as the invention of printing, there had been very
little change in the mechanical production involved. A fifteenthcentury printer would, in fact, have been perfectly at home in a print­
ing office in 1800. The type used was virtually the same and the
methods of composition had not changed. Paper, which was produced
in the same manner as during the earlier period, was probably not of
as good a quality. The same t}^pe of wooden presses, with a few
minor improvements, were in use, and the ink, made by each printer
for his own use, was applied to the type by means of hair-stuffed
leather balls.
Up to the second half of the nineteenth century the mechanical
production of a newspaper consisted of two operations— composition
and presswork. The methods employed for composition remained
practically the same up to 1850 (see ch. 4, p. 33), but some changes
were effected in presswork during that period.
H AN D PRESSES

'T 'H E earliest form of printing press, such as that used by Gutenberg,
was built on the same principle as the ordinary cheese or linen
presses of that period, and was practically modeled after the old wine
presses of ancient Greece. It consisted of a framework of two heavy
upright timbers, held together by several crossbeams. One of the
crossbeams supported a fiat table of wood or stone, called the bed,
while a higher beam was pierced by a wooden screw, resting on a
horizontal block called the platen. The type form was placed on the
bed, and daubed with ink. A sheet of dampened paper was laid




221

222

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

on top of the inked type and covered with a piece of blanket to
soften the impression, and the platen was screwed down on top of it.
After the impression was taken the platen was screwed up again, so
the paper could be removed and hung up to dry. About 1620 Willem
Janszoon Blaeu, a printer of Amsterdam, Holland, constructed nine
presses for his printing house, which embodied several improvements,
such as suspension of the platen from a block which was guided in
the upright timbers, an iron hand lever for turning the screw, a device
for rolling the bed in and out of the frame, and a spring release of
the platen. The Blaeu press was introduced in England, where one
of them was operated in 1725 by Benjamin Franklin at the Watts
Printing House in London, and where as late as 1770 it was termed the
“ new-fashioned” press to distinguish it from the more common and
older style. It was also used extensively on the Continent.
IM P R O V E M E N T S IN EARLY STYLES

A frame, called the “ tym pan,” was later attached to the bed by
hinges. It was covered with fabric, on which the sheet was placed.
Another frame, attached by hinges to the tympan and called the
“ frisket,” was folded over the paper to protect it from any ink or
impression not desired, and the double frame was folded over the
type form before the bed was rolled under the platen. No further
improvements were made, except the substitution of iron platens,
until 1798, when Charles Mahon, third Earl of Stanhope, patented
and built an all-iron press in England. It embodied the screw
principle, but a combination of levers was added to provide greater
power with less expenditure of energy.
H A N D PR ESSES IN TH E UN ITED ST A TE S

The first printing press used in the American Colonies was erected
in Cambridge, Mass., in 1638. The early presses used here, as well
as the type, were imported from England and often consisted of
second-hand outfits. In 1750 Christopher Sower, jr., printer of
Germantown, Pa., began to manufacture hand presses, but they
were inferior to the imported ones.
In 1816 a new style was devised by George Clymer, of Philadelphia,
Pa., in which the screw was entirely eliminated. The press was
constructed completely of iron, and the platen was raised or lowered
by levers. It was known as the “ Columbian,” and gained great
popularity at once in England, where it was constructed. The
first one, completed in 1818, was afterwards sent to Russia. Adam
Ramage, who came to Philadelphia about 1790 and for a long time
was the chief press builder in this country, was one of the first to
construct iron beds and platens, but, like preceding styles, the
presses were so small that only one-half of a sheet of respectable
dimensions could be printed at once, and four impressions were
necessary for printing a small newspaper on both sides.
According to Van Winkle’s Printers Guide, New York, there
were only four styles of presses worthy of notice in the United States
in 1818, all more or less improvements upon the Stanhope press.
These were the Columbian, the Ramage screw, the Ruthven, and
the Wells. The Ruthven pi^ss, which was invented by John Ruthven,
a printer of Edinburgh, Scotland, and patented in 1813, was manu­




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

223

factured by Adam Ramage of Philadelphia, who patented improve­
ments on it in 1818. It was distinguished by having a stationary
bed, and a platen which moved to and fro. The Wells press,
which was invented by John J. Wells, of Hartford, Conn., was not
patented until 1819, but two of them had been used in that city for
some time, with reported good satisfaction. All of these, as well as
other makes, were practically supplanted by the Smith hand press,
invented in 1822 by Peter Smith of New York, brother-in-law of
Robert Hoe, founder of the firm of R. Hoe & Co., printing machinery
manufacturers of New York. In this press a toggle joint was sub­
stituted for the screw and levers, which was simpler and more
efficient.
W A SH IN G TO N H A N D PR ESS

In 1827 Samuel Rust, a printer of New York, brought out a
.hand press, embodying all of Smith’s ideas, but with improvements
in construction and details which created practically a new machine.
The frame was cast hollow instead of solid, but reinforced with rods.
B y turning a crank the bed slid in and out from under the platen on
a track. The impression of the platen was given by a curved hand
lever, acting on a toggle joint, and the platen was lifted afterwards
by springs. With a few improvements by R. Hoe & Co., who
secured the patents, the Washington hand press, as it was termed,
soon became the most popular machine for the printing of news­
papers, and much of the earlier progress of the smaller newspapers
in this country was due to the comparative ease, economy, and
sureness of its operation. Though this press is no longer employed
for actual printing, a number are still used for taking proofs in
photo-engraving plants.
PRODUCTIVITY ON HAND PRESSES

1 N TH E beginning printing on hand presses was probably done
1 by only one man, but the operation was soon divided between
two workers. One of these distributed the ink on the ink balls by
patting them together until a fine, even film was produced, and then
pressed them carefully on the type. The other placed a sheet of
damped paper on the tympan, folded the frisket over the paper, and,
together with the tympan, down over the form, ran the bed under the
platen, took the impression by depressing the platen, raised the platen,
ran the bed out, lifted the tympan and frisket, and removed the
printed sheet. So much physical strength was required for turning
the screw or pulling the lever of the old-fashioned hand press that a
man was required for the function. The inking operation could be
performed by a boy, but in the larger pressrooms two men were often
employed on a press, taking turns at the operations. The duties also
included making the ink, and dampening the paper before printing.
Manufacturing the ink was not difficult, consisting mainly of
boiling linseed oil, with rosin added, and afterwards mixing it with
lampblack and grinding the mass together with muller stones, in the
same manner as paint was ground. Boiling the linseed oil was often
the occasion of a picnic for the staff of the early printing house, who
would set up the kettle in the fields for the purpose. This involved
so great a loss of time, and the ink was not always satisfactory,
that by the end of the sixteenth century many printing houses bought




224

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

their ink from factories which had been gradually established, and thus
ink making became an independent branch of the industry. The
printing houses in the American Colonies either made their own ink
or imported it from Europe, and this practice was continued after
independence had been gained and up to the end of the eighteenth
century. Dampening of the paper was accomplished by dipping the
sheets into a tub of water, a small number at a time, and piling
them under weights to squeeze out superfluous moisture and keep
them in shape. After printing, the sheets required folding, which
was done by hand, by means of a bone or a stick.
Printing on the oldest style of hand press was extremely slow and
laborious, as only very small type forms could be used, and even these
involved a great deal of physical exertion. According to Ringwalt 1
300 sheets, or 600 impressions, were considered a good day’s work in
1475 by the printers of Mentz, Germany. Early in the sixteenth
century this had increased to 2,000 impressions, and later (about 1575)
pressmen in Paris, France, were supposed to print 2,650 sheets per
day, while at Lyon, France, a good day’s w ork consisted of 3,350
7
sheets. The hours were long, as at that time pressmen in Lyon
had to work from 2 a. m. to 8 or 9 p. m. without leaving the shop.
The year contained more recognized holidays than at present, and
only 230 or 240 working-days. About 1830 the hourly production
on hand presses in London, England, for two men was rated at 75
impressions on wooden presses, 150 to 200 impressions on Stanhope
presses, and 200 impressions on Columbian or Albion presses.
The improvements in the hand presses not only increased the num­
ber of sheets printed hourly, but also gradually permitted larger type
forms to be printed at one impression. The early presses used in the
Colonies were so small that only one page of even the miniature news­
papers of that day could be printed at one time, necessitating four
pulls to produce the complete paper. Even the larger hand presses,
introduced later, required two impressions for each copy of a 4-page
newspaper.
Theodore L. De Vinne,2 in discussing conditions in New York for
1870, stated that the ordinary task of a hand press was rated at 1,500
impressions a day on forms of large size, with one man, using an
inking machine, and by one pull, giving practically eight times the
production in Mentz during 1458, considering the difference in size.
In a detailed table on average daily performance of presses, De Vinne
gives figures for hand presses, claimed to be examples of actual prac­
tice, based on a full 10-hour day, which show an additional difference
according to the number of copies in the editions printed. For a
hand press in continuous employment, with 1,500 impressions required
from the form, one hour was allowed in making ready and nine hours
for actual printing to complete the job, an average of 166 impressions
per productive machine hour. When only 250 impressions were
required from each form, the production for a 10-hour day was reduced
to 1,000 impressions. This was caused through an allowance of 1
hour for making ready on each form, leaving but 6 hours for actual
presswork and giving an average of 166 impressions per productive
machine hour. The work referred to by De Vinne was, of course,
mixed in character and slower than where newspaper printing alone
1 Ringwalt, J. Luther: American Encyclopedia of Printing, Philadelphia, 1871.
2 De Vinne, Theodore L.: The Printers Price List. New York, 1871.




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

2215

was involved. Large quantities of newspapers were, however, not
produced in those days. Before 1810 the circulation of the most
widely read newspaper in the United States did not exceed 900 copies.
LABOR COST IN EARLY PRESSROOMS

TYTO record was found of the actual wages for pressmen in the early
days, but these were stated to have been two or three times
more than paid to journeymen in other skilled trades. According to
Northumberland Household Book, quoted by Timperley,3 about 1512
in England “ the daily wages of a master carpenter, mason, bricklayer,
tyler, or plumber were 6 pence per day, without diet, from Easter
to Michaelmass; other laborers 4 pence per d a y .”
The first regular wage rates stipulated were in a scale (quoted by
Timperley) agreed to in 1810 by the master printers of London, in
which 6 pence per token was paid for printing of folios (4 pages),
using small pica (now 11-point) type or larger, if only one token was
printed, and 7 pence if smaller type was used or the pages exceeded
8 % inches in width. When either two or three tokens were printed,
the rate was reduced to 53^ and 6 pence, respectively, according to
the type and size of page. When four tokens were printed, the rate
was reduced one-half penny more for each item, and in 1816 another
one-half penny reduction was made effective for each token above
the first four. A token at that time consisted of 10 quires, or one-half
ream, of paper, and a quire, as used by newspapers, consisted of
25 sheets, making a total of 250 sheets. In 1838 pressmen in England
reckoned their work by the hour, equal to one token. If two men
worked on the press, 10 quires constituted an hour, but if one man
operated the press alone, 5 quires constituted an hour.
APPLICATION OF MECHANICAL POWER

IV/TANY attempts were made to devise some way of increasing the
•
capacity of the presses. About 1776 Benjamin Dearborn,
publisher of the New Hampshire Gazette, devised a wheel press, on
which the whole side of a sheet could be printed by one pull of the
lever. It was used for a while at Newburyport, N. H., but was not
adopted generally. A patent was issued to Dearborn in 1786 by the
State of New Hampshire.
Friedrich Koenig, a Saxon inventor, obtained an English patent for
applying steam power to a bed and platen press in 1810. He had
devised the principle previously in Leipzig, Saxony, but was unable
to find backers. After trying other cities, including St. Petersburg
(now Leningrad), Russia, he went in 1807 to England, where Thomas
Bensley, Richard Taylor, and George Woodfall, London printers,
furnished the money to build a model, which took nearly three years.
The bed, on which the form was placed, w^as reciprocated under
inking rollers by means of tapes and a pulley. During the backward
movement the paper was placed by hand on the tympan. The latter,
together with the frisket, was folded mechanically over the form
while it traveled toward and under the platen, where the impression
was taken, and unfolded during the forward travel toward the inking
rollers. Cloth-covered, leather-surfaced cylinders were used for
3Timperley, G. H.: Dictionary of Printers and Printing.




