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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
JAMES J. DAVIS, S^ cretary

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ETHELBERT STEWART, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES )
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS J

No. 392

IND UST RIA L A C C I D E N T S AND H Y G IE N E S E R I E S

SURVEY OF
HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN
THE PRINTING TRADES




By S. KJAER
Of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

SEPTEMBER, 1925

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1925




ADDITIONAL COPIES
OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE PROCURED FROM
THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON, D. C.
AT

rn CENTS PER COPY

PREFACE
In 1922 the International Joint Conference Council of the Print­
ing Industry planned an investigation of the hygiene of the printing
trades. The general supervision and control of the investigation was
placed by the Joint Council in the hands of Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics was, from the start, called into
these conferences and subsequently agreed to do a definitely outlined
part of the work involved in the general survey. Under the agree­
ment the Bureau of Labor Statistics was to conduct a branch of the
work involving the employment of at least one field investigator.
Mr. Swen Kj aer was assigned to this field work. The schedules and
questionnaires had of course been jointly agreed upon by Doctor
Hoffman and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Special Agent Kjaer
began his field work in October, 1922, completing it early in 1924.
The present bulletin is the beginning of the publication, of the re­
sults of the joint survey of the hygiene of the printing trades made
by the International Joint Conference Council of the Printing In­
dustry and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation. It rep­
resents that specific part of the work which the Bureau of Labor
Statistics agreed to do and will be followed by bulletins covering
other phases of the investigation.
E th elber t S tew ar t ,
Commissioner of Lab or Sta tistics .




h i




CONTENTS

Pag©

Introduction________________________________________________________ 1,2
Summary___________________________________________________________ 2-14
Description of operations_____________________________________________14-82
Composition_____________________________________________________ 15-18
Typesetting_________________________________________________ 16
Machine composition_________________________________________ 16,17
Hand composition____________________________________________17,18
Type founding___________________________________________________18-20
Plate making____________________________________________________20-33
20-24
Photo-engraving_________________________
Relief photo-engraving____________________________________20-22
Lithographic and offset engraving-----------------------------------22,23
Rotogravure engraving--------------------------------------------------- 24
Stereotyping-,________________________________________________24-28
Electrotyping________________________________________________ 28-30
Wood engraving_____________________________________
30-31
Copperplate and steel-die engraving---------------------------------------31,32
Other plate-making methods---------------------------------------------------32,33
Presswork_______________________________________________________ 33-57
Platen presswork------------------------------------------------------------------33-36
Cylinder presswork__________________________________________36-41
Rotary magazine presswork---------------------------------------------------41,42
Rotary newspaper presswork_________________________________ 42-48
Rotary specialty presswork---------------------------------------------------- 48-50
Lithographic and offset presswork----------------------50-52
Plate printing---------------------------------------------------------------------- 52
Die stamping_______________________________________________ 53, 54
Rotogravure printing________________________________________ 54, 55
Bronzing____________________________________________________55,56
Specialty printing methods_______________________
56,57
Binding_________ :--------------------------------------------------------------------- 57-80
Paper ruling_________________________________________________58,59
Pamphlet binding____________________________________________ 59-69
Paper cutting____________________________________________ 59,60
Folding________________________________________________ 60
Bundling________________________________________________ 60,61
Gathering______________________________________________ 61
Tipping------------------------------------------------------------------------ 61
Stripping_______________________________________________ 62
Stitching_______________________________________________ 62, 63
Covering________________________________________________ 63, 64
Trimming_______________________________________________ 64-66
Perforating---------------------------------------------------------------------66,67
Punching------------------------------------------------------------------------67,68
Numbering------------------------------------------------------------------- 68
Other operations------ :___________________________________ 68, 69
Bookbinding_________________________________________________ 69-76
Sewing------------------------------------------------------------------------- 70
Smashing_______________________________________________ 70
Rounding and backing--------------------------------------------------- 71
Lining------------------------------------------------------------------------- 71
Case making____________________________________________ 71-73
Casing in_______________________________________________ 73,74
Finishing________________________________________________74-76
Handling stock and waste---------------------------------------------------- 76
Specialty binding methods------------------------------------------------------76-78
Paper seasoning and preparing--------------------------------------------- 78,79
Mailing______________________________________________________79,80
Ink grinding____________________________________________________ 80,81
Roller making---------------------------------------------------------------------------81,82
Auxiliary work------------------------------------------------------------------------- 82



v

VI

CONTENTS

Page
Housing of printing trade plants_________________________________________ 82-98
Lighting—natural and artificial_______________________________________ 98-107
Ventilation of buildings and equipment_______________________________ 107-176
Sanitation________________________________
176-189
W elfare________________________________________________________________189-495
Personnel______________________________________________________________ 195-199
H azards_______________________________________________________________ 199-218
Accidents______________________________________________________________ 218-228
Summary of tabulation______________________________________________ 228,229

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
„ . page
Facing
Hand composition-------------------------------------------------------------------------18
Machine composition—Line-casting machines__________________________ 18
Machine composition—Monotype keyboards----------------------------------------- 18
Machine composition—Monotype casting machines_____________________
18
Type founding—Metal mixing department____________________________ 18
Type founding—Type-casting machines----------------------------------------------- 18
Type founding—Type-dressing department_____________ •______________ 18
Type founding—Dividing room______________________________________ 18
Relief photo-engraving— Gallery-------------------------------------------------------- 24
Relief photo-engraving—Etching-------------------------------------------------------- 24
Offset photo-engraving—Transferring_________________________________ 24
Rotogravure photo-engraving—Staging----------------------------------------------- 24
Stereotyping—Molding department----------------------------------------------------- 24
Stereotyping—Foundry--------------------------------------------------------------------- 24
Electrotyping—Finishing------------------------------------------------------------------ 24
Copperplate and steel-die engraving--------------------------------------------------- 24
Platen presswork-y-Cylinder presses in background----------------------------- 40
Cylinder presswork—Rotary press in foreground--------------------------------- 40
Rotary magazine presswork--------------------------------------------------------------- 40
Rotary newspaper presswork------------------------------------------------------------40
Offset presswork____________________________________________________ 40
Plate printing--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 40
Rotogravure presswork______________________________________________ 40
Rotogravure work—Replating of cylinders------------------------------------------ 40
Binding—Paper cutting------------------------------------------------------------------- 68
Pamphlet binding—Stitching^---------------------------------------------------------- 68
Bookbinding—Sewing----------------------------------------------------------------------- 68
Bookbinding—Finishing-------------------------------------------------------------------- 68
Old method of belt drives and overhead shafts in an electrotyping plant— 96




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
NO. 392

WASHINGTON

SEPTEMBER, 1925

SURVEY OF HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN
THE PRINTING TRADES
INTRODUCTION

The printing industry, like all industries in general, has experi­
enced constant improvement in working conditions and in the ap­
plication of new ideas.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a study of hygiene in
the printing trades in 19171 but, as data regarding recent changes
were scant and information concerning prevailing health conditions
in the industry was more or less conflicting, another and more
extensive survey has been made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
through its special agent, Mr. S. Kjaer.
The survey consisted of a personal inspection of representative
printing trade plants, located in 21 cities of the United States:
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston (S. C.), Chicago, Cincin­
nati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louis­
ville, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, Richmond, St. Louis, and Washington.
Approximately 1,000 plants were visited in all and detailed reports
were made of surveys in 536 establishments, some including addi­
tional inspections during night hours. The plants surveyed in
detail were, in the majority of cases, the larger establishments in
each city, as conditions in such naturally affected the greatest num­
ber of workers. The other plants were looked over and compared
in a general way only, because the former ones embodied all the
important features. The shops in each city were selected carefully,
after consultations with associations of both employers and workers,
so as to include not only each of the various branches of the trade
but also the different localities of the city and the varied conditions
in the plants.
*
The most important features of the reports have been summarized
so the general condition can be readily ascertained (pp. 228, 229).
To prevent identification of any of the plants the figures have not
been given by cities.
Splendid cooperation in the survey has been rendered by both
the employers and employees, individually, through their organiza­
tions in the localities visited, and through their national associations,
as well as by the State or city authorities where interviewed.
1TJ. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bui. No. 209: Hygiene of the printing trades.




1

2

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Special appreciation of courtesies and assistance, or offers of the
same, is due Mr. John P. Meade, director of industrial safety, depart­
ment of labor and industries, Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
Messrs. Chas. F. Glueck and E. E. A. Fisher, John Hancock Mutual
Life Insurance Co.; Hon. George H. Carter, Public Printer, and
official staff, notably Dr. Daniel P. Bush, medical and sanitary
officer; Dr. E. C. Levy, director public weliare department, city of
Richmond, Ya.; Mr. H. N. Kellogg, chairman standing committee,
American Newspaper Publishers’ Association; Mr. J. W. Hays, sec­
retary-treasurer International Typographical Union; Mr. Chas. A.
Sumner, secretary-treasurer International Stereotypers and Electro­
typers’ Union; Mr. Matthew Woll, president International PhotoEngravers’ Union; Mr. F. H. Bird, director industrial division,
United Typothetae of America; Mr. H. M. Ellis, executive secretary
Milwaukee Typothetse; Mr. F. A. Silcox, secretary Printers’ League
section, New York Employing Printers’ Association (Inc.); Dr.
Leland E. Cofer, director, and Dr. C. T. Graham-Rogers, medical
inspector, division of industrial hygiene, department of labor, State
of New York; and Dr. Louis J. Harris, director department of
health, city of New York.
SUMMARY

Employment in the printing trades has been considered as very
dangerous to the health of the workers, and the conditions under
which the work at one time was conducted unquestionably made it
so. It has, however, been changed greatly through application of
modern factory ideas and the adoption of hygienic improvement.
The industry is one of considerable importance, since the product
is used in all industrial, business, and everyday life, ranking among
the necessities of the present age. The various branches of the work
are performed in over 35,000 establishments by more than 600,000
workers, including proprietors, managers, superintendents, and
clerks.
Approximately two-thirds of the total number engaged in the
industry were actively employed in the trades, grouped in six sub­
divisions—composition, photo-engraving, stereotyping, electrotyping,
presswork, and binding—each of which is again divided into several
skilled trades, totaling more than 50. These trades are highly spe­
cialized in the larger shops, and each carries its own individual
hazards for the workers in addition to the general hazards accom­
panying indoor occupations. A few minor occupations that do not
exactly bfelong in either of the six main groups are included, because
they are closely allied with these and the work is performed in
printing-trade establishments, though customarily by specialists.
These occupations are type founding, ink grinding, roller making,
and various plate-making operations which are performed by hand.
In small shops it is not uncommon to find workers who are engaged
in more than one operation, and in the very small shops one operator
may successively perform all of the various duties required to turn
out the product, with consequent exposure to the peculiar hazards
of each of them.
Practically all the hazards created by the various operations can
be eliminated by sensible precautions, and there is really no necessity



SUMMABY

3

for any more danger to the health of the workers in the printing
trades than wbuld be encountered through employment in office work
or any other indoor occupation. Observation proved that it could
be accomplished, partly through the efforts of the employers to
create and maintain wholesome and hygienic quarters^for the per­
formance of the work and partly through cooperation of the em­
ployees in enforcing health measures. Unfortunately these condi­
tions did not prevail in all of the establishments surveyed, sometimes
through the fault of the employers, at other times of the workers,
or through disregard from both sides.
Some of the conditions affect all of the trades. One of these,
which constitutes one of the main requisites for desirable working
conditions, is a suitable building. Most of the processes require
considerable light and ventilation, which to a great extent are deter­
mined by the constructive arrangement of walls and pillars. This
has been influenced mainly by the period when the building was
erected. Some splendid examples of modern buildings were seen,
both single story and multistory, and also a number of old structures,
which were entirely unsuited for the purpose. Construction essen­
tials limit the extent of remodeling, and an old-style building can
not be changed to conform with modern factory ideas. Employers
realize that well-constructed buildings, adapted to the work, mean
increased production and, consequently, the industry presents con­
tinual improvement in housing facilities year by year, especially for
establishments large enough to have buildings of their own. About
two-fifths of the establishments inspected had been erected for hous­
ing the plants, while about three-fifths were domiciled in adapted
structures. Those who are compelled to rent quarters are naturally
handicapped in the majority of cases, though the difficulty has been
reduced to a certain extent in several cities by erection of special,
large buildings for the housing of printing trade firms, constructed
to meet the peculiar requirements and capable of housing a number
of them.
The location of the quarters in the building is of considerable im­
portance, as the natural facilities for light and air usually decrease
in a multistory building in accordance with descent, especially in
congested districts of cities^ where streets are often narrow and
where surrounding tall buildings obstruct light and air. At one time
the majority of printing-trade plants were, at least partly, located in
basements on account of the heavy machinery used and the vibra­
tion created by this. The adoption of scientific production methods,
the increased stability of buildings, and a realization of the unde­
sirable hygienic conditions for the workers in basement locations
have reduced this practice to a great extent. Only comparatively
few, usually small plants, were noticed that were located entirely in
basements, but in a number of the larger establishments, due in part
to, lack of space, one or more of the working operations were often
performed in the basement. The tendency at present is for elimina­
tion of such locations, with consequent improvement in hygiene,
since basements are not suitable for industrial purposes, especially
when fumes are produced.
Separation of processes was found customary in the larger estab­
lishments and in many of the smaller ones on account of fumes or



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
4
gases generated by the operations, special temperatures required,
dust, noise, or other conditions. In some of the single-story structures
the different processes were often seen grouped in departments
arranged in consecutive working order around the building and
without wall separation, except for a few special operations. This
method seemed preferable to dividing the interior into a number of
small spaces and, with adequate provision for proper local ventila­
tion, provided better distribution of light and air.
Environment of the building affects conditions inside of it to a
great extent. Modern convenience of transportation facilities, in­
creased use of the telephone for transaction of business, and the
gradual change in business ideas have helped to create better hygienic
conditions by developing the tendency toward moving printing
trades establishments away from the congested sections or the cities
to the outlying districts, where plenty of daylight and air can be
obtained.
The proportion of working space to employees is also of consider­
able importance in connection with hygiene. Overcrowding reduces
the air supply, retards the light, and affects sanitary conditions
through impossibility of cleaning quarters properly. I t is, however,
a constantly recurring factor, due to increase in the volume of busi­
ness, and necessitates expansion of housing facilities from time to
time. Nearly one-third of the plants inspected were crowded, but
some of these were preparing to move to larger and better quarters.
The system of power transmission for machinery also has a bear­
ing on the condition of the workroom and the health of the workers.
The individual motor drive system has to a great extent eliminated
collective drives, with hangers, shafting, and overhead belts, which
obstructed and retarded diffusing of light and accumulated or scat­
tered dirt and oil. It allows a flexibility in layout, which permits
placing equipment in the most advantageous manner for better light­
ing, eliminating considerable eyestrain. Over three-fourths of the
establishments surveyed were equipped with individual motor drive
exclusively. Nearly one-eighth of the plants had individual drives
on the majority of the machines and in about one-third of the rest
the two systems were evenly divided. The change to individual
drives has also reduced the liability to accidents through individual
controls, safety attachments, and automatic devices for the protection
of operators. The accident hazard has been further reduced through
better provisions for guarding dangerous machinery and more than
half of the plants inspected were found to have taken all possible
precautions, while only one-ninth were judged badly neglected
as far as safety guards on dangerous machinery'was concerned.
In recent years considerable attention has been given to provide
adequate daylight for printing trade establishments, partly by locat­
ing the building in the open to admit light from all four sides, partly
by providing the maximum number of large windows and skylights
so the daylight can penetrate to all parts of the plant, and partly by
arranging the equipment so that it will not obstruct the light. Some
good examples were seen, especially several modern single-story
buildings provided with saw-tooth roofs, where there was abundant
daylight for all working purposes and where artificial light was un­
necessary in the daytime, even on dark, rainy days. The skylights




SUMMARY

5

in saw-tooth roofs seemed especially preferable, as they give free
access to the north light, do not admit any sun glare, and do not need
shading, with accompanying loss of light.
The majority of modern establishments have been planned so the
workers are placed sideways to the windows, in order to prevent the
additional eyestrain from facing these. In some plants the workers
were found facing the windows, sometimes due to lack of space and
sometimes to the idea that this arrangement was necessary for the
work. It is being generally recognized that the condition of walls,
ceilings, and columns plays a very important part in the diffusion of
light. A building may be provided with the maximum number of
windows and the best type of skylights but majr lose the benefits
from these if the interior surfaces absorb the light in place of reflect­
ing it. This condition affects the artificial light as well as the day­
light. Tests have shown that the highest power of reflection is
reached by the use of white surfaces. Considerable light is required
for the printing processes, which even then involve eyestrain, but
apart from that it has been proved that pleasant surroundings in­
crease the contentment of the workers—a prominent factor in the
health question.
While daylight is naturally to be preferred, it is necessary to per­
form a great deal of the work at night by artificial light, especially
on newspapers. Nearly one-third of the establishments inspected
were engaged regularly in night work, ranging from a small part up
to the entire output. In the large modern plants the lighting sys­
tems had been installed with a view to correct intensity, absence of
glare, and good distribution to all parts of the work, but a number of
the establishments surveyed were equipped with ordinary incan­
descent bulbs, sometimes provided with transparent glass shades or
without shades at all. In other places the quantity of light was in­
sufficient or the light was rendered feeble and inadequate through
accumulations of smoke and dust on the bulbs. More attention could
be paid to this feature. Improved types of lights and fixtures are
being developed continually, and the locations lor placing the light­
ing units in a plant to suit individual requirements can be determined
scientifically. The installation of a proper lighting system is a
humanitarian act to guard the eyesight of the workers, but it is also
an economic measure, as inadequate illumination means lowering of
speed and accuracy among the workers, together with increase in
accidents.
A few of the establishments were still depending on the old, prac­
tically obsolete gas lamps, while others were provided with auxiliary
gas lamps for emergency purposes. Several used mercury vapor
lamps, at least partially and usually in the composing rooms. These,
it was claimed, produced ideal illumination, giving a softer and
cleaner light.
One bad feature was noticed in some newspaper composing rooms
where part of the space was occupied by line-casting machines and
part by hand composition and imposition. The two last-named
operations require intensive light over a large surface, while the line­
casting machine operators prefer strong individual illumination con­
centrated on the small spot on each machine occupied by the copy.
Where overhead illumination was provided above the line-casting



6

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

machines it was usually turned off, creating a large dark space in
the room. This would not affect the operators on the machines, but
would create eyestrain for those who worked in the well-illuminated
part of the room, whose eyes would encounter this dark space from
time to time.
One of the most vital problems in the hygienic conditions of the
industry is ventilation. Fresh and pure air is necessary in any
industrial establishment. It is estimated that about 2,400 cubic feet
of fresh air are required per hour for a person sitting still, 3,200 feet
when doing light work, and 6,000 feet when doing hard work. In
the printing trades the air is polluted not only by the breath of the
workers but also by dust, fumes, and gases developed in the processes,
especially where the machines are not provided with special ventilat­
ing devices for removing these. A poorly ventilated room affects
the health of the workers and, in addition, affects the pocketbook of
the employer through decreased efficiency.
The majority of printing-trade plants defend upon natural ven­
tilation for the building, principally by opening the windows. This
is not always satisfactory, because they seldom distribute the air
evenly and the workers located close by them often complain of cold
and draught. Besides, they are usually kept tightly closed during
cold weather. The air inside a building is affected by various fac­
tors, such as temperature, humidity, movement of the air, and cubic
contents in proportion to the number of workers. A comfortable air
condition can not be determined by temperature alone, because hu­
midity and movement of the air change the relative effect. It is
commonly accepted that a desirable temperature varies from 60°
to 65° F., with about 50 per cent relative humidity, for work which
requires considerable exertion, to approximately 70°, with similar
humidity, for people sitting still. Excessive humidity or stagnant
air causes discomfort and affects the vitality of the workers.
Humidity and stagnation of the air can not be controlled by nat­
ural means, and the ideal condition for a workroom is one which
can* be regulated as desired at all times regardless of outside influ­
ences. This can be accomplished successfully only by mechanical
ventilating devices, which supply washed and cleansed air, heated
or cooled, charged with moisture or with excess moisture removed,
distribute it evenly, and also exhaust the impure air from the build­
ing. Several of the large establishments were provided with such
equipment, either for the entire building or part of it. Others were
provided only with plenum devices that forced fresh air into the
building, and still others only with exhaust systems which removed
the impure air.
Considerable fumes, gases, and dust are developed in some of the
printing-trade processes. Practically all of these can be removed bv
mechanical exhaust directly from their source, preventing contami­
nation of the surrounding air spaces. In addition to eliminating
these dangerous factors, the exhaust devices on equipment also act as
exhaust for the rooms and assist in the circulation of air. Several
places were visited in which exhaust had not been applied to the
equipment, the fumes, gases, or dust being removed by exhaust fans
in the windows or walls, and the workers being exposed to the fumes
or dust in the travel from point of origin to point of exhaust. In



1
other places hoods had been placed over the equipment, but as no
exhaust fans had been placed in the ducts the fumes and gases were
not absorbed through the pipes and the surrounding air was con­
stantly polluted by them.
Each process has its own problems of ventilation for equipment
to eliminate the hazards. Composing rooms are subject to fumes
and gases from the metal pots on line or type casting machines and
from the fuel on them; from the ingot furnaces, if located in the
same room; and also from dust generated in the process. Photo­
engraving departments are exposed to fumes and gases developed
by the chemicals and by the fuel on heating equipment, to dust from
the chemicals or the materials used, and to heat from the various
equipment. Stereotyping rooms are also affected by fumes and
gases from molten metal and from the fuel used, as well as by the
dust created in the process; also by the great amount of heat gen­
erated by the large quantity of metal heated to a high temperature,
and by considerable humidity. Electrotyping rooms are subject to
similar conditions, with fumes from molten wax and with dust from
the graphite. Pressrooms are exposed mainly to fumes from the
ink and to gases liberated where gas-fuel burners are used. A num­
ber of pressrooms were found with an excessively high temperature,
claimed to be necessary for the work, though in others the workers
seemed to get along well without it. In rotogravure pressrooms the
ink is an important factor, as this consists mainly of naphtha or
xylol, and requires special exhaust devices to remove the fumes.
The same thing holds good with rooms containing varnishing ma­
chines on which wood alcohol is ordinarily used as a solvent for
the varnish, but which are seldom provided with any ventilation
device. Some fumes are created by tensions on rotary presses and
by roller washes. The dust problem in pressrooms is not consid­
ered serious other than in the operation of bronzing. The ordinary
bronzing machine used is provided with vacuum attachment, but
in any establishment where bronzing is dcfrie dust is noticeable fly­
ing through the air and scattered all over. It is doubtful if any
method can be applied which would completely eliminate the dust
hazard in this operation, and under present conditions such machines
should be separated from the rest of the plant. Binding rooms
are subject to fumes from the equipment used, such as paraffin
machines and spraying tables and ovens for artificial-leather covers.
Where gas-heated equipment is used the rooms are also subject to
gases liberated by such equipment. Dust created in the process is
usually paper dust. The problems of type founding are very similar
to those of the composing room, with a metal-smelting room addi­
tional. Ink grinding in the printing trade plants does not present
any unusual features, though it produces both fumes and dust and
presumably needs only proper ventilation of rooms.
Some or the work is of a dirty nature, but even the dirtiest of it
was performed in some plants which were clean throughout and
provided pleasant quarters for the workers, showing that there is
no reason for allowing a workroom to become filled with dirt. The
worker spends approximately one-third of his or her life in the
workroom, after first engaged in the trade, and the environment has
a marked influence on both mental and physical development. Dark



SUMMARY

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRAPES
8
and dirty workrooms foster a depressing feeling which affects the
health, contentment, and efficiency. It seemed regrettable that
vacuum cleaning was mot used more generally, because it embodies
the correct principle by eliminating dust and dirt instead of scatter­
ing it, the natural result of sweeping. In some establishments the
floors were badly broken, preventing thorough cleaning, and in others
the workrooms were so crowded with equipment, product, or ma­
terial, that they were extremely difficult to clean. The large estab­
lishments were, as a rule, kept very clean and the very small ones
likewise. The medium sized plants presented the most insanitary
appearance, probably on account of insufficient janitor service.
Other sanitary features have also a certain relation to the health
of the workers. Dirty windows retard the daylight and cause eyestrain. Cleanliness or toilet rooms was, as a general thing, greatly
dependent on the personal habits of the workers. For every two
toilet rooms that were sanitary one was found where the workers
exhibited carelessness in littering the floor with pieces of paper,
matches^ cigarette stubs, and even expectorations.
Dressing rooms and individual lockers were provided in a number
of establishments, though they were at times found located in
undesirable places that were subjected to fumes from various proc­
esses in the plants.
One of the most important of the sanitary features, washin
facilities, was badly neglected in many instances. Cold water wi'
not remove accumulations of lead, ink, and grease, and it is conse­
quently important to provide hot water for that purpose. It was
nevertheless found that a number of the establishments were sup­
plied with hot water during the winter months only, and others not
at all. Some of the large establishments had installed splendid
looking arrangements but, unfortunately, these were not always
appreciated by the workers. The danger from contact with lead
is too often ignored and a very careless attitude is often exhibited
by workers, perhaps unconsciously. A number of cases were noted
where the workers only rinsed their hands slightly, and sometimes
neglected even this, before sitting down, usually in the workrooms,
to eat their lunches. In spite of the observations to the contrary
they would continually insist, when asked about it, that they always
washed carefully. Liquid or bar soap was furnished by some estab­
lishments, and some provided towels, paper or cotton, for the em­
ployees. Others required the workers to supply their own. Roller
towels were still present in a few establishments, in spite of the wellknown danger of using them. Shower baths were found mostly in
the larger newspaper plants and electrotyping establishments. The
nature of the work in part of the latter trade, especially where the
dry molding process is used, makes a bath at the end ox a working
day a necessity, and all such establishments should be equipped with
showers. This is also very desirable in other trades, where either
dust or excessive heat is encountered.
Another feature which showed considerable opportunity for im­
provement is the provision for lunch rooms. The relative importance
of good food and health is universally known. There is, of course,
no necessity for maintaining restaurant service in plants that are
located in a business district, where they are surrounded by eating
places, but provisions should be made for a separate room where



9
those who bring their lunches can eat them and at the same time
enjoy a change of environment during the period. It may seem
unimportant, but experiments have proved that such a variation is a
factor in health conditions and will increase efficiency during work­
ing hours. Eating in the workrooms should never be allowed, but it
was found to be a common practice, even in places with signs on the
walls forbidding it. Some of the large establishments were provided
with excellent restaurants, where appetizing and nourishing food
was served at a low cost to employees.
The large modern establishments were usually provided Avith filter­
ing and cooling systems for drinking water piped to bubbling
fountains in the various rooms. The majority of the other plants
were supplied with tank coolers filled with hydrant water, and often
with the ice placed directly in the water, an arrangement which is
far from commendable. In many places the cooling tanks were
not used during the winter months, and drinking water was obtained
direct from the hydrants, and in some others tanks were not provided
even in summer. Pure and cool drinking water is very essential
for all workers, especially where these perform physical labor, and
a sufficient supply should be furnished at all times.
The importance of health supervision is generally recognized in
modern factory life, and most of the large establishments were
equipped with excellent emergency hospitals, some with physicians
and others with nurses in attendance. Emergency treatments for
minor illnesses during working hours often prevent development into
severe sicknesses, and prompt attention to slight wounds often averts
serious, disabling infections. The majority of the plants were pro­
vided with first-aid kits and many also with female rest rooms.
Several plants were located adjoining or close to hospitals, eliminat­
ing the necessity for individual emergency rooms. Some plants
called physicians in the neighborhood in case of emergency, while
others sent the patients direct to physicians selected by the insurance
companies. In addition to emergency treatments, the medical staffs
render valuable service by instructing the workers in the funda­
mentals of public health, personal hygiene, and preventive medi­
cine. These are all great factors in the reduction of illness, and
healthy employees mean reduction of absenteeism and labor turn­
over, as well as increase in production. A few establishments were
noticed that had included dental clinics in the medical departments.
Some establishments conducted monthly examinations of workers
that were subjected to fumes from lead. Others required physical
examination of applicants for positions, and this was also required
by several of the trade-unions before admitting applicants to mem­
bership, so as to assure their physical fitness for the trade.
Several of the larger plants provided special features for the
amusement and recreation of the employees, or other items in adopted
welfare programs. Some of these may seem insignificant, but any
movement in that direction exerts a beneficial influence by directing
the outside life of the workers into healthy lines.
The number of trade workers in the establishments surveyed, as
furnished by the managers, was 81,314, or about 20 per cent of the
total number of Avorkers in the trade. More than one-fifth were
females. About one-sixtieth of the workers were 60 years old or
over, ranging up as high as 91 years of age, and records were ob­



SUMMARY

10

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

tained of nearly half of these, giving birthplace, age, number of
years in the trade or occupation, present condition of health, past
cases of sickness, and condition of eyesight. The records indicate a
good condition of health among these workers, and most of them
had been employed a number of years under conditions which were
far more detrimental to the health than those of the present time.
The chief occupational diseases of the printing industry are tuber­
culosis and lead poisoning. The various trades have always ranked
high among the special industries subject to tuberculosis, partly as a
result of dust or carbon monoxide created by the processes, partly
from poor ventilation with stagnant air or abnormal temperatures,
and partly from lack of personal cleanliness or regular habits among
the workers. The information obtained from the various establish­
ments regarding number of cases occurring during the past five years
did not seem reliable, because the number of attacks per 1,000 em­
ployees stated for the personnel was only approximately one-third of
the known death rate from the disease among all occupations, and
these were simply attacks, not deaths. Information that 9 out of 11
deaths among cylinder-press feeders in one of the cities during the
previous two years were caused by tuberculosis prompted an in­
vestigation. This resulted in showing that the death rate from
tuberculosis was higher among cylinder feeders than among any of
the other trades. The only difference noticed in this city in the
hazards affecting the feeders and the hazards affecting the press­
men, whose tuberculosis rate was relatively low, was the exposure by
the former to fumes and gases from open-flame gas burners on the
presses. The resulting irritation of the respiratory organs and the
lowered power of bodily resistance seemed to present the most
logical reason for the abnormally high tubercular rate. Unhygienic
habits, a prominent factor in the disease, has been largely eliminated
through health campaigns by trade organizations and various health
or labor departments. Mortality statistics for the country at large
show a constant annual decrease of deaths from tuberculosis, and
this is no doubt also the case among the printing-trade workers.
The dangers of lead poisoning are known but there is considerable
difference in opinion regarding how it is acquired—by breathing of
fumes, by inhaling of dust, or through contact. It may possibly be
contracted by all three methods but it has been proved conclusively
that it canjbe acquired through contact and, while fumes or dust
can be eliminated, it is difficult to avoid contact. This does not mean
that the contact itself produces lead poisoning, but that the oxide
of lead dust, formed by the action of the air on the surface of lead
products, is deposited on the fingers through contact and conveyed
into the mouth. As there is a known danger in this, and lead can
not be removed from the hands by cold water, hot water should
always be provided for washing in all places where contact with
lead takes place. Promiscuous eating in workrooms should not be
allowed. Most States have laws prohibiting this practice but these
are often ignored by the employers, as well as by the workers. Hand
washing is often performed in a haphazard manner, and sometimes
not at all, before eating lunch, which is consumed directly in the
workroom. It would be an excellent plan if compulsory washing
could be introduced and enforced among those who handle lead