London, 1839.

226

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

applying the ink, which was kept in a box above them and forced by
a piston through a slit in the box to fall on them. The new machine
was installed and set to work in the office of Bensley, where 2,000 or
3,000 impressions of part of the Annual Register for 1810 was printed
on it, the first commercial job executed with the aid of steam power.
TR EA D W E LL PR ESS

In the United States power was first applied to bed and platen
presses by Daniel Treadwell, of Boston, Mass., in 1822. Two years
before he had patented in England a press, with a fixed bed and worked
by a treadle, which was constructed by David Napier, a London
manufacturer. After his return to this country, several presses pro­
vided with reciprocating beds were manufactured for him by Phineas
D ow in Boston. As he could not sell them, he established a printing
office, where he ran them by horse power. After this office had
burned down a second one was established, where the presses were
run by water power, and purchasers were finally found about 1825
or 1826, when an American patent was also obtained. Treadwell
presses were used in New York as late as 1845.
A D A M S PRESS

In 1827 Isaac Adams, a Boston machinist, was called to repair a
Treadwell press for Daniel Fanshaw, of New York, who had 10 of
them in his office. He devoted the next three years to experiments,
and in 1830 brought out a new style, power-driven bed and platen
press, which rapidly became popular. Assisted by his brother, Seth
Adams, he made several improvements, placing it in its final form on
the market in 1834. The bed was raised and lowered by straighten­
ing and bending a toggle joint by means of a cam, giving the impression
against a fixed platen above the form. The paper was fed by hand
to the frisket, and the printed sheet was delivered automatically by
means of tapes and a fly— a frame with long wooden fingers which
received the sheet from the press and deposited it on a table. Ink
was provided by a roller, turning in a trough or fountain at one end of
the press, and applied by a series of rollers traveling over the form.
The Adams press was first made with wooden frames like the Tread­
well press, but later iron frames were substituted. It was used
extensively, and the business of Adams was acquired in 1858 by R.
Hoe & Co., who continued to manufacture it for many years. After
faster presses had taken its place for newspaper production, it was
often found side by side with them, for use on fine printing which
for a long while many thought could be produced only by flat pres­
sure. One important feature at the time of its invention was its
speed of production, which reached a maximum of 1,000 impressions
per hour, 300 being the highest attained on the hand presses. M any
patents were later taken out in connection with bed and platen presses,
eventually resulting in the modern platen presses, which are adapted
for small commercial work and have been eliminated as a factor in
newspaper production.
CYLINDER PRESSES

'T 'H E next step to satisfy the growing appetite of the public for
*
news was the replacement of the flat platen as an impression
medium by a rotating cylinder, which reduced the impression contact.




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

227

On the Adams presses the impression was applied at one time to
1,200 or 1,500 square inches, while on cylinder presses the printing
contact was 40 or 50 inches in width but only one-fourth inch in
length, applied successively as the cylinder revolved. The method
of printing by moving a form resting on a flat bed forward and back­
ward under a cylinder had been rudely applied by printers of copper­
plate engravings in the fifteenth century. The cylinder revolved in
stationary bearings. The ink was applied by inking balls, and the
paper was covered with a piece ©f blanket as for the ordinary hand
presses.
In 1790 William Nicholson, of London, author, inventor, and patent
agent, obtained a patent in England for “ a machine or instrument
on a new construction for the purpose of printing on paper, linen,
cotton, woolen, and other articles in a more neat, cheap, and accurate
manner than is effected by the machines now in use.” It covered
two devices— a flat bed and a rotary. In the first the types were
placed on the flat bed of the press and, after application of ink,
passed under a cylinder covered with cloth, which produced the
impression. In the second plan the types were imposed on a cylinder,
placed between two other cylinders, one built up of cloth and covered
with leather, to apply the ink, and the other on which the sheet was
held by grippers. No practical method of utilizing these principles
was added, as Nicholson was not a mechanic and failed to reduce his
theory to practice, so the ideas never passed beyond the paper stage.
KO EN IG CYLIN DER PR ESSES

His ingenious plans, however, probably influenced Friedrich Koenig,
who had secured the services of Nicholson in connection with his
patents, and to whom belongs the credit of introducing the flat-bed
cylinder press into actual use, permitting the more rapid production
of newspapers. Assisted by his countryman, Andreas F. Bauer, an
expert machinist, he had previously designed and built a powerdriven bed and platen press for Thomas Bensley. In 1812 he took
out a patent covering a power-driven flat-bed press in which the
impression was given by a cylinder instead of by a flat platen. The.
first one, which was completed the same year, was installed in the office
of Bensley. The cylinder was located above the bed, or carriage,
contained three impression surfaces, each provided with a frisket
frame, and printed three sheets each revolution. The paper was
placed on a sloping platform, called a “ feedboard,” near the top of
the cylinder. A sheet was laid by hand on the top impression surface
of the cylinder while this was stationary. The cylinder revolved
120 degrees, bringing another impression surface to the feeding
position at the top. After a sheet had been laid on this, the cylinder
revolved as before, making the impression on the first sheet and
bringing the third impression surface on top. The third sheet was
laid on this, the first sheet being meanwhile removed by hand by
another attendant. The cylinder revolved again, carrying the first
impression surface to the top, and so on. The reciprocating bed
motion employed by Koenig, later improved by Napier and com­
monly known under his name, was very efficient and is still one of
the most practical forms in use. One pressman and two attendants
operated the machine, which turned out 800 impressions per hour




228

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

A double machine was also described in the patent, and a system of
10, arranged in a circle, with the form continuously running forward
from one machine to the other. Other improvements were made by
Koenig in a patent of 1813, principally in the gearing and the inking
devices. John Walter, proprietor of the London Times, was so
impressed with the importance and future possibilities of the machine
that he ordered two double cylinder presses for his publication.
These were erected during 1814, and the issue of November 29 was
printed entirely on them, according to the published statement of
the owner, at the rate of 1,100 copies per hour. Circumstances
connected with this revolution in newspaper production were de­
scribed in an English trade journal,4 as follows:
The opposition of the printing trade, both employers and employed— particu­
larly the latter— to any new mechanical appliance which bids fair to displace
labor, or putthe majority of the printers in a disadvantageous position, was such
that great secrecy had to be observed. Nothing untoward, however, happened,
and most of our readers are no doubt acquainted with the story of how Walter,
after the great feat had been successfully carried through, entered his handpress room at 6 o’clock in the morning with a copy of the Times for November
29, 1814, and announced the doom of the old method by telling the astonished
pressmen that the paper had been produced by steam-driven machinery, and
that it would be useless for them to try and kick against the pricks, but if they
faced the new state of things in a reasonable manner he would see they did not
suffer by it.

This machine, which, in order to preserve the secrecy was not
patented until later in the same year, was provided with continuously
revolving cylinders, each having a single impression surface. As
only the impression surface was covered with a blanket, the balance
of the cylinder was of small enough diameter to clear the form on the
return journey of the bed. The Times at that period was a four-page
journal, printed on a sheet measuring 18 by 24 inches. As both cylin­
ders in one press printed from the same form, which passed alternately
under them, it was necessary to print one side of the sheets in one
press and afterwards to run them through the other press for printing
the’ other side. Two attendants were necessary for each cylinder—
one to feed and one to take aw^ay. Friskets had been eliminated and
.tapes substituted to hold the sheet against the cylinder. A feeding
attachment was also provided, consisting of an endless web of cloth.
Successive improvements, planned by Koenig, increased the produc­
tion, so that by 1824 the machines printed 2,000 impressions per hour.
A machine provided with a single continuous-revolution cylinder was
also described in the 1814 patent, while in the 1812 patent plans had
been shown for a double cylinder press, designated as a completing
press and later as a perfecting press, to print both sides of the sheet
at one operation. Such a machine, but provided with continuousrevolution cylinders, was constructed for Bensley. It contained two
beds, with connected drive to insure unison, each carrying a form.
The sheet was transferred from one cylinder to the other by tapes,
presenting opposite sides to the forms. It produced 750 perfected
sheets an hour, or 1,500 impressions, but it was too heavy and too high
priced, so no more were made. Koenig and Bauer returned in 1818
to their native country, and founded the firm of that name, press
builders, at Kloster Oberzell in Bavaria. Double cylinder presses
were constructed by the larger German newspapers and single
1The British and Colonial Printer and Stationer, London, November 26,1814.




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

229

cylinder presses, printing 1,200 impressions per hour, for the smaller
ones. In 1823 Koenig was invited to build a new machine for the
London Times, but declined. The firm, which was continued after
the death of Koenig and still exists, completed in 1847 the sixhundredth machine, capable of printing 6,000 impressions per hour.
C O W P E R AND A P P L E G A T H CYLIN DER PR ESSES

The success of Koenig was immediately apparent, and other inven­
tors entered the field to devise improvements. Cylinder presses
were at first considered fit only for newspaper production, and early
improvements were consequently directed toward higher speed, ignor­
ing quality of printing. Edward Cowper, a London machinist, im­
proved Koenig’s machine by substituting a better inking apparatus
and by removing a number of wheels, protecting his work by patents
in 1818. He and his brother-in-law, Augustus Applegath, also an
inventor, succeeded Koenig in the machine room of the Times.
Cowper’s patent introduced for the first time a flat ink-distribution
table, while Applegath’s patent of the same year covered vibratory
motion of ink-distributing rollers. After the refusal of Koenig to
construct a new press for the Times, Cowper and Applegath devised
a faster and better machine, consisting of four cylinders, which replaced
Koenig’s machines in 1827. Two alternative cylinders printed one
way, and the other two the other way. A description by Savage 5 of
this press, states:
The paper is laid on at four places, one forme of which, consisting of four
pages, is printed at the astonishing rate of 4,320 an hour, a fact of which I have
seen and ascertained myself, by counting its motions with a second-watch in
my hand.

Each machine required 4 attendants to lay on and 4 to take off,
or 16 in all for the two presses, beside the pressmen and helpers.
They were used until 1848, when the flat-bed principle was abandoned
by the Times. Cowper and Applegath also turned their attention
to the perfecting press, which they brought to a high degree of effi­
ciency. With but little alteration it was later on developed into the
modern flat-bed perfecting press.
N APIE R CYLIN DER PR ESSES

About 1824 David Napier, the English press manufacturer, per­
fected a practical style of grippers for holding the sheet on the
cylinders during the impression and delivering it afterwards, though
he failed to cover it by patents. He constructed presses with large
single-impression cylinders, but also introduced in 1830 a press pro­
vided with two small impression cylinders, which made two or more
revolutions for each sheet printed. The cylinders were raised or
lowered alternately by means of toggle joints, so that one cylinder
was giving the impression while the other was raised to let the form
pass under it. After the sheet was printed on one side, it was released
by the grippers on the first cylinder and caught by the grippers on the
other cylinder, where it was printed on the other side.
This so-called two-revolution press further increased the capacity,
as it permitted printing of larger forms. The power platen press
* Savage, William: Dictionary of the Art of Printing, London, 1840




230

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN N EW SPAPER PRINTING

was limited to about 24 by 36 inches, and the single-revolution
cylinder press to 36 by 48 inches, while the double-revolution cylinder
press was capable of printing on 48 by 72 inch sheets. One of the
Napier presses, used by Thomas Curson Hansard, a London printer,
during 1825, was declared by him to have an average speed of 2,000
sheets per hour, but capable of printing more. Several cylinder
presses were imported into the United States, where the first one was
installed in Boston, Mass., in 1826, but supremacy in development
of printing presses passed in a few years from England to this country.
H O E CYLIN DER PRESSES

The first two cylinder presses manufactured here, which were
similar to the Napier presses, were turned out in 1828 by R. Hoe &
Co., of New York, for the New York Commercial Advertiser and the
Philadelphia Daily Chronicle. They were provided with single
large cylinders, having a circumference equal to the entire travel
of the bed forward and backward. The cylinder revolved contin­
uously, making one revolution for each impression. The portion of
the cylinder not used for the impression surface was turned down to
allow the form to pass under it without touching. In 1832 the
firm sent Sereno Newton to England to investigate improvements
there. On his return in 1833 Newton, who was afterwards taken
into the firm, patented a double Napier press, and construction was
started on both single and double small cylinder presses, combining
the most valuable properties of the Applegath and the Napier presses.
The first one, used in the office of the New York Sun, had a capacity
of 4,000 impressions per hour.
In 1847 a new style of bed motion was introduced, the so-called
direct drive, which became very popular. Perfecting presses with
large cylinders were also constructed, as well as others intended
especially for fine book and job work, such as the stop-cylinder press,
invented in France in 1852. The sheet fly, which was used on the
Adams bed and platen press for delivering the sheet, was improved
by the firm and placed on all of its cylinder presses. Improvements
were continued on machines embodying the flat-bed and cylinder
principle, and a number of other manufacturers also introduced
their various makes, but about 1850 the cylinder press was replaced
in some of the larger offices by a faster machine, and began to be more
closely associated with book and job production. It remained popu­
lar in the small country newspaper offices, where it had gradually
supplanted the platen presses. Some of these are still producing
their small weekly editions, together with other printing of large
size, on cylinder presses.
Aside from those manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. there were in 1870
several makes, constructed especially for newspaper printing but also
adaptable for job work. They were styled country presses and were
known individually by the name of their manufacturer. The more
popular of these presses were made by Andrew Campbell, New York;
Cottrell & Babcock, Westerly, R. I.; and the A. B. Taylor Printing
Press & Machine Co., New York.
In 1833 some of the daily newspapers in the larger cities of the
United States were printed on cylinder presses, cranked by hand,
though others were still turned out on bed and platen presses, as were
the country papers of small circulation. The Sun, the first penny




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

231

paper in the country, established in New York in 1833, was printed
on Napier presses turned by crank men, as were practically all daily
newspapers in New York, but, with a sheet 113^ by 17 inches, could
be produced only at the rate of 400 copies per hour. Two years later
steam was applied to the double-cylinder presses in the Sun office.
This relieved the situation for the time being, but. the constant
growth of the publication made it difficult a year afterward to print
the required number of copies each day in the time allotted for a
daily paper.
The cylinder presses manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. surpassed the
foreign makes in both quantity and quality of work, though the
iatter was not considered so important for newspapers. Driven by
mechanical power, the output of the single-cylinder presses reached a
maximum of 2,000 impressions per hour, or as fast as the feeder could
lay the sheets down. Twice as much could be produced on the
double-cylinder presses, on which two feeders placed the sheets, as
both cylinders printed on the same form, but even this production
failed to meet the requirements, which eventually resulted in the
development of the rotary principle for newspaper printing.
PRODUCTIVITY ON CYLINDER PRESSES AND LABOR COST IN 1870

A N interesting comparison is afforded. by a table published by De
V inne6 on cylinder-press production in 1870, although it covers
work in job offices, consisting ordinarily of work of a finer grade than
that involved in newspaper work, and consequently would be slower.
He also stated that a double medium cylinder, when running on
newspaper work, could be made to give 1,500 or 1,750 impressions
per hour, but such speed could not be kept up through 10 consecu­
tive hours, that 10,000 impressions could seldom be secured in 10
hours from one form, and that the average was often below 9,000
impressions.
• De Vinne, Theodore L.: The Printers Price List.

New York, 1871.

Average daily 'performance of presses on editions of irregular numbers, with a small allowance of time for
making ready
[The estimates of the following table are for miscellaneous work, done in the usual manner, with little
making ready and under the favorable conditions of a busy season. It is supposed that the presses
are at work full 10 hours; that feeders and pressmen are expert and diligent; that paper, rollers,
steam power, ink, etc., are in perfect order, and that there are no detentions or accidents. These
estimates are applicable only to a press in full employment]
Makeready
time
(hours)

1
5
7
2
5
7
3
5
7

Style of press and number of forms

Medium cylinder
1 form of 1,500 impressions............ ........................... ................... ..............
5 forms of 750 impressions_____ _____ ________________________ _____
8 forms of 250 impressions__________________________________________
Double medium cylinder
1 form of 5,000 impressions________________ ______________________
3 forms of 1,000 impressions_____________________ ___ . . . . ______
6 forms of 250 impressions______________________ ____ ______ _______
Mammoth cylinder
1 form of 4,000 impressions.......................... ......... .....................................
2 forms of 1,250 impressions..................... .................... ........ ............ ........
4 forms of 250impressions............................ ............................. ..............

The allotment of impressions to forms is not fanciful.
In every job office small editions are always in excess.




Time
Rate
Daily
press­ per hour perform­
work
when ance (im
(hours) at work pressions)

9
5
3

833
750
666

7,500
3,750
2,000

8
5
3

666
600
500

5,000
3,000
1,500

7
5
3

570
500
333

4,000
2,500
1,000

The proportions are those of actual practice.

232

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Average wages of the period were given by De Vinne for New York
as $20 per week for hand, cylinder, and Adams press men, but rang­
ing from $15 to $18 for inexpert workmen to $22 or $24 for superior
workmen. Feeders received $6 to $9 per week, according to ability,
and fly boys $3 or $4 per week, while foremen were paid $25 to $40
per week.
INKING ROLLERS

A N extremely valuable improvement was the discovery of glue and
treacle composition for inking the type. The lack of a suitable
method for applying the ink had blocked the progress of develop­
ment for many years, as no speed could be attained while hair-stuffed
leather balls were used. Experiments had been made by Stanhope
and others in using cylinders covered with cloth, silk, or skins of
animals, but all proved unsatisfactory.
In 1813 F. B. Foster, an English printer, noticed that an elastic
compound was used successfully by pottery workers in Staffordshire
for transferring designs, receiving and depositing the colors freely
and evenly. Learning that it consisted of glue and treacle he
introduced such a composition for hand-inking balls. The new m a te­
rial was utilized the same year in roller form by Donkin & Bacon
on a new-style press furnished by them to the University of Cam­
bridge, England.
Koenig had been handicapped at first by the lack of suitable
material, as the leather-covered cylinders on his new presses did
not possess the proper suction and flexibility. While building his
cylinder presses for the Times his attention was called to the new
composition. He adopted it, constructing cylindrical molds for
casting rollers from it around metal cores. These solved the diffi­
culty of applying the ink. The subsequent introduction of distribut­
ing rollers by Cowper and by Applegath improved the facilities.
Attempts were made at first to keep the process secret, but eventually
the contents became known to others, and roller making was added
to the duties of the pressman. For a number of years nearly every
printing plant made its own rollers, though factories for supplying
the trade also appeared.
Daniel Fanshaw, the New York printer, who learned from a
Presbyterian minister from England of the innovation, experimented
with the composition about 1826, and used it exclusively for a while,
also attempting to keep it secret. The formula leaked out here also,
and roller factories were established in this country, though some
pressmen continued to manufacture rollers for their own use as late
as 1900. It was later discovered that glycerin would keep the glue
soft and prevent the rollers from drying and hardening too rapidly,
an important feature from a financial standpoint, as well as affecting
the time of the workmen. Patents w^ere obtained by Lewis Francis
of New York in 1864 for this addition. Subsequently treacle or
molasses was left out, glue and glycerin alone being used for the
main body, but with individual small secret additions by the various
manufacturers to obtain the necessary tack and resiliency. At the
beginning of the nineteenth century printing houses in the United
States were still manufacturing printing ink for individual use or
importing it from Europe. Around 1805 two firms, one in Phila­
delphia and the other in Cambridgeport, began the manufacture of
printing ink for the trade, but black ink only. Vermilion ink, which




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

233

in recent years has been used to a great extent in newspapers, was
also manufactured after about 1822, and was the only colored ink
produced on this side of the Atlantic up to 1840. The establishment
of ink factories gradually relieved the pressmen of ink making.
PAPE R MANUFACTURE

HPHE tremendous increase in newspaper publishing w as also partly
T
due to the changes in the composition and manufacture of paper.
Before 1800 all paper was made in single sheets by hand. In the
early days it was manufactured from rags, either cotton or linen, the
material still used for fine writing paper. Paper mills were estab­
lished by the Saracens in Spain during their occupation of that
country, and paper making gradually spread to other countries. It
was not undertaken in the American Colonies until 1690, when a
paper mill was erected at Germantown, Pa., by William Rittinghuysen, an expert paper maker from Holland, together with William
Bradford, printer, who later established the first newspaper published
in New York. Several days were required for finishing a sheet of
dry, perfected paper, and a day’s work for three men resulted only
in 4 reams of newspaper, 20 by 30 inches in size. One ream equaled
480 to 516 sheets.
The Revolutionary War practically ended importation of printing
paper from abroad, and also created an acute shortage. While the
number of paper mills had increased until there were more than 40 in
the country, several of them were idle on account of the war, and the
others could not manufacture a sufficient quantity. In the rush to
supply the demand, the paper was often disposed of before it was dry
or had been finished by the workers. In these early days, when all
paper was made by hand, 5 to 10 reams a day were considered a fair
production for one mill. After peace had been established other mills
were built, and by 1810 nearly 200 existed in the United States.
In 1798 Louis Roberts, a clerk in D idot’s paper mill at Essonnes,
France, took out a patent for making paper by an endless-web
machine. Unable to secure financial assistance, he sold the patent
to Leger Didot, who took it to England, where it was acquired by
Henry Fourdrinier, proprietor of a paper mill in Kent. A machine
was constructed in 1803 by the Fourdrinier Bros., after whom it was
named, which manufactured the paper in one continuous web of any
desired length and revolutionized paper making, as hand manufac­
ture required a week to accomplish what the machine would do in a
day. In 1817 a couple of paper mills in the United States had in­
stalled machines of American origin on nearly similar principles, but
these were outclassed by the Fourdrinier machine, imported in 1820
by Thomas Gilpin & Co., of Wilmington, Del., which rapidly became
popular.
Nawspaper production was still limited by the scant supply of
suitable material for paper, and various substitutes for rags were
brought out. In 1719 the use of wood had been suggested by Rene
Antoine Reaumur, the French scientist, but ground wood pulp was
not introduced until after the invention of a grinding machine in 1844
by Gottfried Keller in Germany. The method was adopted by
Heinrich Voelter, a paper manufacturer. It was introduced in this
9819°— 29-------16