11
products, similar to the practice in vogue in the painting department
of the Pullman-car shops, in Pullman, 111., where lead poisoning was
reduced from 77 cases in 1911 to none in 1912. Each worker is pro­
vided with soap, towel, and a nailbrush and all are compelled to
wash thoroughly under supervision of the foremen. Tests, con­
ducted by the department of labor for the State of New York, have
shown that more than superficial washing is required to remove
lead. Inhalation of lead dust is, of course, equally dangerous but
it is a comparatively simple matter to prevent contamination of the
air by dust through proper ventilating devices. In composing rooms
the nondistribution of type has practically disposed of one source,
the collection of dust in the type cases, and the vacuum cleaning
method effectually eliminates the rest, so far as the type cases are
concerned. The main origin of detrimental dust noticed during the
survey in composing rooms was cleaning the plungers in the metal
pots of casting machines, and liberation of the dust in this operation
was found easily preventable. The lead dust created in other proc­
esses was mainly too coarse to float through the air, and all of it
could be removed by suitable devices. The third possible source of
lead poisoning, fumes from the molten metal, can also be disposed of
by proper local ventilating devices, as was evident in many of the
establishments inspected, and such precautions should not be neglected
unless it is proved conclusively that lead poisoning is not derived
from inhaling the fumes.
Observations during the survey indicated that there is a more
dangerous factor than fumes from molten lead and that the symp­
toms from this might erroneously be responsible for a diagnosis of
lead poisoning. This factor is illuminating gas, which liberates vari­
ous gases whenever the combustion is not complete, and complete
combustion is a condition seldom encountered. One of the gases
liberated is carbon monoxide gas, well known as very poisonous, not
alone through exposure to large quantities but also through con­
tinued exposure to small portions, which develops a chronic poison­
ing. Illuminating gas is used extensively for heating various equip­
ment in the different processes, though it is gradually being replaced
by electrical heating devices. It seemed significant that in the estab­
lishments where gas fuel was used, such as on metal pots for line­
casting machines, and no suitable provisions existed for removal of
the fumes, there were frequent complaints of ill health among the
workers. In establishments of similar .character, but provided with
that
the room not
food local exhausts sowere the air ofcomplaints.wasThis contaminated
y gas fumes, there
no such
showed only
the advisability of using proper local exhaust; but a decided con­
trast was found in establishments where electrically heated devices
were employed on the same kind of equipment and no exhaust was
provided to eliminate the metal fumes. In spite of this there were
no complaints of illness, such as in the places where gas fuel was
used. This would indicate that the carbon monoxide, and not the
fumes from the metal, was really the disturbing factor. The symp­
toms commonly described—headache, dizziness, mental dullness, lassi­
tude, nervousness, insomnia, and digestive disturbances—are all
claimed to be indicative of lead poisoning, but the fact that they
SUMMARY

45331°—25---- 2




12

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

seem prevalent where illuminating gas is employed for fuel and are
comparatively absent where electrically heated devices are used
points strongly to carbon monoxide poisoning and the relative insig­
nificance of fumes from the molten metal.
Reliable information on the prevalence of lead poisoning is diffi­
cult to obtain. The employers are apt to minimize the dangers and
to point to their old employees who never have suffered from lead
poisoning, while the workers are often unwilling to make any state­
ments or undergo examinations^ for fear that they might be afflicted
and possibly lose their jobs if it became known. Only a few actu­
ally known cases of lead poisoning were heard of during the survey
as existing in the previous five years, 14 in all. These were all of
the violent type and there might have been a number of others, such
as claimed by Dr. Louis J. Harris, director of the health department,
city of New York, who stated that he had examined about 1,000 com­
positors and had found one-fifth of these affected with lead poison­
ing. Conclusions can not be drawn regarding this examination until
the report has been issued, showing what the contentions are based
upon. A trace of lead may be discovered in the contents of a glass of
water, but that does not prove the fluid dangerous to the system.
Fatalities from carbon-monoxide poisoning were not encountered
in the printing-trade establishments, and only four cases or alleged
attacks of it were reported. The complete account of occupational
hazards furnished by the employers was, in fact, very insignificant,
consisting additionally of only nine cases of chromium poisoning
and two cases of eczema. There is always considerable danger
from poisoning by some of the chemicals employed in the various
processes, especially in photo-engraving or from fumes developed
in the operations. Chromium poisoning, one of the most common
afflictions, appears as gangrenous ulcers that are very painful and
seem extremely difficult to heal. It is claimed that no permanent
cure has been found and, though apparently cured, it may manifest
itself after a number of years, and even appear in children that
are born later on. This, as well as other poisoning due to contact,
could properly be avoided by the use of rubber gloves, such as were
found supplied in a number of establishments but often disregarded
by the workers on account of being too clumsy, or through the
belief that former immunity would prevent any hazard. Danger
from contact with any of the other poisons or irritants used can be
avoided in similar manner by the use of rubber gloves and by thor­
ough cleanliness on the part of the workers, both of the person and
of the working clothes. The latter is also very important where
fumes exist, together with sufficient ventilation, preferably localized
to the source, such as for the fumes of nitric acid in photo-engraving
establishments. The hazard from this is very much underrated by
the workers, who get careless through continual use of the material
without any apparent detriment. Acrolein fumes from ingot-metal
furnaces and stereotype or electrotype metal kettles are also easily
eliminated by proper exhaust, such as existed in the larger establish­
ments. In the smaller ones it was often found neglected, causing
considerable annoyance from the pungent suffocating smoke.
The dust problem can also be solved in a successful manner by
exhaust, except bronze dust used in the bronzing operation. In



SUMMARY

13

spite of the statements by employers that bronze does not affect the
workers, observation confirmed the opinion that bronzing operations
should be separated from the rest of the establishment to prevent the
dust from scattering all over. Dust from dragons blood, used in
the photo-engraving process, which may in the past have proved
considerable of a factor in congestion of the lungs, can be controlled
by proper devices. The graphite dust used in electrotyping, which
has been reduced considerably through adoption of the wet process,
is claimed to be noninjurious. It would, however, also have a
tendency to cause congestion of the lungs when inhaled in large
quantities, and all possible precautions should be taken to prevent
all excessive dust from scattering through the air.
Many of the operations in the printing industry involve consider­
able nervous or mental strain, from maintained use of intelligence
and observation, from constant attention upon one skilled task, or
from divided attention in operating several machines. Others also
require considerable muscular strain, sometimes with a demand for
speed included. These conditions develop fatigue, a slight attack of
which can easily be cured by proper rest. Accumulated results of
excessive fatigue may, however, result in sickness and affect the
vitality. Night work and excessive or continuous noises are also
important factors in fatigue, vibration of the factory buildings like­
wise, as well as posture and the consistency of the floors. More
attention is continually being paid by employers to this question and
more effort is being made to protect the workers against fatigue, as
better health means increased production.
Accidents are closely interwoven with and often due to the condi­
tion of a building, especially to insufficient lighting facilities or in­
sanitary conditions, while many are directly due to fatigue. The
carelessness of other workers or the speed required by the plant or
desired by the individual worker is sometimes responsible. Acci­
dents which are caused through the fault of the employer, of fellow
workmen, or of the operator in person can all be prevented. Some
accidents, due to chance, will always exist, but these can not be
charged against the trade. While there is some machinery employed
that is dangerous unless handled properly and with presence of
mind, and although a number of accidents have occurred in the
past, the printing trade processes can not be judged as extremely
hazardous in this respect. Where care is taken to see that ail
machinery is in proper working order, and where the workers are
not permitted to take chances for the sake of excessive speed, the
question of accidents is comparatively nil. Safety committees in the
larger shops have been doing valuable work in this connection by
recommendations to the employers and by educational campaigns
among the workers. Information requested regarding major acci­
dents in the establishments during the previous five years gave a
total of 139 cases, or 1 for each 585 employees. Over half of the acci­
dents consisted of loss of arms, hands, or fingers, occurring prin­
cipally in pressrooms. Some of the processes involve considerable
fire risk, mostly through the carelessness of the workers, a risk which
could be greatly reduced by observance of the posted rules against
smoking in the workrooms. These rules were often completely ig­
nored by both employers and workers*



14

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Splendid efforts were found in many establishments^ to provide for
the health and comfort of the employees, but there is still need of
intensive educational campaigns among both employers and workers.
The employers should be educated as to proper housing and arrange­
ment of the plants and as to the possible menace of crowding, bad
lighting, poor ventilation, and faulty sanitary conditions, together
with the dangers from material or machinery employed. More atten­
tion to these features would result in a corresponding increase in
efficiency and production. The workers should be instructed as to
the common dangers of industrial life, as to the special ones in their
occupations, and as to the menace of ignoring ordinary precautions
to guard against certain easily preventable hazards. Cooperation by
both parties is very essential and is bound to secure results.
DESCRIPTION OP OPERATIONS

Printing has been defined as the art or trade of making and
issuing matter for reading, including all that is done from the recep­
tion of manuscripts to the issuing of printed matter, consequently
the industry presents a rather complex situation as well as one of
considerable importance in the manufacturing field.
The number of establishments engaged in the industry was com­
piled from the Biennial Census of Manufactures for the United
States from the group of paper and printing, with paper and wood
pulp and cardboard manufacturing plants left out, but with gov­
ernmental printing establishments added. The total was 24,607
establishments for the year 1921, a number exceeded only by the
number of establishments in two other general groups of industries,
food and kindred products and textiles and their products. Con­
sidered from the basis of average wage earners employed, it ranks
seventh in line, with 372,403, while from value of products ($2,498,480,175) it is also the seventh. The actual number of establishments
in existence is, however, considerably larger, as the census was lim­
ited to establishments reporting annual production over $5,000. Re­
ports from over 10,000 establishments, with annual production of
more than $500 but less than $5,000, were consequently not consid­
ered. The production for these establishments amounted to over
$28,000,000. In addition to these there are also a number of still
smaller plants, with a production of less than $500 per year each.
The number or workers engaged in the industry is actually consid­
erably higher than shown in the census figures, and will easily go
over 400,000 for average wage earners, with about 200,000 additional
in other capacities, including superintendents, managers, and clerks.
Grouping of industries is, of course, always more or less arbitrary,
and while it was attempted during the inspection of plants to follow
the classification established by the Bureau of the Census, so as to
cover all the various divisions, it was found more advantageous to
compile the information with regard to the different vocations or
trades engaged in the work.
At one time “ the printer” performed all the work himself—set
the type, read the proof, ran the press, and bound the printed sheet
into a finished volume—but with the growth in size of printing-trade



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— INTRODUCTION

15

establishments and the introduction of modern machinery the dif­
ferent processes have been separated and specialized until to-day the
printed product represents the work of more than 50 skilled trades,
grouped in six subdivisions of the industry.
The six principal departments—composition, photo-engraving,
stereotyping, electrotyping, presswork, and binding—are sharply de­
fined in the larger plants while they are more or less interwoven in
the smaller ones, according to size of the establishment, equipment
used, and character of product. Each of these main groups is
again divided into several skilled trades, totaling more than 50,
which are highly specialized.
All six departments are rarely found in any single establishment.
Among the plants surveyed in detail, 264 were book and job printing
establishments. The operations in the average book and job print­
ing plant consist of composition, presswork, and binding, but a num­
ber of these were combination plants, requiring additional processes
for the products. One combination plant may differ widely from
another, as it is often found advantageous to specialize in some par­
ticular line and arrange buildings or equipment to suit requirements.
Most of the work done in 45 plants was printing of periodicals, which
differs only slightly in operations from book and job printing; 64
establishments printed newspapers. A newspaper plant usually in­
cludes composition, photo-engraving, stereotyping, and presswork.
Some specialty plants were surveyed which performed only one
branch of work, such as 18 trade composition plants, 46 photo­
engraving shops, 3 job stereotyping and 14 electrotyping establish­
ments, 27 bookbinderies, 2 type foundries, 2 brass die engraving
establishments, 2 ink factories, and 1 roller factory. The last three
were included because they were units of certain printing plants,
though located separately. Ink grinding was found included among
the operations performed in 25 of the previously listed plants and
roller making in 3 of them. In 12 additional electrotyping estab­
lishments composition or photo-engraving or stereotyping was also
performed.
Some establishments produce special articles only, usually by in­
dividual processes which, nevertheless, belong rightfully to one or
more of the six vocational groups of the industry. Thirty-six of
those reported on fall within this class, and consist of 9 doing prin­
cipally label printing, 6 doing rotogravure printing, 6 doing steel-die
and copperplate printing, 4 doing music printing, 4 using the litho­
graphic printing method only, 1 printing on tin foil, 3 manufactur­
ing envelopes, 1 paper patterns, 1 paper bags, and 1 playing cards.
COMPOSITION

Analysis of the character of work performed in these various
plants shows that hand composition was used in 400 of them and
machine composition was found additional in 273 of these. Up to
about 40 years ago all the type was set by hand. At the present
time there are only a few establishments which use this method ex­
clusively, except the very small ones.




16

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
TYPESETTING

Hand composition consists in picking up one by one the type char­
acters, which are short pieces of metal of a fixed height with a re­
versed letter standing out in relief at one end, from their places
in the type cases ana placing them in lines on a small tray with
three sides, one side of which is adjustable, called a composing stick.
Similar pieces with blank ends and less than type-high, called spaces
or quads, are inserted between the words to separate them and to
regulate the length of the line, an operation called justifying. Leads
or slugs are the strips of type metal less than type-high and varying
in thickness which are placed between the lines of type as they
are set up. When a stick becomes full the type is removed from it
and placed on a larger metal tray with three fixed sides, called a
galley, where the job is gradually built up by successive stickfuls.
Operations following this are practically similar for both hand and
machine composition.
•
MACHINE COMPOSITION

In the last 20 years hand composition has been largely replaced
by machine composition in either line or’ single type form. The
type used in newspaper and periodical printing establishments is
practically all produced on machines located in the plants. A num­
ber of book and job printing plants are also equipped with machines.
In addition there is a considerable number oi trade composition
establishments, which furnish machine composition to other shops.
There are several makes of line-casting machines. The linotype,
which is in common use, casts lines of type characters on type-high
metal strips or slugs. A standard measure, 0.918 of an inch, has been
adopted for the height of all type and is called type-high. The
linotype is provided with a keyboard, somewhat similar to that of
a typewriter, which controls the dropping and assembling of the
matrices or molds for the letters. These are made in different sizes
and styles and are placed in a portable magazine on the top of the
machine. As the operator prases the keys the corresponding brass
matrices are released from the magazine and drop into an assembler,
with the words separated by spaces. When sufficient matrices have
been assembled to form a line of the desired length the operator*
pulls a lever, which starts the automatic action of the machine,
moving the matrices and space bands to a position in front of open­
ings from the metal pot and justifying the line by adjusting the
wedge-shaped space bands. The plunger in the metal pot forces
molten metal against the characters, which are countersunk in the
sides of the matrices, forming a solid type-high bar with the line
of type on one edge. The mold is moved clear of matrices and
ot
is trimmed and
front of the operator.
¥ and the sluglifted to a positionejected inthe top of the reservoirs
he matrices are
abreast
in the magazine and are distributed automatically to the proper con­
tainers, while the space bands, which were left behind, are returned
to their original positions. As all of these actions are performed auto­
matically the operator is meanwhile setting another line. In establish­
ments that have a large number of machines the work of the opera­
tors is confined to manipulating the keyboards and adjusting the



11
machines. Special machinists keep the machines in running order
and do the necessary repairing. In smaller shops, which have only
a few machines, one of the operators usually performs the duties of
a machinist-operator.
Other makes of line-casting machines are the intertype and the
linograph, both of which vary slightly in mechanism from the lino­
type; also the typograph, for which the matrices are assembled by
hand, justified to correct measure, and placed in the machine, where
the line is cast automatically.
A different style, the monotype, which both casts and sets indi­
vidual type, consists of two independent and separate machines, a
keyboard and a type caster. The keyboard is similar to that of the
linotype, but instead of releasing a matrix each depression of a key
operates a valve for compressed air, which in turn operates punches
that perforate a paper ribbon at the top of the machine. The ribbon
advances automatically to receive the perforations and winds on a
spool. This spool is transferred to the casting machine where the
position of the perforations across the ribbon determines the letters
to be cast, just as the perforations in a roll of music for a mechanical
piano control the notes which the piano will play. As the ribbon
passes through the machine it operates, by the aid of compressed
air, the matrices in the type case, placing them in proper position
over the mouth of the metal pump, and the type is cast, one at a
trnie, in reverse order as originally manipulated on the keyboard.
The individual type is trimmed and ejected by a carrier to a galley,
repeating line by line as the job is automatically built up on the
galley. The separation of the two operations has naturally de­
veloped two distinct individual occupations, the keyboard operator
and the caster operator.
Another machine used for casting individual type is the Thomp­
son type caster, which casts single type or characters repeatedly from
an inserted mold. '1'he monotype caster can also be used in this
manner to produce movable type for use in hand setting. Some of
the monotype casters are arranged to produce leads and slugs in
continuous length strips, with a fixed mold. Additional makes of
slug casters are also usecl^ such as the Mergenthaler, similar to the
casting part of the linotype, and the Elrod, which casts leads, rules,
borders, etc., and cuts them automatically to required lengths.
DESCBIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— COMPOSITION

HAND COMPOSITION

Even though the type is set by machines there is considerable hand
composition required. On newspapers and in periodical printing
plants the display advertising, or at least part of it, is set by hand.
In-book and job shops the title pages of books, letterheads, and other
jobs requiring special type or arrangement arc also set by hand.
After the type has been composed, whether by hand or by ma­
chine, and placed together on a galley it is taken to a proofing press.
The galley is laid on the bed of the press, the face of the type is
inked with a hand roller, a piece of paper is placed over it, and
pressure is applied, which transfers the ink to the paper, making
an impression of the type form, or proof, for the purpose of in­
specting the job and discovering possible errors. The form is



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
18
cleaned with gasoline or other type wash to remove the ink. The
proof is compared carefully with the original manuscript and
marked for corrections^ which are then made. The men who proof
the type, make corrections, insert headings, and make the type up
into galleys are known as bankmen. While proof reading and copy
holding are special, practically clerical, vocations, they are usually
performed by former compositors on account of their knowledge of
the trade.
When the corrections have been made the type is taken to the im­
posing table, where it is placed on a smooth iron or stone surface,
made *up into forms or pages, and the illustrations, folios, or other
missing items inserted by the maker-up. It is then placed inside
a steel frame, known as a chase, evened down with a block of wood,
called a planer, and a mallet, locked firmly in the chase with blocks
and wedges and sent to the electrotyping department, stereotyping
department, or pressroom as required. The men performing these
operations are known as stone hands.
After the forms have been used they are returned to the compos­
ing room, where they are unlocked. Whatever the nature of the
form, hand or machine set type, photo-engravings, electrotypes,
or stereotypes, there are the chase and spacing out material to be
placed back in proper places. Hand-set foundry type is usually
cleaned by a type wash and is redistributed, one at a time, to their
proper compartments in the type cases. Machine-set type, asr a
rule, is taken out and sent in bulk to be melted and recast into
ingots for the casting machines. The ingot furnace, where this is
done, is sometimes located in the composing room and occasionally
is taken care of by a compositor or an apprentice, but in the larger
newspaper plants it is usually placed in the stereotyping room, and a
number of plants have special metal rooms for the purpose.
Plates for illustrations, or other material that may be used again,
are removed from the forms, separated, cleaned*, classified, and stored.
Several plants have cut rooms for photo-engravings, electrotypes,
etc., often in charge of a compositor, who takes care of the plates,
trims them as required, or makes small corrections. Some plants
store entire type forms or pages for future use.
While the various special occupations in the composing room are
strictly separated in the larger establishments, they are more or less
merged together in the smaller plants, and in the very small shops
one man may be performing all of the operations. For that reason,
and because the actual hazards naturally divide the compositors into
two distinct groups, all except machine operators have been classed
as hand compositors in this survey.

TYPE FOUNDING

The individual type for hand composition can be produced on some
of the type-casting machines, but a considerable portion is manufac­
tured in type foundries, which are entirely separate establishments
for such purpose. Two of these were inspected in detail, both large
plants, which contained some additional working processes, such as
designing of type, cutting of dies and matrices, or molds for casting
the types, or manufacturing brass rules and some printers’ furniture.






IS—1
HAND

C O M P O S ITIO N

—81
Z




M A C H IN E

COM PO SITIO N — LIN E -C A S T IN G

M AC HINES




M A C H IN E

COM P O S ITIO N — M O N O T Y P E

KEYBOARDS




M AC HINE

C O M P O S IT IO N — M O N O T Y P E

CASTIN G

M AC HINES

18—
5



TYPE

FO U N D IN G — M E T A L

M IX IN G

DEPARTMENT

9—SI



TYPE

F O U N D IN G — TYPE-CASTING

M A C HINES

1 8 -7



TYPE

F O U N D IN G — TY P E -D R E S S IN G

DEPARTMENT




TYPE

FO UN D IN G — D IV ID IN G ROOM

DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— TYPE FOUNDING1

19

A counterpunch or engraved master type with the nonprinting
part of the letter in high relief is first engraved from the design by
the aid of special engraving machines. This is impressed into the
end of a short bar of soft steel, which is afterwards hardened and
known as a punch. The punch is, in turn, forced into a narrow flat
bar of cold-rolled copper, making a reverse or sunken imprint of
the letter, which is called a strike, drive, or unjustified matrix, and
after finishing becomes a matrix, that is placed in a mold where the
type is cast. Each character requires a separate matrix. These are
fitted carefully to. the mold, inspected, and corrected with aid of
gauges, saws, trimmers, grinders, and hand casters.
The photo-engraving and electrotyping processes are also used in
the production of matrices. An enlarged negative is made from the
original design, which is drawn on paper, and a print is made from
it. The engraver makes a tracing from the print and outlines the
photograph on a piece of metal, called the templet, which is used
as a guide in a pantograph engraving machine. A block of com­
position metal is engraved in this, with the design in required size,
and metal around the outlines is cut away, leaving these m high re­
lief. The engraved block is placed in an oblong hole in a thin
slab of copper or nickel, which is suspended in an electrotype bath
until the deposit has filled the hole in the slab around the block. The
slab is turned over to the matrix fitter, who finishes it into a matrix
and fits it to the mold.
The mold, which is attached to the type-casting machine, con­
sists of two pieces with a seat for the matrix in the upper end, an
opening for inflow of metal in the lower end, and a hollow between,
into which the metal flows. At each revolution of a crank, operated
by hand or by power, the plunger of the pump in the metal pot
forces enough molten metal through an opening to fill the mold and
the matrix. The halves of the mold separate, the matrix is drawn
back from the face of the type, which is ejected, and the mold closes
again automatically. The mold is kept cool by blasts of cold air or by
cold water. Two varieties of type casters are used. The type is
cast with a wedge-shaped strip, called a jet, adhering to the lower
end. In one of the type-casting machines, the Barth caster, this jet
is detached by automatic breakers, a groove is plowed automatically
in the lower end, and the feather edges are smoothed off before the
type is ejected.
The type cast in an older style of machine, the Bruce caster, is
in a comparatively rough state and requires considerable hand fin­
ishing. The jet is broken off by hand and the sides of the type are
rubbed on a file or stone, by hand, to remove the burs or sharp edges
on the corners. The types are set up in a long row and fastened, face
down, in a grooved channel where the roughness at the bottom end,
caused by breaking off the jet, is plowed out with a hand plane by
the dresser, leaving two feet at exact type height with a shallow
groove between.
Special sizes of type are cut down further in kerning machines.
After smoothing is completed all type is examined individually
through a magnifying glass, imperfect specimens rejected, and the
remainder packed in paper for shipment. Brass rules and brass type
are finished by hand in similar manner or by special machines. Lead



20

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

rules and slugs are cast in continuous strips, passed automatically
over long conveyors and wound on reels, later cut up in desired
lengths and trimmed. Both plants were equipped with large ma­
chine shops for repair work, tor the manufacture of tools or special
machines used in the plant, and for production of other supplies for
printing establishments, such as chases, metal furniture, etc. Very
large kettles are used for mixing the metal, which is poured through
spouts into pans for later use in the casting machines.
The vocations are quite sharply defined. Since the two establish­
ments employed about 700 workers in all, several of these were em­
ployed in each particular operation, resulting in specializing it.
PLATE MAKING
PHOTO-ENGRAVING

The greater number of reproductions of pictures is made by the
photo-engraving process, and partial or complete plants of that class
were found in 142 of the establishments surveyed in detail. Only 46
of these were exclusive photo-engraving establishments, the others
using it entirely or partly in combination with other processes for
their products.
R e lie f photo-engraving.—Photo-engraving, as usually understood,
consists in reproducing, by the aid of photography, a subject on a
relief block'or plate for printing, in which the parts to be printed are
raised above the surrounding surface, but in the modern sense it
iucludes also reproductions used in photolithography and roto­
gravure printing. The subject to be reproduced may be a line draw­
ing, a photograph, a painting, or the object itself. Some plants,
especially newspapers, employ special field photographers to obtain
views of interest for publication. Some photo-engraving establish­
ments have large staffs of artists, who draw designs and prepare the
photographs or other material for reproduction by shading or
retouching with air brushes or by hand.
The subject is turned over to the photographer, who operates the
camera to reproduce it on a glass plate, previously coated with a
sensitizing solution. If the subject is a design containing only black
lines or dots, such as a pen drawing, it is photographed direct on
the sensitized glass, but in case it is a photograph, painting, or the
object itself it is necessary to first insert a screen between the lens of
the camera and the glass plate. The screen consists of glass covered
with fine black lines, at an angle to each other, which can not be
penetrated by the light, resulting in breaking up the solid tones of
the subject into small black dots. After the photographer has de­
veloped the image on the glass plate the negative is turned over to
the stripper, who removes the film, reverses it, and places it on an­
other glass plate, which may contain additional films, then prints
the image on sensitized zinc or copper.
The metal plate is inked and washed, leaving the ink covering the
printed parts which represent the lines or dots in the picture. These,
together with other parts that are not to be etched, are further cov­
ered with an acid-resisting powder or solution by the etcher,
strengthened by application of heat, and placed in an acid bath,
where the unprotected parts of the plate are etched away while the



21
protected design remains in relief at the original height. Most estab­
lishments use special etching machines, which throw a fine spray of
acid against the face of the plate, but some of the plants still use
large trays with rocking motion, which moves the acid gently over
the face of the plate, laid on the bottom. Zinc is ordinarily used for
line etchings where the subject is photographed direct on the glass
plate, while copper is the usual metal for half tones which are
photographed through a screen. Diluted nitric acid is used for
etching of zinc and a solution of perchloride of iron for etching of
copper. Distinction is made in large shops between the copper etcher
and the zinc etcher. Copper plates usually receive further treat­
ment, called reetching, to give proper value to the different tones.
An electric etching machine, consisting of an electric bath and framed
carbon plates in a stoneware tank, together with a motor and gen­
erator made especially for the purpose to produce the proper volt­
age and amperage, is used in some plants. Holes are bored in the
corners of the plate, which is wired and suspended, face down, in
the bath where the current, passing through it, pulls the copper
from the bottom, or printing face. The precipitation is absorbed by
the bath solution.
After the etching is completed necessary corrections and hand
tooling is done by the finisher. The router and blocker cuts away
the surplus metal and trims the plate. Special machines are used
for this purpose. The routing machine, for cutting away the high
nonprinting surfaces, consists of a table, or bed, on which the plate
is clamped, sometimes over a block of wood, and a small chisel-like
cutting tool, mounted in a spindle on a movable arm above it. The
tool, or bit, which revolves rapidly, is guided in any direction over
the surface of the plate and controlled vertically, gouging out the
metal as desired. The different subjects are usually sawed apart
by a circular saw, which projects through a slot in an adjustable
metal table that is mounted on a hollow pedestal. A number of the
plates are sawed roughly, close to the faces, and then placed on the
trimmer, which has a sliding bed with adjustable gauges, mounted
on a frame over a hollow pedestal. The plate is moved with the
sliding bed against a rapidly revolving disc with cutter tools and
is trimmed as desired with a straight edge. A combination saw ana
trimmer is often used, especially in newspaper plants. A similar
machine is used for beveling the edges of the plates. The trimming
or beveling sometimes follows after the mounting instead of being
done first. The plate, which may vary from 0.083 to 0.049 inch in
thickness, is finally mounted on a block of wood or metal to make it
type-high, if required. Wood blocks for such purposes are sometimes
manufactured, from lumber, in the larger establishments, necessi­
tating special woodworking machinery, such as saws and planers,
but even smaller shops use separate saws and trimmers for trim­
ming the wood blocks. The plate is fastened to the wood with steel
brads, driven through the metal. This is done by hand in- the
smallest shops only and several makes of nailing or blocking ma­
chines are commonly used. Sweating machines, with either electric
or gas heating apparatus, are used for mounting on metal bases.
It is sometimes necessary to cut a space through the plate and block
for insertion of other material. This operation, called mortising,
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING




22

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

is performed by means of a drill and a jigsaw, customarily placed
on the same pedestal. The bottom of the base is trimmed in a
special planer or a flat plate shaver to make the plate exactly typehigh. Proofs are made of the finished product, in similar manner
as with type, after which it is turned over to the department it is
intended for or, in a commercial establishment, to the shipping room.
Just as in the composing room, the classification of occupations is
distinctive only in the larger establishments. In a small plant one
man may perform part or all of the operations. The work in a
photo-engraving department of a newspaper differs somewhat from
that in the ordinary commercial establishment or in one conducted
for book and job printing. The plates used by newspapers are mostly
line engravings, or half tones with a coarse screen, intended for
stereotyping and consequently produced on zinc. They do not re­
quire so much trimming and are usually not mounted on blocks,
eliminating much machinery necessary in other establishments for
such purposes. Copper is used for the finer illustrations and is the
material mostly required for book and job printing. Some plants
specialize in this and others feature process color plates, which re­
quire a separate plate for each color to be printed, all blending to­
gether to produce the finished result.
Lith o g rap h ic and offset engraving .— Considerable of the fine color
work in printing is produced by the planographic method, which
has evolved from a former separate branch of printing called lithog­
raphy, meaning printing from stone. In lithography the printing
surface is a very porous stone, 2 to 4 inches thick, which is polished
smooth and on which the design is either engraved or drawn with
a greasy ink or crayon. For engraving the stone is first treated with
a solution of nitric acid and gum arabic, known as an etch, which
renders it grease resisting when damp, after which the design is
scraped in the surface with a fine needle that removes the prepara­
tion in those spots. The stone itself has a natural affinity for grease,
so when a greasy ink is applied this will penetrate into the surface
about one seventy-second of an inch and can be removed only by
a strong acid or by wearing down that part of the stone. When the
design is drawn on the stone a greasy ink or crayon is employed,
which penetrates the surface. The acid and gum solution, which is
not applied until afterwards, closes up the pores where no grease
has penetrated so that the blank parts will repel the printing ink, if
dampened properly, but the lines of the design will take up the ink
and repel the water. For color work the original design is first
drawn on a stone and a tracing made from it with a needle in a sheet
of gelatin. The lines in the tracing are filled with red powder,
which is transferred to other stones, by pressure with a roller, to act
as guide for drawing the different colors. One separate stone is re­
quired for each color. A stone on which the design has been drawn
can be used direct in the press, but where this is engraved a transfer
is made of it by first inking up the engraved lines while keeping the
blank parts damp, taking an impression of the inked lines on spe­
cially prepared transfer paper in a transfer press, built for the pur­
pose, laying the impression on another fresh stone and transferring
the inked lines to it by pressure. The new stone is prepared just
as if the design had been drawn on it but, as any number or transfers



23
can be pulled from the original drawing and the designs deposited
on the printing stone, any required number of copies of a single
design or of different designs can be placed on it. This original
method is still used to a certain extent, but in the majority of cases
thin zinc or aluminum plates are now used to carry the design in
place of the heavy stones and the hand method of preparation has
been largely supplanted by machine work. Fifty-eight of the plants
surveyed were producing planographic printing, either from plates
or stones, but only 31 of these were using the photographic method.
Plates used in the planographic method are only 0.01 to 0.012 inch
thick and differ radically from those for relief or type printing in
having the printing parts level with the surrounding surface in­
stead of being raised. The ability of the plate to carry the ink on the
design is due to chemical action, just as in lithography. The de­
sign is prepared, as for ordinary photo-engraving, by designers and
artists, and a negative is made and printed on the metal plate, but
this plate has been given a fine grain finished surface before sensi­
tizing instead of being left smooth and highly polished. The etch­
ing process differs considerably, as the etching fluid does not eat
away the blank portions of metal around the design but merely
changes the chemical surface of these so they will repel grease
or irk when dampened, while the design attracts grease and repels
water, exactly as the lithographic stone will do. The plate is covered
with a thin film of gum arabic dissolved in water, to protect the sur­
face during handling, and if the design has been printed direct on the
press plate, it is then ready for the press.
In a number of plants the design is not photographed directly on
the press plate but on a smaller one, similarly prepared, which can
easily be stored away for future use, and a copy or copies of it trans­
ferred to the press plate, as in lithography, after which the plate is
etched as described previously. Designs can also be transferred in
similar manner from lithographic stones. Large shops using the
transfer method have a number of men employed at this branch
of work, with either power or hand-driven transfer presses. Other
establishments, especially those that produce large' out-of-door pos­
ters, have the designs drawn with greasy crayon direct on the press
plates by the artists.
After the press plates have been used they are returned to the
plate-making department where, unless they are to be kept for fu­
ture use, the design is removed by lye and the plate regrained for
use again. It is clamped in the bottom of a large box, sprinkled
with fine sand, emery, or similar substance, the surface covered with
small steel, glass, or china balls, and some water added. The power
is applied and the machine, which rotates in a circular motion from
side to side, agitates the sand and causes it, with the aid of the balls
and the water, to produce a grained surface on the plate. This is
washed and dried rapidly. Where the printing is done direct from
stone the design is removed from the stone used in the press by
running it through a stone planer, which shaves off the top, and
then polishing it smooth in a machine or by hand. The various
operations have developed additional vocations, such as stone polish­
ers, stone engravers, plate grainers, and transferrers.
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING




24

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Rotogravure engraving .—Within the last few years the photo­
engraving process has also been applied to the intaglio method of
printing, with the result that quite a number of rotogravure plants
have been established, either as departments of newspapers or as
independent establishments. Seventeen of thes3 were inspected.
Plates used in the intaglio method have the printing design
etched or carved below the surface, which constitutes the blank
parts of the plate. In rotogravure printing the plate consists of a
hollow steel cylinder with a coating of copper, about three-sixteenths
of an inch thick, which is highly polished. One cylinder is ordi­
narily required for each side of the sheet, but in one plant visited
part of the product was turned out in four colors, necessitating four
cylinders in place of one. A negative is made from the copy, re­
touched carexully, and a reverse or positive is made from this,
which is again retouch'd and then assembled on the layout table and
mounted, together with other positives of illustrations and type,
on a transparent piece of celluloid or glass. The layout is printed
on a gelatin-covered, sensitized sheet of paper, known as carbon
tissue, together with a special rotogravure screen. The carbon tissue
is placed around the cylinder ahd the paper portion is removed
with hot water, together with all soluble parts of gelatin, leaving
only the designs and screen lines covered. When dry, the margins
and other parts of the cylinder that are not to be etched are pro­
tected with asphaltum, which is acid resisting. This operation is
called staging.
The cylinder is then transferred to the etching room, where it is
placed over an etching trough and revolved while perchloride of
iron is poured over the surface. When sufficiently etched warm
water is applied, which stops the action of the acid, and the cylinder
is thoroughly cleansed and given to the finisher. After necessary
hand engraving or correction the cylinder is buffed and polished,
then turned over to the pressroom.
When the printing is finished the cylinder is returned to the photo­
engraving department, where it is placed in a grinding machine,
ground down to the depth of the previous etching and polished.
It is now ready to receive another design. As the etching is not deep
this operation can be repeated about 20 times before the copper shell
becomes too thin. When such is the case the cylinder is placed
in an electrotyping bath, where a new shell is deposited over it,
trued up in a lathe, ground and polished for use again.
Practically all of the operations in rotogravure photo-engraving
correspond with those in ordinary relief plate work, and although the
methods and results differ but one new special occupation, grinder
and polisher, has been added. The operations in both offset and
rotogravure work are more sharply denned than in ordinary photo­
engraving because these establishments usually employ at least one
man for each special operation.