234

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEW SPAPER PRINTING

country by Alberto Pagenstecher, who in 1867 built a grinding mill
in Curtisville, Mass., and finally succeeded in getting Wellington
Smith, the owner of a near-by paper mill, to use it. The result
proved to be good paper for newsprint, and the new fiber was soon
adopted generally for that purpose, taking an important part in the
development and productivity of newspaper printing.
R O TAR Y PRESSES

cylinder press, originally projected by Nicholson and introuuced by Koenig, had been successfully established. Meantime
others had attempted different ways of arriving at the same result, in
line with the second project of Nichoison, which proposed placing the
type on a cylinder, revolving against another cylinder to provide the
impression. Cotton cloths had been printed in a similar manner,
from engraved cylinders, as early as 1743. In 1796 Dr. Appollos
Kinsley, of Connecticut, took out a patent for an improvement on
Nicholson’s press, placing the cylinders vertical instead of horizontal.
It is claimed that a prass was constructed, which worked well. While
considered too complicated to use and too defective in color dis­
tribution, one machine was constructed for the University of Cam­
bridge, England, by Richard M . Bacon, printer of Norwich, and
Bryan Donkin, of Bermondsey, under a patent of 1813. It con­
sisted of a revolving, four-sided prism, on which the forms were
locked, while the sheets were fastened on another prism. The ink
was applied by a composition roller, which rose and fell to meet the
irregularities of the pri^m.
In 1815 Edward Cowper took out an English patent for printing
paper for paper hangings and other purposes by means of stereotype
plates, cast flat and curved by means of heat, to be locked on a
cylinder. Three years later he and his associate, Augustus Applegath,
supplied the Bank of England with machines to print in colors, using
curved stereotype plates. Such presses were used for 50 years for
printing labels m two colors, and for printing 4,000,000 banknotes.
A rotary machine, with the types secured around a cylinder, was
used in 1828 for printing the Christian Advocate of New York,
which at that time had a circulation of 8,000. One copy was pro­
duced each cylinder revolution. Sir Rowland Hill took out an
English patent in 1835 for “ certain improvements in certain methods
of letter-press printing by machinery,” consisting of a press intended
to print, either with movable type or with stereotype plates, from a
continuous roll of paper, made possible by the Fourdrinier papermaking machine. A press was constructed and operated, which
printed on both sides of the web, but the difficulty attending the
impression of stamps on each copy, required then by English law,
interfered with its use, and the project was abandoned like previous
ones. In 1836 Dryden & Co., of Lambeth, England, received a
patent for tapered types, and in 1839 Jephtha A. Wilkinson, of
Brooklyn, N. Y., built a rotary press for the New York Sun, but
abandoned the project three years later, as the types would not
hold on the cylinders.




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

235

H O E T Y P E R EV O LV IN G P R E SSE S

An American firm finally carried forward the evolution of the
printing press, and with the assistance of related devices made possible
the enormous production of the modern newspaper. A number of
patents were granted to Richard M . Hoe, of New York, among them
one in 1844 for a rotary combined cylinder press, the Planetarium.
It was provided with any number of cylinders, from two to eight
or more, each of which received a sheet and carried it to the form
for the impression. This principle was applied by substituting a
horizontal revolving cylinder to carry the type form in place of the
flat bed, resulting in the Hoe type revolving machine, installed in the
Philadelphia Ledger in 1846. Four small impression cylinders were
grouped around the large type cylinder, on which the type was held
by patented removable devices, known as turtles. Ordinary type
was used, and locked in the turtles by means of wedge-shaped column
rules. Ink was supplied from a fountain under the type cylinder to
portions on this cylinder not occupied by type, and taken off by
composition inking rollers, that rose and fell alternately to receive a
supply of ink and to deposit it on the form. The sheets were fed in by
boys, one for each- impression cylinder, and delivered by sheet fliers,
which laid them in piles on tables. A maximum running speed was
obtained of about 2,000 sheets per hour to each feeder, or a total of
8,000 sheets per hour for the press, printed on one side.
Even this production proved too'slow . The daily circulation of
newspapers had reached 60,000 in 1853, requiring 12 hours for printing
the first side on a 4 or 6 cylinder press, and 8 hours for the second
side. The New York Sun, for instance, went to press on the second
side at midnight and did not finish until 8 a. m. At the demands of
the newspapers for more production, the size of the machine was
enlarged from time to time by adding more impression cylinders,
until finally 10-cylinder machines were in use. The theoretical speed
was 3,000 impressions per hour for each cylinder, but accidents and
stoppages brought the results down to about 1,500 per hour, giving a
production for a 10-cylinder press of 15,000 copies per hour. As
they were printed on one side only, it was of course necessary to put
them through the press again after the forms had been changed, or
through another machine. One of the new presses was erected in the
office of La Patrie, in Paris, France, in 1848, where it was seen by the
publisher of Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper of London, England. A
6-cylinder machine was installed for that publication in 1856.
C O W P E R AND A P P LE G A TH TY P E REV OLV IN G PR ESS

Meantime Cowper and Applegath had constructed a somewhat
similar machine for the London Times, where it was installed in 1848.
The type was placed on a large cylinder, revolving on a vertical axis,
but as no means were devised to lock the type other than in flat
columns, the forms presented a polygonal surface. Eight small
vertical impression cylinders were placed around the type cylinder,
and ink was applied by rollers to the form as it passed from one
impression cylinder to the other. The sheets were fed down by hand
from flat horizontal feedboards, passed sideways between impression
and type cylinders, and delivered in vertical position to boys, one at
each cylinder. At the best it could produce only 8,000 impressions
per hour on one side of the sheets, with a theoretical speed of 10,000




236

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

to 11,000 per hour. The Hoe type-revolving machine in L loyd’s
proved so superior that the Applegath press was replaced in 1857 by
two Hoe 10-cylinder machines, which lasted for about 11 years.
The Hoe type-revolving, or “ Lightning,” press, which was rapidly
adopted both in the United States and Europe by the leading news­
papers, and for many years was regarded as one of the wonders of the
age, contributed much to the advancement of newspaper printing.
Publications, which had been limited through inability to produce
sufficient copies, increased their circulations and new publications
were started.
S T E R E O T Y P E PLATES ON TY P E R EVOLVIN G PR ESSES

In 1859 James Dellagana, a London stereotyper, produced curved
printing plates for the London Times by the papier-mache method.
These were, however, cast type-high in separate single-column strips,
and were locked in the turtles on the Hoe presses used-there. Curved
plates had already been produced in 1854 by Charles Craske, a New
York stereotyper, for the New York Herald, and beds were later
provided on the type revolving presses to receive these plates instead
of the type. This proved a temporary relief to the larger newspapers,
as the setting of type was so slow and costly that forms could not be
set up for more than one press, limiting establishments to the use
of one machine for each side of the newspaper sheet. The produc­
tion of stereotype plates permitted duplication of pages in any desired
quantities, and consequent printing on several machines at the same
time, as well as operating the presses faster. In several of the lead­
ing offices, such as the New York Herald, the London Daily Telegram
and the London Standard, as many as five of these machines were in
constant operation.
BULLOCK R O T A R Y W EB PRESSES

In 1865 William Bullock, an American inventor, presented a press
that utilized the various advantages properly, and the first one was
erected in the office of the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1853 Bullock
had moved a newspaper published by him in Philadelphia, Pa., to
Catskill, N. Y ., where he constructed for his personal use a wooden
press, turned by a hand crank, to which an automatic sheet feeder
was attached. Soon afterwards he went to New York, where he
perfected an automatic feeding machine for sheets. In 1863 he was
granted a patent for a rotary self-feeding and perfecting press to
print from stereotype plates, which instead of using sheets was fed
from a continuous roll or web by means of a roller, revolving in
contact with the paper roll. The web was passed between two
cylinders, where a serrated blade severed it into sheets of desired
length. This method of cutting the web was probably adopted from
a patent issued in 1851 to Jacob Worms, of New York, who obtained
it from a French patent of 1849, for the combination with the printing
cylinders of cylinders provided with a sharp knife or saw, operated
by a cam, for the purpose of severing the paper as it passed through
the rollers.
The sheet used by the Philadelphia Inquirer was 25 inches in
width and 40 inches in length, presenting pages 20 by 25 inches
after folding. The sheet w^as carried by grippers to the first impres­
sion cylinder, where it was printed on one side from a curved stereo­




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

237

type plate, clamped on a form or plate cylinder. It was transferred
to a second large impression cylinder, where the other side was
printed in similar manner, and then carried to a delivery table by
automatic nippers, placed on endless leather belts. Each plate cyl­
inder was provided with a separate inking unit, in which the ink
was transferred from a roller revolving in a fountain to a cylinder
or drum. Composition rollers, in independent adjustable bearings
distributed the ink on the drum, which was also given alternative
lateral movement, and transferred it to the plate. The impression
cylinders were covered with soft, spongy felt blankets, stretched over
rubber blankets, to soften the impression and make up for imperfect
tions in the surfaces of the stereotype plates. The second impression
cylinder, which was of large diameter to provide additional tympan
surface, was in addition covered with a muslin sheet, or offset tym ­
pan, to absorb surplus ink offset by the first side printed. In these
items the Bullock press contained the principles of the modern news­
paper press, but two serious defects existed. It did not deliver
neatly and the papers required folding by hand, while severing the
web before printing necessitated passing single sheets through the
press. The output of the machine, which required three attendants
for operation, was 10,000 copies per hour, printed on both sides.
Double machines were built later which printed and cut two copies
each delivery, producing 30,000 impressions per hour.
Experiments by Bullock were stopped in 1867 by a serious accident
while laboring on one of his presses in Philadelphia, which resulted
in his death nine days afterward. Attempts were later made to
overcome the defects by adding a fly delivery and a folder, as well
as a modification, known as Kellberg’s arrangement, by which the
sheet was cut after printing, patented by John W. Kellberg, of
Philadelphia, Pa., in 1870. Another single and a double machine
were installed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bullock presses were
used by many large newspapers, such as the New York Sun, which
had seven, the New York Tribune, and the New York Herald, and
also by the Daily Telegraph and the Journal in London, England.
P A P E R FO R W EB PR ESSES

Newsprint, as the particular kind of blank paper was termed, had
up to this time been cut into sheets of the standard sizes when it left
the paper-making machine. On the introduction of the roll-fed press
and as a result thereof it also appeared in a continuous web, wound in
roll form on a hollow core, which permitted it to be fastened on a
shaft or spindle. Dampening of paper had also passed to the machine
stage. In 1854 patents were issued to William and Andrew Overend,
of Philadelphia, Pa., for a wetting machine for flat paper, in which
the sheets were passed between felt-covered rollers, one of which
revolved in a trough of water. A machine on similar lines but
adapted to a continuous web was patented by A. Dougherty, of
New York, in 1861. The web was rewound after dampening, and
the machine was provided with a wooden brake, resting on the dry
roll, to provide uniform friction. Other wetting machines distributed
p fine spray of water on the web?
,




238

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING
W A LTE R R O T A R Y W E B PR ESS

Experiments conducted by the London Times resulted in the con­
struction of a rotary perfecting press by J. C. M acDonald in 1868.
It was named the Walter press, after the publisher of the Times. It
was similar in principle to the Bullock press but was provided with
impression cylinders of equal diameter, arranged with the plate cyl­
inders in a vertical line, one above the other. The web was severed
after printing. The sheets were carried by tapes up an incline and
down to a sheet flier, which distributed them alternately to two boys,
seated at opposite sides of the flier. It was also provided with damp­
ening cylinders, containing sponges filled with water, later replaced by
perforated hollow cylinders, supplied with steam. According to Ring­
walt,1 a circular issued by the manufacturer stated that the press was
capable of producing 12,000 copies per hour, printed on both sides, or
10,000 to 11,000 per hour, including stoppages.
When changing from one reel to another the arrangements are such that the
delay scarcely exceeds a minute, and the reels are kept as large as possible for
convenient handling. The labor employed when the Walter press is in operation
consists of two lads taking off, who suffice to inspect and count each sheet, and
a striker to start the machine and look after the reels as they ,are unwound.
One overseer can easily superintend two presses— capable of turning out, with
six unskilled hands, perfected sheets at the rate of 20,000 to 22,000 per hour,
stoppages included. W ith four of these presses— 12 lads and 2 overseers— the
Times is now printed at the rate of 40,000 copies per hour— i. e., in less than half
the time and with one-fifth the number of hands required by the fastest and
best printing machines previously in use. Moreover, layers-on, who are highly
trained workmen, and must be paid accordingly, are entirely dispensed with.

The four Walter presses w
rhich were installed in the Times office in
1868, displaced the Hoe type-revolving machines there, which some
time previously had been converted to carry stereotype plates. In
1885 folding mechanisms were attached to the Times presses, which
w^ere used by that publication until 1895. The Walter press was
also used by the London Daily News, among others in England, and
by the New York Times in the United States.
M A R IN O N I R O T A R Y PRESS

In 1868, to cope with the growing circulation of Le Petit Journal in
Paris, France, Hippolyte Marinoni, of that city, also utilized the idea
of impression and plate cylinders of equal size, placed above each
other, in a press. It was provided with separate flyboards for
delivery of the sheets and rivaled the fast Bullock and Walter presses
in speed but differed essentially from them in being fed by sheets
instead of from a roll. It was claimed by the Echo, of London,
where a couple of Marinoni presses were installed in 1872, to produce
an average of 9,000 sheets of large size per hour, printed on both sides.
H A N D IC A PS TO PR O D U C T IO N ON R O T A R Y PR ESSES

Even these machines working at top speed, failed to satisfy the
demand created by the constant increase in circulation of the news­
papers. According to the American Newspaper Directory for 1871,
published by George P. Rowell & Co. of New York, there existed at
that time in the United States 548 newspapers printing over 5,000
copies per issue, and 11 printing more than 10,000 copies per issue.
Supplying the paper to the presses in sheet form had been dispensed
l Ringwalt, J. Luther: American Encyclopedia of Printing, Philadelphia, 1871.




INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

239

with in the Bullock and the Walter presses. Considerable trouble
was, however, experienced with the paper, as newsprint was only
about 0.003 of an inch in thickness, and was subject to a great deal
more strain in web form than in sheet form. Frequent breaks of the
web delayed production, and the condition was further aggravated
by the lack of suitable ink.
Another factor which greatly retarded the speed of production was
the folding of the paper after the actual printing had been done. In
many cases this was still performed by hand, though mechanical
folding in the larger establishments was accomplished on separate
folding machines, but these were fed by hand, which limited the indi­
vidual capacity. The sheet was carried by tapes under a chopping
blade, which forced it between two folding rollers, giving it the first
fold, and then carried in similar manner at a right angle under
another chopping blade, where the second fold was given. The most
common for newspaper work was the Chambers’ newspaper folding
machine, invented by Cyrus Chambers, jr., who with his brother
established the firm of Chambers, Bro. & Co., in Philadelphia, Pa.,
in 1856, manufacturing folders for book and job work as well, and by
1870 had turned out 38 varieties. Another was the Forsaith news­
paper folding machine, patented and manufactured by S. C. Forsaith,
of Manchester, N. H., built in different styles and said to be capable
of folding 2,500 to 3,500 sheets per hour. The independent folding
machines were used to advantage in smaller establishments, in con­
nection with cylinder printing, where the production was large
enough to warrant the use of such a machine, and are at the present
time still found in places of that kind. Chopping-blade folders were
later attached to the rotary presses, but as they could not be worked
faster than 8,000 an hour, it was necessary to slow down the presses
to accommodate the folders.
These difficulties were finally eliminated by other manufacturers of
rotary web presses, as used at the present time. The details of modern
presswork on newspapers are described in chapter 9. (See p. 134.)
STERE O TYPIN G
IN V E N TIO N OF PR O C E SS

Tj^OR M A N Y years after the introduction of movable type all
printing was done directly from them, as is still the practice in
much of the commercial printing and in the production of small
newspapers. About the beginning of the eighteenth century attempts
were made in Holland to produce solid printing plates by soldering the
bottoms of type together in a form, but the method was not generally
used as it destroyed the availability of the type for further composition.
In 1727 William Gedd, a goldsmith of Edinburgh, Scotland, intro­
duced the casting of duplicate printing plates in plaster of Paris
molds, taken from the type forms, but through opposition of the
printers the idea was abandoned until again brought out, in an
improved form, by Andrew Foulis and Alexander Tilloch, printers,
who secured English patents in 1784.
A French printer, Gabriel Valleyre, who had also been trying to
produce solid plates, invented a similar method of making molds and
casting plates in 1730, using a stiff moist clay for the molding medium.
The plaster of Paris method was later perfected in England for shop
work by Charles, third Earl of Stanhope, assisted by Foulis and Til-




240

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

loch, who together with a printer, Andreas Wilson, established the
first foundry in 1803. Stereotype foundries were also established
in France about the same time, but they used various different
methods.
IN TR O D U C T IO N IN TO TH E UNITED ST A TE S

David Bruce, sr., a Scotchman, who with his brother had established
the firm of D . & G. Bruce, printers, in New York, realized in 1811 the
importance of stereotyping, as the process had been named by a
French printer and typefounder, Firmin Didot, from the Greek words
“ stereos” and “ ty p os” , meaning, respectively, firm, hard, or solid,
and type or letter. He went to England to study it, but at that time
stereotyping, like type founding and many other trades, was essentially
a secret trade, and no information could be obtained from Earl Stan­
hope. He managed, however, to secure some practical ideas from a
Scotch workman, and returned home to carry them out. About this
time the firm began type founding and gave up the printing business,
later abandoning stereotype work, also. Credit for producing the
first stereotype plates in America seemingly belongs to John Watts,
an Englishman, who established the printing firm of J. W atts & Co.
in New York in 1809, as he printed a book from plates in June, 1813,
while the first book from plates turned out by the Bruce foundry did
not appear until 1814.
PLA STE R M E T H O D

The plaster method was slow, and only one cast could be made
from each mold, as this was destroyed in removal. One or more
pages were locked in a chase. The surface of the type was oiled and
covered with semiliquified plaster of Paris, mixed with a little fine salt.
When partly dry, but still soft, the composition was pressed down
carefully and rolled smooth on top. After standing about 15 minutes
the mold was set sufficiently to permit removal and it was placed in
an oven, where it w baked for three or four hours until all moisture
ras
had been evaporated.
It was later discovered that by suspending the mold directly over
the metal pot, or floating it on the surface of the molten metal, it
could be dried in approximately one-half hour. Several of the plaster
casts were placed, side by side and face downwards, in a special casting
pan, about 2 inches deep, and a lid fastened over the backs of the
molds. The pan was put in the kettle of molten metal for about 10
minutes, or until filled, the metal running into the pan at the sides and
corners. Casting pans were subsequently replaced by casting boxes,
open at one end, in which the molds were placed and the metal was
poured with a ladle. These boxes permitted adjustment for the re­
quired thickness of the cast. The metal consisted mostly of lead,
with various alloys for hardening. The casting pan was placed in
the cooling trough for about 20 minutes, after which the mold was
removed and the surplus metal cut off. The face of the cast was
cleaned and inspected for defective letters or parts. If any existed,
they w^ere cut out and replaced by perfect ones, soldered in. The
sides of the plate were trimmed and tha back cut down to the required
thickness. English stereotypers leveled their plates by holding the
backs against a revolving disk, provided with knives. A notable
improvement was made by David Bruce, sr., by the invention of a
plate-shaving machine, which insured a uniform thickness for the
entire plate.



INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTING

241

The desirability of duplicate printing forms in a single piece created
a demand, and by 1850 more than 50 firms in the United States*
employing more than 1,000 men, were engaged in the production of
stereotypes. In some of these establishments the clay method was
used. The plaster method is still employed, in an improved form,
for the production of pJates consisting of an alJuminum alloy, used in
commercial printing.
P A P IE R -M A C H fi M E T H O D

M any experiments were mad© to produce curved plates, capable of
being clamped on a cylinder. In 1816, English patents for such a
process were granted to Edward Cowper, a machinist, who made the
first curved printing plates. These were cast flat, by the plaster
process, and curved afterwards to fit the printing cylinders, and were
used for printing the bank notes of tha English Government. The
method was not adaptable to newspaper work, as the destruction of
the mold in removal from the cast necessitated a new mold for each
plate.
A papier-mache matrix, consisting of several sheets united by a
paste and capable of standing a high temperature without burning,
was invented and patented by Jean Baptiste Genoux, a printer of
Lyon, France, in 1829. The patent rights were sold to several
individuals in France and Germany, but the possibilities were neg­
lected for many years. In 1846 Tetin, a master printer, established
a stereotype foundry in Paris, using the method, which he improved
greatly, and applying it successfully to book work. In 1852 it was
adopted by the daily newspaper La Presse, in Paris. It was intro­
duced to the stereotype trade in the United States by Charles Craske,
a steel and copperplate engraver of New York, in 1850. He cast
the first curved plate for a Hoe rotary press in the plant of the New
York Herald in 1854, but the experiment did not prove successful
and the process was not adopted permanently at.that time. Further
experiments solved the problems, and in 1861 Craske made contracts
to stereotype the regular editions of the Tribune, Times, Sun, and
Herald, which were satisfactorily carried out.
Experiments had also been conducted by James Dellagana, an
Italian printer who had learned the method in France, for the London
Times, where papier-mache molding was adopted in 1860. The
first plates were cast type high in single-column strips, which were
locked in turtles on the type cylinders. In 1859 full pages were
cast in curved form for the type-revolving presses then in use, but
semicylindrical plates were not perfected there until 1863.
The method was rapidly adopted by all larger newspapers. The
flexible paper matrix could be inserted in a curved casting receptacle,
and a cast could be produced in semicylindrical form of any diameter
desired. The matrix was tough and could be stripped from the cast
without injury, to be used over again. Consequently it was possible
to obtain several curved replicas of each type form, enabling the
newspapers to operate several presses at the same time, as well as
at a higher speed than when printing from type.
Manufacturing of stereotype printing plates added a third distinc­
tive operation, stereotyping, to the two already existing for the
mechanical production of newspapers. The details of modern stereo­
typing for newspapers are described in chapter 7. (See p. 90.)