STEREOTYPING

Printing plates are also produced by stereotyping or by electro­
typing, both duplicating processes. Stereotyping was found in 103
of the establishments, mostly newspapers. Only 3 plants were en­
gaged in stereotyping exclusively, but in 9 others it was combined






RELIEF

P H O T O -E N G R A V IN G — GALLERY

24-2



RELIEF

P H O T O -E N G R A V IN G — E T C H IN G

24—
3



OF FS ET

PH O TO -E N G R A V IN G — TR AN SFER RING




ROTOGRAVURE

P H O T O -E N G RA V IN G — STA G IN G




S TE R E O T Y P IN G — M O L D IN G

DEPARTMENT




S T E R E O T Y P IN G — FO UNDRY

24— 7



E LE C T R O T Y P IN G —

FINISHING

24—
8



COPPER PLATE AND STEEL-DIE ENGRAVING

25
with electrotyping for the trade. Two envelope factories, 9 periodi­
cal printing plants, and 19 book and job printing establishments
were using it for partial production of plates.
Stereotyping consists in taking a mold of the subject in plaster
of Paris or in a sheet of papier-mache, or paper pulp, drying it and
using it as a matrix for the casting of printing plates, duplicating
the original in solid form. The subject can, as in electrotyping, bo
either type, photo-engravings, or a combination of forms. The proc­
ess is used extensively in newspaper plants to produce the large
curved printing plates, which are clamped on the presses and for
which the flexible paper mold is especially adapted.
The papier-mache, commonly called flong, is first prepared by
pasting together two blotterlike sheets of paper and pasting three
or four sheets of special tissue paper on top of these. The paste
used is specially prepared, from varied formulas, to combine the
whole in a thick, soft sheet which, when dried, results in a hard flexi­
ble cardboard with a smooth surface. Some shops use a flong ma­
chine, which carries rolls of the various papers used and distributes
the paste automatically as the machine draws the sheets forward
and presses them together with rollers, making a continuous flong
which is cut into sheets of required length at the end of the machine.
In a number of places the flong is, however, still prepared by hand.
The flong is kept moist until time for using, and on large news­
papers it is necessary to keep quite a number of prepared sheets on
hand. Some newspapers use a dry flong, which consists of a specially
prepared, thick, and spongy sheet that packs smoothly together when
molded and which eliminates subsequent drying in the steam table.
On newspapers the page forms are usually made up on separate
steel-topped tables, each large enough to take the form, of the same
height as the imposing table, and with large casters on the four
legs, for easy transfer to the stereotype molding department. The
molder pushes the form onto the table of the matrix roller machine,
also of same height, lays a sheet of the damp flong on top of it,
tissue side down, and covers it with a thick felt blanket. Pulling
a lever moves the table automatically under a heavy iron roller,
squeezing the flong down over the face of the form which, with the
molded flong still clinging to it, is next transferred to an iron table
that is heated by steam or electricity, usually called a steam table.
The felt blanket is replaced by soft drying blankets and an iron
plate, or platen, forced down tight over the covered form, squeezing
it again while the heat, applied from the surface of the table to the
type, drives the moisture from the flong into the blankets. On some
steam tables the platens are operated by compressed air, on others
by electric power, and on the old-fashioned style by hand. After
the moisture is expelled the flong is removed from the form, which
is pushed back on the small table, or truck, and returned to the com­
posing room. The blankets are hung up to dry. The flong is now
a sheet of thick, flexible cardboard with an exact reproduction of the
type, rules, and illustrations in the form, commonly called a matrix
or mat. The margins are trimmed off and small pieces of cardboard
pasted on the back in the larger blank spaces to support the mold
when the metal is poured against them, after which it is conveyed
to the foundry, or casting department.
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING




26

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

The caster places the matrix in a roaster, or hot oven with a
curved surface, to make it bone dry, dusts the face lightly with
French chalk to assist easy removal from the cast, and lays it in a
curved casting box with the face turned inward and the back pressed
firmly against the inside of the box. In the smaller newspaper
plants the casting boxes are usually placed in pairs near each metal
kettle and connected at the top with pipes through which the molten
metal is forced by a pump. The casting box is in two parts, the
one forming the interior of the curved plate being upright and sta­
tionary while the outer section is balanced to swing down to permit
insertion of the matrix, or later removal of the plate, and to swing
up to close the box. The matrix is held at the sides by hinged strips
of steel, which form the straight edges of the mold.
A more antiquated form is found in some plants, where the inside
section is. hinged to the outside section and must first be raised to
allow clamping of the matrix. Detachable side guides are used in
place of hinged ones. After the matrix is placed, the inside section
is let down again, the box locked by clamps and stood on end, to be
filled by metal, poured in by hand with a ladle. In either case the
box is returned to a reclining position, after the metal has solidified
sufficiently, and opened. The cast is turned face up and the matrix
carefully removed, to be replaced in the mold and used over again
as often as desired, while the cast is placed in a plate-finishing
machine, where it is clamped on a cylinder which rotates slowly,
bringing the plate against power-driven rotary saws that trim off
the surplus metal at the ends, leaving the curved edges beveled so
as to fit under the clamps on the presses. When the curved edges are
trimmed, the cylinder stops turning and moves lengthwise, bringing
the straight edges of the plate against another set of cutters, which
trim these. The plate is next laid upon an inclined runway of
another machine, the autoshaver, where the inside of the plate is
automatically shaved, or reduced to proper thickness, and, cooled by
a flow of water, turned out ready for the press. In order to reduce
the surface to be shaved down, all plates are cast with less thickness
than required but with projecting ribs, or strips of metal, on the
inside surface, about 1 inch apart, and sufficiently heavy to support
the plate under pressure of printing. The plates for newspaper
presses are usually .shaved to seven-sixteenths of an inch in thickness.
In the old-fashioned method, still found in use occasionally, the
beveling of the edges on a plate is done on a tail cutter, which has
only a single saw, requiring the plate to be turned endwise for second
edge trim, and the cylinder is rotated by hand power. The plate
is next placed face up on a fixed cylinder, the finishing block, where
all superfluous metal is removed with hand planes and chisels, then
inserted face down in a plate shaver and a lever pulled, which rotates
a straight-edged knife on a central shaft, cutting the plate to the re­
quired thickness. It is next cooled in a trough of water and turned
over to the pressroom. This style of equipment, but two pages wide,
is customarily used for the production of double pages when cast
in one piece, and often in single-page width for plates intended for
color printing, as in comic supplements.
The larger newspapers use a special machine, the junior autoplate,
consisting of a metal kettle with two attached combination casting



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING*

27

and finishing mechanisms, each of which will automatically produce
a plate ready for the autoshaver and readjust the matrix for a
duplicate cast. The box or mold, which is upright, has an outer shell
into which the matrix is fitted and which is then closed up against
a grooved cylinder, one-half of which forms the concave side of the
mold. The metal is forced in from an overhanging spout at the top
by means of a hand-worked pump. When the cast is set the mold
opens and the central cylinder turns slowly, carrying the plate with
it against two rotating saws, which bevel the curved edges. A small
arm slightly moves the plate so it can be easily removed by the
operator, while the back with the matrix meantime is closed and
another plate cast. The tailpiece is first removed and returned to the
kettle by the operator, who then picks up the plate and places it in
the autoshaver. A more complicated machine, the autoplate, auto­
matically delivers the plate entirely finished for the press. It em­
bodies the same principles as the junior autoplate but has a single
casting and finishing mechanism, in which the plate is cast in a hori­
zontal position, face down, the curved edges beveled, the straight
edges smoothed down and trimmed close to the type, the inside
shaved to proper thickness, the plate cooled and ejected, face up,
resting on its two straight edges, another plate being automatically
cast while the first one is being finished.
It is sometimes necessary to cut away a part of the metal in the
very large blank spaces on the plates to prevent these from smutting
the sheet in printing. This is done by hand with a chisel, or by aid of
a routing machine, similar to those used for routing curved plates in
electrotyping. While routing is very seldom used on ordinary daily
newspaper plates there is considerable required on plates for color
printing in comic or newspaper magazine supplements. It is also
customary to give these color plates a subsequent coating of nickel
on the printing face to make it more durable and some newspaper
establishments have electrotyping departments or, at least, plating
departments for such purpose. After the plates have been used for
printing they are returned to the stereotyping department and
melted m the metal pots.
In addition to the plate work in newspaper plants, there is also
more or less small work stereotyped, such as duplication of head­
ings, engraved blocks or advertisements, and casts made from
matrices supplied by advertisers or by syndicates. This is usually
termed job work, and requires different machinery from plate work.
Flat casting boxes are used, of varying sizes and with adjustable
side gauges, into which the metal is poured with ladles, or which
are filled through a spout by means of a force pump. Saws and
trimmers or combination saw trimmers are used for trimming the
casts, flat shaving machines or type-high planers for planing the
backs to make casts type-high, while a flat routing machine is used
for gouging out the high nonprinting surfaces. These machines are
similar to those used in electrotype finishing.
The product of the commercial stereotyping establishments is
mostly job work, though on a larger scale, and some of them furnish
matrices or stereotype plates to publishers through the country,
usually requiring many duplicates of one original. Some of the
45331°—25-----3




28

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

shops also turn out special bases of stereotype metal for use with
photo-engravings or electrotypes, as desired, which are cast in flat
casting boxes specially designed for the purpose. In the larger
newspaper plants a separate small metal kettle is ordinarily provided
for the stereotype job department, and near to it will often be found
the ingot metal kettle, in which the machine composition is remelted
for use again as ingots. Different styles of these are used. Some are
provided with spouts, through which the metal flows into the molds.
In others the molds are attached directly to the kettles and are
filled by means of force pumps, while some have no mechanical
means and it is necessary to use ladles for dipping out the metal and
pouring it in the molds placed near by.
A somewhat different method, which is an adaptation of an old
way of producing stereotypes, is used in some places for the manu­
facture of aluminotypes. The original is placed on an iron slab
and a molding frame placed around it. This is filled with a compo­
sition of plaster of Paris, clay, asbestos, etc., in a semiliquefied state.
After the composition sets the mold is placed in a drying oven,
through which a forced draft of hot air is kept circulating at high
pressure. A hole is cut in the bottom of the mold, which is locked
m a separately constructed casting machine, through which the
melted aluminum, alloyed with copper, is forced by aid of compressed
air. The molding frame is taken from the casting machine and the
plaster mold removed from the cast, which is scrubbed to remove all
particles of plaster and trimmed as required.
While the vocations in stereotyping are to a certain extent spe­
cialized, it is customary on newspapers to shift the men from one
position to another, so they are, as a rule, accustomed to all of the
operations.
ELECTROTYPING

Electrotyping, the other duplicating process, was used in 63 of
the establishments inspected, but in the majority of these it was in
combination with other processes for the plants themselves, mostly
periodical or book and job shops, and only 14 of them were exclusive
electrotyping establishments. In 9 others it was found combined
with stereotyping.
Electrotyping consists of taking an impression of the original
in a plastic substance and depositing a thin layer of copper or nickel
on the impression, removing this shell from the mold and backing it
with metal, then trimming the plate to correct height and size. As
any number of plates can be made from a single subject, the process
permits printing in multiple and saves wear on type. The subject
can be either type, a photo-engraving, or a combination of both.
In making the usual electrotype a metal case is filled with a resinolmineral wax, ozocerite, which is kept melted in metal kettles with
steam jackets and which sets quickly. A flame is passed over the
surface to prevent bubbles and the top of the slab is planed down
to give it a smooth even surface for molding. This part of the work
is performed by the case filler.
The wax surface is brushed lightly with powdered graphite by
the molder and an impression is taken in a large molding press of
the subject to be duplicated. The projections and sharp edges of the
wax are burned or cut off and low spots in the blank parts are built



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING

29

up by the builder. The face of the molded case is covered with
graphite in a black-leading machine, so as to render it more sus­
ceptible to electro deposition. Wet black leading, in which the
graphite is mixed with water and applied in liquid form, has prac­
tically supplanted the dry method at the present time. Thirty-eight
of the plants inspected used it exclusively, while 7 still used the dry
method and 17 used both, 4 of these being equipped with special
combination wet and dry machines.
After the graphite has been applied, the back and edges of the
case are covered with wax to prevent a deposit of copper on them,
called stopping out, and the molded case is suspended on hooks in
a solution of sulphate of copper by the battery man. Sometimes
the face of the mold is covered with a copper solution before im­
mersion to hasten the action of deposit. The bath is kept agitated,
usually by compressed air, and a current of electricity from a special
dynamo is passed through it, which separates the copper from the
sulphuric acid and causes it to form a thin deposit, or shell, on the
face of the mold. When a nickel surfaced plate is required the case
is first placed in a nickel bath and, after a thin shell has been formed,
in the copper bath. The shell is stripped from the mold by hot
water, or by cold water and compressed air, washed with hot lye
water or steam to remove all wax, and the rough edges trimmed off.
The case is returned to the case filler, who removes the wax for
remelting and fills it up again.
Some plants use the lead mold method for certain high-class
reproduction and others specialize in it. In this the plastic medium
is a sheet of lead, one-twenty-fifth of an inch thick, in place of wax.
No building up or black leading is required, but otherwise succeeding
operations are similar.
The caster, who operates the metal furnace, applies a fluxing
medium to the back of the copper shell, laid face down on a backing
pan, and covers it with tin foil, which melts and forms a solder
between it and the electrotype metal subsequently flowed over it,
making a plate approximately one-fourth inch thick. After cooling,
the face
scrubbed, by hand or by machine,
surplus metal around the edges is
usually
sawed off.
In the finishing room most of the superfluous metal is removed
from the back of the plate on a rough planer. The printing surface
is carefully examined and necessary corrections are made by the
finisher. The back is cut down on a smooth shaver to bring the
plate to required thickness, high nonprinting surfaces on the face
are removed on a routing machine, and the edges are beveled or
trimmed to exact finished size. Where the plate is intended to be
type-high it is mounted on a base by the blocker, just as in photo­
engraving, and the bottom of the base is planed as required. If tho
late to
in
E isfor be used unblocked, it is usually shaved to 0.153 inch0.21
eight flat work, while finished curved plates vary up to
inch. The plate is beveled and trimmed, and when intended for a
rotary press—for either newspaper, periodical, book, or job print­
ing—is curved on a bending machine by applied pressure and some­
times with additional heat to fit the cylinder of the press. Curved
plates are usually routed after bending. The router for curved



30

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

plates has a cylinder, on which the plate* is clamped, that can
be rotated, while the spindle, with the tool or bit, can be moved
lengthwise of the cylinder. In some shops curved plates are pro­
duced by inserting the copper shell in a curved casting box and
pouring the backing metal into this, as in stereotyping. Similar
saws, trimmers, and bevelers are used as in photo-engraving, but
also some additional ones to suit requirements, such as bevelers that
will finish both sides of the plate at once. The finished product
is ordinarily proofed before going to the shipping room.
In a method recently developed special machine operations are
applied to produce electrotypes with printing surfaces on a perfect
plane. Heavy pressure is used to solidify the backing metal. Plates
for rotary presses are curved in an electrically heated bending ma­
chine, equipped with fingers that exert an even pressure of the sur­
face against a flexible steel blanket, laid on the bed of the plate and
fastened at each end to a half segment of a cylinder. The plate
is heated until the backing metal is almost fluid, when the two seg­
ments are automatically brought together, forming a perfect cyl­
inder inside of the plate and with the steel blanket covering it.
The cylinder is rotated over the bed of the machine and the plate
is cooled by circulation of water in the cylinder, the steel blanket
is released and the plate ejected, curved to the proper diameter. It
is then shaved in a curved plate shaver with knuckle joints, that
press the face of the plate firmly against the bed of the shaver,
proofed and corrected, repeating these operations until all parts or
the printing surface appear on the proof without indenting the
proof paper. Combination correcting and proofing machines are
used to simplify operations. A special proofing press has been per­
fected in connection with this method, with an ingenious register­
ing device, permitting proofing in four colors at one operation of
the press.
Some plants have small auxiliary composing rooms, where com­
position for electrotyping can be done for customers and so elimi­
nate any transportation of type. Others use special wax-ruling
machines for producing tabular forms, engraving the lines in wax
instead of setting up the rhles and taking an impression. This
latter method is also used for production of maps, where the design
is fixed on the wax surface by hand drawing, photography, or some
other transfer method. The engraving is done by a ruling machine,
or by hand with sharp pointed tools, through the wax down to the
surface of the coated copper or brass plate. Lettering is usually
done by pressing heated brass type against the wax until the metal
plate is reached. The plate is then made by the ordinary electro­
typing process from the engraved mold.
The occupations in the electrotyping process are usually strictly
divided, even though all the occupations are performed in one room.
WOOD ENGRAVING

There are additional processes of plate making. Among those
used for production of relief printing plates is wood engraving, at
one time the principal process for illustrations but now seldom used
except for large letters, or plates containing these, intended for pos­
ter printing. The design is drawn or photographed on the surface



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PLATE MAKING*

31

of a type-high block of wood and the surrounding blank parts are
removed by hand with small chisels, called gravers, gouges, or
scrapers, or by means of routing machines. This latter operation
was used in one of the plants inspected; Another establishment,
which was doing considerable printing on novelties, was using rub­
ber surfaced blocks of wood and preparing these in a similar manner.
COPPERPLATE AND STEEL-DIE ENGRAVING

The most important of the minor plate-making processes is cop­
perplate and steel-die engraving, by which flat intaglio printing
plates are produced. In 36 of the plants inspected copperplate and
steel-die printing was performed, but engraving was found in only
25 of them. Five of the establishments were devoted exclusively,
or almost so, to the process.
In copperplate engraving the design is marked backward on a
highly polished surface of a plate of copper, about one-sixteenthinch thick, and engraved by hand with a cutting tool, or graver, re­
moving the lines or dots of the design. A needle is used for the very
fine lines and a burnisher for pressing together lines that may have
been cut too wide. The engraver usually works under a strong
magnifying glass, held in a position to allow use of both hands. The
plate is supported on a small cushion, covered with leather, where it
can be held firmly and turned easily to the angle desired for cutting
the line. Engraving machines are also used for making outlines ancl
for the fine detail work. These are of various styles. Some are
constructed on the pantograph principle, permitting reproduction
of a design in any desired size on the plate by a fine pointed tool.
The plate is first covered with an acid-resisting surface, through
which the design is scratched by the machine. The plate is then
given an acid bath which cuts away the exposed copper, the ground
or resist surface is removed, and the wider or deeper lines are en­
graved by hand. Ruling machines are also used, in which a fine
point automatically cuts parallel, straight, wavy, or crossed lines at
widths or distances for which the machine has been adjusted. The
plate is not mounted but, after engraving and proofing, is ready for
the press. In one of the establishments where rotogravure printing
was performed the designs were engraved on the cylinders by hand
in similar manner, as the designs were only a few simple lines and
the hand method consequently was more economical than the photo­
graphic.
Plates for steel engraving are usually one-eighth inch thick. The
design can be drawn direct on the metal or placed on the ground by
photography, tracing, or offsetting. The preliminary method is
similar to that used for copper plates but instead of using the orig­
inal finished engraving on soft steel for printing the plate is ordi­
narily heated in a solution of cyanide of potassium to the proper
temperature and dipped in oil or brine to harden it quickly. The
plate is laid on the bed of a so-called transfer press. A small cyl­
inder of steel, called a roll, of sufficient length and circumference to
cover the design, is annealed or softened, then placed in the transfer
press where it is rolled, under heavy pressure, over the face of the
original engraving until all the engraved lines are reproduced in
relief on its surface. The roll is taken out and hardened, in the



32

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

same maimer as the original was prepared, and fixed "back in
the transfer press. A soft steel plate is substituted for the original
engraving and the roll is turned over this until the raised design on
it has been transferred to the plate, making an exact duplicate of
the original, with the design in reverse sunk below the surface.
After the desired number of reproductions have been transferred
to the soft steel plate this, in turn, is hardened and carefully pol­
ished, then turned over to the pressman, called plate printer.
In steel-die stamping the plates, or dies, used are about one-half
inch thick and the cutting is much deeper than in the ordinary steel
plates, as they are intended to produce embossed or raised designs
on the paper. In this work, which as a rule is for small designs only,
the printing is done direct from the original engraving after it is
hardened. Copper and steel plate engraving has developed addi­
tional vocations, usually highly specialized, such as plate engraver,
plate polisher, and furnace tender.
OTHER PLATE-MAKING METHODS

There are other methods of preparing copper plates for intaglio
printing, none of which were observed in the establishments visited.
Among these is etching, where the plate is covered with a composi­
tion of wax and varnish, on which the design is scratched through
to the copper and the back of the plate covered with asphaltum,
after which it is placed in a tray and nitric acid poured over it until
the lines are etched as desired. In another method, mezzotint, the
design is placed on the plate with a rocker, a hard steel instrument
with sharp teeth on a curved surface, rocked over the face of the
plate in different directions by hand. A scraper is used to remove
art
the lighter tints,
the
J of the holes in the copper for is polished with aor entirely inIn a
igh lights, after which the plate
burnisher.
third method, dry point, the design is scratched direct in the copper
with a pointed steel needle. None of these three methods are ordi­
narily encountered as they are too slow and cumbersome for com-mercial purposes, but a special method, called photogravure and
which is practically rotogravure in a flat form, is used in some places
for fine illustrations. As in rotogravure a negative is first made,
then a reversed positive from this, which is printed on sensitized
tissue consisting of gelatin-coated paper. The printed tissue is
squeezed on a flat copper plate, previously covered with dragon’s
blood, powdered resin, or albumen by assistance of heat, and washed
with hot water, which removes the paper and soluble part of the
gelatin, leaving the design on the plate. After the plate is etched
in a perchloride of iron bath all gelatin and grain is removed with
hot potash and the plate is usually coated with steel in an electric
steel-facing bath.
Sheet music, which is often printed by the lithographic or offset
method, is in such case commonly engraved on a thin pewter plate,
composed of lead, tin, zinc, and copper. The lines of the staff are
engraved with a tool resembling a fork with five prongs, the straight
lines are ruled or tooled in, while the notes, signs, words or text are
punched in the plate by stencil dies or punches, producing an intaglio
plate. A proof is taken on transfer paper, which is then used on the
stone or plate in the usual manner. Some establishments use special



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK

33

music type, which is electrotyped after assembling, and print the
sheets by the relief method.
The engraving of counter punches, punches, and matrices, in type
foundries is practically the same operation as steel and copperplate
engraving, and similar methods were found*in one book and job
printing establishment, as well as in one specialty printing plant,
for the production of brass printing plates. In addition two small
plants were inspected that were brass die engraving plants exclu­
sively. Brass dies are used for printing on book covers in book
binderies. The engraving of the design, or at least outlining, is
done by hand and the rest of superfluous metal is removed on a
routing machine. Lathes, saws, and grinders are used for the finish­
ing of plates.
PRESSWORK

Printing is divided into three different groups by the character
of the surface on the form or plate from which it is done, and
which may be either relief, planographic, or intaglio. In relief
printing the parts to be printed are raised above the. surrounding
surface, in planographic printing they are on the same level, while
in intaglio printing they are sunk below the surface of the plate.
Presswork, which is the actual printing in the natural sense of the
word, varies considerably according to the surface of the form, but
two of the groups are often represented in one establishment and all
three in some of them. It was found, in varied forms, in 425 of the
536 plants inspected. In 4 of these it was the only operation per­
formed in the plant, in 60 it was combined with composition only, in
18 with photo-engraving only, in 1 with stereotyping only, and in
20 with binding only.
Presswork consists mainly of operating, adjusting, or managing
a machine for printing, called a printing press, which impresses the
inked forms upon paper, cloth, or other material and transfers the
ink to the material. A number of different styles are manufactured
for each of the three groups mentioned, that vary considerably ac­
cording to the nature of the work, quality and quantity of produc­
tion, as well as whether flat forms or curved plates are used.
Printing presses used for relief surface work are classed in three
main divisions, platen, cylinder, and rotary presses, according to the
manner in which the impression is secured. A platen press has a
flat bed to hold the type or form and receives the impression from a
flat plate, or platen, which is forced up against it. A cylinder press
has also a flat bed tor the form but the impression is received from
a cylinder, which carries the paper and which turns while the bed
moves back and forth under it. A rotary press has two cylinders,
geared together. The form, or plate, is curved and fastened around
one of these, while the impression is received from the other over
which the paper passes.
PLATEN PRESSWORK

Platen presses, development of the old-time hand presses, are at
the present time used only for job printing and mostly for small
work, as during operations the whole form is squeezed at one time,
requiring great pressure and limiting the size of the press. Several



84

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

different makes are used, mostly of American manufacture, but also
some English and German. These vary slightly in style, each hav­
ing special features in which it excels, but all embody the same gen­
eral principles. The form used on the platen press may consist of
either type, photo-engravings, flat electrotypes, flat stereotypes, or
combinations of these. After receiving the form from the compos­
ing room the platen pressman places it on the bed of the press, which
is vertical, where it is held in position by two grooved lugs at the
bottonl and a clamp with a strong spring at the top. The bed may
be in a fixed position, or swinging, and the platen, which is located
directly opposite so they can close together to give the impression,
is automatically f qrced up against it in printing. As it is not prac­
tical to print directly against the metal surface of the platen, this
is covered with packing to provide proper resiliency and to give
just sufficient impression for the form. Packing consists of a hard,
smooth-surfaced cardboard, called pressboard, and several sheets ox
paper, the top one of which is named tympan or drawsheet, and is
held down over the upper and lower edges of the platen by clamps.
The proper position for the sheet to be printed is located and guides
are placed on the packing where the edges should strike. Some
make-ready is required at times, especially on the better class of
work. To make ready consists of pasting pieces of thin paper on
one of the sheets in the packing over certain spots where the print­
ing does not show up well, or perhaps cut out part of a sheet, or more
where it shows too much impression. Sometimes it is first necessary
to build up certain portions of the form, especially photo-engravings
or other plates mounted on wood bases, by pasting sheets of paper
under these to raise them to the proper height. The ink is applied
automatically to the surface of the form by composition rollers,
that first have received it from a distributing surface, which may
be either a revolving ink disk on which the ink is fed, either by hand
or from a fountain, or a small cylinder to which the ink is trans­
ferred from the fountain by a separate roller, called a ductor roller.
When the power is applied the rollers, held in a frame, pass over the
distributing surface and pick up the ink, then over tne surface of
the form, where it is deposited, and return to their previous position
above the form. The platen, on which has been placed a sheet to
be printed on, is automatically forced up against the bed by arms
on either side, and then returns to its open position long enough to
permit the operator to take the printed sheet out with his left hand
and place another sheet in proper position with his right hand. The
press is supplied with two grippers, long adjustable metal blades,
which close automatically against the sheet on the platen when the
press closes and prevent the printed sheet from sticking to the inked
type when the press opens afterwards. A throw-off lever is used
to prevent the press from closing entirely together whenever a sheet
is misplaced or it is desired, for any other reason, not to take an
impression.
The platen-press feeder assists the pressman in getting the press
ready for operation, feeds it while printing, washes the rollers, oils
the press, and keeps it clean. The stock to be printed is placed on
the feed board at the right of the press, convenient to the right hand
of the feeder, and fed in one at a time. The feeder places a sheet



35
on the platen with his right hand, sliding it along the bottom guides
to the proper position against the side guides, while the press is
open. After it is printed it is removed with the left hand as the
press is opening and a new sheet is inserted. During the last few
years the human element has been largely supplanted by attaching
mechanical automatic feeders, especially where long runs are re­
quired from one form, as one operator can easily handle two of
these. There are several makes of automatic feeders for platen
presses on the market, which pick the sheets up, one at a time, from
a pile, place them mechanically in proper position on the platen
for printing and remove them afterwards, depositing them in an­
other pile. In shops that have only one or two platen presses it is
not unusual for the pressman to feed a press himself, but in larger
shops one pressman usually has charge of several presses, with a
feeder employed on each hand-fed press.
Some plants are equipped with self-feeding platen presses, using
flat sheets, or a special style which is fed from a roll. The latter
consists of several units, coupled together, with the web passing
through these in rotation. It has automatic attachments for per­
forating, punching, die cutting, numbering, reinforcing, eyeleting,
slip-sheeting, multiple feeding and cutting, slitting, rewinding, or
folding, and is used for the printing of tickets, labels, or other jobs
which demand a number of colors or operations. Platen presses are.
also built for creasing and cutting, an operation used for shaping
folding paper boxes, or for embossing, which consists in raising
the design above the surface of the paper. Some of the presses used
for these two operations are supplied with inking mechanisms and
rollers, while others are not.
Platen presses are also used for proofing in photo-engraving
establishments to obtain a true reproduction of the copy and show
the best possible results that can be obtained from the plate. Cus­
tomarily a heavy variety with good ink distribution is used for fourcolor process work, but the majority of offices use a hand press, of
a style that has been in use for about 100 years and is an improved
model of the hand press used in the fifteenth century. The bed,
which is horizontal and directly under the platen in this press, slides
on a track and is run in or out from under the platen by turning a
crank. The form is placed on the bed and inked up, by hand in
the older styles or mechanically in the newer ones. The sheet of
paper to be printed is laid over the form and covered with the
tympan, an attached frame covered with cloth, the whole thing
slid back under the platen, which is then pressed down on it by
means of a curved lever acting on a toggle joint. Heavy springs
on each side of the platen raise it when the lever is released. The
bed is run out, the tympan raised, and the printed sheet removed.
Hand presses are also at times used for proofing in electrotyping
or stereotyping establishments and, very rarely, in composing rooms.
Platen presses are often called job presses and the workers, con­
sequently, designated as job pressmen or job ]Dress feeders, creating
some confusion in terms because in some localities job presses include
also several varieties of small cylinder presses, called job cylinders
or baby cylinders. In the larger shops the occupation of platen
pressman is higlily specialized, the position of feeder acting as a
DESCRIPTION OP OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK




HYGIENIC CONDITIONS. IN THE FEINTING TRADES
36
stepping-stone to it, but in small shops containing both cylinder
and platen presses the cylinder pressman often looks after the platen
work also. Color proofing in photo-engraving plants is considered
a specialty, differing considerably from ordinary platen presswork
but practically the same as the better class of color work on platen
presses in commercial establishments.
CYLINDER PRESSWORK

Under presses are
used in
alishments but also ordinarily periodicalbook and job printing
in some
printing plants. The

form used on a cylinder press can be either type, photo-engravings,
flat electrotypes, flat stereotypes, or combinations of these, just as
on a platen press, but differs from this by being considerably larger
and consequently heavier to handle. The procedure of preparing
the press for printing is also more intricate on account of the more
complicated machinery. The form is laid on the bed, which is hori­
zontal instead of vertical, and fastened in proper position. The
press is adjusted by the cylinder pressman to handle the stock prop­
erly and deposit the correct amount of ink on the form. The cylin­
der, which delivers the required pressure for printing as does the
platen in a platen press, is similarly covered with packing and made
ready, after which the paper is run through the press and printed on.
While a number of different styles of presses exist, even among
those made by the same manufacturer, they are divided by the varied
action of the cylinder into three classes, single revolution or drum
cylinder presses, in which the cylinder revolves once for each impres­
sion, double revolution, in which the cylinder revolves twice for each
impression, and flat-bed web presses, in which the bed with the form
is stationary while the impression cylinder travels back and forth,
and which prints on a continuous roll or web of paper, while the
other two classes print on sheets, previously cut to size.
A single-revolution press has a large impression cylinder, which
revolves once for each printed sheet delivered. The stock to be
printed is kept on a sloping feed board, ending close to the top of
the cylinder and moved one at a time down to the adjustable guides
by the feeder. The grippers, which are adjustable metal fingers for
grasping and holding the sheet on the cylinder while turning, close
on the sheet, and the feed guides raise so the paper can pass under
them and then drop back for the next sheet. Adjustable sheet guards
or iron straps, called cylinder bands, in front of the cylinder keep
the sheet up against it and smooth. The bed, which meanwhile has
passed under the inking mechanism, where the face of the form
has been covered with a thin film of ink, moves on while the cylinder
turns with it, pressing the paper held by the grippers against the
face of the form to receive the print. The impression can be thrown
off by pulling a lever, as on a platen press, or by pressing a button.
The sheet is transferred to a skeleton cylinder, also containing grip­
pers, and carried to the fly, which is a row of long wooden fingers
that are fastened on a shaft and on which the printed sheet is depos­
ited. The fly describes an arc of a circle and lays the sheet on top
of the preceding one on a table. The cylinder meantime continues
to turn in the same direction, but the bed, with the form, reverses



37
its motion and goes back under the inking mechanism. The circum­
ference of the cylinder is equal to the entire travel of the bed forward
and back, so, as only part of the cylinder is required to carry the
impression, the rest of it is turned down to allow the form to pass
back under it without touching. The bed runs on geared friction
rollers and is usually propelled, through a universal or knuckle-joint
method, by a gear turning in a rack or row of teeth fastened below
it. Heavy springs or an air cushion at each reverse stop the bed
quickly and eliminate the strain. A segment of a gear attached to
the cylinder and a gear rack, known as the register rack, and which
is attached to the bed, harmonize the travel of the cylinder and bed
to insure uniform position of the printed matter on the product.
High metal strips around the ends of the cylinders, called bearers, in
contact with similar bearers on each side of the bed, keep the cyl­
inder at a uniform distance from the form. The ink, which is placed
in a trough, called the fountain and extending across the press, passes
to a small metal roller and is conveyed by a vibrating composition
roller to a larger revolving cylinder. From this it is transferred to
the form, either direct by a series of composition and small metal roll­
ers or by means of an ink table, a flat raised extension at the end of
the traveling bed, to which the ink is passed by another composition
roller. The motion of the bed brings the table under a set of vibrat­
ing composition rollers that distribute the ink on it by friction, then
under the form rollers, also composition, which picK up the neces­
sary amount of ink and in turn convey it to the face of the form.
In another style, known as the stop cylinder press, the cylinder is
stopped by a cam motion, pending the backward travel of the bed,
but with other mechanisms similar.
In a two-revolution cylinder press the cylinder prints while mak­
ing one revolution, but while it continues turning it is lifted during
the second revolution to permit the form to pass under it on return­
ing. Either a ball and socket universal joint drive or a direct drive
is used for the bed motion, and the printed sheets can usually be
delivered with either side up. When it is desired to have the printed
side up, the sheet is run upon a carrier or apron, which carries it
to a delivery table, deposits it and returns to original position for
another one. When the other, or clean, side is required on top the
carriage is left stationary and the sheet is run onto a fly, just as in
a single revolution press, with the clean side down. The fly de­
posits the sheets in a pile with the clean side up. The general de­
scription for the single-revolution press covers all other essential
features. There are, however, some variations of this machine, a
perfecting press, which prints both sides of the sheet at one opera­
tion, and a two-color press.
A perfecting press has two beds, two forms, and two inking
mechanisms but only one feed and one delivery. The cylinders
revolve in opposite directions and lift alternately. One prints while
the bed moves forward and the other when it goes back. After the
first side of the sheet is printed it is delivered to the other cylinder,
with the clean side out, bringing the freshly printed side against the
outside sheet of the packing, called tympan. As more or less of the
ink will set off on the tympan this would soon smut the sheet, so an
automatically shifting tympan is used, consisting of a small roll of
DESCRIPTION OE OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK




38

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

thin manila paper, placed inside the cylinder. The end is led around
the cylinder over the make-ready and wound up on another roll,
also inside. It can be adjusted to shift automatically between any
certain number of impressions, and can be used over again after the
ink has dried. A two-color press is similar in principle but both
cylinders revolve in the same direction and print during the same
movement of the bed. A transfer cylinder delivers the sheet from
one main cylinder to the other without turning it over and, as both
colors are printed on one side only, a shifting tympan is not needed.
There are a number of various attachments used on both single
and double revolution cylinder presses. Several makes of automatic
paper feeders are used to a great extent, some of which handle the
sheets by friction and others by suction. One style is provided with
bucklers, small revolving propellers that are adjusted at both ends
of the sheet on top of a pile of stock. The contact raises or buckles
the sheet, loosening it from the rest, and push fingers propel it
forward under rubber rollers, which start it into the press at timed
intervals. Another kind is equipped with a combing wheel, which
revolves on top of a pile of stock and combs or pushes the sheets
ahead until they reach the guide, when the combing wheel lifts and
a small roller propels the sheet into the press. A different type
uses a large combing wheel or roller, extending across the press,
which advances the sheets in a continuous stream, lapping over each
other, and releases the top sheet into the press. The first two styles,
called pile feeders, are often equipped with loose piling boards,
mounted upon rollers, upon which a large supply of stock can
be piled while the machine is operating. When the supply in the
press is exhausted the empty piling board is removed and a loaded
one, previously placed in position, lifted mechanically to the correct
height. It raises automatically as the sheets are removed, one by
one, by the feeding mechanism, always presenting a sheet at the
proper, adjustable height. The third or continuous feeder requires the
placing of paper direct on the feed board while the press is operated,
either by hand, by means of an automatic hoist which takes the socalled lift from the floor to the top of the feedboard, or by a con­
veyor operated on tracks above the presses. On some feeders blast
pipes are placed at each side of the pile of sheets and adjusted to
direct a volume of air against the edges so as to loosen the top sheet.
Suction pile feeders are used extensively, either with the suction
pipes that pick up the sheet from the pile, lift it forward, and de­
posit it under drop reels, which propel it further, or with wheels
provided with suction holes, that perform a similar function. Ex­
tension deliveries are also attached, permitting the printed sheets
to be delivered on a movable table, which is lowered automatically
as the sheets accumulate and descends upon a frame with wheels,
that permit easy removal and insertion or a new empty table. Au­
tomatic joggers are sometimes used for straightening, or jogging,
the printed sheets into an even pile, and sheet driers, or neutralizers,
with either electric or gas heat for drying the ink and eliminating
static electricity in the paper. Special appliances, such as for num­
bering and collating in desired quantities, slitting, or perforating are
used on some presses to turn out special classes of work. A separate
mechanism, the Upham attachment, has also been added to some



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK

39

single-color presses for use when desired to print two colors at one
time. It consists of a plate cylinder, one-half the diameter of the
impression cylinder of the press to which it is attached, and an ink­
ing mechanism, all mounted in frames to be joined with the side
frames of the press back of the impression cylinder. The plate
cylinder is grooved so that curved electrotype plates can be clamped
on it, for printing the second color on the sheet as it travels around
the impression cylinder.
The operation of making ready on single revolution and double
revolution cylinder presses is the same, depending only on the quality
of the work to be turned out. The form is first corrected to make it
type-high, as near as possible, the proper amount of packing placed
on the press, and deficiencies remedied by pasting pieces of paper on
one or more sheets in the packing. Packing can be either very hard,
for the better class of work, composed of pressboard and several
sheets of paper, or of varying degrees of softness, for cheaper grades.
Special blankets are also used for packing, made of various sub­
stances ranging from a fairly solid composition for the better class
of printing to soft felt blankets for poster and newspaper work.
Halftone printing requires a hard packing and considerable makeready. The solids, or parts of the plate which print dark, require
more pressure than the intermediate, graduated tones, while the high
lights can stand only a very light pressure. Overlays consisting of
patches of paper are consequently prepared and attached to the pack­
ing with paste. Mechanical overlays are also used in a number of
establishments, sometimes supplied by photo-engraving establish­
ments, but usually made by the pressman in the shop. These consist
of reverse plates of the half tones, made of zinc, or of paper covered
with layers of composition, chalk, or emery, but with uneven surfaces,
being thicker in the solids, or dark spots, and gradually thinner for
the lighter shades. They are attached to the packing just as the handcut overlays of paper. Plate mounting devices are commonly used
in forms containing many half tones, especially on color process work.
These consist of metal blocks, which are grooved, and are provided
with special clamps that slide in the grooves. The half tones, or
electrotypes, which are not mounted, are laid on top of the blocks
and fastened with the clamps. They can be easily moved in any
desired direction and, consequently, permit the pressman to register
each plate accurately to the correct location. Cylinder presses are
also used for creasing and cutting in plants manufacturing folding
paper boxes and, like platen presses for that purpose, can be found
with or without inking mechanisms.
A special class of cylinder presses, for operation at high speed on
small job work, has been developed in the last few years. Some of
these belong rightfully to the first class mentioned and others to the
second, but resemble each other so much that they can be considered
separately, regardless of the distinctive cylinder motion. They are
usually called job cylinder or baby cylinder presses. Automatic
feeding apparatus is attached, varying in style according to manu­
facturer and using either friction or suction for placing the sheets
against the guides. Devices are also used for automatically tripping
the press, or throwing off the impression, if the sheet fails to get
down to the front guides or if the sheets pile up in feeding. Some



40

h y g ie n ic

Co n d it io n s , i n

t h e m in t in g trades

presses are also supplied with delivery tables which lower automati­
cally as the printed sheets are delivered on them. Most of the varie­
ties are built similar to the regular cylinder press, with horizontal
beds, but one style uses a vertical bed, on which the iorm is held by a
spring catch and which moves up and down. The cylinder also
moves up and down, balancing the bed, and revolves on the printing
stroke only.
The third class of printing presses differs considerably from the
other two by having a stationary bed, while the impression cylinder
travels back and forth. A flat-bed web press usually has two beds,
end to end or one above the other. The impression cylinders, to­
gether with ink distributing mechanisms, operate in bearings in cross­
heads, which slide in horizontal grooves on the side frames of the
press, controlled by driving arms fastened to rims of large driving
wheels. The ink fountains are located at the end of the press and
the ink distributing systems pick up a sufficient quantity there at
the end of the stroke, spreading it on the faces of the forms in pass­
ing over them afterwards. As the crosshead goes forward the im­
pression cylinder prints the width of two pages, and while the cylin­
der is reversing the paper is pulled forward by a special device, suffi­
cient to present a fresh surface for the backward movement of the
impression cylinder, repeating this operation again at the other end
of the stroke. The paper is used in roll form, in place of single, flat
sheets as in other classes of cylinder presses, and passes in one con­
tinuous web through the press to the automatic cutting and folding
mechanism at the delivery end. This style of press is used for small
newspapers, periodicals, or other similar printing and the packing
on the impression cylinders consists of soft blankets, which take up
any minor inequalities of the form, thereby eliminating make-ready.
The various folding and cutting mechanisms used are similar to those
on large rotary web presses for rotary work.
The cylinder-press feeder assists the pressman in a general way
to get the press ready for operation, feeds it while printing or, if it
has an automatic feeder attached, watches the operation of the feed­
ing mechanism and keeps it supplied with paper. He cleans and oils
the press, washes the rollers, and makes minor adjustments. Where
a press is hand fed it is necessary to carry the stock to be printed
on up to the feed board, which is sloping and ends close to the top
of the cylinder. The feeder lifts the top sheet and slides it down
over the others to the guides by the cylinder, then pushes it gently
sidewise against the side guides to insure proper register. The sheet
passes automatically through the press and is deposited at the de­
livery end in a pile, which is removed at intervals. The stock is
likewise taken to the top of the feed board for the automatic feeder.
Some establishments use automatic lifts to raise the stock for either
hand-fed or auto-fed presses.
The flat-bed web press is fed from a roll of paper and, consequently,
does not need a feeder, but as it requires more than one man to oper­
ate it efficiently an assistant or apprentice is substituted for him.
During the operation of the press the pressman is busy with the con­
stantly changing adjustments of the machine and ink fountain
and the assistant usually stands by the brake lever, ready to stop
the press if necessary. He also adjusts the friction necessary to hold






40—
1
PLATEN PRESSWORK—CYLINDER PRESSES IN BACKGROUND

40—2



CYLINDER PRESSWORK—ROTARY PRESS IN FOREGROUND

40-3



ROTARY MAGAZINE PRESSWORK




ROTARY NEWSPAPER PRESSWORK

40—
5



OFFSET PRESSWORK




PLATE PRIN TIN G




ROTOGRAVURE PRESSWORK

DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK

41

the proper tension on the roll of paper to keep the web running
smoothly through the press, without wrinkling or breaking. A flyboy ordinarily removes the folded papers from the delivery and
places them in a truck or delivers them to the mailing room. He
helps the pressman to prepare the press for operation, cleans and
oils the press, washes the rollers, and helps place the paper rolls in
the press.
ROTARY MAGAZINE PRESSWORK

Rotary presses are used for book and job work, extensively for
magazines and other periodicals and for the production of all large
newspapers. The printing is performed by means of two cylinders,
or a series of pairs. One of these, called the plate cylinder, carries
the forms, which are curved electrotype or stereotype plates, and
the other, called the impression cylinder, carries the packing. There
are two main divisions of the rotary presses, separated by the man­
ner in which the paper is supplied. A sheet-fed rotary press prints
on one side of sheets, previously cut, which are fed into the machine
by hand or by an automatic feeder, just as on a cylinder press. The
sheet is held by grippers on the impression cylinder and receives the
printing as it passes the plate cylinder, which revolves against it.
The plate cylinder is usually spirally grooved and supplied with spe­
cial clamps, sliding in the grooves, for fastening the curved plates
in the desired locations. Some rotaries print at each revolution,
while on others the impression cylinder is lifted for every other revo­
lution and the plate cylinder consequently receives a double rolling
of ink for each impression. The ink is deposited from the foun­
tain on a revolving steel cylinder, or ink drum, where vibrating
composition rollers distribute it and transfer it to form rollers, that
deposit it on the faces of the plates. The printed sheets are taken to
a delivery table by a carrier or apron, or deposited on it by a fly, as
in a cylinder press.
A rotary web press differs from the sheet-fed rotary press in
printing on a continuous web of paper and, additionally, in usually
being arranged to print on both sides of the web as it passes through
the press. Rotary web presses are still further divided in rotary
magazine web presses, which are used for book and magazine work,
and newspaper web presses, used for newspaper work. As there are
several manufacturers, each of whom has developed special features
and, as each of these has turned out a great variety of designs besides
improving former plans frequently, it has resulted in the use at
present ox a number of various styles, which are similar in the main
characteristics but vary in some details, due to the continual im­
provements applied. A rotary web press is composed of one or
more units with a cutting or folding delivery mechanism. A unit
consists of two plate cylinders, each geared together with an im­
pression cylinder and an inking mechanism. The plate cylinders
are of fixed sizes, either the same circumference as the length of
the product or twice as lojig. On some presses the web is fed into
each unit from a separate roll, receiving the print on one side as it
passes between the first impression cylinder and accompanying plate
cylinder, and on the other side as it travels between the other pair
of cylinders. It is passed on to the cutting mechanism, where
it is cut into lengths and delivered, On other presses the width of the



42

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

cylinders is increased and the web is slit into strips of required
width after printing, which are laid on top of each other, carried
to the cutting mechanism, and severed at one cut. The machines
differ according to the product and any number of units can be
combined to suit requirements of the plant. A rotary magazine web
press is intended for the better class of printing on a good grade of
paper. As a rule electrotype plates are used, the plate and impres­
sion cylinders are equipped with bearers, and hard packing with
considerable make-ready, similar to that used on cylinder presses,
is required, especially for fine illustrations and color work.
In late years the cylinder press has been largely replaced by the
rotary magazine web press for this kind of work, where long runs
are necessary, on account of the increased speed. Cutting of the
sheet is sometimes done by a blade with a saw-tooth edge, mounted
in a cylinder, which perforates the paper as it passes between it and
another cylinder with a groove or slot, in which the points of the
cutting blade, or knife, enter. A sudden pull, caused by increased
speed, tears the spaces between the perforations and separates the
product. A straight cut is also used on some magazine presses, by two
blades with straight cutting edges, which are mounted in two cyl­
inders set at an angle across the press so as to shear straight across
the web without stopping it. The printed product may be rewound
on a roll, or delivered flat by a fly or tape delivery, sometimes con­
trolled by grippers mounted on an endless chain that grasp the
sheet, carry it to the delivery table, and release it on top ot the pre­
ceding sheet. In folded delivery the sheet is sometimes slit into
two-page wide ribbons, each of which is passed over a turning bar
or angle bar, a rounded bar set diagonally to the travel of the web,
given a half turn, placing them on top of each other, pasted together
or fastened with wire stitches, then given a fold through the center
to complete the section, cut and dropped edgeways into a box, where
they are held by a block that is moved back by the pressure of each
new addition, or sideways into a pocket, which moves forward at
fixed intervals when a sufficient number has been deposited on top
of each other. The web is, on some machines, folded lengthwise on
a former before cutting. A former is a V-shaped piece of iron, over
which the printed sheet is pulled by a pair of milled rollers, placed
at the lowest point, which revolve together. The automatic shifting
tympan, mentioned under cylinder presses, is used on some of the
magazine presses on the second impression cylinder. On others a
separate roll of special manila paper is placed on^the press and the
sheet travels with the printing web over the second impression
cylinder, after which it is wound up on another spindle.
ROTARY NEWSPAPER PRESSWORK

A newspaper web press is used for printing at a high rate of speed
on a soft paper that partly absorbs the ink. The cylinders are not
provided with bearers and stereotype plates are used, which are con­
siderably thicker than electrotype plates. The packing, which is
very sort, presents an elastic surface that will take up all minor
inequalities in the printing face and does not require make-ready.
Newspaper web presses are usually considered in special size units,
each capable of printing eight pages at each revolution of the plate



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS----PRESSWORK

43

cylinders. The number of units assembled together in a single ma­
chine determines the name by which it is generally known, such as
single, double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, sextuple, octuple, de­
cuple, double sextuple, double octuple or double decuple newspaper
web press, indicating that it is composed of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12,
16, or 20 units, respectively. A unit consists of two plate cylinders,
each two pages wide, with respective impression cylinders and ink­
ing mechanisms. A 1
’ provided with two stationary
regulate the position of the
bars, lengthwise
plates, a stationary clamp in the center, which fits snugly over tfye
beveled edges of the plates, and movable clamps on the outsides for
locking the plates tightly on the cylinder. Each plate extends ap­
proximately halfway around the cylinder and at times both the for­
ward and following plates are exactly alike, producing two fourpage papers for each revolution of the cylinder.
The ink is transferred at regular intervals in required, adjustable
quantities from the fountain to ink drums, where it is distributed
by composition rollers. On some presses the composition rollers
move laterally as well as revolve, while on others the ink drums have
a lateral motion and the rollers only revolve. The ink is deposited
on the faces of the plates in a thin film by form rollers, other and
usually larger composition rollers, which only revolve. The pack­
ing consists of a rubber or composition blanket, stretched around
the impression cylinder, covered with a felt blanket, the ends of
which pass through a slot into the interior of the cylinder where
they are fastened. The outside of the felt blanket is usually pre­
pared to resist oil by a special coating but in some places, where a
plain felt blanket is still used, a muslin tympan is placed around the
second impression cylinder, to absorb any ink that has not dried on
the pages printed first, and changed at intervals to provide a fresh
and absorbing surface. In a number of presses the roll of paper is
fastened firmly on a spindle, which turns in sockets located in
brackets at the rear of the unit. An adjustable brake, fitted with
wooden shoes, is clamped over a pulley on one end of the spindle to
regulate the tension on the web as it travels through the press. The
web passes over equalizing rollers, which take up any possible slack,
between one set of cylinders for printing on one side, between the
other set for printing on the other side, then over compensating
rollers, and sometimes angle bars, to the assembling, cutting, and
folding mechanism for the entire product. The units can be placed
together in several different ways, such as on top of each other in
horizontal, parallel tiers or decks, side by side, or tandem, while the
folder mechanisms may be placed at one end, in the center, or at an
angle. A number of units are often found in one establishment,
such as one of the 64 newspaper pressrooms visited, which contained
133 of these.
A distinction is made between single-width presses, which have
plate cylinders two pages wide, and double-width presses, where
they are four pages in width. A few are also found that deviate from
these and are partly three or five pages wide. A single-width press
usually has several decks, each consisting of a unit, and the various
sheets travel in a straight line from the rolls at one end, through.
45331°—25-----4




44

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

the printing parts, to the top of the assembling, cutting, and folding
mechanism, commonly called the folder, where they come together,
one on top of the other, are pulled down over the former by revolving
rollers at the bottom or nose of it, and fed into the cutting mech­
anism. The ordinary style of this consists of two cylinders, revolv­
ing together. One of these, the folding cylinder, which is the- same
diameter as the plate or impression cylinder, contains two sets of
pins that automatically protrude' through holes in the cylinder.
One set of these pierces the forward ends of the web or webs and
carries them half a revolution of the cylinder or the length of a paper.
The knife cylinder contains a sharp, serrated blade, fixed between
strips of wood supported by springs, which press the paper against
a slotted rubber bar in the folding cylinder and hold it tight while
the knife severs it. The pins automatically drop back in the cylinder,
releasing the forward end of the webs, as a rotating blade, also
carried in the folding cylinder, protrudes and strikes the severed
section in the middle, forcing it down between two revolving rollers
that give it the second or transverse fold. The folded paper is
dropped into a rotating frame of curved bands, called the fly,
which deposits it on an endless-belt carrier. A device is attached
which throws every tenth, twenty-fifth, or fiftieth paper out of po­
sition to facilitate counting. At the same time the sheet is severed
from the web, the forward end of which is pierced by the second
set of pins in the folding cylinder, and the operations are repeated.
The cutting cylinder, which is only half the diameter of the folding
cylinder, making its circumference the length of the sheet, is also
used as a collecting cylinder when it is desired to collect two sheet
lengths in one copy. When such is the case a change is necessary
in the manner' of placing the plates on the plate cylinders. Instead
of two plates that complete the circle around a plate cylinder being
duplicates, only a single plate is used of each kind, so that these are
all different. One set of the pins in the folding cylinders is silenced
and another set of pins, contained in the knife cylinder, is connected
with a cam motion which propels or retires them automatically.
These pick up the first sheet and carry it for one revolution of the
cylinder, giving the second sheet time to arrive, then release it to be
caught together with the forward end of the second sheet by the
active set of pins in the folding cylinder. The two sheet lengths
are carried around together until the second one is severed from
the web, when they are folded and delivered as a single newspaper.
Some presses have a separate collecting cylinder, of the same size as
the knife cylinder', which is thrown into gear, when required, with
the other two. While this operation, called collecting, permits of
publishing twice as many pages in a single copy of the paper, it also
cuts the production in two, as every other sheet length is folded
together with the preceding one, so only one paper is delivered for
each full revolution of the plate cylinders.
A single deck can be operated by itself when a four or eight page
paper is wanted, or others can be added as required. One page
wide rolls of paper can be used in place of the customary full-width
roll by using plates on corresponding sides of unit only and adjust­
ing ink distribution. When a roll of paper expires it is necessary
to stop the press and remove the spindle on which the core is



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK

45

fastened, then place another spindle with a new roll in the sockets,
paste the ends of the sheets together and start the press again. On
some presses one of the decks can be changed to operate at half
speed to deliver a two-page leaf for each revolution and in place of
a four-page one. Some presses have cutting mechanisms at the top
of the former and the severed sheets are carried down over it to
the folding mechanism by tapes. Some of the older style presses,
both single and double width, have impression cylinders with twice
the circumference of the plate cylinders, or even three times as
large. Some have tumbler movement for the folding cylinders,
while others have rotary gear movement, which permits of greater
speed.
A special type is equipped with plate cylinders one page in cir­
cumference and uses circular or tubular plates on these. The journal
bearing for one side of the plate cylinder is supported by an arm
and the plate has an opening or slot along its entire length, equal
to the margin at head and foot of the page combined. This per­
mits the two plates to slide onto the cylinder from one end. The
first plate automatically raises sunken clamps, which lock it, the
second plate is pushed up against these and locked by adjustable
clamps on the outside.
Most modern presses are double width, or four pages wide, but
built in a variety of styles, usually to suit the space in the establish­
ment. The plate cylinders on a double-width press are staggered;
which means that plates on one end are out of alignment with those
on the other, so as to insure an impression on the sheet at all times.
A double-width press capable of printing 32 pages for each revolu­
tion of the cylinders, commonly known as a quadruple or quad press,
usually has two folders. The webs can be assembled together in one
of these by splitting them into ribbons, either one or two pages wide,
and passing them over angle bars, as required, to correct position, in
line with the folder. They can also be passed full width to the top
of the formers, slit there by a circular rotating knife, and either
delivered as separate papers in both flies or one set of webs can be
transferred, after receiving the longitudinal fold on one former, over
a series of rollers to the cutting mechanism of the other folder,
manipulated with the web in this and delivered as a single paper
Ayith one section folded in the other. Octuple presses, consisting of
eight units, capable of printing 64 pages for each revolution, usually
have four folders.
At one time the double-width presses were mainly constructed
with a view of conserving floor space and are often found four decks
high. In recent years the low type unit style, where all units are
on one level, has been installed in a number of large newspaper
plants. These permit the use of magazine reels for the paper rolls,
located on a separate floor below the pressroom, eliminating the
hoisting of rolls to the heights of the different decks and the neces­
sity of stopping the press to replace the used rolls. The magazine
reel contains three rolls of paper, one of which is supplying the web
for the press. When this is used up the pressure of a button starts
a motor that automatically revolves the reel to swing a fresh roll
into the position occupied by the used one. The end of the new
roll, previously covered with paste, comes in contact with the end



46

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

of the sheet from the former roll, sticks to it, and is carried by it
up through the press. The empty spindle, which is turned to the
bottom position by swinging the reel, is removed and a new roll,
located on a small car that operates on tracks in the floor, is put in
place of it on the reel. The reel is adjustable sideways by pressure
on another button, which operates a special motor for the purpose.
On presses with decks it is necessary to hoist the rolls, previously
spindled, up to the brackets on which the boxes are located and
which usually extend sufficiently to permit one extra roll. Various
styles of hoists are used, with hydraulic, air, or electric control.
On the older presses the ink is transferred from a metal roller,
turning in the fountain, to the distributing system by a composition
roller, called ductor or feed roller, which turns with it and picks up
the required quantity of ink, then lifts and is brought into contact
with a revolving ink drum, where the ink is deposited. The quan­
tity of ink on the metal roller in the fountain is regulated by a
blade resting on it, which is pressed up against it or removed from
it by an adjustment of a series of thumbscrews extending through
the frame, located across the press. In a later invention the screws
are placed at the ends of the fountain, controlling the blade by a
rod with a worm movement, making the adjustment more accessible
during operation. The latest style, the automatic ink pump sys­
tem, eliminates the ductor roller and the ink is sprayed directly on
the ink drum through a number of small orifices in a feed rail,
which extends across the cylinder from a pump box at one side of
the press, containing a series of pumps, one for each orifice. The
flow of ink through each pump is controlled by a thumbscrew on
top of the box. The pump box for each distribution system is con­
nected with the main supply tank, from which the ink is forced
through ordinary pipes by air pressure or by gravity, and the pump
drive is connected with the drive for the distributing cylinder.
The printed and folded papers were originally, and still are on a
number of presses, taken from the endless belt carrier at the delivery
end in bundles and placed in a box on wheels, where the mailing
room is on the same level, or on a small elevator, where the mailing
room is located on a floor above the pressroom. Many presses are
equipped with automatic escalators or conveyors, that take the papers
in an endless stream directly from the press between running ar­
rangements of spiral bands or belts and carry them, vertically or
horizontally, in any desired direction as far as required to the de­
livery tables in the mailing room.
A number of other improvements are found on the modern presses,
such as automatic paper-break stops, mounted on one side of the
frame, that disconnect the power and apply a brake to the motor
and press if the web should break, and automatic oiling devices. In
some papers the various sheets are pasted together in the center, a
streak of paste being applied to the web, by the edge of a wheel re­
volving in a paste fountain, as it travels between the printing cylin­
ders and the folder. On others a fudge cylinder is used for print­
ing the very latest news, such as results of sporting events. This
consists of a small auxiliary cylinder, in which tapered linotype
slugs or type can be locked, eliminating stereotyping. It is equipped
with individual inking mechanism but prints against the regular