CHAPTER 13.— DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER
INDUSTRY
EARLY NEW SPAPERS
ANCIENT N EW S BULLETINS

IST R IB U T IO N of news was practiced in ancient Rome as far
back as 691 B. C., through bulletins. One of these, Acta
Diuma, or Daily Events, contained short announcements of
official information on battles, trials, punishments, deaths, and sacri­
fices. Another, Acta Senatus, containing accounts of various matters
brought before the senate, decisions, and opinions, was issued regu­
larly by command of Julius Caesar. Still another, Acta Publica,
which contained a register of births and deaths in the city of Rome,
financial reports of the treasury, doings of the imperial family, and
some details of public affairs, was published daily by authority of
the Government during the latter days of the republic and under
the empire. These bulletins, however, were all written by scribes,
and publication consisted in posting them in the forum or other
public places, together with sending some copies to the Provinces.

D

PR IN TE D N E W SPA PE R S

The first printed newspaper was probably the Peking (China)
Gazette, according to some authorities first issued about 1340 A. D.
Toward the close of the fifteenth century small sheets in epistolary
form were printed in several towns of continental Europe.
In 1566 the Venetian Government issued a newspaper, Notizi
Scritte, which might be read on payment of a small coin, gazetta,
and from this fact, it is claimed, originated the term “ Gazette,” later
used for the majority of early American newspapers. During the
seventeenth century the newspaper, in the modern application of the
term, made its appearance in Europe as a regular weekly periodical
and not just a paper containing news. Among the earliest were the
Frankfurter Journal in Germany, started in 1615, and the Nieuwe
Tijdinge of Antwerp, Belgium, known to have been issued in 1616,
possibly earlier. The first weekly English newspaper with a definite
title was the Weekly Newes, started in 1622. Daily newspapers were
not introduced until many years afterwards, the first regular London
daily, the Daily Courant, appearing in 1702. A previous venture by
the Post B oy to publish daily numbers, in 1680, was abandoned after
four issues. All early papers were small, about 7 by 9 inches, and
usually of four pages. After 1650 a larger size, 13 3^ by 17 inches,
became common, but the limitations of the presses did not permit
printing two pages of that size at one time.
EARLY A M E R IC A N N E W S P A P E R S

According to the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the first
newspaper published in the United States was the Boston NewsLetter, which appeared in Boston, Mass., April 24, 1704. This
was followed by others in several of the principal towns during the
242




DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

243

colonial period, and m April, 1775, the number published had reached
37. While the News-Letter was the first continued publication,
another newspaper had been issued previously in Boston. Publick
Occurrences, both Foreign and Domestic, as this was named, was
issued on September 25, 1690, but, as with a previous attempt, it
was suppressed by the Government after the first issue. It was
intended to be issued monthly and was printed on three pages of a
folded sheet, each 11^2 by 7 ^ inches, with two columns to the page,
leaving the fourth page blank so that personal messages could be
written on it. The News-Letter was sometimes printed on a single
sheet, foolscap size, but oftener on a half sheet, folio, 7 by 1 1 ^
inches, with two columns on each page. It was announced in the
first issue as a weekly publication. In 1719 it was changed to a
whole sheet as “ half a sheet a week would not carry all the news.”
The early newspapers varied greatly in size and shape, on account
of the scarcity of news and, especially, the scarcity of paper. The
slow methods of production naturally prevented expansion, but dur­
ing the Revolutionary period the editions on some of the papers
became so large that the men who pulled the levers on the presses
complained of backaches. The growth of the towns created a demand
for advertising space, which changed the weekly issues, first to semi­
weekly, next to triweekly, and finally to regular daily publications,
Sundays excepted. In 1729 Benjamin Franklin attempted semi­
weekly publication of the Pennsylvania Gazette, which was imitated
by the Boston Chronicle in 1768 and gradually adopted by others.
In 1770 Isaiah Thomas published the Massachusetts Spy triweekly,
an example also followed by others later.
The first American daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet
and Daily Advertiser, was published in Philadelphia, Pa., September
21, 1784. It was a 4-page sheet, four columns to the page. Other
dailies were gradually established in the larger cities. In the begin­
ning these were all evening publications, but in 1796 the New World
in Philadelphia, Pa., printed two editions, from two forms on the
same sheet. These were divided, and one issued as an evening
publication and the other as a morning publication. Separate
morning publications appeared subsequently. By the year 1810
the number of newspapers published in the United States had increased
to 359. In 1825 the first Sunday newspaper was published, the New
York Courier. It was a regular Sunday newspaper, issued on that
day of the week only, and not a Sunday edition of a daily publica­
tion, such as is common at the present time.
M O D E R N N E W SPA PER PUBLISHING
CH AN GE S IN PR O D U C T IO N M E T H O D S

A LL of the radical changes which contributed to the development
^
of printing since the invention of movable type, and made
possible the enormous output of the modern newspaper plant, have
taken place since the year 1800. These were mostly mechanical.
The invention of the paper machine resulted in the manufacture of an
abundant supply of cheaper paper. The development of the printing
press, first as a cylinder press and later as a rotary press, permitted
faster production and more pages per issue. The improvement of




244

PRODUCTIVITY ©P LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

presses was greatly aided by the substitution of pliable rollers for dis­
tributing and applying the ink, in place of the inking balls; the change
from hand power for operating the machines to steam power, and later
to electric power; the application of stereotyping, producing curved
printing plates and eliminating direct printing from type, with
subsequent automatic production of the plates; and last, but not
least, the invention of typesetting and typecasting machines, which
increased the productive power of the composing room fivefold and
cheapened the cost of composition.
The many improvements in mechanical facilities, combined with
the increase in advertising, the public demand for news, and the
continued requirement for speed, have evolved the present news­
paper. There has been considerable change in the size of pages,
which now are customarily about 18 inches in width but vary from
21^2 to 24 inches in length. The increase in number of pages con­
tained in a single issue has been tremendous, and it is no longer
unusual to see a week-day newspaper consisting of over 50 pages, or a
Sunday paper containing more than 100 pages. The Sunday paper
had attracted but scant attention before the Civil War, but during
that period it commenced to gain importance through the desire for
news. It was at first the same size as the regular daily issue, but
additional features of partial news value were added to it and it
was gradually enlarged from time to time. The somewhat cumber­
some size of the ordinary newspaper page was responsible for the
introduction of a later innovation, the tabloid size, in which the
pages are only half as large. The first of these published in the
United States was the Daily News, which appeared in New York on
June 26, 1919.
The revolutionary changes in equipment for newspaper printing,
which created facilities for expansion of the industry, did not be­
come effective at once in all establishments. New methods were
ordinarily adopted first in the larger establishments, gradually
spreading to others. Even at the present day some of the changes
brought into use many years ago are just being made in some estab­
lishments, and plants still exist where newspapers are being turned out
in a comparatively primitive fashion. Consequently, the mechanical
production of newspapers may be found in a variety of stages through­
out the country, depending principally on the period of issue, the
bulk of the publication, and its circulation.
In spite of the many time-reducing factors there is still a demand
for more speed, and the paramount issue in newspaper production
continues to be a question of the shortest possible interval between
the time when the latest news is received and the time of its distribu­
tion. It is often not only a question of minutes but of seconds,
especially in the larger cities, where competition is keen.
P H O T O -E N G R A V IN G

ilside from the three important mechanical processes— composi­
tion, stereotyping, and presswork— which have been studied, there
are several others w^hich have contributed greatly to the develop­
ment of the modern newspaper. Photo-engraving, the process by
which the numerous illustrations are reproduced, is now a common
division of newspaper manufacturing. Some of the weekly papers
in England published illustrations as early as 1832. The first illus­




DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

245

trated newspaper in this country was Gleason’s Pictorial, established
in 1853 in Boston, Mass., but moved soon afterwards to New York,
where it was published as the Illustrated News of New York for
about a year. Several other weekly newspapers in this country had
occasionally produced illustrations which were cut in wood and
electro typed by a primitive method which destroyed the wood blocks.
The principle upon which photo-engraving is based was discovered in
France about 1821, but it was not applied successfully to printing
until more than 30 years later, when it was used in connection with
lithography. This process, photo-lithography, was introduced into
the United States in 1866, but the earliest adaptation to newspaper
production was on the New York Daily Graphic, which appeared on
March 4, 1873, and was for several years the only illustrated daily
newspaper in the world.
The process was again revolutionized when, on March 4, 1880,
the Graphic published the first half tone, now the practically uni­
versal style of illustration. A method was later developed which
permitted printing of half tones on fast presses using stereotype
plates. It is claimed this was first accomplished by the New York
Tribune on February 12, 1879.
Photo-engraving has been an important factor in development of
multicolor work, as used by many Sunday newspapers in their comic
or magazine sections. Colored plates w^ere printed in the London
Illustrated News as far back as 1855, but they were woodcuts. Con­
siderable advance was made in this field in England, France, and
Germany, and as a result an attempt was made to install English
color equipment by the Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1891. This was
abandoned, when it was found that it could not be done without
infringing on American patents. Equipment was obtained from
American manufacturers, and the first color supplement in the
United States was produced in M ay, 1892. Photo-engraving has
also made possible the production of other Sunday sections, manu­
factured by the offset method or the rotogravure method. Some of
the larger newspapers have installed equipment for such features in
their plants. Others obtain the finished product from various estab­
lishments that specialize in w~ork for the trade.
Offset printing is an adaptation of the methods previously used for
lithographic printing (invented in 1800 in Bavaria), combined with
photo-engraving and rotary presswork. The printing plate, which
carries the design on a chemically prepared surface, does not come in
contact with the paper, but deposits the ink on an intervening rubbercovered cylinder, from which it is set off, or transferred, to the paper.
The surfaces of the plate surrounding the design are of the same
height as the design, but repel the greasy ink when moistened by water.
The possibilities of the combination were discovered in the United
States during 1903. After some development it was used considerably
for illustrations, first by periodicals and later also by newspapers.
Rotogravure printing is a combination of photo-engraved intaglio
plates and rotary presswork. The design is etched, or engraved,
below the surface of the plate, which consists of a copper-faced
cylinder. The cylinder revolves through an ink fountain, filling the
depressions with ink, which is deposited on the paper. The funda­
mental process is old and had been applied as early as 1900 in the
United States for the printing of railroad tickets. Improved methods




246

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

were discovered in 1903 in Austria, and during 1905 the first practical
newspaper gravure outfit was perfected in Germany. An outfit was
imported by the National Cash Register Co., Dayton, Ohio, in 1910,
but rotogravure printing was first introduced in regular newspaper
manufacturing during 1912 by the New York Sun and the Cleveland
Leader. In the beginning all products by this method were printed
in monotone, but during recent years great progress has been made
in 4-color rotogravure work.
E LE C TR O TY PIN G