47
impression cylinder for the page. The corresponding parts of the
stereotyped plate for the page are left blank.
Some presses are equipped with additional units for color print­
ing. Others are combination presses for part color and part black
printing, used principally for comic supplements and magazine sec­
tions. These latter vary from the straight newspaper web style,
with soft blankets and stereotype plates, to the rotary magazine web
type, with hard packing, make-ready, and electrotype plates. A
separate unit is added for each color to be printed on every eight
pages, through which the sheet passes in succession. The newest
style of these is the universal unit type, in which the units are ar­
ranged in tiers, each capable of being used as a separate press or
combined with any required quantity of the others, and which have
part of the mechanism on tracks so they can be moved aside and
allow easv access to the cylinders.
Part oi the work in a newspaper web pressroom consists in getting
the press ready for operation. The plates used for previous run are
taken off the press, the rollers are washed, and pipe rollers, angle
bars, and formers are cleaned of any possible deposit of ink from
the web. The press is wiped carefully to remove all accumula­
tions of ink and paper dust. On the older style presses the foun­
tains are filled, either with aid of a pump from a movable tank or by
a bucket, in which the ink is drawn from a barrel, and the dirty
muslin tympans are replaced by clean ones. If a change is made in
the number of pages for the edition it often requires a change in
the width of the rolls of paper used, consequently the rolls may have
to be taken out and replaced with suitable ones, the ductor rollers
changed, and numerous adjustments made in other parts of the press
to permit proper travel of the web. Sufficient paper for the coming
run of the press is usually prepared by stripping off the wrappers,
fastening spindles in the rolls, and placing the rolls in handy
positions for quick change when the corresponding rolls in the press
are exhausted. The webs, which are usually torn out of the press to
allow convenient access to various parts for cleaning, are led back
through it and the press is oiled up. Where more than one press
is operated at one time there is one man in charge of each press, who
directs the work of the men under him and takes care of the finer
adjustments. The rest of the work is performed by web pressmen
and by web press apprentices.' In small establishments that contain
only one press the man in charge is usually the foreman of the room.
In some plants the pressmen prepare the paper for use, but in others
there are special paper handlers for that purpose. The composition
rollers are adjusted at intervals for contact to insure proper distri­
bution and deposition of ink. The ink fountains are at times
emptied and washed out and the blankets on the impression cylinders
replaced when necessary.
As the plates are brought from the stereotyping department,
either by automatic delivery or carried by the apprentices, they are
locked m their respective positions on the press. The sockets in
which the composition rollers spin are locked, to hold these in place
and, after all the plates have been put on, the press is started re­
volving. It is turned at slow speed in the beginning while some
final adjustments are being made, but this is increased rapidly as
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK




48

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

speed is the main consideration on the modern newspaper. The
press requires constant adjustment and oiling during the entire
run, one man usually taking care of the tension on the rolls so as
to hold the sheets with certain required degree of tautness in the
travel. During the operation of the press it is necessary to watch
the machinery closely, partly by sound, so as to shut it off as soon
as. possible if the web should break or anything else go wrong. On
the old styles, especially those operated by belt drives, it is neces­
sary during the run for one of the men to stand with one hand on
the throw-off lever, or brake, ready to shut the press down when
needed. The newer push-button system of operation permits more
freedom, as it enables any one of the press crew to stop the press
at the nearest button station and gives them all a chance to con­
tinue with other tasks meanwhile. Where no conveyors are at­
tached to the delivery the papers are removed by nyboys, who
Usually are the apprentices.
In most of the large newspaper pressrooms there is considerable
shifting from one position to the other. In a few shops the duties
of each man on the crew are sharply defined and the positions spe­
cialized. The workers are commonly classified as men in charge,
pressmen, and apprentices. Pressmen in some plants are called ten­
sion men and journeymen. In some establishments there are paper
handlers and special flyboys employed.
The work on color presses differs considerably, as the plates have
to be registered, or shifted on the cylinders, to print in exactly the
required positions on the web. They are usually moved both
lengthwise and up or down on the cylinder, sometimes necessitating
additional trimming. Where electrotype plates are used consider­
able underlaying is done to project low spots. The operations fol­
lowing final clamping of the plates and finishing of the makeready are similar to those on the black presses. Adjustments of
compensating rollers, over which the web travels between the vari­
ous printing cylinders, are watched carefully to lengthen or shorten
the web so the plates will print on correct spaces.
ROTARY SPECIALTY PRESSWORK

There are also a number of specialty rotary presses, one of which,
the McKee press, is used by several large periodical or magazine
publishing establishments for two-color or four-color process print­
ing. This press, classed as a multicolor rotary press, has one large
printing cylinder, made in two sections, and four plate cylinders,
which are grouped around it, all printing in rotation on the same
part of the impression cylinder, which holds the sheet firmly with
grippers until all the colors have been printed. Since all the plates
print against the same surface, this can not be made ready but must
be left level, and the surface of the impression cylinder is just cov­
ered by smooth hard packing. An elaborate process of make-ready
is used for the plates, performed in a department of the pressroom.
The plates, usually nickel types instead of ordinary copper electro­
types, are furnished by the electrotype department in flat form and
commonly 0.19 inch thick, which is thicker than required. Proofs
of each plate are taken and a reverse overlay is made, which is at­
tached to a thin steel or zinc plate and fastened to the face of the



DESCRIPTION OP OCCUPATIONS— PRESSWORK

49

plate, while an underlay, similarly mounted, is placed on the back.
The plate is laid, face up, on the bed of a heated hydraulic press,
where the pressure applied projects the softened metal in the spaces
cut o’u t for the overlay. The underlay, or backstop, is removed and
the plate, with the overlay attached, is placed in a knuckle-shaving
machine, face down. The bed of the machine moves back and forth,
bringing the back of the plate under a row of small steel rollers,
mounted on steel fingers with knuckle joints that apply pressure,
and an adjustable knife shaves the back of the plate. This opera­
tion is repeated until the plate is shaved to proper thickness, usually
0.165 inch in the highest parts, which consists of all the solid black
sections, but gradually less for the lighter printing sections, leaving
the plate thinnest where the high lights appear. The overlay is
removed and the plate returned to the electrotyping department
to be curved and routed. In some plants only an overlay is used
and the plate is treated first in the knuckle shaver, then placed in
the hydra'ulic press, and afterwards in a cooling box, where it is
cooled under pressure.
After the plates are returned from the foundry they are fastened
on their respective cylinders in similar rotation as for ordinary
process color work—yellow on the first cylinder, red on the second,
blue on the third, and black on the fourth. Each cylinder has its
own fountain and ink distributing mechanism. The inks vary some­
what from those used ordinarily for printing on cylinder or rotary
presses, which are prepared to dry by oxidation, or contact with
the air, and which are usually applied one at a time with intervals
between. Four wet colors are applied on top of each other, an oper­
ation commonly called wet printing. The first color applied is very
stiff, or tacky, the second not quite so stiff, the third one still softer,
and the last one very soft, almost fluid in consistency. The McKee
press is sheet fed, usually by automatic feeders, and a number of
them have special attachments which automatically place a manila
slip sheet between each two printed sheets to permit the heavy film
of ink to dry properly without offsetting, or smutting, on the other
sheets.
The sheets are delivered flat, and where slip sheets are used it is
necessary to remove these by hand, or by special machines built for
the purpose, before printing on the other side. Various methods are
tried to eliminate slip sheeting, which is required on some work on
cylinder presses as well as on rotary presses, such as brushing the
printed surface lightly with various drying powders. In a new
method a thin film of paraffin is sprayed over the sheets directly
after printing, from a fountain attached to the press, which is de­
clared to have solved the question perfectly.
Rotary presses are also used for creasing and cutting in the manu­
facture of folding paper boxes or cartons. Some of them are
equipped with single-color or two-color mechanisms, while others
are without printing mechanisms. Other rotary presses are used for
various kinds of specialty work, designed and equipped for the cer­
tain product, such as one for printing postal cards in two colors,
which trims the cardboard web, divides it in eight strips, 5y2 inches
each, for the length of the cards, cuts these to widths, S1 inches,
/^
and counts them in lots of 50 each. Another style, used in number­



50

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

ing bank notes, is fed automatically with flat sheets containing four
notes each. The bank notes are numbered, sealed, separated, counted,
and collated in one operation, being turned out in packages of 100
notes each. A rotary wrapping and tissue-paper press is made,
which prints in one color on two rolls of paper, or in two colors
on one roll, and is equipped with a rewinding and slitting attach­
ment for the finished product. A special press for printing transfers
is equipped with mechanisms for printing in one color on one side
and five colors on the reverse side, with the second cylinder arranged
so the web may be printed on either side by means of a device which
reverses the paper. It also numbers it in any desired color, perfo­
rates with or across the web, slits, and delivers in any desired form,
which may be either fly, tape, folded, rewound in rolls, or cut apart
to size. Special presses are designed to perform automatically
nearly every feature connected with the printing, and manufacturers
are constantly turning out new designs to meet individual demands
for theater tickets, street car tickets, railroad tickets, various forms
of tags, labels, and stickers, fruit wrappers, manifold salesbooks,
or other products. The smaller sizes of rotary presses are often
classed, together with some of the job cylinder presses, as auto­
matic presses, and the men operating them as automatic pressmen,
but these terms do not seem adequate.
The work on color presses and on magazine rotary presses is
divided practically as on newspaper web presses, except for the
additional make-ready, sometimes performed by the pressmen who
operate the press, but in large shops often prepared by a special staff
of pressmen, constantly engaged in this work. As the rotary maga­
zine presses usually are smaller than the newspaper web presses,
fewer men are ordinarily employed on one machine, and the smaller
ones may be operated by two men, or even by one man who performs
all the different functions.
LITHOGRAPHIC AND OFFSET PRESSWORK

Planographic printing was found in 58 of the plants inspected in
detail and 4 of them were devoted to planographic work only.
Presses used for planographic printing also fall into three dis­
tinctive classes, flat-bed lithographic presses, direct rotary plano­
graphic presses, and offset presses. A flat-bed lithographic press is
practically similar to a relief cylinder press, except for the bed,
which is adapted to hold a stone from which the printing is done,
and an additional dampening device, consisting of a fountain con­
taining water, which is applied by a series of felt-covered rollers to
portions of the stone surrounding the printing design. A direct
rotary planographic press resembles, in similar manner, a rotary
press used for relief printing but, instead of carrying electrotype
or stereotype plates, has a thin, flexible sheet or plate of aluminum
or zinc stretched around the plate cylinder and fastened by clamps
across it. This plate carries the design in similar manner as the
stone and receives water from the dampening device and ink from the
inking mechanism. Some of them are equipped for two colors, with
one impression cylinder but two plate cylinders, each having its own
dampening and inking mechanisms. These two styles have been, to



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS----PRESSWORK

51

a large extent, supplanted by the offset press, now used in a' number
of establishments throughout the country.
An offset press differs essentially from other printing presses in
printing from a plate onto a rubber blanket, from which the ink is
transferred to the paper. Three cylinders are required for this
purpose, the plate cylinder to carry the plate, the blanket cylinder
to carry the blanket, and the impression cylinder to carry the paper,
all of which revolve in mutual contact. When the plate is received
from the transfer department it is clamped smoothly around the
plate cylinder and a thin rubber blanket, usually three-ply, is fast­
ened securely around the blanket cylinder. Sufficient paper packing
is placed under the rubber blanket to insure proper contact with the
plate. The gum arabic coating is removed from the plate and the
power applied to the press, revolving the plate cylinder. The plate
is first dampened with water, conducted to it from a fountain by
metal rollers covered with felt, which keeps the blank parts free
from ink. The ink is next deposited on the design, which is greasy
and not affected by the water, by metal rollers that are wrapped
with several layers of flannel and covered with a leather skin. The
inking system is similar to that used on rotary presses for relief
rinting, consisting of a fountain, ductor roller, distributing cyliner, distributing rollers, and form rollers. The automatic feeder
is thrown into gear with the printing mechanism and, as a sheet
comes down to the impression or paper cylinder, the blanket cylinder
is thrown into contact with the plate cylinder, receiving a reproduc­
tion of the design on the surface of the rubber blanket, subsequently
transferring this to paper, which is held by grippers on the impres­
sion cylinder. The paper is released and usually carried by grip­
pers on chains to the delivery table. Automatic throw outs are
provided, for releasing the feeding mechanism, the inking mechan­
ism, and the contacts of the printing mechanism in case sheets do
not feed properly against the guides, or more than one is carried
down. The older styles are usually equipped with automatic fric­
tion feeders while the newer ones have suction arrangements for
lifting the sheets from the pile and carrying them toward the for­
warding mechanism. A few were also found that were equipped
with roll feed, the web being cut after printing and delivered flat.
Automatic feeding devices can, as a rule, be detached for easy access
to the mechanisms or to permit hand feeding, if desired. Both
one-color and two-color offset presses are used.
The offset pressman manipulates the important adjustments and,
during the operation of the press, he is compelled to watch the
printed results closely to guard against possible destruction of the
designs on the plates, liable to occur on account of the peculiar
chemical composition of the printing surface. A design may grad­
ually wear away, or the fine lines may thicken up, but material dam­
age can be averted by prompt action when changes appear. The
rubber blanket may also require attention, as it is affected by atmos­
pheric conditions and by greases or solvents used. The inks may
need doctoring to reduce the tack, or adhesive quality, or to change
the drying quality to suit the consistency of the paper. Whenever
the press is stopped and stands .still for even a short time it is nec­
essary to protect the face of the plate by a gum arabic solution. The

S




52

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

offset assistant takes care of the minor adjustments, washes the
rollers and fountain, keeps the press clean and oils it, keeps the
automatic feeder loaded with stock, and watches it during the run.
PLATE PRINTING

Intaglio press work was found in 53 of the establishments sur­
veyed. Five of these were exclusive die and plate printing plants,
while six others were devoted to rotogravure printing only.
Presses for intaglio printing consist of three classes, plate print­
ing, die stamping, and rotogravure presses. A plate printing press
has a flat bed, supported by a heavy roller, and the impression is
received from a curved surface. Tne oldest form of these, found
especially in the smaller plants and called D-roller press or, com­
monly, copperplate hand press, has a flat, horizontal bed, on which
the plate is laid, face up. The entire plate is covered with ink by
hand, the surplus is wiped off with a rag of open mesh cloth and the
balance of the ink is carefully removed from the surface by polishing
it with the bare hand, leaving the sunken lines or dots of* the design
filled with ink. A sheet of paper is laid on the plate, covered with
cardboard or paper, and the bed moved forward by turning spokes,
sometimes banded by an iron hoop, bringing the plate under a small
curved impression surface, like part of a cylinder, geared together
with the bed, a heavy steel roller supporting the bed in direct ver­
tical line with the impression roll above, forcing the paper down into
the depressions so the ink adheres. Heavy soft paper is ordinarily
used and it is often dampened before printing. The bed is brought
back while the impression is lifted, the printed sheet is removed
and the operations repeated.
Power drive has been applied to this style of press to facilitate
production and on some the wiping with cloth is performed auto­
matically, the cloth, which is wound on a reel, passing over the plate
with the motion or the press and being rewound on another reel.
The principles of the D-roller press have also been embodied in a
large four-bed power press, which contains a track that follows the
lines of the square frame and on which the beds travel horizontally.
A plate is fastened on each bed and the press is set in motion. The
first plate passes under an automatic inking mechanism, which
applies the mk, then under a rough-wiping mechanism, where the
surplus ink is removed, afterwards coming out in the open, where
the pressman polishes it with the palm of his hands, assisted by a
little whiting, next passes the station of an assistant, who places a
sheet of paper on it, slides under an impression roller while sup­
ported by a heavy cylinder underneath, then comes out in the open
again, where the printed sheet is removed by another assistant, and
repeats the operations. Each plate follows around, in turn going
through the same manipulation. In another power driven machine
two plates are fastened on an endless chain, operating vertically,
which brings them in contact with an inking mechanism, wiping
device, and impression surface, on which the paper is laid.
Copper plate printing is ordinarily used for visiting, professional,
or business cards, announcements, invitations, and social forms.
Steel plate printing is used principally for bank notes, bond and
stock certificates, postage stamps, letter heads, and diplomas.



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— RRESSWORK

53

DIE STAMPING

A die stamping press also has a flat bed but receives the impres­
sion from a counter die, held in an impression head. A counter die
is a reversed counterpart of the die, consequently a reproduction of
the design in relief, which is placed to strike the back of the sheet
and force it into the depressions of the die, so as to leave the design
in permanent relief on the product. For small work a hand stamp­
ing press is used, resting on a bench or table. The die is held, face
downward, in an impression head operated by a powerful screw,
fitted into a slot so it can be easily removed for inking and wiping
after each impression. The counter die is prepared by special com­
position, which is forced into the die and placed into the bottom part
of the press. The die is inked and wiped, then forced down against
the counter die, over which the paper has been placed. There are
several makes of power die presses which are automatically inked
and wiped with a specially prepared wiping paper that practically
cuts the ink from the surface of the die and eliminates hand wiping.
This permits the use of an ink with a varnish base, which will print
with a high gloss, while for hand wiping a soft ink is required, with
oil as the principal ingredient. The paper is fed to the wiping
mechanism from a roll attached to the press and, after wiping, is
rewound on another spool. The die is mounted on a sliding table,
which carries it under the inking rollers, that are supplied from a
fountain under the wiping mechanism, and back under the counter
die. The paper to be printed is laid face down on the die and the
counter die is automatically forced against it by the action of an
eccentric pressure shaft, driving the paper into the engraved lines,
causing the ink to adhere to it and at the same time leaving the
design raised or embossed. Designs in gold or silver bronze are
usually stamped with a second impression, without ink, to burnish
them and produce an extra gloss. Some power die stamping presses
are provided with automatic feeders and others have devices for
removing the printed sheets automatically, but on the majority the
stock is fed by hand by the operator while the printed cards or sheets
are removed by hand by an assistant and spread out on racks for
drying.
Steel die printing is used extensively on stationery, especially for
monograms or emblems and heraldic or fraternity designs on letter
heads and cards, for catalogue covers, cigar bands, and other work
where it is desired to have the design remain in high relief above
the surface. Plate and die printing are usually found together in
a plant, although the work varies somewhat.
Embossing is also, at times, executed on ordinary relief presses of
either platen or cylinder type, on work previously printed. The
inking device is silenced by removing the composition rollers.
Either zinc or brass dies are commonly used, though steel dies can
also be used. The die, which is locked in a chase, is placed on the
press in the usual manner and a plastic compound built up on the
platen sufficiently thick to fill the lines of the die, covered with paper
and pressed into the die by turning the press slowly. After hard­
ening by drying, the sheets are fed into the press as usual, where
they are embossed between the metal female die and the composi­



54
HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN t h e p r in t i n g TRADES
tion male die. Sometimes heat is applied to the die, through its base,
either by means of electricity or gas.
ROTOGRAVURE PRINTING

Rotogravure presses differ essentially from other intaglio presses
in printing from a curved plate surface against a curved impression
surface, being an application of the rotary principle to intaglio print­
ing. They are used largely for printing newspaper supplements,
but also for the printing of posters, scenes of photoplays, magazine
inserts, or entire publications. Several makes are used, which differ
in some of the details but all have the same principle.
A rotogravure press for printing newspaper supplements is, like
a newspaper web press, fed from a roll. As both sides of the web
require printing, it is equipped with bearings for two printing
cylinders, one for each side, and which may be either two or four
pages wide. When a cylinder, previously prepared in the photo­
engraving department, comes into the pressroom it is washed with
a solvent, xylol or naphtha, to remove thoroughly all grease, and
placed in the bearings of the press, where it is locked and connected
with the gearing. The printing cylinder, which corresponds to a
plate cylinder with attached plates on a newspaper web press, is
usually two pages in circumference and can be lowered, together
with the ink fountain in which it revolves, until contact with
the impression cylinder is broken. A cylinder may be unhooked and
revolved, or shitted sideways, independent of the other cylinder to
obtain register. The printing cylinder revolves in a fountain, or
trough, of ink which floods the entire surface but this passes under
and in contact with the edge of a thin, oscillating steel blade, called
the doctor, which scrapes all the ink off the surface, leaving the
lines and dots of the design filled.
The impression cylinder is a small metal cylinder, covered with
about five-eighths of an inch of medium hard rubber, and is driven
by friction. As the web passes between the printing cylinder and
the impression cylinder it is squeezed into the pockets of the design
and picks up the ink from these. After the sheet is printed on one
side it travels around a heated cylinder, through a heated box or
over blowers, where the ink is dried, then to the second printing
cylinder, where it is printed on the other side, dried in a similar
manner and passed to the folder, where it is cut, folded, and de­
livered. The drying mechanism can be heated by hot air, steam, or
electricity. The ink dries very rapidly with the application of heat,
as it is ground in and mixed with volatile solvents, such as xylol or
naphtha. If the press is stopped for any length of time it is neces­
sary to lower the printing cylinders, with the fountain, from the im­
pression cylinders and keep them revolving in the ink to prevent
it from hardening on the cylinder surface. Various styles of folders
are used, some of which have the shear system of cutting, each blade
located in a#separate cylinder, and a delivery cylinder with two sets
of grippers and tucker blades, that fold the paper as required, and
can be regulated for collecting. Other folders are similar to those
used on newspaper web presses. Where the cylinders are four pages
wide the web is split and carried over angle bars and compensating



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— SPECIALTY PRINTING

55

rollers into the folder. In some places presses are used that com­
bine the relief method with the intaglio method, the web being
carried through sections built for each. One establishment sur­
veyed was also producing multicolor printing by the rotogravure
method, printing the cover for its Sunday supplement on a specially
constructed press, then carrying the web over angle bars and rollers
to an ordinary rotogravure press, placed along side of it and on
which the inside pages were printed, where it was folded around the
product and fastened to it with wire staples. The press used for
the multicolor printing was specially constructed for the purpose
and equipped for five printing cylinders, one for each of the four
colors used on the outside of the cover web and one for the inside
pages. A special device controlled the web between the printing
cylinders to give accurate register of the colors, and individual
drying systems were used between the colors.
Some rotogravure presses used for other work, such as printing of
periodicals or posters, cut the sheets and deliver them flat, to be
folded afterwards on separate folding machines. Other presses, for
the more particular work, are sheet fed and have flat deliveries.
Some that print on one side only are equipped for only one printing
cylinder as, for instance, a special design used for transfer patterns,
which prints on tissue paper with a wax ink and is equipped with an
automatically controlled heating device on the fountain, or another
special design used for printing of postage stamps. This latter press
is fed from a roll, the printing cylinder is wiped by an automatic,
felt-faced device, over which a wiping cloth travels, and the paper
passes, after printing, over a series of electrically heated cylinders,
which dry the ink. The back of the sheet is covered with gum in
assing
a
fountain, and the
S as overwebglass roller, revolving in aheated drying box. gum
ries the
travels through a steam
The
web is perforated crosswise and slit into strips, one stamp wide,
which are rolled up in coils, or perforated both ways and cut into
sheets which are automatically fastened into packages of the re­
quired number.
The rotogravure pressman makes necessary adjustments of the
press, registers the cylinders, and takes care of the doctor blade,
which must be kept sharp and smooth. During the run he watches
the density of the ink closely and keeps it at the proper consistency.
The rotogravure assistant cleans and oils the press, keeps it supplied
with paper, helps the pressman place the cylinder or remove it, and
during the run operates the tension.
BRONZING

One of the operations in the pressroom, commonly called bronzing,
requires an additional machine. Bronzing consists in covering cer­
tain parts, or all, of the design with a fine powder, bronze or
aluminum, that sticks to the ink, or size, previously applied to the
sheet in a printing press, and is fixed permanently when this dries.
A bronzing machine may be stationary, either fixed in line with one
of the presses and connected with its delivery end by a tape conveyor
that carries the sheet over the feed board of the bronzing machine
into the grippers on the cylinder revolving in it, or standing alone,



56

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING .TRADES

requiring transporting of the sheets between the two machines. In
some plants portable machines are used, which can be placed in line
with and connect :d to any desired press. Bronzing machines are
ordinarily used in connection with cylinder presses or lithographic
stone presses, though some small ones are used for platen work. The
common styles have vacuum attachments that remove most of the
surplus bronze powder and deposit it in a receptacle, as the sheet is
ejected, face down, on a fly and piled up on the preceding one.
Bronzing machines were found in 50 different establishments.
Twenty-four of these contained only one apiece, but in the others
the equipment ranged from 2 to 12 and brought the total up to 140,
of which 60 were permanently connected with presses. Pressmen
who work with bronzing machines in the larger establishments
usually follow that operation for a number of years.
SPECIALTY PRINTING METHODS

There are several variations of presswork which technically belong
under printing, but were avoided during the survey as involving
too much detail. They are usually performed as parts of manu­
facturing processes in special plants for such purpose. Among
these is wall-paper printing, which was encountered m one period­
ical printing plant. Special rotary multicolor presses are ordina­
rily used for this process, but the equipment in the plant mentioned
was not in operation during the visit. Another is tin-plate printing,
which was also found in one novelty printing plant, where the
printing and embossing were done on platen presses and subsequent
varnishmg performed on a cylinder press, after air drying. The
usual method is to do the actual presswork on an offset press, dry
or bake the inked plates in a hot oven, and after drying emboss the
plates in a stamping press or cut them to required shapes, then
apply the varnish. The work is often executed in several colors.
In one establishment printing was done on tin foil instead of on
paper. Platen, cylinder, and rotary presses were used, and most of
the printed work was in four colors. Transparent inks were used,
which permitted the luster of the tin foil to shine through.
Varnishing is at times performed in pressrooms on labels, calen­
dars, or similar products, where it is applied to the surface of the
sheets just as ink would be. This is, however, only an emergency
method and, as a rule, special varnishing machines are used, in
which the printed sheets are fed by hand, caught by grippers in a
cylinder, and the varnish applied by rollers from a fountain, similar
to the inking device on a cylinder press. The sheet is released on a
belt conveyor, which carries it through a long box or oven, heated
by electricity, gas, or steam, emerging dry at the other end. A var­
nishing machine usually has one assistant to feed in the sheets and
another to remove them, in addition to the operator. Only a few
establishments visited were equipped with varnishing machines.
Printing on wood is usually done in box factories, on packing
boxes of all kinds and on cigar boxes. It is also used extensively
on toys and signboards. Platen, cylinder, or rotary presses are used
for this work, but mostly rotary presses with one plate cylinder for
each color to be printed at one operation. The printing is ordi­
narily done after the material is cut •to size and ready to put to­



'57
gether, but may also take place before it is cut out. Brass dies are
commonly used for plates and the stock is often supplied to the
machine by a hopper feeding device. None of these establishments
were included in the survey, nor were a n y that were printing on
textile fabrics, commonly called calico-printing plants.
Where creasing and cutting are performed, such as in a folding
paper box factory, special forms are prepared in a separate depart­
ment by a die maker, usually the pressman. These consist of steel
rules or strips, that are cut into required sizes and shaped into de­
signs, held on edge in the chase by wood furniture placed around
them. Cutting rules, which are 0.923 inch in width, or slightly
more than type-high, have knife edges. Two kinds are used, soft,
which can be bent into various shapes, and hard, where no bending
is required. These are used for cutting out the box or other shape
from the sheet of stock. Creasing rules, which are type-high and
have flat edges, are used for creasing the cardboard shape where a
fold is required. The press is made ready so that the cutting rules
will penetrate the stock and cut out the shapes, while the creasing
rules force the sheet into crevices or channels in the make-ready,
which really constitutes a female, or counter, die. Small separations
are left in the cutting rule shape, so the shapes are not cut out en­
tirely but left clinging to the waste. The finished sheets are turned
over to the bindery department for further manipulation.*
The difference in the work separates the pressroom workers into
platen, cylinder, rotary, or newspaper web pressmen, together with
platen or cylinder press feeders and rotary press assistants or news­
paper web flyboys, for the relief method of printing; lithographic
pressmen or feeders, with offset pressmen or assistants, for the plan­
ographic method; plate printers or their helpers, with rotogravure
pressmen or assistants, for the intaglio method. In small shops the
foreman usually operates a press himself in addition to directing
the work of others, while in the larger ones* he devotes all of his time
to supervision. The various vocations are highly specialized in the
larger shops but overlap more or less in the smaller ones. Feeders
and assistants usually develop into pressmen, though some of them
continue in their special lines without change, either from choice or
lack of opportunity. Pressmen often advance from a minor branch
of work to a more important one as improved or larger equipment is
added to the plant, and a number are found that can handle any style
of machinery in a particular line, while others specialize.
DESCRIPTION OE OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

BINDING

Binding was found in 393 of the 536 establishments inspected,
ranging from book, or edition, binding to operation of a paper cut­
ter, located in one of the other departments. Binding consists in
placing the printed product together, by various methods, and fin­
ishing it if required. Binding work varies greatly in the different
plants according to the nature of the product, which may be either
books, catalogues, trade papers, weekly papers, magazines, booklets,
advertising literature, stationery, bonds, paper currency, stamps,
labels, calendars, postal cards, posters, music, forms, blanks, mani­
fold work, playing cards, tickets, paper patterns, envelopes, wrap­



58*

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

pers, paper bags, paper boxes, badges, advertising novelties, or com­
binations of any of these. Daily newspapers are practically the
only product which do not require any bindery work. Binding
can be roughly divided into three separate branches, ruling, pam­
phlet binding, and bookbinding. The latter consists of folding,
gathering, sewing, trimming, covering, and finishing books. Pam­
phlet binding is usually meant to indicate similar or varying opera­
tions for pamphlets, which are thin books of one or more sections
with or without a paper cover, together with all operations for the
different products, except paper ruling. This consists of operating
a ruling machine, which places fine lines on paper, used especially
for blanks, account books, and forms. Some plants are devoted ex­
clusively to bindery work, performing this for other printing trade
plants which are not equipped for it, and 27 of these are included
among the 393 visited. One of these was manufacturing book covers
only, while another was exclusively engaged in repairing books.
PAPER RULING

Paper ruling is ordinarily found in connection with blank book
manufacturing, though some shops in the larger cities are devoted
exclusively to ruling. Two types of machines are used, the pen
ruling machine and the disc ruling machine. A pen ruling machine
is supplied with flat sheets, previously cut to required sizes, fed by
hand or automatically on an endless cloth belt, called a blanket,
on which the sheet is held by cords that travel with it. The sheet
passes under a row of metal pens, consisting of strips of metal
tapered to smooth points and grooved in the middle, adjusted at a
45 degree angle at desired distances in a beam across the frame.
A so-called striker device, regulated through a cam wheel by a
removable gear on the side of the frame, permits the sheet to pass
through at the proper time and raises or drops the pens to establish
a light contact with the paper, so as to deposit the ink at given
lines. The gear, called paper-size gear, is one of a series that are
interchangeable but have varying circumferences according to length
of sheet to be ruled. The pens are supplied with ink, which consists
of anilin or eosin powder dissolved in water, by strips of flannel or
threads of woolen yarn which are flooded with the thin liquid through
stopcocks in the fountains located back of the beam. An attachment,
containing small waved discs, may be used in place of pens to pro­
duce fancy, waved lines. After ruling the sheet is conducted back
through the machine by the apron, another endless cloth belt re­
volving below the blanket, and deposited on top of previous sheets
in the lay boy, a wooden box similar to a delivery box on a cylinder
press. Pen machines are constructed principally of wood. They
may be equipped with one, two, or three beams, as required for the
work, each with striker and inking devices, and one or two decks,
designed to rule one or both sides at one operation. Two machines
may be placed at right angles to each other, with transfer connection
for the sheet, so it can be ruled lengthwise on one machine and cross­
wise of the sheet on the other without handling the product. Auto­
matic feeders used are practically similar to those used on cylinder
presses, continuous, friction, or suction. A disk ruling machine is
a rotary machine, supplied either with flat sheets by an automatic