Competition in attractive Sunday magazine sections was respon­
sible for adding electrotyping departments to some of the newspaper
plants. Electro typing is the application of electroplating to the
printing process, the possibility of which was discovered in England
in 1837. It consists in making one, or more, facsimile printing plates
from an original by making an impression of the original in a plastic
substance, depositing a thin copper or nickel shell in this mold, back­
ing it with a semihard metal and trimming it to desired sizes. Experi­
ments were also made in this country during 1839, resulting in
practical production of electrotypes in 1841. It was, however, not
employed successfully until 1846, when the first commercial electro­
typing plant in the United States was established in Boston, Mass.
It was used extensively for newspaper advertising plates, produced
commercially, and for production of printing plates in book or maga­
zine work. Electro typing departments were installed m newspaper
plants to procure plates with better printing surface than ordinarily
provided in stereotyping, or which would not be corroded by color
ink.
D ISTRIB U TIO N

Preparatory work for the distribution of newspapers, as performed
by the mailing department, is a very important item in production.
It has also been modernized by development of automatic wrapping
and addressing devices, installation of conveyors, and other improve­
ments to facilitate rapid delivery of the finished product.
NUM BER OF N E W SPA PE R S PUBLISHED AND COPIES PRIN TED
ALL CLASSES, F R O M 1720 T O 1925

The newspaper branch of the printing industry has experienced a
tremendous growth. According to the seventh census of the United
States, in 1850,1only seven newspapers existed in the American Colonies
in 1720. During the 71 years between 1704, when the first continued
newspaper was established, and 1775, when the Revolutionary War
commenced, 78 different newspapers had been printed in the BritishAmerican Colonies, but only 37 of these were in existence in the latter
year. In 1810 the number of newspapers had increased to 366, in 1828
to 863, and in 1850 to 2,302. The returns for the Fourteenth Census
show that in 1919 the newspapers published in the United States
totaled 15,735 in number, an increase over 1850 of 583.5 per cent.
In addition to the numerical increase of individual papers, the growth
in the number of issues for these should also be considered. In the
i U. S. Bureau of the Census: Statistical View of the United States, being a Compendium of the Seventh
Census, Washington, 1854.




247

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

early days the newspapers were published weekly, gradually changing
to semiweekly, triweekly, and daily, the latter meaning six or seven
issues per week.
The expansion in volume was also an important factor in growth.
While the newspaper of a hundred years ago consisted of only 4
pages, the number of pages in the present-day newspaper is often
10 or 15 times that on week days and over 25 times that on
Sundays. Circulation has also advanced by leaps and bounds.
The Boston News-Letter was stated to have had a circulation of 300
copies per issue. Before 1810 the circulation of the most widely
read daily newspaper did not exceed 900 copies per issue, and there
were few weekly or semiweekly newspapers with a circulation of
above 600 copies per issue. In 1920, it was estimated^ one copy of a
daily newspaper was being published each day for every fourth
inhabitant, including children, in the United States.
A compilation was made of figures presented in the Compendium
of the Seventh Census for the number of newspapers published during
selected years, with their circulation, and later figures from subse­
quent census reports were added to show the development of news­
paper publication; population figures from the same source were also
included. The data are presented in Table 137:
T a b le

1 3 6 . — Development of newspaper publishing, and population, in the United
States, 1720 to 1925

[From Compendium of Seventh Census and subsequent reports of the Bureau of the Census]

Daily papers
Triweekly
Morning

Evening

Semiweekly

Total

Year
N um ­
ber

1720.......................
1775.................. .
1810...... ............ .
1828_____________
1840...... ...............
1850______ ______
1860____ ________
1870.......................
1880................. .
1889.......................
1899...... .............
1909.................... .
1919........................
1925_ ................

Aggregate
Aggregate
circula­ N um ­ circula­ N um ­
tion per
tion per
ber
ber
issue
issue

Aggre­
Aggre­
Aggregate
gate
circula­ N um ­ gate N um ­
circula­ ber
circula­
tion per
ber tion per
tion per
issue
issue
issue

27

438
559
595
760
720
504

138
254
758,454
387
1,478,435
574
2, 601, 547
971
533
3, 566, 395
31, 610
1,051
8, 387,188
1,631
2, 226 315,102,156
' 9,"605,694' 1, 840 14, 606, 283 2, 600 24, 211,977
12, 582, 841 1, 721 20,445, 789 2,441 33,028, 630
14, 284,198 1, 612 23,122,417 2,116 37,406, 615

i Includes triweekly papers.
3Includes some semiweekly papers.
* Includes Sunday issues of dailies.




15

37

2 115
86
107
73
34
62
73
93

i 125
31
79
115
133
194
637
635
452
i 430

75,712
107,170
155,105
68, 086
50,067
228, 610
335, 389
492, 286

53, 511
175,165
247,197
264,910
561, 743
2, 832,868
2,312,919
2, 020,165
1, 703, 372

248

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

T a b le

136.— Development of newspaper publishing, and population, in the United
States, 1720 to 1925— Continued
Weekly papers

Year

Aggregate
circula­
tion per
issue

N um ­
ber

1720 ............. —.
1775__........... ........
1810 ........... .......
1828........................
1840_....................
1850_____________
1860_ ...... ........ .
1870 .................
1880 ........ ..............
1889 __....................
1899 . . . .............
1909 ....................
1919-......................
1925_ ....................

Sunday papers
Aggregate
circula­
tion per
issue

N um ­
ber

7
283
1, 141
1,902
3, 173
4, 295
8, 633
8 10, 814
12, 979
13, 903
12,145
6, 435

2, 944, 629
7,581,930
10, 594, 643
16, 266, 830
28, 954, 515
i 39, 852, 052
20, 946, 335
20, 740, 551
15, 989, 700

!
1
252
567
520
604
597

13, 347, 282
19, 368, 913
25, 630, 056

Grand total

N um ­
ber

7
37
5 366
863
1,404
2,302
3, 725
5,091
9,810
12, 658
15,904
17, 731
15, 735
9, 869

Aggregate
circula­
tion per
issue

< 23,000
• 24, 557,400
e 68,117, 798
6 195,838, 673
3,832,306
9,342, 700
13, 598,492
20,166,221
37,953,513
58, 015, 686
61,153,912
75, 650, 545
80, 704, 948

Population

* 750,000
* 3,490, 740
7, 239,881
7 12,866,020
17, 069,453
23,191,876
31, 443, 321
38, 558, 371
50,155,783
62,947,714
75,994, 575
91,972, 266
105, 710, 620
4 115, 378,094

1 Includes triweekly papers.
4 Estimated.
fi Includes 3 publications, the classification of which is unknown.
6 Aggregate annual circulation.
7 For 1830.
8 Includes exclusively Sunday issues.

The first Government census of newspapers was taken in 1850, and
previous figures given in the census reports were credited to other
sources. Division of the daily newspapers into morning and evening
issues was not made until the 1880 census, when the number in each
class was given, and circulation figures were not included until the
1909 census. In censuses previous to 1909 the Sunday newspapers
were not listed separately in the reports, but were treated as editions
of dailies if they were published by the daily newspapers, or as regular
weekly newspapers if they were issued by concerns that published no
other newspapers. At the census of 1909 all Sunday newspapers were
tabulated separately. No account has been taken of biweekly, semi­
monthly, monthly, or quarterly publications which might possibly
be classed as newspapers instead of periodicals. Some of the tri­
weekly, semiweekly, or weekly publications shown in tabulations
before 1909 might have belonged in the periodical class, as newspapers
and periodicals were not strictly separated before that census. Exact
population figures were not available until after the first census of the
United States in 1890, so population for earlier periods were based on
seemingly conservative estimates.
According to preliminary figures published for the 1925 census of
manufactures, 235 years after the issue of the first newspaper in this
country, the number of newspapers published in the United States,
including the Territories, were: Morning, 504, with daily circulation
of 14,284,198; evening, 1,612, with daily circulation of 23,122,417;
Sunday, 597, with weekly circulation of 25,630,056; triweekly and
semiweekly, 430, with circulation per issue of 1,703,372; weekly, 6,435,
with weekly circulation of 15,989,700. The population of the coun­
try was estimated for the same year at 115,378,094. This meant
that one copy of a daily newspaper was published for every three
inhabitants of the country, one copy of a Sunday newspaper for every
four inhabitants, and one copy of a weekly newspaper for every seven
inhabitants. In 1850 only one copy of a daily newspaper was pub


DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

249

lished for every 30 inhabitants, while the weekly newspaper, at that
time the most popular form, was published at the same ratio as at
present— one copy for every seven inhabitants. During the course of
years the number of newspaper copies published has advanced in
much the same proportion as the population.
DAILY N E W S PA PE R S, 1883 TO 1925

The main progress was due to the development of the daily news­
paper, which, as it was published six times per week, turned out the
largest portion of the products. While the number of daily newspaper
publications was smaller in 1925 than in 1909, it was still considerably
above the 1889 figures of 1,610 papers— 559 morning newspapers and
1,051 evening newspapers. B y 1925 the morning publications totaled
504, a reduction of 10 per cent, but the evening publications had risen
to 1,612, an increase of over 50 per cent, making a total increase for
the daily newspapers of over 30 per cent. The aggregate circulation
per issue had advanced over 330 per cent, to more than 37,000,000
copies, or one daily newspaper for each three inhabitants of the
country, children included. In addition, the average number of
pages per issue had increased approximately 200 per cent, while the
average page size had been enlarged about 10 per cent. Therefore,
around 1,250 per cent more pages of daily newspapers were printed in
1925 than in 1889, and each page contained about 10 per cent more
type than in the early period.
W EE KLY N E W S P A P E R S, 1889 TO 1925

In 1889 the weekly newspapers consisted of about 10,000 publica­
tions. These had increased to nearly 14,000 by 1909, but had been
reduced to less than 6,500 by 1925. The aggregate circulation per
issue had dropped from 29,000,000 copies to 16,000,000 copies.
Figures for the weekly newspapers in 1889, however, included Sun­
day newspapers published independent of the dailies, just as the
figures for the daily newspapers of that year included Sunday issues
connected with them. The Sunday newspaper had become a very
important factor by 1925, and was listed separately. While it con­
sisted of less than 600 publications, the aggregate circulation per issue
was over 25,600,000 copies— practically one for each family in the
United States— and the estimated average number of pages per issue
was about 60. These items, if included, would increase the figures
for the weekly newspapers considerably.
EFFECT OF IM P R O V E D M E T H O D S ON EM PLO Y M E N T
EXPA N SIO N OF IN D U ST R Y

TN most industries the result of the evolution from hand methods
to machine methods and subsequent improvements in the
machines or methods, has been the permanent displacement of
workers. One of the notable exceptions is newspaper manufacturing,
where the facilities afforded through such changes not only increased
the man-hour output but also expanded the industry and stimulated
the mechanical processes, so that the number of workers were in­
creased instead of diminished. The old hand methods were entirely
inadequate, and without the labor-saving and time-saving machines
used in modern newspaper plants it would have been physically
impossible to produce the mammoth newspapers of the present day.
9819°— 29------- 17




250

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

Introduction of some machines or changes in methods did result in
temporary elimination of part of the workers, but the growth of the
industry soon balanced the reduction. New publications appeared
and the existing ones experienced a rapid increase both in circulation
and in bulk of the newspapers published. Idle workers were absorbed
and a demand was created for labor in new channels, often at higher
wage rates. Consequently the wage earners were, on the whole,
benefited by the improvements in manufacturing methods, both in
employment and in higher w
rages.
SU SPE N SIO N S AND C O N SO LID A TIO N S

Some temporary setbacks occurred later, such as conditions during
and after the W orld War, which made it difficult for small publica­
tions to continue in business and caused a drop in the number of
newspapers, especially among the country weeklies. It did not,
however, affect the number of workers in the industry greatly, nor
lessen the value of the total products. These w
rere influenced more
by the suspension of several large daily newspapers or consolidations
of some of these with their stronger competitors, a rather common
occurrence during recent years. According to the figures of the
United States census, approximately 500 daily newspapers had been
suspended or consolidated with others between 1919 and 1925.
IN CR E ASE S IN C IRCU LATIO N AND BULK

The increases in circulation and bulk, only possible through the
improvements in manufacturing methods, affected mainly the daily
newspapers, especially in the larger cities. They were principally
the result of changes in general business methods of the country,
which have made practically the entire commercial life of the Nation
dependent on the information spread by the daily press. The rising
circulation and the increased number o f . pages both called for
additional labor, almost equalizing the number displaced through
suspensions and consolidations. This was illustrated by a statement
from one establishment, that 26,000 copies of 4-page 6-column news­
papers were turned out by it daily in 1852, with 40 compositors and
a handful of pressmen, flyboys, and other labor. In 1926, the average
daily production had reached over 390,000 newspapers, and the
average bulk of a single issue had grown to more than 62 eightcolumn pages, including in both items the Sunday issues. This had
necessitated a mechanical w o rk in g force of about 1,700 hands, includ­
ing 325 compositors.
E M P L O Y M E N T IN N E W SPA PE R AND PER IO D IC AL PU B LISH IN G , 1889
TO 1925
N U M B E R OF W O R K E R S AND TH E IR E AR N IN G S

IN F O R M A T IO N published by the United States Bureau of the
Census does not show separate figures for the number of workers
engaged in the mechanical production of newspapers alone, but
combines them with those for similar workers on periodicals. Peri­
odicals are produced in somewhat similar manner, but the majority
of them are issued weekly, while the majority of the newspaper
copies printed are dailies. Figures from census reports, covering pro­
duction of newspapers and periodicals in specified years from 1889 to
1925, are presented in Table 137, which include the number of publica­
tions, the aggregate circulation per issue, the value of the products,
the number of workers employed, and the earnings of the workers.



251

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

T a b le 1 3 7 . — Development of newspaper and periodical publishing in the United

States, 1889 to 1925, by specified years

Year or period

1889...................................
1914___________________
1919___________________
1923 i__________________
1925___________________

Number of
workers

N um ­
ber of
publi­
cations

Aggregate
circulation
per issue

14,901
22, 754
20,489
13, 077
14, 065

68,147, 619 $179, 859, 750
205. 594, 907
495, 905, 948
222, 481, 983
924,152,878
231, 642, 614 1, 268,501, 566
259, 986, 457 1,447, 661,177

Earnings of—

Value of
products
All
workers

Wage
earners

All workers

106,095
212, 000
228, 630
238, 548
247, 758

85, 975
114, 375
120, 381
115, 646
117, 001

$68, 601, 532
179, 580, 971
288,198, 701
414,151,142
463, 239, 727

Wage
earners
$50, 824, 359
88, 561, 248
144, 348,173
196, 804, 325
217, 540, 967

Per cent of increase
1889 to
1914 to
1919 to
1923 to
1899 to

1914____________
52.7
1919____________ 2 10.0
1923____________ 2 36.2
1925____________
7.6
1925____________
2 5.6

201.7
8.2
4.1
12.2
281.3

175.7
86.4
37.3
14.1
704.9

99.8
7.8
4.3
3.9
133.5

33.0
5.3
2 3.9
1.2
36.0

161.8
60.5
43.7
11.9
575.3

72.4
63.0
36.5
10.5
328.0

1 Establishments with yearly production under $5,000 not included.
2 Decrease.
P R O D U C T IO N AND W O R K E R S IN 1889

Enormous changes have taken place in newspaper and periodical
publishing since the establishment of the United States. At that
time only 37 newspapers existed, mostly weekly publications, with
an estimated aggregate circulation of 23,000 copies per issue, and
they required only a few workers. B y 1889, production had emerged
from the infant stage. It had become an important factory process,
turning out nearly 15,000 different newspapers and periodicals, with
an aggregate circulation of more than 68,000,000 copies per issue.
Among these were 559 morning and 1,051 evening newspapers, in­
cluding Sunday editions of dailies, with an aggregate circulation of
almost 8,40:0,000 copies per issue, and also nearly 11,000 weekly
newspapers, with an aggregate circulation of close to 29,000,000
copies per issue. As a result more than 23,000 issues were published
weekly, or about six hundred and twenty-five times the number
published in 1775. A greater number of copies were also produced
per issue, so that the aggregate circulation per issue had increased
^hree thousand times. In addition, the issues contained more,
as w^ell as larger, pages. The early newspapers consisted of four
pages, each smaller than 8 by 10 inches in size, while the average
newspaper of 1889 was about 12 pages, each four times as large as
the page of 1775. The few workers required in the early period
had risen to more than 100,000, over 80 per cent of whom were
engaged in the mechanical production.
P R O D U C T IO N AND W O R K E R S IN 1914

Continuous growth was experienced in all phases between 1889,
when the influence of the linotype became felt, up to 1914. During
these 25 years the number of newspapers and periodicals had increased
more than 50 per cent, bringing the total number of publications up
to nearly 23,000, and the value of the products over 175 per cent,
while the aggregate circulation per issue had advanced over 200 per
cent and passed the 200,000,000 mark. As a result the total number
of workers engaged in the industry had increased nearly 100 per cent,
but on account of improvements in machinery and methods the



252

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOR IN NEWSPAPER PRINTING

number of wage earners, or workers in the mechanical production,
increased only 33 per cent, though aggregating nearly 115,000 in
1914 and constituting about 54 per cent of the total personnel.
The earnings of all the workers increased over 160 per cent, though
those of the workers in the mechanical production advanced less than
75 per cent.
PR O D U C T IO N AND W O R K E R S IN 1919

During the following five years the effect of the war caused a 10
per cent reduction in the number of publications, but this was
balanced by an increase in average circulation per issue for the
remaining ones. Value of the products advanced over 85 per cent
during the five years, and the total number of workers increased
nearly 8 per cent. The increase for the workers in the mechanical
production was 23^ per cent less, but still continuing.- Earnings of
both total workers and mechanical-production workers rose more than
60 per cent.
PR O D U C T IO N AND W O R K E R S IN 1923

B y 1923 a larger reduction had taken place in the number of publi­
cations, and a small decrease had been made in the mechanical-pro­
duction workers, though there was still employed a larger number
than in 1914. Both circulation per issue and the total number of
workers had risen about 4 per cent over the 1919 figures. Earnings
had also increased, over 40 per cent for all workers and less than 40
per cent for the mechanical-production workers.
Suspensions, especially of weekly editions of the daily newspapers
and of small country weeklies, together with consolidations, caused
a drop of over 9,500 publications since 1914, a decrease of over 40
per cent. The aggregate circulation per issue had meantime advanced
nearly 13 per cent and the total number of workers in the industry
had increased a similar amount. The wage earners, who had passed
the 120,000 mark in 1919 but subsequently experienced a reduction,
increased only a little over 1 per cent during the period, though
still advancing. Earnings had increased 130 per cent for the total
workers and over 120 per cent for mechanical-production workers.
PR O D U C T IO N AND W O R K E R S IN 1925

Between 1923 and 1925 a steady rise took place for all of the items.
The number of publications increased over 7 per cent, and the aggre­
gate circulation per issue advanced more than 12 per cent. The
total number of workers engaged in the industry increased nearly
4 per cent and the number of wage earners over 1 per cent. Conse­
quently, in spite of the reduction in the number of publications
since 1914, and the improvements in equipment or methods, the
number of workers in the mechanical production of newspapers and
periodicals advanced 2.3 per cent during the interval. The combined
daily and Sunday newspapers, on which the majority of the workers
are employed, have decreased constantly in number since 1909,
but the growth in circulation and the increase in the number of pages
have more than balanced the reduction.
Comparison of figures for 1925 with those for 1889 shows that,
while the number of publications dropped more than 5 per cent
during the interval, the aggregate circulation per issue increased
over 280 per cent in the same period, the value of the products more
than 700 per cent, the number of the total workers over 130 per cent,
and the workers in the mechanical production 36 per cent. Earnings



253

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY

of all workers in the industry advanced over 575 per cent, and earn­
ings of wage earners, who were engaged in the mechanical production,
increased more than 325 per cent.
RELATIVE VALUE OF PRO D U CTS FOR N E W SPAPERS AND FOR
PERIOD ICALS, 1889 TO 1925

Y\/'H ILE separation can not be made of workers in newspaper pub* * lishing and workers in periodical publishing, approximate esti­
mates thereof can be obtained by several methods, such as one based
on the number of publications, on the aggregate circulation per issue,
or on the value of the products. The latter seems the nearest accurate
method, and to assist in possible estimates on such a basis Table 138
is given, showing the relative value of products for newspapers
alone to products for the group of newspapers and periodicals, as
reported by the United States Bureau of the Census. The table con­
tains comparisons of subscriptions and sales, of advertising, and of
total products, which include other minor items:
T a b le

1 3 8 .— Value of newspaper products compared with newspaper and periodical
products, 1889 to 1925, by specified years
Value (000 omitted)
Products .
1909

Subscriptions and sales:
Newspapers________
Periodicals_________
Total..
Advertising:
Newspapers.
Periodicals- _

Total..
Per cent newspapers are of total:
Subscriptions and sales____ _
Advertising_________________
Total products___________

1919

0)

0)

0)

$84, 439
50, 624

$99, 542 $192,820 $222, 560 $230, 581
64, 035
85,187 138, 333 167, 757

$72, 343

$79, 928

135, 063

163, 577

278, 006

360, 893

398,338

0)
0)

0)
0)

148, 554
53, 979

184, 047
71, 585

373, 502
154, 797

580, 938
212, 956

661, 513
261, 759

145, 518

202, 533

255, 633

528, 299

793, 893

923, 273

143, 586
36, 273

175, 790
47,194

232, 993
74, 097

283, 589
212, 317

566, 321
357, 831

803, 497
465, 004

892, 094
555, 567

179, 859

222, 984

495, 906

924,153 1,268,502 1,447,661

0)

T ota lTotal products:
Newspapers.
Periodicals. _

1914

78.8

62.5
73.3
57.4

60.9
72.0
57.2

69.4
70.7
61.3

62.5
73.2
63.3

57.9
71.6
61.6

i Not reported separately.

While the value of the total products for newspapers had dropped
from 80 per cent of the value for combined newspapers and periodicals
in 1889 to less than 60 per cent in 1909, it rose again to over 60 per
cent and continued at that level. The value of subscriptions and
sales for newspapers also hovered around the 60 per cent mark,
though showing a wider fluctuation, in spite of the smaller value for
the single copies of an issue than for single periodicals. Part of the
increases in values of the products from one period to another was, of
course, due to the general advance in prices for all commodities. The
purchasing power of the dollar was reduced practically one-half
between 1889 and 1925, measured in terms of wholesale prices of
commodities, but this reduction affected only the totals and not the
relations between the groups.