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

59

feeder or with a web from a roll. The ruling is done by revolving
disks, whose edges touch a rotating rubber roller, the surface of
which is covered by ink through contact with strips of flannel sus­
pended in a fountain. One or both sides may be ruled at one time
and the product may be counted, perforated, slit, cut, or rewound
by special attachments for the machine. The ruling machine opera­
tor makes all necessary adjustments, mixes the inks, and regulates
the operation of the machine. The feeder, usually a female, is re­
quired only for handfed machines and just places the sheets on the
blanket.
PAMPHLET BINDING

Pamphlet binding includes a number of operations that are often
executed by hand in the smaller plants, a great many of the operations
being performed by females, whose work may vary from day to day
according to the special nature of the products. In the larger
plants practically all the work is executed on machines that work
automatically, but often require the product to be fed in or removed
by hand.
Pap er cutting .—The first operation, where flat stock is used, con­
sists in cutting sheets into required sizes for each particular job,
such as dividing larger sheets into smaller ones or trimming incor­
rect edges. In large binderies this is usually performed on powerdriven, flat cutting machines, located in or close to the stockroom, and
handled by bindery workers. In smaller ones it may be executed
on the flat cutting machines subsequently used for trimming the
product, and in very small ones the stock may be cut by the press­
man on a small hand-lever flat cutter. A cutting machine consists
of a flat iron table, upon which the stock is placed against an ad­
justable guide or back gauge, a clamping device to hold the pile of
paper in place while the cut is being made, and a knife which is forced
down through the paper with a shearlike motion. The operator
adjusts the back gauge by turning a handwheel, which controls a
cable, chain, or rod that slides the gauge forward or backward to
proper measure for the sheet to be cut. Indicators show the dis­
tance as the gauge is moved. The larger sizes of cutting machines
are equipped with power movement for adjusting the gauge. The
stock is laid on a table in a pile, pushed against the back gauge,
and the clamp is dropped on top of the pile to hold it in place. A
clamp is a horizontal bar located back of the knife and parallel
with it. On hand-clamping machines it is controlled by a screw rod
with a handwheel on top, and must be screwed down by hand as
well as released after the cut is made. On automatic clamping
machines the clamp is forced down by power on tripping of ma­
chine, followed by the knife, and returned together with the knife
to the stop on top.
The knife is a flat piece of steel, beveled to a sharp edge on one
side and fastened with screws to a knife bar, which is suspended from
swinging links or from rods controlled by an eccentric movement.
On small hand-lever cutters the knife is forced down and through the
paper by pulling down with sufficient force on a long lever. On
larger and modern machines the knife drops automatically when
45331°—25---- 5




6 0

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

the machine is tripped, cuts the paper, and returns to its former po­
sition, where it is stopped. The knife may descend with a single
shear stroke, giving it a sidewise motion but keeping the edge par­
allel with the top of the table, or with a double shear stroke, in which
the sidewise and downward motion is similar but one end of the
knife is higher at the start of the cut, gradually assuming a parallel
position at the finish. A cutting stick, consisting of a stick of hard­
wood or" soft metal, is set in a slot across the table directly under
where the knife strikes to protect the edge of it. The power machines
are usually operated by means of a friction-driving clutch and
provided with a knocker, a special device fastened to the shaft or
gear, which makes one revolution for each cut of the knife, throws
out the clutch, applies an automatic friction brake band to a wheel
fastened to the driving gear, and throws a safety bolt into a lug
on the gear, necessitating pulling of the starting lever for another
cut. After the cut has been made the operator removes the paper
by hand, places it on a table or truck, and repeats the operations. In
some establishments the product is also cut after leaving the press­
room, before going to the bindery for further manipulation. Cutting
machines are operated by male workers.
Fo ld in g .—The first principal operation after the product has been
printed is folding, which consists in doubling the sheets in such a
manner that the pages follow in rotation, with the printing on one
page exactly even with the printing on another, and creasing the
sheets in the folds. For some small work it is orten done by hand,
but there are many different machines that perform all folding
operations, even including letter or circular folding. Some of these
propel the sheet between tapes to a position above two revolving
rollers, between which it is pushed by a thin dull metal blade that is
raised or lowered by a cam movement. The sheet is carried auto­
matically to another pair of rollers, where it is folded again in the
same manner, and the operation is repeated until the desired num­
ber of folds have been made, when the folded sheet is delivered in a
trough. Some folding machines are provided with slitting, trim­
ming, or perforating attachments. Rotary folding devices are also
used, and other styles of folding machines are tapeless, propelling
the sheet by revolving rollers, set at an angle in an inclined frame,
to the folding mechanism. The sheets are fed into the machine by
hand, usually by a female feeder, or by an automatic feeding arrange­
ment, similar to those used on cylinder presses. The folder operator
regulates the adjustments and operation of the machines, while the
feeder ordinarily just guides the sheets in. In small shops the opera­
tor often feeds the machine also.
Bu n d lin g .—If the product is intended for a catalogue, magazine,
booklet, or other pamphlet the folded sections, called signatures, are
usually compressed in a bundling machine, consisting of a rack,
which may be either horizontal or inclined, on legs. The signatures
are placed on edge, with a wooden board at each end, and pressure
is applied on one end by hand, hydraulic, or air power, forcing the
air out from between the folded sheets. The sliding metal heads of
the machine, next to which the boards are placed, are provided with
large holes that permit inserting the hands to tie the bundles. The



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

61

various machines used for bundling, which embody the same princi­
ples, are ordinarily operated by males.
G athering .—After the signatures are folded and bundled they are
assembled, or gathered, in consecutive order. This is done by hand
in the smaller establishments, where the sections are laid in piles
on a table in successive order and the operator picks up one from
each pile while walking past them, placing them together. A rotary
table is used at times, which carries the signatures past the operators,
so that they can be easily picked up in numerical order by the op­
erators. A set of boxes, traveling on an endless-chain system, is also
utilized in similar manner, each box containing a pile of uniform
sections. In large establishments the work is performed by gather­
ing machines, on which a series of boxes are arranged in a long row
on the bed of the machine. Each box contains a pile of sections and
is constructed so the bottom signature is removed by a'suction device
to a fixed position, where it is seized by a pair of grippers and car­
ried over an endless belt conveyor, moving horizontally across the
machine, where it is dropped. At the next operation the conveyor
has moved enough to receive the section from the next box, which is
dropped on top of it, and when it has moved across the machine a
complete set of sections is contained in the pile, which is then re­
moved by hand. If one or more sheets are missing, or in case there
are too many sheets in the signature, the machine is stopped auto­
matically and a signal indicates where the trouble is located, so the
operator can rectify it by placing the imperfect signature with a
proper one and start the machine again. The gathered product is
removed by hand from the end of the conveyor, if the machine is
built for gathering only, but a number of them are equipped with
stitcher attachments that fasten the sections together with wire
staples. Where this is done the signatures are changed in the con­
veyor from a horizontal to a vertical position before passing into the
stitcher mechanism. After the signatures are gathered they are col­
lated, or examined for possible misplacements. Hand gathering,
as well as the majority of work on gathering machines, is usually
performed by females but special operators supervise the working of
the machines.
T ip p in g .—Sometimes it is necessary to insert additional single
sheets that have been printed separately, such as colored illustrations
or maps. This is usually done by hand and the so-called inset may
be stitched, sewed, or pasted in. Where a smaller sheet is attached
to the face of a larger one by pasting one edge or the entire lower
surface of the smaller one the operation, which is called tipping,
is usually done by hand by female help. Special machines are
used for the purpose in some plants. In one of these the sheet is
laid on one flap and the section on which it is to be tipped is laid
on another flap. The two flaps fold toward each ether, bringing
the material in contact with a pair of vertical rollers, which carry
the two parts forward. A tongue, extending between the rollers,
separates them on one side and a wheel, which revolves in a tank of
glue, applies a thin line of adhesive to the edge of the inset, which
is pressed against the other part by additional rollers. The finished
product is delivered on an automatically descending table.



62

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

S trip p in g .—End papers, which consist of extra sheets making the
outside leaves of a book, are tipped on the first and last sections,
sometimes by hand but, in larger establishments, usually by machine.
This may be done before the signatures are fastened together. A
sheet twice the size of the pamphlet or book is used, folded in the
center and reinforced in the fold by a strip of tape or muslin. An
end sheet stripping machine is used, in which the paper is fed from
two rolls, one narrower than the other. The two sheets are aligned
in front and the tape, which runs over a paste roller where it is
covered by paste, is attached smoothly by a pressure bar, after which
the end papers are cut automatically to required length. Another
stripping machine will attach strips of gummed cloth to signatures
or end papers, folded over the backs or flat on one side. The cloth
may be supplied from a roll or fed into the machine in flat or ac­
cordion-folded strips, laid in a special cloth holding hopper. The
machine is provided with a heated gluing device and automatic cut­
off knives. Tipping and stripping machines are ordinarily adjusted
by a supervisor and the routine work is performed by female help.
Stitch in g .—Wire stitching is performed on special machines for
the purpose, of which there are various styles. It consists of
placing wire staples, usually two or more, through the leaves of
one or more signatures to hold them together. A single section,
or several laid open over each other, may be fastened with staples
through the fold, called saddle stitching. If several sections are
stitched together it is customary to place them side by side on top of
each other and clamp the staples through the side of the pile, called
side stitching. The common individual wire stitcher consists of a
table or saddle, on which the operator holds the work in proper posi­
tion while the staple is forced through the leaves by the stitcher head.
The operator slides the signatures along a guide, until the place to
be stapled is directly under the head, and presses a treadle, which
either operates the machine directly with foot power, or starts it
automatically. The wire, which is contained on a reel or spool,
revolving on a spindle fixed to the machine, is cut off at adjusted
length, forced through the leaves, and clenched on the other side.
The operator moves it along until the next place to be stapled is
directly under the head, then repeats the performance, doing this
as often as required, and deposits the stitched product in a pile at
the other end. For saddle stitching the manipulation varies some­
what, as the operator must open the book in the middle and slide it
over the table, which in this case has two right angle surfaces with
the ridge on top, but in other respects the proceeding is similar.
Multiple stitchers are also used, with adjustable heads, for either
side or saddle stitching, which will place any required number of
staples at once. In the larger binderies automatic stitcher feeders, or
gang stitchers?are used, which feed single books or gangs into contin­
uously operating multiple stitching mechanisms. A stitcher feeder
is provided with a long saddle, supplied with an endless conveyor
chain with equally distant projections. Sections are placed between
the projections, which carry them to the stitcher, and after stapling
they are delivered mechanically on a slow moving tape conveyer, per­
mitting easy removal by hand. Some stitcher feeders will auto­
matically place sections inside of one another before stapling, while
others require them to be placed on top of each other, if more than



DESCRIPTION OP OCCUPATIONS— BINDINO

63

one is to be included for saddle stitching. Stitcher feeders are used
with multiple heads, which place one or more staples at one time,
and which is also the style used as attachments to gathering
machines. One stitcher feeder is equipped for placing a wire
hanger loop in each pamphlet while it is being stapled. The ordi­
nary work on stitching machines, such as feeding, taking away, and
making minor adjustments, is usually performed by females, occa­
sional major adjustments being done by a supervisor.
Thread stitching is at times used for the better class of pamphlet
work, and there are several machines which stitch pamphlets
through the fold or through the sides with either two stitches or one
stitch and a loop for hanging. Hooked needles are used, that pierce
the paper and pull the thread, supplied from a spool on a spindle
fastened to the machine, through the holes, looping it by the assist­
ance of a shuttle with a gripping device at one end, which passes
through the loops, or by grippers which draw the thread through
loops formed by a rotating, fork-like device, or through a gripper
needle which pulls the thread through loops made by another grip­
per arid a pin. The two ends are automatically secured by a square
knot at one end of the stitch, the thread is cut by a knife or a shear­
like device, and the stitched product is removed by the operator by
hand. Silk-stitching machines are also used in some establishments,
which will double-stitch a pamphlet with heavy silk cord, tying a
knot in the center. Thread-stitching or silk-stitching machines are,
like wire-stitching machines, operated by females.
Covering .—Covers are sometimes added on signatures and
stitched together with them but, especially on magazines, are often
glued over the stitched sections. Like all other operations this is
usually done by hand in small plants and by machines in the larger
ones. Hand covering consists in placing paste or glue on the backs,
setting each of these on its cover, folding the cover over it and rub­
bing it down. A covering machine, such as is ordinarily used for
magazines, performs these operations mechanically and automati­
cally. It is elliptical in shape and provided with a series of vertical
clamps that travel horizontally around the machine. In the ma­
jority of the plants the covering machines are connected directly
with the gathering and stitching machines and the books are con­
veyed mechanically direct to a mechanism, which drops them, backs
down, into opened clamps which close and grip them tightly. In
traveling around the machine the books pass over rollers, which re­
volve in tanks containing heated glue and apply a thin coating of
glue to the backs, then over covers which are fed automatically into
the machine and adhere to the glue, over a device which presses the
covers firmly against the backs, and are finally delivered on a con­
veyor, or on a table, from which they are removed by hand. In one
of the styles, used for magazines, telephone directories, or similar
products, the book is first conveyed by the clamp to a horizontal,
revolving knife, which cuts the folds from the back, is then carried
over a series of small circular saws that roughen the edges, over the
gluing device, and next over a small moving table where a small
strip of thin, starched cloth is applied over the glue. The strips of
cloth may be supplied by hand to the machine, but in the newer
styles they are mechanically cut from a roll that revolves on a spin


HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
64
die attached to the machine. The glue, which penetrates the meshes
of the cloth, picks up the top one of a pile of covers, over which the
magazine is carried next, and the back is pinched in a special de­
vice to attach the cover securely. Covering machines can also
be found detached, used mostly for job work, and are then supplied
either by hand or by an automatic feeding device with the product
to be covered. Special covering-machine operators look after the
adjustments and working of the machines, while only the minor
operations are performed by female assistants.
Trim m ing .—After the product has been covered it is trimmed in
a cutting machine, which may be a flat machine, like that used for
stock cutting. Catalogues and pamphlets are often trimmed on these
and some styles are provided with special back gauges that are made
in three sections, permitting the two end sections to be clamped in
any desired relation to the center one. The right one is adjusted
for trimming the head and the left one for trimming the tail, while
the center is left for the front edge cut. After the operation has
started this simplifies the handling of the piles, as it enables the
operator to lift out the finished pile at the left side and place it on
a table, change the pile in the center (which has received two cuts)
to the left side, move the pile from the right side (which has been
trimmed at the head) to the center position and place a new stack at
the right side, then trip the machine, cutting the three piles at once,
and repeat the operations.
A duplex book trimmer is also used, which is provided with two
parallel knives and a movable table which carries interchangeable
pattern blocks, corresponding in sizes to the piles to be trimmed.
The proper sizes are placed on the table, two piles of books are
laid on them, back to back, and the knives are adjusted to proper
distance for size of pile. By pulling a lever the piles are automati­
cally clamped, the knives descend and trim the two front edges, then
rise while the table is given a quarter turn, bringing the knives
into correct positions for the head and tail trim, after which the
clamps are released so the books can be removed by hand and re­
placed with new piles.
Another machine, somewhat similar, is provided with only one
knife and trims a single pile on three sides with one clamping but
three cuts. The revolving table, which is turned by hand, locks it­
self automatically in position for the second cut and similarly for
the third cut. A different style, called continuous trimmer, has
three knives and delivers a small pile of books, with three sides
trimmed, at each operation. The revolving table is divided in
four sections. The operator places a pile of books on the empty
section in front of him, against a gauge, while the table is at rest
and applies a temporary clamp by toot pressure to prevent displace­
ment of the pile while the table rotates. The table revolves auto­
matically one quarter turn, bringing the pile under two parallel
knives. The table is locked, the pile is automatically clamped, and
the knives descend, cutting the heads and the tails of the pile, while
the operator places another pile on the empty section which has
been brought in front of him. By the second movement of the table
the first pile is carried under the third knife, which trims the front
edges, while the second pile receives the head and tail cut and a



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

65

third pile is placed in the third section. A third turn brings the
first pile, completely trimmed, to a delivery point where it is re­
moved by an assistant, the other operations meantime being repeated,
and at the fourth quarter turn the empty section is again brought in
front of the operator, insuring continuous operation. Some of the
machines are constructed to give the front edge cut first, with the
double cut following; some use a shear stroke on the knives and
others are equipped with a tumbler head movement for these, giving
them a curved stroke.
Large magazine-publishing establishments also use automatic book
trimmers, supplied with three knives, some of which are fed by
means of conveyors that pass the books in a steady stream to the
cutting mechanism, which ejects them finished at the other end. In
some the material is fed to back and side gauges, which recede auto­
matically as the knife descends, while in others it drops into a
holder that supports it and carries it against the three knives, which
are held by a stationary plate and provided with shear motions.
After trimming, the plungers are released and the finished product
is dropped into the delivery.
Material to be cut, or trimmed, in a cutting machine is usually
brought to the machine on a truck, or on a platform that is moved
by a special style of truck which can be mechanically compressed
and pushed under it, and afterwards extended to raise the platform
off the floor so it can be conducted to any desired location in the
plant. It is at times removed from the truck and placed on a table
in front of the machine, back of the operator, and the trimmed prod­
uct is placed by him at the other end of the table, or in a truck, to
be removed by other help. In some places the table is built as a
box and used for temporary storage for the waste and trimmings.
In other places these are disposed of in sacks or box trucks, placed
near the machine or, in some establishments, through chutes that
transmit them by gravity, or by a suction system, to the waste de­
partment.
Many of the large establishments were equipped with grinding
machines for sharpening knives used in flat paper cutting machines,
but in the majority of them the grinding machine was located in
the engine room or the machine repair shop, not in the bindery, and
the operation was performed by the engineer or a machinist. Some
places had the grinding machine placed in part of the bindery,
where the operation was watched by one of the binders. The ma­
chine consists of a bed placed at an angle to bring the bevel of the
knife blade, that is fastened on it, in correct contact with a large
emery or sandstone wheel, which automatically revolves and at the
same time travels sideways in the machine, parallel with the bed,
reversing itself at each end. Water or oil is supplied to the point
of contact from a trough in which the bottom of the wheel is
immersed.
A number of other products besides magazines, catalogues, pam­
phlets, and periodicals require trimming. Most of them are turned
out in piles with straight edges by the presses, but otherwise they first
require jogging, which consists in straightening the sheets so the
edges of a pile will present an even surface. In some of the large
establishments a special machine is 'used for that purpose, which



66

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

consists of a sloping box that is provided mechanically with a shak­
ing motion, which causes the sheets to slide into one low comer and
rest against one side frame and one end frame in alignment on top
of each other. In the majority of plants the jogging, where neces­
sary, is performed by hand. Specially designed trimmers are used
on certain products, such as for paper currency, some of which is
printed with four notes on a sheet and later fed into trimming
machines that trim each note on four sides at one time, or for playing
cards which were cut out in one establishment one at a time from
strips previously cut from sheets, kept in rotation, and collected
automatically in full decks. A different style of trimming machine
cut out a full deck one at a time from a sheet and assembled them.
Labels are often cut out in irregular shapes on a so-called die press,
which consists of a heavy flat bed or table above which a heavy
platen is moved automatically up and down. A die is used, which
consists of a steel band on edge, sharp on the bottom and about onehalf inch wide on top, about 2 inches high, shaped to correspond
with the outlines of the design. The printed sheets are placed on
a special cutting board, the die is placed over the design top, the
cutting board is pushed on the bed of the die press when the platen
is at the highest point, and when the platen comes down it presses
the die through the sheets, cutting out the labels. This system of
cutting is also used in some envelope factories, for cutting out the
regular shaped patterns, previously printed in outline on large
sheets. Female operators customarily handle the special cutting
machines, which are used on standard size productions and do not
lequire continuous changes in adjustments. Die presses are usually
operated by males.
Round-corner cutting is required by some products, and is per­
formed either on small machines operated by foot or on large ones
operated by power. They are equipped with right-angle guides,
against which the sheets are held by hand while they ara clamped,
and a half-round knife is pushed against the clamp, cutting the cor­
ners semicircular. These are usually operated by females. An
entirely different method is utilized for trimming paper patterns for
dressmaking, which are printed on tissue paper. These are placed in
a thick pile on a table, where they are clamped while the edges out­
side of the design are removed by a rapid-moving band saw, against
which the operator guides the pile.
Pe rfo ratin g .—Printed sheets, such as checks or blank forms, often
require perforating. This consists of piercing the material with one
or more series of small slits, slots, or round holes, to permit easy
separation. Various styles of machines are used for the purpose,
either flat or rotary, and some of the principal mechanisms are used
as attachments on folders or other machines for combination opera­
tions. On flat perforating machines, which may be operated either
by foot or by power, the sheets are placed on a horizontal table, or
bed, by the operator, pushed under the blade, which is held in a
frame above, against an adjustable guide in the back. Pressure on a
treadle forces the blade down against and through the paper, raising
it again mechanically so the operator can remove the sheets. The
blade consists of a series of small dies of required shapes, extending
across the machine. Some flat machines are made to perforate



DESCRIPTION OP OCCUPATIONS-— BINDING

67

lengthwise with the sheet as well as crosswise. Rotary machines are
equipped with adjustable wheels, fastened on a revolving shaft above
the table, containing required patterns on the faces of the wheels.
The sheets are fed into them as on a folding machine, and on some
are carried by tapes through several perforating mechanisms if
required, afterwards being deposited in a receiving box. Special
designs are used for perforating postage stamps, revenue stamps, or
other special products, and for perforations on paper patterns for
dressmaking pneumatic perforators are used. Perforating machines
are ordinarily operated by females.
Punching .—Punching, which is used extensively for loose-leaf
work, consists in cutting holes through sheets or cards. Some single
punching machines are used, ordinarily with foot power; but the
majority of machines are multiple styles, each containing several
heads for interchangeable dies in a multitude of varied forms. The
paper or card stock is placed on the table by the operator, adjusted
to guides, and the machine placed in operation by the usual treadle
system. The punching members, or dies, which operate up or down
with the rotating of the shaft, cut holes of required shapes through
the material against a fixed base of soft metal for each die. On
some machines the paper is pulled back by the operator, while on
others it passes through the machine and is dropped in a receiving
box on the other side.
Punching machines are sometimes supplied with index-tab cutting
machines, which will cut the top off a card, except for a projecting
tab that can be left in any desired location on it. A sliding carriage
is ordinarily used for feeding cards into tab-cutting blades. Thumb
indexes on catalogues, directories, and blank books, which are cut
out of the leaves, are usually executed on special machines. One
style, which can be held in the hand, is operated by compressed air.
It is inserted in the place previously designated by a brass marker,
the point is slipped into the plate, the starter is pressed with the
thumb, and the cutter removes a half circle. Another machine has a
sliding table which can be clamped by the foot in adjustable stops, a
sharp blade which drops down on the leaves and cuts the edges at
adjustable widths, and is provided with an indicator for each cut.
The operator holds the leaves and drops them on the table one by
one. A receding gauge holds and drops the leaves when cut. Cut-in
indexing is usually executed by males, usually in the finishing part
of the bindery.
It is sometimes necessary to make one or more holes through work
which is too thick to be handled in a punching machine, and a num­
ber of establishments are equipped with paper drills for that pur­
pose. A paper drill consists of a stand with a table and one or more
adjustable drills, fastened on a beam or on arms above it. The
material is placed on the table under the drills, against guides, and
the machine started, which raises the table automatically against the
revolving drill or drills. After the holes have been drilled the table
is let down, the material removed by hand, and fresh stock sub­
stituted.
Eyeleting is often combined with punching to strengthen the
holes on shipping tags, cards, calendars, etc. Eyelets are metal
caps, that are fed into a grooved arm of a machine by brushes with



68

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

a circular movement. A projection picks up one eyelet at a time,
guides it into a hole, which has been placed over a similar projec­
tion, and clenches the eyelet firmly. The majority of eyeleting
machines are operated by hand or foot power, except in establish­
ments which perform a great deal of this work* Punching and eye­
leting are usually executed by female help.
Num bering .—Numbering or paging, on pages or on checks, is
often performed in the pressroom by a type-high numbering ma­
chine m the form. This consists of a small box containing a series
of disks with numbers in relief on the edges. It can be adjusted to
print either consecutive numbers, odd numbers, even numbers, mul­
tiples, or repeats of one number as often as desired, then changing
to another for similar action, number backwards, or skip as required.
For blank-book work or other products the numbering is sometimes
executed in the bindery on special machines, consisting of a stand
with a table, above which the revolving head is fixed on an arm*.
On some of these the printing is done by pressure of the fingers on
a smut tape that moves automatically with each impression, but
on others ink is supplied to the faces or the figures by a small inking
attachment. A numbering machine may be operated by foot or by
power but the sheets are ordinarily both placed on the table and re­
moved by the operator. Where the numbering is done on the leaves
of a book, these are turned by the operator. One special machine
has the figures fastened to an endless chain and moves them forward
in proper rotation, permitting numbering of two pages in one opera­
tion. A special machine is used in some plants, which numbers
automatically, consecutively, or in duplicate, and also perforates in
two directions. The sheet is carried automatically to the proper dis­
tances, the operations are repeated as required, and the sheets are
delivered in consecutive order in the receiving box. Numbering
machines are usually operated by females.
O ther operations.—Calendars, hangers, and similar products are
often edged with a strip of brass or tin at the top and bottom to
hold them flat. The strip is folded over the edge by pressure in a
special machine, which is usually operated by hand or foot power
and requires separate operation for each strip. Crimping, which
consists in bending or mangling a sheet near the binding edge from
both sides, is done to permit sheets, such as used in loose-leaf binders,
to lay flat. The operation is usually performed on a rotary creaser
provided with several pairs of small wheels or creasing rollers, into
which the sheet is fed as on a folding machine, passing through and
dropping into a receiving box at the other side. Both edging and
crimping machines are operated by either sex.
'Printed sheets with high gloss surface are often run through a
stippling or roughing machine to relieve the luster effect. A stip­
pling machine is provided with metal rollers, whose surfaces are
roughened with a' small grained design.^ A similar machine with a
smooth roller, called a plating machine, is used for burnishing or re­
storing a smooth glossy surface to paper which has lost this through
wetting and printing, such as paper currency or postage stamps.
Very heavy pressure is applied by a smooth-faced roller to the pile
of sheets as it passes through the burnisher, squeezing the surfaces
against zinc plates, previously inserted alternately, and giving the



X 89
—




BIN D IN G — PA PER

CUTTING

6H -2




PAMPHLET

BIN D IN G — S T IT C H IN G




B O O K B IN D IN G — S E W IN G




B O O K B IN D IN G — F IN IS H IN G

DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

69

paper a smooth satin finish. Pebbling and burnishing machines
are usually operated by males, though in some plants they are fed
by female assistants.
Blank forms and other printed matter are often made into tablets
or pads for convenient use. The sheets are trimmed, divided into
pads of required thickness by pieces of cardboard, and piled in a
small press, similar to a bundling press, or under heavy weights. A
thin coating of flexible glue is applied to one edge, while under
pressure, sometimes reinforced with a strip of muslin and another
coat of glue, and after the glue has dried the pads are cut apart.
Padding is ordinarily executed by female help.
Maps or other products that are handled considerably often require
mounting on muslin. This is in some places done by hand, spreading
paste over the back of the sheet to be mounted, laying it on the mus­
lin and rubbing it down carefully. In other places a heavy cylinder
is rolled over the pasted product to smooth it down, while in some
establishments a special gluing or pasting machine is used, which
catches the sheet by grippers on a cylinder, carries it over a roller
that applies the adhesive, releases it on top of the mount which is
fed in the machine separately, and carries it between rollers, smooth­
ing it down and sometimes drying it, to the delivery carriage. Ad­
justable scrapers keep the roller which applies the adhesive free
from lumps and where glue is used the fountain is, as a rule, pro­
vided with heating apparatus. Similar machines are also used for
coating one side of a sheet with an adhesive, such as gumming post­
age stamps or labels, and delivering them wet side up on an endless
belt conveyor, which travels from the feeding operator over the top
of a long table, permitting easy removal, or to grippers on an endless
chain, that carry the sheets through heated boxes and deliver them
dry at the other end. Pasting and gluing machines are ordinarily
handled by female help.
Establishments that use considerable glue and paste prepare these
in the plants. In smaller ones the paste, which consists of wheat
flour mixed with water and some preservative, is often cooked by
inserting the free end of a steam pipe in the container and turning
the steam on. Others use gas plates, on which the vessel is placed,
while in the larger plants the cooker is placed in a tank with a water
jacket and heat supplied to the surrounding water. Glue is similarly
prepared in various manners. Some small plants use individual
glue pots and dissolve the glue by placing these in hot water on a
steam, gas, or electric heater. Others use individual pots, provided
with water jackets, either placed on a small stove or provided with
heating devices. Larger plants have glue cookers, some of which
consist of a tank surrounded by six pots and others of air-tight tanks
with water jackets, where the water is kept at uniform heat by
electricity or steam and at constant level, from which the melted glue
can be drawn through a faucet. In large plants the glue melting is
handled by male employees.
BOOKBINDING

Quite a few of the operations in book, or edition, binding are
similar to those executed in pamphlet binding. The stock is usually
procured in required sizes when used flat, to eliminate cutting, but



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PKINTING TRADES
70
otherwise must be cut. In some plants of either class, flat stock is
at times prepared from rolls by passing the web through a rotary
sheeting machine. These are made to hold one or more rolls of
paper, and in the latter case permit several webs to be severed at
one time by the heavy knife in a revolving cylinder. After print­
ing, the stock is folded, bundled, gathered, and collated, just as for
pamphlets, and necessary inserts made, but later operations differ,
though some of these are at times also used in pamphlet binding,
such as sewing in place of wire stitching.
Sew ing .—In some establishments books, or part of them at least,
are still sewed by hand. The signatures are placed in a wooden
frame consisting of a bed with two vertical screws, provided with
two wooden nuts that control the height of a horizontal crossbar. A
number of cords or tapes intended to serve as hinges on the book are
strung between the crossbar and the bed. If cords are used, the
backs of the signatures are first notched with a back saw, placed
with the notches around the cords, and sewed together around these,
section by section. If tapes are used, the backs are not notched,
but the sections are sewed in a similar manner. Machine sewing
has practically replaced hand sewing, and various styles of machines
are used for the purpose, with either curved needles or straight
needles. In the curved-needle style the signatures are placed, one at
a time, across a feed arm that carries it into the machine, where
holes are punched, through which the needles insert the thread. This
is also carried through the previous stitches, sewing each signature
in turn to the preceding one. Some are provided with a single feed
arm, others with four revolving radial feed arms. Straight-needle
machines have independent sewing heads, adjustable for closer or
wider spacing across the machine. Each section is thrown across a
saddle-shaped feed arm to a gauge and carried by it up under the
needles. Some of the machines are arranged to sew with thread
or with tape and through pieces of muslin around the backs. Over­
sewing machines that sew through the sides instead of through the
folds are also used. The sections are fed onto a shelf and the ma­
chine started, automatically clamping, punching, and sewing the book.
When the final section is sewed* the clamp shelf is swung forward
and the book drawn out. Hand sewing is performed by female help
and sewing machines are also operated by females.
Sm ashing .—The operations required in binding a book after sew­
ing and up to the time it is sent to the finisher are known collectively
as forwarding, and are usually performed by males. The first of these
is smashing or compressing, which is done by placing the books, one
at a time, in a book compressor, a powerful machine that exerts a
slow uniform pressure. One style is provided with two sets of jaws,
one of which holds the book in place, while the other closes on the
back and flattens the folds. The jaws, which can be set by a handwheel, according to the thickness of the books, slide in two horizontal
bars. Another style consists of two flat plates, a stationary but ad­
justable one below and a moving one above, which rises and falls
automatically. Only part of the book is inserted at one time and the
operator holds it between the platens while these close, turning it
until the whole book is com pressed*




11
Rounding and backing .—After smashing is completed the books
are trimmed, then rounded-to give the back a convex shape, and
backed to spread the back folds of the signatures fanwise. The backs
are covered by hand with a thin coat of glue, and before this is dry
the books are rounded and backed by hand or in machines. In hand­
work the book is laid flat on a table, first on one side then on the
other, while the back is tapped with a mallet. It is next placed in
a backing press, consisting of two horizontal jaws which are screwed
together by turning a handwheel, with the back projecting above the
jaws, and the back is struck with a hammer. Rounding is also exe­
cuted in a small machine, where the book is held against a convex
form that rounds one-half of the back at a time. Backing is some­
times done in a roller backing machine, which is provided with two
jaws, adjusted by turning a handwheel in which the book is placed
and clamped by pressure on a treadle, and a roller, also adjustable
for height by a handwheel, is moved forward over the back by pres­
sure on another treadle. The hand method and the small separate
machines are used only in small binderies. The larger ones are
equipped writh rounding and backing machines that perform all the
work in one operation. A book is fed into the machine between a
pair of rollers with the back resting on a pair of guides, the upper
roller descends and presses the book against the lower one, the guides
rise out of the way, the rollers rotate to round the back and move the
book backward into a pair of jaws, which grasp it and bring it in
contact with an oscillating concave plate that does the backing. The
jaws move forward toward the operator, who meantime has inserted
another book in the rounding rollers, which pushes the first book
out of the jaws as these release it.
L in in g .—The books are usually stacked up in alternate order
next, and given a second coat of glue on the backs, which are then
covered with strips of thin, starched cloth or strips of paper, an
operation called lining. The better grades of books are also sup­
plied with headbands, which are narrow cloth strips that project
at the head and tail of the backs to cover the edges. A headband­
ing and lining machine, which is used in larger establishments, is
provided with a rotary carrier that has a number of jaws, into
which the books are fed automatically. These bring the backs of
the books over a gluing device, over the cloth cutting and feeding
device, over another gluing device and, finally, over the headband
device, where the headbands are automatically cut and applied.
The cloth and headbands are supplied to the machine in rolls.
After head-banding, the book passes to the paper-lining device,
where the paper lining is pasted, c’u t to size, and applied, then re­
turns to the operator, who removes it.
Case m aking .—When the books are dry, after lining, they are
ready for covering, called casing-in, which may be executed in two
way's, building them on the books by hand or fitting them into
covers, or cases, previously made. Coverings for books usually
consist of pieces of binders5or cloth board, commonly called boards,
which are covered with paper, cloth, or leather. Where it is done
by hand a piece of board, previously cut to size, is placed on each
side of the book and holes are punched in edges near the back,



DESCRIPTION OE OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

72

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES!

through which the ends of the cords in the books are drawn and
laced. In some places this is done before headbands and linings are
attached. The covering material, which has previously been cut,
is given a coating of glue on the inside, stretched over the boards,
smoothed down, and the edges turned over. The end slieets, which
were tipped and sewed to the outside signatures, are covered with
paste and fastened to the insides of the boards. The books are then
placed in stacks in standing presses, which consist of stationary
horizontal platens, on which they are piled with brass-bound wooden
boards between the layers, and similar platens above the pile,
that are squeezed together on it by means of screws, cogwheels,
levers, hydraulic or pneumatic action. In some plants a board is
first placed inside the press, a similar board is laid on top of the
pile and, after the pressure has been applied, the two boards are
fastened together by iron rods inserted in grooves and held in po­
sition by handwheels, which permits removal of the whole pile to
one side, leaving the press free for use instead of holding it until
the covers are dry.
In a number of plants cases are made separately by hand, to be
placed on the books later or supplied to other firms for that pur­
pose. The majority of large binderies use machines for making the
cases, as well as for attaching them to the books. Boards are at
times cut to required sizes by means of table shears, which consist
of a long knife hinged at one end that is forced through the board,
placed on the table, by pressure on the other end. Where used in
large quantities it is done on a rotary board cutter that is provided
with an iron table on which the sheets of boards are laid, two re- .
volving rollers, which carry them against adjustable, revolving cut­
ting disks that split them into strips, and two similar rollers that
carry them out of the machine. The strips are turned and, after
adjusting the cutting disks, passed through the machine laterally,
being delivered in rectangular pieces. Some boards are beveled on
the edges after cutting, in a small machine with an adjustable slant­
ing feed board on which the stock is slid, passing against a revolv­
ing circular knife. This machine is also provided with a movable
carborundum wheel that can be placed in contact with the knife
edge for sharpening it by pulling a lever.
Cloth may also be cut on table shears, but in the larger shops is
divided into sheets in a cloth-cutting machine, which is fed from a
roll. It is provided with a straightening device that removes the
c’u rl of the cloth, which is next pulled by friction rollers between
a series of adjustable circular cutters, where it is slit in strips. The
cloth is advanced at intervals and, during the stops, a vertical knife
descends, shearing the strips into rectangular pieces of required sizes.
Part of the cloth may be delivered on a rewinding attachment, if
desired, while the cut pieces are delivered on a receiving table.
Leather is usually cut by hand, but leather covers require paring,
or skiving, along the edges to reduce the thickness. This may be
done by hand or in a skiving machine, which is provided with a
feed roll that advances the leather and a foot which presses the
leather against the roll, carrying it against a circular knife that
bevels the edge. This machine is also equipped with an emery wheel
for sharpening the knife.



73
Case making in any quantity is usually done in a case-making
machine. Where they are made by hand one operator ordinarily
glues the inside of the cloth, another places the two boards on it at
proper distances and a strip of manila paper along the back, also
turns in part of the edges, and the third finishes turning the edges,
rubs it down, or runs the cases through the mangle, consisting of
two revolving rubber rollers that squeeze it together. These opera­
tions are at times performed by girls, with the aid of a small gluing
machine that applies the adhesive, a long conveyor belt passing over
the top of the table, where the boards are placed on the cover, and
a mangle at the other end of the table, for smoothing it. Small
machines are also used for gluing and turning the edges, or for
nicking and turning the fabric on round corners. The operations
are performed in the machines while the cases are held, one at a
time, by the operators, usually females.
Case-making machines are of varying styles. One of these is
provided with a cylinder which grips the clotn as*it is fed in, reverse
side up, by the operator, and brings it in contact with a roller that
revolves in a tank of heated glue, covering one side with the adhesive.
A cloth carrier, equipped with grippers, carries the cloth with the
glued side up and deposits it on a platform. The boards, which
are previously cut and placed in two magazines at the rear, are
automatically laid on the glued surface and, if thick paper is used
for back lining, this is supplied from a roll of paper, automatically
cut and placed in position. The platform descends and the cloth
is folded over the head and tail while the corners are nicked.
Another set of folding bars turns the fabric over the front edges
and the case is run into a finishing press, where it is squeezed by a
platen against a flat rubber bag filled with water and held until the
next case arrives, when it is delivered on an automatically lowered
table. Another style of the machine is supplied with the cloth or
fabric from a roll of correct width, which is carried over a glue
roller that covers the reverse side with glue. The boards, which
are previously cut to size and placed in a hopper, are fed in pairs
to relative positions on the glued surface of the web and pressed
between rollers. The cloth is cut between the boards by a knife
that has a small V-shaped cutter at each end, which shapes the
corners, the edges are turned over and pressed down by rollers, the
back liner is applied and pressed down, and the case is delivered
in a trough, from which it is removed by an assistant and run
through a case-smoothing mangle.
Casing in .—Casing-in machines are used to fasten the books in­
side of the covers. One style of these has three radial feed arms,
over which the books are hung, one at a time, by the operator as the
arm comes to a stop in front of him. The arm makes one revolu­
tion, which carries the book into the center of the machine, where
it descends while air pressure from two nozzles hold the leaves from
opening. Two paste rollers apply paste over the outsides of the end
sheets and, as the arm rises again, the book is pushed into a case,
which meanwhile has been removed automatically from a magazine
or hopper in the rear and held over the arm by a clamping device.
The cover is pressed on the book and the arm, which has detached
itself from the cylinder that carried it and which meantime has



DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

74:

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

made a second part revolution, is again attached to the cylinder and,
at the third turn, carried back to the operator, who removes the book
and places a new one on the same arm, the operation being repeated
as each arm passes him. A different style of machine places the
book in the cover without opening it. The book is placed in a sup­
porting guide and pushed forward by hand onto the book blade,
which enters the middle of the book, while a pusher places the book
automatically in the proper location on it. The paste is applied by
two plates, one on each side of the blade, that first receive it from a
pendant extension which dips into a tank of paste, then rises and is
brought in contact with the plates. The plates move away from each
other as the blade with the book descends, but after the blade has
reached the lowest position they advance and apply the paste to the
end sheets. The cases are held in a hopper at the rear of the machine,
and as the book is being prepared the bottom case is automatically
drawn from the pile and fed into a heated former, which rounds the
back and forms th6 joints, then placed directly above the book. As
the blade rises again the book enters into and lifts the cover, after
which it is removed by hand. Books covered in casing machines
are, like those covered by hand, placed in standing presses until dry.
Case-making and casing-in machines are operated by males, but
usually with female assistants.
Books with flexible covers and large books are usually bound with
tight backs, which requires the backs to be glued tightly to the cover
material. This can be done on some of the casing-in machines but
is often performed by hand. Some additional operations are re­
quired for loose-leaf covers, which are made in many different styles,
with spring backs, sectional posts, ring clasps or lacing appliances,
which are fastened in the covers as they are made. The backs are
often molded of heavy binders’ board and reinforced with several
thicknesses of strips, called hubs, and the insides of the covers are
lined. Special machines are used, for these so-called patent backs,
which diner according to the requirements of the product.
fin is h in g .—Finishing consists of placing titles and decorations on
book covers, where this has not been executed previously. In some
places it includes coloring or gilding of book edges, as well as stamp­
ing or printing of cases before they are attached to the books, also
index cutting and printing. Hand finishing is usually performed
after the books have been covered, especially on leather bindings,
which may be tooled or stamped and, after sizing, be decorated by
gold, silver, aluminum, or imitation leaf, over which a heated tool is
applied with pressure in the lines of the design. This causes the
metal to adhere in those parts and the surplus leaf is brushed off.
If gold leaf is used the brushing is usually done over a table, pro­
vided with a screen in the top, permitting the waste gold to drop
into a receptacle, and sometimes with a suction attachment that
gathers the gold in a hopper. Blank books are, as a rule, also fin­
ished in this manner. Lettering is usually performed in the same
manner by means of brass type placed in a small holder with a
wooden handle. The type is heated and pressed on the gold or other
leaf.
Where large quantities of uniform designs are called for, these
are ordinarily produced in stamping presses by stamping or emboss­
ing, and usually before the covers are placed on the books. Stamp­



75
ing consists of impressing relief dies into the covers, or binding
material, with ink, metal leaf, or metal foil, or without these, which
last is called blind stamping. Embossing consists in producing the
design in raised form on the cover, similar to steel die stamping, also
with or without metal leaf. A number of various machines are used,
which all employ the same principle, a platen on which the material
is placed, where it is brought in contact with the die, which is held
on another platen, and submitted to heavy pressure. Ordinary
heavy platen presses are commonly used for stamping covers with
ink in one or more colors and, in such case, the method is the same
as in platen presswork, though blank impressions are sometimes
made first to smooth the surface. A regular stamping press may be
operated by hand or by power. It is provided with two horizontal
platens, the lower one equipped with gauges against whiqh the ma­
terial is laid, and which usually rises against the upper one, on which
the die is fastened. The top platen,or head, is in the majority of cases
provided with a heating device, steam, electric, or gas, for use with
metal leaf or foil. Some presses are provided with inking mecha­
nisms while others, intended for blind stamping only, are not. In
some establishments the cover is blind stamped in one machine, then
placed in another press for the ink, leaf, or foil stamping. Leaf or
foil is applied in the same manner as in the hand operation. The
cover is sized, if necessary, and a piece of leaf or foil, larger than
the die, laid over the part to be stamped, then placed in the machine
and pressed against the heated die, causing the metal to adhere in
the design. The cover is removed from the machine by hand and
the, surplus metal is brushed off. Embossing is done by using intag­
lio dies and preparing a female or counter die in the same manner
as ordinary embossing in presswork, but usually with the applica­
tion of heat.
Coloring or gilding of book edges is performed before the books
are bound, or cased-in. For coloring they are usually placed on
top of each other in stacks, and a solution of aniline dye is applied
with a brush or a sponge while the books are under pressure. In
some establishments the thin dye is applied by an air brush. Mar­
bled edges are made by dipping the edges of the books in a trough
or vat in which the marbling solution previously has been prepared
from mineral or lake colors dissolved in water. When the edges
are to be gilded the books are clamped on edge between two heavy
pieces of wood, placed horizontally on a stand, where the edges are
scraped smooth with a thin, flat piece of steel and sandpapered.
After the size has been applied the gold leaf is laid on with heat
and burnished by rubbing with a special hand tool. In some estab­
lishments the edges are smoothed by holding them, one at a time,
against a small rapidly revolving emery wheel before placing the
books in the frame. Similar grinding machines are used ior smooth­
ing edges of other bindery products, such as the better grade of
playing cards, which also are gilded or, as found in one bindery
devoted exclusively to the repairing of books, for removing dried
glue from the backs of books to be rebound, after the old covers have
been stripped off.
Artificial leather, supplied to the binderies by various firms, is used
to a great extent for book covers. The material is usually treated
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

45331°—25-----6




76

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

by the manufacturer with special preparations in different colors
to imitate grained leather, though some of the binderies also do this.
I t is applied to the covers in the usual manner but, as a rule, the
covers are heavily embossed and the designs embellished with gold
or various colors, which are sprayed on them by means of airbrushes.
A frisket, or stencil, from which the parts to be covered by a certain
color have been cut out, is placed over the cover and an air brush,
which usually carries the color in a small cup or jar attached to the
side, is moved over the exposed surface. The volume of the spray,
which is forced out of the nozzle by compressed air, is regulated by
the operator in the manipulation of the brush. A special stand is
commonly used for this purpose, consisting of a low table, built
with one or more stations to accommodate the required number of
operators. These stations are separated by partitions extending from
the table up to a hood that covers the whole table a short distance
above it and is provided with a strong suction fan to carry off the
fumes from the spray. After spraying, the covers are placed in dry­
ing ovens with hot-air blowers or other heating apparatus for baking
them. Spraying in somewhat similar manner is also used for
decorating beveled edges of greeting cards or for applying colors.
Air brushes are usually handled by females, but the rest of the
various operations in finishing are practically all performed by
males.
HANDLING STOCK AND WASTE

Several establishments use endless belt conveyors for transporting
the products from one operation to another, if separated and on the
same floor. In a few of the large establishments stock and other
material is handled on small motor trucks, but as a rule ordinary
trucks, propelled by man power, are used for the purpose. Stock is
often handled by hoists on track beams but a number of establish­
ments use tiering machines, consisting of a table that can be raised
from the floor to the desired height for loading or unloading, either
by man power or mechanical power, or lowered as desired. The
waste paper is handled in a number of ways. Many of the large es­
tablishments have chutes extending from the various floors to the
bottom one, through which the waste is delivered into or near the
baling press. A baling press is a rectangular box provided with
channels for the baling wire, and is used to compress the waste paper
into bales. The waste paper is compressed from time to time and,
when the hopper is filled to capacity, the wires are fastened around the
bale, which is then released. Various styles of baling presses are
used, ranging from small ones, in which the waste is compressed by
turning a crank or pulling a lever by hand, to large ones where the
operation is performed mechanically by power, air, or water. Sepa­
rate baling machines are used in the large establishments for white
waste paper and in some specialty plants tor waste from certain parts
of the product.
SPECIALTY BINDING METHODS

#In addition to these general operations there are a number of spe­
cial ones which require certain methods and sometimes special ma­
chines. Among these is the manufacture of envelopes, which was
the major product in three of the establishments inspected and part



77
of the work in three others. Envelopes are first supplied with text
or illustrations, if required, on flat-bed presses or offset presses, then
cut to correct shapes on die presses. If the envelopes are standard
size, the die-cut blanks are placed on the feeding table of an en­
velope machine, where the gum is applied to the flaps of each envelope
as it is automatically carried into the machine. It is forced into a
folding box by plungers and shaped, while hinged folders turn the
flaps and seal the three bottom ones. As the folders rise the en­
velope drops through a trap door on a moving endless track or chain,
with the gummed top flap separated so it will not stick, and is
brought in contact with a blast of hot air, which dries the gum. It
is carried around nearly to the starting position, then automatically
removed from the rack and placed in a trough with other finished
envelopes, each twenty-fifth one being set a little out of line. The
operator removes the envelopes in bundles of 25 or 50, wraps a band
around each bunch and places it in a pasteboard box, which contains
from 250 to 1,000. Different sizes require different machines, as each
machine is built to produce one size only. Odd sizes and special kinds
are folded and pasted by hand, but some factories are equipped with
specially designed machines for making various envelopes for special
purposes. In some shops the heavy manila envelopes for cata­
logues are folded by hand and run through a machine which gums,
resses,
These
on
closing
S leftand dries them. plain, ormay be gummedclaspsthe tension
ap,
ungummed and
provided with
or
fastenings applied subsequently in special machines for that purpose.
Some establishments also have special machines for attaching trans­
parent paper over a die-cut opening on the face of the envelope,
through which name and address can be seen, commonly called
outlook or window envelope. Envelope machines are operated by.
female help, under supervision.
Another specialty operation is paraffin coating of paper, such as
used for bread wrappers, butter wrappers, or similar products. One
of the plants inspected was devoted entirely to this and some of the
others were equipped with machinery for the same. The tissue
paper to be coated, supplied in roll form and previously printed on
with three colors from plates in the pressroom, is placed in a paraffin
machine, where it is given a thin coat of hot paraffin as it passes over
the coating rollers, supplied from a fountain in which the paraffin
is kept melted. It may be coated on one side or penetrated and
coated on both sides. The paraffin is cooled as the web passes over
smoothing and cooling rollers that are connected with a refrigerat­
ing system, after which the web is cut into sheets of required lengths,
that are delivered flat on top of each other. A similar machine is
used in some plants for applying carbon ink, which consists partly
of wax, to one or both sides of a web of paper, in the production of
carbon paper, such as is used for manifold sales books or for type­
writing. Paraffin machines are operated by males.
Folding paper boxes are also manufactured in printing trade
plants and 13 of the establishments inspected included equipments
for that purpose. After the sheets of cardboard or heavy paper have
been printed, creased, and cut they are taken to the stripping de­
partment, where they are placed in piles on tables and the waste
pieces of the sheet, which still cling to the cut-out shapes, are re­



DESCKIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— BINDING

18

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

moved by sharp blows with a mallet. The shapes are next placed
in automatic box or carton gluing machines, which glue the boxes
together; they are then put through a paraffin machine, if required.
The majority of binding work on folding paper boxes is executed
by boys and girls with supervisors overseeing the operation of the
machines.
The gluing machines usually have bundle-tying machines attached
near the delivery end. A bundle-tying machine automatically places
a string around a small package, ties it securely, and severs the
string from the spool in the machine. Bundle-tying machines of
various styles are used extensively in binding establishments for
tying up small packages, and in one periodical printing plant a
large machine of special design was employed for tying bundles of
periodicals.
PAPER SEASONING AND PREPARING

It is necessary at times, especially for color printing, to prepare
the paper by submitting it to the same degree of temperature and
humidity that prevails in the pressroom, an operation called season­
ing. While this is sometimes done directly in the pressroom and by
help connected with that department, just as paper rolls are some­
times handled by pressmen or pressroom helpers, the flat sheets are
often seasoned in a special department in a large book and job or
lithographic printing plant. It is executed by various methods.
Some suspend the sheets on drying racks, attached to or near the
ceiling, either stationary or with a rocking motion, others just pile
them in stacks, while in some plants they are hung in a special
seasoning machine, where warm air is blown upon them. Paper for
steel plate printing, such as used for paper currency or postage
stamps, requires a somewhat different treatment to dampen it before
printing and to dry it thoroughly afterwards. The moistening is
usually done by placing the sheets in small piles between wet cloths,
but humidors are also used, and in one plant a special wetting ma­
chine was used for the purpose. Drying cabinets are used, in which
heated air is forced through perforated pipes at one side and, with
the accumulated moisture, out the other side to an exhaust duct.
Large newspaper plants have a special staff of men to prepare the
paper for the presses. The large rolls come wrapped in heavy paper,
sometimes reenforced with burlap or canvas at the ends and pro­
tected by cardboards or wooden boards. These are removed before
the rolls are placed in the presses, and after finishing the rolls the
paper remaining on the cores, if any, is stripped off and sent to
the baler. In small plants this duty falls on the pressmen or their
helpers. Periodical, book and job, or other printing establishments
that use paper in roll form ordinarily also have special men for
stripping the paper and getting it ready, sometimes combined with
handling the baling machine and waste.
Two of the plants visited were additionally operating depart­
ments that properly belong under paper making. One of them, a
playing card factory, was equipped with several web pasting ma­
chines for combining two or more webs, several enameling machines
for coating the web with wet clay and casein, and several calenders
to insure a high gloss finish, The process used was similar to that



DESCRIPTION' OF OCCUPATIONS----BINDING

79

employed in paper mills, where the clay which is pure china clay,
finely ground, is mixed with a thin solution of the casein (prepared
from skimmed milk treated with acid) in large mixing machines,
and placed in a trough on the enameling machine, in which a roller
revolves. A roll of paper is placed in the enameling machine, and
the web is carried over a drum, where it is coated with enamel solu­
tion by a cylindrical brush, which also operates in contact with the
roller in the fountain. It then passes flat brushes that spread and
even the coating, after which it is carried by blasts of hot air for a
considerable distance to an automatic carrier, consisting of wooden
slats attached to an endless chain on each side of the machine. The
paper drops upon a slat, which is carried forward, permitting the
web to fall in a long loop before dropping upon the next slat, when
the operation is repeated. The paper is conveyed in this manner
through the drying room, rewound in a roll and passed through a
calender, consisting of a number of highly polished iron cylinders,
placed on top of each other alternated with rolls of solidified cotton.
They are set close together and revolve rapidly, furnishing the
enameled surface with a high gloss. The paper is again wound in
a roll and part of it is cut in a sheeting machine for use in sheet
form. Some of the sheets are given an additional extra high polish
in a plating machine. The other plant, a lithograph and offset
printing establishment, also coated its paper with enamel and
calendered it in a similar manner.
MAILING

The production of newspapers does not require a bindery depart­
ment. While some of the large newspaper establishments had small
job printing plants for their own work, the binding work in these
was inconsequential and had nothing to do with the real product
itself. In place of binding the newspapers are handled, after leav­
ing the pressroom, by the circulation department, which includes the
mailing room, another important factor. The major part of the work
in a mailing room is done by hand. Papers are counted and dis­
tributed to carriers and newsboys, others are addressed with a handoperated mailing machine, which cuts a slip of paper containing the
address from a long narrow strip that is pulled forward over a belt,
which applies paste to the reverse side of it, and attaches it to the
paper by pressure from the operator. The address is sometimes
pasted on a wrapper instead of on the paper itself, the edge of the
wrapper pasted by hand and a copy of the paper rolled up in it,
then placed in a mail sack. Other papers are tied by hand in
bundles and loaded on trucks or wagons. Occasionally the issue of
the day, especially Sunday newspapers, consists of more sections
than the press is capable of turning out at one time and, in such case,
the various parts must be inserted in each other to form a complete
paper, an operation called stuffing. These methods are used on the
smaller newspapers but some of the larger plants are equipped with
mechanical devices to facilitate delivery. A number of mailing
rooms receive the papers direct from the presses as they are printed
by means of mechanical escalators, or conveyors, that deposit them
on delivery tables at convenient points, and many of the rooms are



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
80
provided with endless belt conveyors which carry the tied bundles
from the operators to the loading point or transport bundles around
the room. Some are provided with an automatic wrapping and ad­
dressing machine, which folds each paper to proper mailing size,
gums and places a wrapper around it, stamps the address, and pushes
the wrapped paper over a table to the mouth of a mail sack. The
papers are placed on .the machine folded just as they leave the press,
the wrapper is supplied from a roll of paper and cut automatically
by the machine, while the address plates, which have previously been
prepared in a stamping machine and placed in proper rotation in a
long, upright receptacle, are automatically fed in a position for
printing and afterwards deposited in another magazine. In one
plant an automatic stuffing machine was also used for inserting
additional sections.
Several periodical or book and job printing establishments are
also equipped with conveyors for handling the products between dif­
ferent departments, or with spiral chutes for packages from the top
floor to those farther down. In one plant the mailing room was
located in an annex across the street and the product of several large
insetting and wire-stitching machines on the first floor of the main
building was raised by belt conveyors above the second floor and
transported over a covered bridge across the street to a delivery
table in the mailing room. Another establishment, situated across
the street from a post office, has a large belt conveyor going through
the plant, under the street, and into the post office, capable of trans­
porting filled mail sacks. Some large periodical printing plants are
also equipped with wrapping and addressing machines, while others
use addressing machines only. The manufacture of addressing
plates for the machines is usually performed in the office part of the
circulation department by female help, on special machines for
the purpose, provided with keyboards similar to those on a type­
writer. A few book and job printing establishments make a
specialty of mailing for customers but this, as a rule, is office work
and is also handled by female help, while work in the mailing
department of a newspaper or periodical printing plant is performed
by men and boys.

INK GRINDING

Among various other processes that at times are found in printing
trade plants is ink grinding, which was performed in 25 of those
inspected, 20 of which were principally book and job printing estab­
lishments, 2 were rotogravure plants, 2 were lithographic and offset
printing establishments, and 1 was a steel and copperplate engrav­
ing and printing plant. Two other establishments visited were small,
separate ink factories, but each producing ink for use in a large book
and job printing establishment and really a part of it, though
located elsewhere. Different kinds of inks are made for the various
styles of printing, relief, planographic, and intaglio, but each of
these three groups is again divided into a great many varieties of
composition and consistency. Inks for relief printing vary accord­
ing to the kind of paper used, the style or speed of the press, and the
quality of the work. Inks for planographic printing differ in com­
position for lithographic or offset printing, while in intaglio ink



81
there is a marked difference between those used for plate, die stamp­
ing, and rotogravure printing. Printing ink consists of a pigment
or dye, usually produced by chemical precipitation, mixed intimately
with a vehicle, which may be principally oil, varnish, water, naphtha,
xylol, or a mixture of varied ingredients, and ordinarily with a dryer
added. Large ink factories manufacture their own pigments, while
the smaller ones usually procure them ready made and just mix
them with the vehicle, or use stock inks, obtained from an ink fac­
tory, which are blended to required colors or shades and mixed with
additional quantities of vehicle. Dry pigments are first mixed with
the vehicle in a mixing or kneading machine, which stirs them
together, after which the mass is placed in an ink mill where it is
ground to proper consistency, sometimes requiring a number of runs
through it. An ink mill consists of three horizontal rolls, steel or
granite, which revolve at different speeds. The ink is fed between
the rear and middle rolls and is carried by the latter around to the
front roll, where it is scraped off automatically by a knife attached
to a steel apron, over which the ink is delivered to a receptacle placed
below. When ground sufficiently it is placed in cans or buckets for
delivery to the pressroom, or in tanks located in the factory. Sepa­
rate ink mills are used for the different colors, to prevent tainting.
Some small plants use small tank mixers in place of kneading ma­
chines, and tank mixers of various patterns are also used for mixing
rotogravure inks with additional solvents. A few places prepare
their own varnishes by boiling, or burning, oils. Several of the
larger plants maintain laboratories in connection with the ink de­
partment, where experiments are conducted and tests made, not only
of the ink but also of paper or other materials used. Work in ink
departments is performed by males only.
DESCRIPTION OF OCCUPATIONS— ROLLER MAKING

ROLLER MAKING

Another process is the manufacture of composition rollers for print­
ing presses. Three of the establishments inspected, all large book and
job printing plants, were provided with roller-making departments.
One separate establishment of that character was also visited, belong­
ing to a newspaper, and which had just been moved from the pro­
duction building to another, located close by. A composition roller
for a printing press consists of an iron core, the ends of which are
fashioned into journals that turn in sockets attached to the side
frames of the j>ress, while the center is surrounded with a smooth
layer of composition, which will distribute and apply the ink. Com­
position consists principally of glue and glycerin in varying propor­
tions, 1vith the addition of small quantities of special ingredients to
provide necessary tack and resiliency. It is melted in a stationary
melting kettle with a steam jacket, usually placed up high so the
composition can be drawn from the bottom into a movable pouring
kettle, which has a tight lid with attachment to an air compressor
and a hose at the bottom attached to the base plate of the mold.
The mold ordinarily used, and commonly called a gatling gun,
consists of several steel tubes that are polished smooth on the in­
side, inclosed together in a water jacket so they can be heated or
cooled easily. The old composition is removed from the roller core,
which is painted or wound with twine and inserted into a tube of



82

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

required diameter. All the tubes are usually loaded, or, if empty,
are plugged to prevent the composition running in. The base plate
is fastened on the gun, which swings in a frame so it can be placed
horizontally for loading and afterwards hung upright, and the gun
is heated with live steam. The air pressure is next turned on the
pouring kettle, forcing the hot composition up the tubes around the
cores, to which it sticks. The heat is turned off and cold water is
substituted in the jacket to cool the rollers, which are then drawn
and trimmed at the ends to leave the journals free. Rollers are
made in different sizes to fit the different styles of presses, and even
with different diameters for the same press. Composition rollers
are used for relief printing and a few for plate or die printing, but
can not be used on planographic presses, on account of the water
required in the printing method. The felt and leather covered roll­
ers used for that purpose are ordinarily prepared in each plant by
the pressmen. Rollers used for plate and die printing are usually
made of felt and covered with fine woven cloth or with leather. A
special, so-called rubber roller is used in some plants on both relief
and planographic presses. One of the roller factories visited was
equipped with an oscillating grinder for this style of roller, to reduce
the diameter or smooth the surface. Roller making is handled by
male employees.
AUXILIARY WORK

Some of the larger establishments were provided with laundries,
equipped with washing machines, extractors, and mangles, for wash­
ing wiping rags, and even towels furnished to employees. One
large plate and die engraving and printing plant had an additional
large laundry for preparing and laundering plate printers’ wiping
cloths. This laundry was fitted out with washing machines, starch­
ing machines, and large drying machines that rewind the cloth.
A number of large establishments had their own machine shops
for repairing the different machines used, and some also for experi­
mental machine work, improvements, or new designs. Several also
had electric repair shops, blacksmith, carpenter, plumbing, and
painting shops included in the plants for their own work solely.
A good many had additional power plants for generating power,
either all or part of the time, and heat in cold weather. Others had
heating plants only, and in some both power and heat were supplied
by outside establishments.
HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

Among the many factors which influence and determine the hygienic
conditions of the printing trades are the very important ones of con­
struction of the building in which the plant is situated, its location
in the building, and the environment of the same. A number of
large establishments occupy buildings erected for them and devoted
solely to the business. Some are housed together with other* similar
or allied plants in structures built for the use of printing establish­
ments only. Others are located in adapted factories which had been
remodeled to suit individual requirements. Still others are domi


HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

83

ciled in combination office and factory buildings, while a great many
small ones occupy small store buildings or dwellings.
Of the 536 establishments surveyed, 221 were located in buildings *
constructed especially by or for the firms and 185 of these occupied
the entire building exclusively. The other 36 buildings erected for
printing-trade firms housed additional establishments, either belong­
ing to the firm but operated separately and performing one or more
of the printing processes not executed in the main plant or consist­
ing of a rival plant in the same line of production. A tendency was
noted to separate some processes from the main plant where this
could not provide sufficient work for continuous operation of the
departments and operate them as individual concerns, which would
allow them to take in additional work from outsiders. Among the
buildings containing more than one establishment, 18 were partly
occupied by 1 additional firm, 5 by 2 additional, 6 by 3 additional,
and 3 by 4 additional firms, while 4 others housed, respectively, 6, 8,
10, and 11 additional firms, a total of 93 extra establishments. Besides
the 221 buildings erected especially for these establishments but
occupied by 314 firms, there were 9 buildings, previously constructed
for other former printing trade plants, 1 housing 2 establishments,
a second containing 3 plants, and a third occupied by 5 firms, while
the 6 others were used exclusively by 1 establishment in each.
A structure erected especially for printing purposes would natu­
rally be thought to possess all necessary qualifications, but a great
deal depends on when the building was constructed. Old buildings
that may have been model in their day do not come up to modern
standards for factory buildings, and, even though changes may
have been made to create more favorable conditions, they fail to
provide suitable quarters for production of the work. An old build­
ing can not be changed into a new one, so far as construction essen­
tials are concerned, and these limit the extent of remodeling. Among
those inspected were found 25 buildings which had been occupied by
their respective printing trade establishments for over 30 years,
ranging up as high as 80 years. Expansion of business had in most
of these cases necessitated additions to the original buildings from
time to time, and each of these additions embodied the advance­
ments in standards up to the time of construction.
Twenty-three of the establishments inspected were domiciled in
converted factories, originally built for other industries and re­
modeled to suit requirements. Such buildings were often better
from the standpoint of hygiene than some erected especially for
printing trade plants, on account of more modern construction. The
-balance, comprising 183 establishments, occupied space in loft build­
ings, converted stores, or converted dwellings. Most of the processes
in the printing industry require considerable light, and as the ma­
jority of them create more or less fumes or gases, ventilation is also
of great importance. The structural features of the building have
much to do with provisions for both of these factors, but in addition
must also provide for the support of extremely heavy loads and be
adapted to counteract the vibration created by the machinery. The
trend in all industries is toward better factory buildings and the
printing industry is no exception. This is not from humanitarian
or philanthropic motives, but because employers realize that a well


HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
84
constructed building and healthful surroundings are essential for
maximum production and, consequently, beneficial from a dollar
and cent standpoint. In a number of establishments visited new
and better buildings were in progress for housing the plants, in­
cluding another important item, better surroundings.
The individual factory buildings occupied covered a wide range of
structural designs, with single-story or multistory buildings, steel or
mill frames, stone, concrete, brick, tile; or wood walls, and concrete,
composition, steel and iron, wood-strip or wood-block floors. Book
and job, or periodical, printing establishments located in the congested
area of a city are usually housed in multistory structures and, in
spite of the handicap created by surroundings, some of them are well
adapted to the work. One multistory building in New York con­
tained 15 stories, basement, and sub-basement, all occupied by one
printing trade firm. Although located in the congested area it had
the advantage of facing three streets, and as the adjacent buildings
on the rest of the block were low, it had natural light and accessible
natural ventilation practically all around. The building was erected
23 years ago, of steel, concrete, and brick, was of irregular shape, and
contained about 15,000 square feet of space on each floor except the
top one, which consisted of several saw-tooth projections on the roof
over the fourteenth story. While not of the latest and most adapt­
able design, such a building was very suitable for a printing plant.
Another building in the same city, consisting of 12 stories and
basement, also occupied by a single printing trade firm and located
in another part of the congested section, was built on a corner, but
as another building of similar height joined it on one side, it had
windows on three sides only in the five top stories, and on two sides
in part of the rest. It was erected about five years ago, of steel and
concrete, with part stone and part brick facing, containing approxi­
mately 14,000 square feet on each floor. Plenty of air space was pro­
vided by 16-foot ceilings, and altogether the building was well
adapted for the periodical printing performed in it. A large estab­
lishment in Philadelphia occupied practically all of a building con­
taining 12 stories and a basement, covering an entire block, with
floor areas of about 80,000 square feet each. It was constructed about
14 years ago, of steel and concrete with part marble, part brick fac­
ing, and tile walls. Almost one-third oi the outside walls and those
surrounding the large light court in the center were windows, which
provided plenty of access for daylight and air from surrounding
streets, two of which had parks on the other side. A covered drive­
way connected the court with the street. Altogether it was well
suited for a printing trade building. Each city visited contained *
one or more buildings that were splendid examples of factory con­
struction from an architectural as well as efficiency or hygienic
point of view. One planographic printing establishment in Detroit
had been occupying a six story and basement corner building, shaped
irregularly like the letter C? facing two streets and two alleys.
Shortly before the inspection it had completed an addition, which
finished the building in pentagon shape with sides from 100 to 180
feet in length and a large court in the center, accessible through a cov­
ered driveway in one side, making approximate floor space of 30,000
square feet for each story. The older part of the building was brick



85
and mill construction of somewhat antiquated design, while the new
addition was concrete and steel of modern type, but the whole
structure gave a favorable impression. The natural facilities are, of
course, improved where buildings are placed in less congested sur­
roundings, even though in business districts. In Chicago, for in­
stance, were found a number of multistory structures of various
heights and of excellent construction, suitable for the printing plants
occupying them, some facing parks and others facing the river or
lake.
Buildings may be located where surroundings will permit access
of light and air and be well or strongly constructed, but still not be
in accord with modern factory ideas or printing plant requirements.
An example of this was the largest plant in Washington, which was
built very solid and substantial, containing eight stories and base­
ment, with approximately 75,000 square feet of space on each floor.
It covered approximately one-half block, with an alley on the fourth
side. It was built of steel, concrete, and brick, but although only 17
years old, was not constructed with adequate provision for natural
lighting except around the immediate outside part. In contrast with
this was a large building in the same city, used for plate engraving
and printing, which was of model design. It contained five stories
and a basement, which really was the first story at yard level, though
the main approach to the building was over a covered walk at street
level, one story above. It covered an area over 500 feet long by
about 300 feet in width, built in the form of a letter E but with four
wings in place of three, providing three open end courts. It was
constructed 11 years ago, of steel, reinforced concrete, and sand­
stone, with about 60 per cent of the wall surface consisting of glass,
to minimize the use of artificial light. The building had the addi­
tional advantage of being surrounded by grounds and set back from
the street at the rear, at ends of courts, and so received full benefit of
all light and air.
Several excellent buildings of the single-story type, housing large
individual plants and located in various sections of the country,
were also visited. Some of these were even constructed without
basement. There can not be any set rules for just what type of
construction should be used, nor where a building should be located,
as this must be determined in each individual case by the nature of
the business and the amount of building space. The choice between
a single-story and a multistory building depends largely on these two
items. Several book and job, or periodical, printing plants had
recently erected single-story structures, which gave the advantage of
maximum natural light and permitted the product to be started at one
end of the plant, either to be completed during its continuous move­
ment in a circle around the room and delivered finished to a shipping
room near the starting point, or to travel in a straight line through
the various operations to a shipping room at the other end. While
the single-story style was adopted 25 years ago, it did not become
popular until recently on account of the large ground space required
and the common idea that it was necessary for printing trade estab­
lishments to be located in the congested area ox business sections of
large cities. The modern convenience of transportation facilities, the
increased use of the telephone, and the gradual change in ideas have



HOUSING OF FEINTING TBADE PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
86
helped to make a change. While a number of plants are still situ­
ated in the main business sections, the tendency is toward moving to
the outlying districts, where plenty of daylight and air can be ob­
tained for the workrooms. Some of the larger establishments situ­
ated in outlying districts were of the multistory type, though of
lesser height than similar ones located in business sections. There
were also a number containing two stories, or with part of the plant
in an adjoining single-story addition.
Newspaper plants are usually located in the business section and
often housed in combination office and factory buildings. A gradual
improvement is taking place and a number had recently constructed
new buildings, many of which were erected for use of the plant
only. In Philadelphia a visit was made to a newspaper which was
preparing to move the plant into a new building. The old building,
consisting of five stories, basement, and sub-basement, which had
been occupied by the plant for over 56 years, was entirely inade­
quate. It was located on a corner, with composing room and stereo­
type molding on the fifth floor, photo-engraving department and
editorial rooms on the fourth floor, newsrooms on the third floor,
offices on the second floor, business office, mailing room, and roto­
gravure department on the first floor, paper storage and waste
department in the basement, and stereotype foundry and pressroom
in the sub-basement. The building was mill and steel construction,
part brownstone and part brick. The top story was the height of
two ordinary stories and contained plenty of air space, but did
not come up to modern standards for a workroom, and the other
stories gave a still worse impression, which was perhaps heightened
by the fact that the whole place had been neglected on account of
the approaching removal. The new building, which was decidedly
different, consisted of three stories and basement, with an additional
story over one end. It was intended solely for manufacturing pur­
poses, though the fourth floor was at that time utilized for tempor­
ary offices and part of the third floor for newsroom. The rest of
the third floor was occupied by the composing room, stereotype
molding, and photo-engraving, the second floor by the rotogravure
department, job pressroom, art room, and newspaper morgue, the
first floor by the stereotype foundry, with a mezzanine floor over it
for the circulation department, and the pressroom. The pressroom
floor was four feet above the street level and the paper reel room
under it formed the basement, extending five feet below the street
level and provided with windows on all sides. The building was
of steel and concrete, with brick and marble, 215 by 145 feet, and
was the first unit of a large publishing building, which will occupy
an entire block. Another very pretentious building was found in
course of construction for a second newspaper in the same city,
which was housed in two adjoining inside buildings, respectively
seven and eight stories in height, with basement under both. These
two buildings were entirely unsuitable for the work, although one
of them had been erected especially for that purpose 29 years ago
of steel and brick with terra cotta facing. The other, which had
been acquired later, was still older and of mill and brick construc­
tion. Among the especially bad features in the joint building was
the different height of floors, aside from the insufficient daylight



87
and the crowded interior. The new building will cover the entire
block and has the novel feature of being built entirely over the
depressed tracks of a railroad, on a ground area of about 70,000
square feet. It will consist of two sections, the front part of 21
recessed stories, which will be partly occupied by offices for the firm
and rentable office space, and the rear section for the printing office,
four stories in height. The materials are steel, concrete, brick, terra
cotta, and stone. Newsroom, composing room, art room, photo­
engraving, and stereotype molding will be located on the fourth
floor, stereotype foundry and pressroom on the third floor, which
is double the height of other stories in the building, reel room on
the second floor, and paper storage on the first floor. The space
under the building will be occupied by the railroad tracks and a
freight platform, with elevators that will deliver the paper rolls
direct from the cars to the storage room on the first floor.
In Chicago a very decided contrast was found between two large
newspaper establishments. One was located in the loop district, front­
ing the elevated street car tracks, in itself an undesirable feature,
shutting off light and air, besides scattering dust on surroundings. It
was housed in two adjoining inside brick buildings and a third one,
forming an L, of four stories and basement. These were among
the first structures erected after the Chicago fire, about 50 years
ago, one of them built for the purpose and the others converted to
the use later on. The floors were of uneven height and the rooms
were dark and dingy on account of building location and numerous
divisions, together with overcrowding of space. Some attempts
had been made to remedy unpleasant conditions, but the structural
features would effectually prevent modernizing such a plant and
making it a fit place to work. A radical difference was presented
by the other establishment, which was located in a detached steel
and concrete building, with brick facing, seven stories and basement.
The main thoroughfare at that point of the city was level with the
top of the second story, though streets were running below it at
yard level. Seventh and sixth stories covered only part of the build­
ing, which was erected three and one-half years ago and was a model
arrangement throughout, except the use of part of the basement for
the reel room. The rest of the basement was utilized for paper
storage and building machinery.
Other large model newspaper plants were visited, among them
two in New York, one of which was housed in a 14-story and base­
ment building, part of which had been completed shortly before
the inspection and constituted an excellent plant, except for one
thing, the location of the stereotype foundry and pressroom in the
basement and the reel room in the sub-basement. The other estab­
lishment, housed in a new building, presented a new feature in ar­
rangement for newspapers and will be referred to later in detail.
Also, among the large, exceptional newspaper plants was one in
Detroit, which occupied a partly three-story and partly, four-story
building, with the photo-engraving department on the fourth floor,
the composing room and stereotype department on the third floor,
offices and editorial department on the second floor, pressroom on
the first floor, and reel room, with building machinery, in the base­
ment. This building, which occupied about one-half block, facing



HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
88
three streets, was erected about seven years ago, but recently was
found too small and additional structures were placed on the rest
of block, one story and five stories in height. Another large and
model newspaper establishment, located in Kansas City, occupied a
detached building consisting of three stories, basement, and sub­
basement, erected especially for the production of the newspaper.
One end of the three stories above ground was devoted to the edi­
torial department and offices, while the other end housed the me­
chanical department, with composing room' and stereotype depart­
ment on the third floor, and photo-engraving department and mailing
room on the second floor. The basement, which reached to the top
of the first floor, contained the pressroom and engine room. The
sub-basement was occupied by paper storage, machine repair shop,
boilers, and building machinery. At the time of the visit a new
addition was being erected on adjoining property to relieve con­
gestion in some departments and permit installation of additional
equipment. The undesirability of basement location for the press­
room was partly overcome by the extension of this to the ceiling of
the first floor, making it two stories in height with good provision
of windows.
Mill construction for building frames is, of course, found in many
of the older structures but in the larger buildings it has been neces­
sary to add extra reinforcements or braces, on account of increasing
weight of machinery, stock, and workers, or even to replace the
millwork with steel. Reinforced concrete and steel beams are now
generally employed for large buildings, taking up less space and
reducing fire risks. Where a building had large dimensions, such as
some of those visited, which extended three or four hundred feet and
had several stories, it had been necessary to place extra supports at
intervals, for either walls or pillars, the size and strength of which
control the load carrying powers of the floors. These, together with
the .wall construction, determine to a great extent the lighting facili­
ties of the building, as well as protection from outside influences.
They also affect the inside appearance and hygienic condition of
the plant, besides controlling the layout. In modem multistory
buildings the elevator shafts, with stairways, fire escapes, wash
rooms, and lavatories are often grouped in the center of the structure,
perhaps at the end of a light court.
The floors of the workrooms are also of considerable importance,
though a number of different ideas prevailed regarding the utility
of the various materials. In old buildings or small ones, the floors
were usually of wood, sometimes with iron or steel plates laid over
places where heavy trucking might damage the wood. An exception
was found in photo-engraving establishments, in which part of the
floors, as a rule, were covered with a layer of composition, or roofing
material, to prevent the acids used from destroying the wood. The
newer buildings usually had reinforced concrete floors, in some cases
covered with composition, steel x iron plates, wood strips, or wood
or
blocks. The quality of the surface affects the workers considerably,
as they stand or walk around on it for several hours at a stretch.
Where a straight concrete surface is used the compositors often
place mats of linoleum or thin strips of wood between the cases to
avoid the fatigue caused by nonresilient material. In some places



89
considerable complaint was heard about concrete surface floors; in
others it was thought extremely suitable. Composition is consider­
ably easier on the feet but renders it difficult to make any alterations,
if necessary. Steel or iron plates are used extensively in stereotyping
rooms and sometimes in newspaper pressrooms. A number of large
plants had lately tried wood blocks and in the majority of those
where they were noticed they were declared superior to any other.
One case was found, however, where they had not proved satisfac­
tory, a periodical printing plant, occupying a large 12-story build­
ing. The majority of the floors had been covered with wood blocks
when built, about five years previous, and the blocks seem to have
been jarred by heavy trucks, which had split a number of them. It
is believed that the real trouble was caused by poor workmanship
in laying the blocks, because in other places wood-block floors were
observed that had been subjected to much harder usage and still
appeared in excellent condition. A wood-block floor is unquestion­
ably far easier on the feet of the workers than a concrete floor, and
consequently more desirable from a health standpoint. A very un­
desirable feature was noticed in several plants where ordinary wood
floors had been damaged. In place of taking out the damaged
pieces and inserting new ones, other pieces of flooring had been
placed over the damaged parts and nailed down, making a projec­
tion liable to cause workers to stumble. In similar manner entire
aisles had been covered when showing wear from the wheels of trucks
running over them. Even though the edges are beveled this is
always a danger and should be avoided. The same thing holds good
with pipes or other material projecting over the floor, even though
covered with inclines. In modern buildings pipes, conduits, or simi­
lar material is taken care of by trenches in the floor bed, usually
covered with metal plates that can be easily removed for access when
required, and in removable baseboards.
There are a number of other details in connection with the build­
ing construction which affect the workers employed in the plant to a
certain extent, such as vibration, which may create fatigue, method
of driving machinery, ventilation and heating, sprinkler system or
other fire protection, elevator service, and sanitary features. The
States and the cities have special laws which partly control erec­
tion of new buildings and repair to old ones, but contain no radical
departures for the printing trades from the requirements in other
industries. In most of the establishments inspected request was
made by the managers for information about any unhygienic con­
ditions discovered, so they could be eliminated or remedied as far
as building facilities would permit.
Smaller plants occupying their own buildings did not differ essen­
tially in a general way from the larger ones. They were not, as a
rule, supplied with as good natural light or chance for ventilation,
because the buildings were usually situated on inside lots, admitting
light and air from front and rear only. The work, however, was
arranged mostly by the windows, and fumes or gases from the
processes were so reduced in proportion to size that it practically
evened matters up. Those who occupy rented quarters are, in most
cases, handicapped. They are often located in old buildings, not
specifically intended for printing, which do not have the best of



HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
90
facilities. It is, in fact, often difficult for them to find suitable
quarters, as a great many buildings refuse printing plants for ten­
ants on account of noise or possibility of vibration. This situation
has been ameliorated to a certain extent in several cities by erection
of special buildings for the housing of printing-trade plants, con­
structed to meet requirements. One such building in New York,
erected about nine years ago, consisted of 23 stories, basement, and
sub-basement, occupied by a number of printing-trade plants, 12 of
which were inspected. It fronted three streets and rose above
other buildings on the fourth side, assuring ample light and ven­
tilation. It had elevator shafts in the center, with hall between
two sets of passenger elevators, freight elevators at one side, wash
rooms, and lavatories, and was divided by a wall in two main
sections with other subdivisions on some floors. A very heavy con­
struction insured freedom from vibration throughout the building.
A similar building in Kansas City, which was constructed about
the same time, contained eight stories and a basement and was occu­
pied by 11 printing-trade firms. It was located on a corner, with
an alley on the third side and a vacant lot on the fourth, giving
windows on all sides, was equipped with passenger and freight ele­
vators, and was very suitable for the purpose.
In contrast to these two was another building, located in Cleve­
land, also erected for housing of printing trade firms but built
25 years ago. It consisted of eight stories and a basement, located
on an inside lot but with an alley on one side and in the rear. It was
in two parts, connected at one side with hallway and freight eleva­
tors, leaving a large court opening onto a private driveway from
street to rear alley. The front part was occupied by offices, while
the workrooms were located in the rear part. Some firms had offices
on one floor in the front building and the actual workrooms on a
separate floor in the rear building. Practically all establishments
located in it, five of which were inspected, were crowded for space.
The building itself was of steel, concrete, and brick construction but
was considered dangerous by the fire department, and shortly before
the inspection new fire doors had been installed on the top floor to
eliminate some of the danger. Undesirable conditions may be
created by unforeseen circumstances, such as took place in another
western city, where a firm had completed a new building four
months previous to the visit of inspection. It had been intended to
erect a first-class building, to be partly occupied by the firm itself
and the rest rented to other printing-trade establishments, but it
was found necessary to curtail expenses and change plans somewhat.
This resulted, among other things, in omission of the hot-water
system for washing and in reduction of toilet facilities. The build­
ing was detached, daylight factory style, reinforced concrete and
brick, six stories and basement. The first floor and part of basement
were occupied by owners and the rest by other printing establish­
ments. The changes in plans prevented the building from being
considered first class, but it was declared by the owners to be 100
er cent better than previous quarters in an old rented building,
rom a hygienic standpoint. Very small plants can be found in
various kinds of situations, even in private dwellings or in out­
buildings near by.

E




91
There is naturally some difference between buildings located in
northern parts of the country and those in the southern sections, but
this is similar to what can be found in any other industry. Each
locality has its own peculiarities to meet, such as extreme cold, ex­
cessive heat, or surplus of humidity, which to a certain extent re­
quire construction to minimize these conditions, but this applies to
all buildings and no attempt has been made to compare one locality
with another.
A great deal depends on what part of a building is occupied by a
plant or by the different departments. Where a building consists
of several stories and all of these are occupied by one establishment,
it is usual to place on the top floor those departments that require
the most light, such as composing or photo-engraving departments.
There is no set arrangement and each individual plant adjusts this
to suit its own requirements. It was at one time thought necessary
to place all of the heavy machinery on the bottom floor, both on ac­
count of weight and vibration, but the application of scientific pro­
duction methods and the increased stability of the buildings have
resulted in changing such arrangements, so that now there are quite
a few book and job printing plants or other establishments, even
including newspapers, which are laid out according to a gravity sys­
tem, starting the manufacturing on the top floor and proceeding in
a straight line down through the building. Other buildings are
not constructed sufficiently strong to stand such a strain and it is
not unusual to see the upper floors occupied by departments which
have light-weight equipment, regardless of rotation for work, such
as binderies, while the pressrooms are located on the bottom floors.
It is common to find a somewhat similar arrangement in newspaper
establishments, with the composing and photo-engraving depart­
ments occupying the top floor of the building, sometimes with the
stereotype molding added, the editorial and circulation departments
located underneath, and the stereotype foundry with the press­
room on the bottom floor. There may be quite a distance between
top and bottom, such as in one plant in Cleveland, where the first
three departments occupied the fourteenth floor, while the last two
were located in the basement, the intervening stories housing offices
and stores.
The bottom floor in a newspaper establishment does not usually
mean the street floor, but more often the basement or sub-basement.
Among the 64 newspaper plants inspected, 24 were found in which
the stereotype casting department and the pressroom were both
located in the basement, one of them with a reel room in a sub-base­
ment under it. In 17 others the basements were occupied by press­
rooms, in one instance with an ingot casting furnace added, in an­
other* case with a reel room in the sub-basement and, in a third
place, with roll stripping performed in the sub-basement. Four
other establishments had reel rooms located in the basements and
two had stereotype casting departments there, one of these with a
reel room on a mezzanine floor above it and the other with a press
in the sub-basement below. Another plant had an ingot casting
furnace located in the basement, and one had the stereotype foundry
on the street floor but the stereotype molding department occupied
HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

45331°—25-----7




HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
92
the basement together with part of the pressroom. The rest of the
pressroom in this plant was located in sub-basements, directly under
each other, with the bottom one 55 feet below street level, although
the building had only three stories above the ground. In a third
plant the basement was occupied by a job pressroom and a photo­
engraving department, while the stereotype foundry and the press­
room were located in a sub-basement under it. In 27 of the 64
newspaper establishments the stereotype foundry was placed in the
basement, and in 44 of them the pressroom was similarly located.
Quite a few newspaper* establishments had previously placed the
stereotype foundry on one of the top floors in the building and the
pressroom on the street floor, but the method of locating the various
departments in consecutive order on a gravity line is a newly de­
veloped idea which ought to create better working conditions for
the employees in the stereotyping and pressroom departments, aside
from increased efficiency in operation. A building in New York,
containing seven stories and basement, erected by a large newspaper
about two years ago, embodied this plan. The top floor contained
syndicate and feature departments, with assembly rooms, the sixth
floor administration, business, and advertising offices, and the fifth
floor editorial and news rooms. The fourth floor, where the me­
chanical manufacturing began, was occupied by the composing
room, photo-engraving, and stereotype molding departments. The
third floor, which had a 20-foot ceiling, contained the stereotype
foundry and the pressroom. The second floor was devoted to the
reel room and some roll storage. The first floor, at street level, was
occupied by the circulation department, with mailing arid delivery
rooms, delivery area, and counter office, while the basement housed
the engine room, building machinery, and paper storage.
Separation of processes, or some special operations in these, is
often necessary on account of fumes or gases generated by the oper­
ations, special temperatures required, dust, or other conditions. As
a rule the larger establishments separate composition, photo-engrav­
ing, stereotyping, electrotyping, presswork, and binding from one
another, with additional further separation of operations in these.
At one time it was a common occurrence to find book and job, or
periodical, printing establishments located, at least partly, under­
ground in cellars or basements. This condition is gradually disap­
pearing, with a consequent result of improved hygienic conditions,
since basements are not fit for industrial purposes, especially when
fumes are produced. At the present time only a few, usually small
plants, are housed completely in basements, though the actual per­
centage of such is larger than would be indicated by inspections in
this survey. Only nine of those visited were domiciled in basements
alone, six of which were book and job printing plants, performing
composition and presswork but with binding additional in one of
them, one a periodical printing establishment engaged in composition
and presswork, one performing presswork only, and one doing plate
and die engraving and printing.
The total workers in the printing trades in these nine establish­
ments was only 108, ranging from 2 to 38 in one plant. One job
printing establishment in Detroit was located in a seven-story office
building in part of the basement, another part of which was occu­



93
pied by the plate and die engraving and printing plant. Each
establishment was confined to a small space, extending under the
sidewalk in front of the building. Small windows above the side­
walk and glass flooring in the same did not admit sufficient daylight,
and ventilation was poor. Both plants were crowded and dirty,
usually attendant conditions. A small job printing plant in Boston,
located in the basement of an old three-story dwelling, consisted of
a hand composing room in front, which received some light through
the door at bottom of steps and a window, and a pressroom in the
rear, which had no windows and with ventilation through a door
from the composing room only.
There are, however, a number of buildings in which one or more
of the working operations are performed in the basements and this
was the case in 70 other establishments visited, though with consid­
erable variation in the arrangements. In 21 ox them the ingot cast­
ing furnace was located in the basement, to isolate the fumes from
it, together with dross furnaces in three of them and with mono­
type casting machines in one other. Seven offset printing establish­
ments had placed graining machines in the basements, on account
of noise made by these, with stone planers additional in two of them.
One rotogravure printing plant performed grinding and plating of
cylinders in the basement, one photo-engraving plant used its base­
ment for wood trimming, another for etching, routing, and blocking,
while a third had a small chemical mixing room in part of its base­
ment, and one book and job printing establishment had its entire
photo-engraving plant located in a basement. Five basements were
occupied by stereotyping departments, one by resmelting of metals
for stereotyping and electrotyping, and two by metal mixing for the
type foundries occupying the buildings. Presswork is the process
most commonly domiciled in basements and was found in 28 of the
establishments, accompanied by bronzing in two of them and a var­
nishing machine in one. Binding work, including folding, trimming,
gluing, calendar tipping, die cutting, embossing, carton manufactur­
ing, or in 6 establishments all binding work for the plant was per­
formed in basements of 17 plants, ink grinding in 8, carbon paper
manufacturing in 1, and composition roller manufacturing in another.
One of the largest plants found which performed most of its work
in the basement was located in a corner building, consisting of two
parts, each 120 by 130 feet approximately, six stories and basement.
The first floor of the front building was occupied by offices and the
composing room, while the basement of the same contained the press­
room and the basement of the rear building was occupied by the
bindery. The two basements, with floor about 6 feet below street
level, were connected by a 20-foot-long runway under a court be­
tween the two building units. Both basements had windows above
the sidewalk, but these did not admit sufficient daylight for the work,
especially where obstructed by machinery, and the facilities for
natural ventilation were bad.
Some of the basements in newspaper establishments were two
stories in height, reaching to the ceiling of the first story, to accom­
modate the tall presses used in these plants, and were provided
with large windows, which created better conditions as far as light
or natural ventilation was concerned. This condition prevailed in



HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
94
22 of the newspaper pressrooms surveyed, including stereotype foun­
dries in two of them, and also in one book and job printing establish­
ment, where composition, presswork, and binding were being per­
formed in one room. In others the first floor was raised above the
street level, permitting windows above the sidewalk, sometimes as­
sisted by cutouts in the sidewalk to accommodate larger windows. In
the various workrooms located in basements, windows were found in
3 hand composing rooms, 1 monotype casting room, 4 rooms for in­
got casting furnaces, 3 for offset plate grainers, 2 photo-engraving
rooms, 1 job stereotype room, 1 mixing room for type foundry metal,
19 pressrooms, 3 ink-grinding rooms, 13 bindery rooms, 11 news­
paper stereotype foundries, 11 newspaper pressrooms, and 1 paper
reel room. In summarizing the various departments or operations
located in basements no cognizance was taken of paper storage, cut
or plate storage, laundries, engines, boilers, air compressors, re­
frigerating plants, pumps, waste balers, knife grinders, dressing
rooms, washrooms, or lavatories.
A vast difference is often found in the appearance of the various
departments of the same plant. Part of it may be excellent and a
general view of the establishment may be good, while some of the
departments will, on close examination, reveal undesirable features.
In the summary of tabulation (p. 228) is given, under the head of
“ Building: appearance,” the general impression derived from the
plants surveyed, showing 24.1 per cent classed as good, 47.2 per
cent as fair, and 28.7 per cent as bad. The term “ good ” indicates
that all of the establishments gave the impression of being suitable
physical environments for the workers, while “ fair ” means that part
of the plant appeared good but some of it did not, or that all of the
plant was open to slight criticism. The term “ bad ” is used for estab­
lishments in which the unsanitary condition, poor lighting, or poor
ventilation prevailed to such an extent that it was immediately vis­
ible at a glance. It is, of course, easy to criticise and, while all pos­
sible efforts may be made to improve conditions, the handicap of an
old or unsuitable building may frustrate attempts to carry improve­
ments to desired points. Conditions are in general getting better
each year, both through the evident desire of a number of employers
to establish and maintain model plants and through educational
programs of the workers themselves for better environments and
closer observance of health rules, assisted with legislation and with
regulations by the various State and city departments.
The appearance of some parts of an establishment which at first
sight was thought to be good later showed surprising neglect. A job
printing establishment in Richmond, for example, was housed in an
old, two-story and basement, remodeled warehouse. The office was lo­
cated on the first floor, with composing room and job presses back of
it. All of this floor was well arranged and looked good. The walls
were nicely painted, floor and equipment looked clean, the light was
good from windows in two sides, and the working space seemed
ample. The second floor, which was used for storage, looked dirty
and disorderly. The basement, where the cylinder pressroom and
bindery were located, was crowded and messy looking. The walls
in it, as well as on the second floor, were dirty. The light was good
in the bindery department, from a skylight, but bad in the press­
room. Paper trimmings were scattered all over the pressroom,



95
kicked in from the bindery, where they had been previously thrown
on the floor by the side of the paper-cutting machine to be swept to a
narrow stairway leading down into a sub-basement containing waste
baler, ingot metal furnace, and boiler. It looked as if the part which
might be open to the public gaze was kept up well for the sake of
appearance, but that health and comfort of the employees were
minor considerations. Plants with similar characteristic variations
were observed in nearly every city.
A surprising difference in appearance was also found in otherwise
very similar plants, even in the same building, such as presented by
two small establishments, each renting part of the same floor in
a building partly occupied by a large newspaper and a large book
and publication plant. One of them occupied a corner, separated
from the main room by a partition, most of which was covered with
shelving. Stock was scattered along the shelves and also at various
places in the room. The office part occupied one end of the room,
followed by hand composition, which contained some type cases but
also separate drawers with type, stacked on top of one another on the
floor. Some small platen presses were located at one side in the
center and a paper cutting machine at the other end, with tables, etc.,
in the rest of the space. One wall contained a number of windows, but
the daylight was feeble on account of the dirt on the panes. Incandes­
cent bulbs with reflectors were used and they also looked very dirty.
The entire room, including the office part, seemed entirely neglected
and unsanitary. The other plant was altogether different. It also
occupied a corner, similarly separated from the main room by a par­
tition, but was clean and orderly. Walls and partitions were painted
a light gray. A hand railing had been placed through the center
of the room, dividing the office part and composing room from the
platen presses. The type was kept in nice looking cabinets, the
presses were clean and, although the room was not so well supplied
with windows as the other plant, the light was far better because
the windows were clean. Artificial light was supplied, if needed,
from incandescent bulbs with large diffusing globes. The shop gave
a nice, cheerful impression, distinctly a relief after the depressing
influence of the other one.
The environment of a building exerts a great influence and affects
conditions materially. If located in the congested area of a large
city, it is naturally subjected to the obstruction of light due to narrow
streets and surrounding tall buildings, which often also prevent
proper ventilation. A very .large establishment may overcome this
partly by having a building which towers above the adjoining ones,
just as a smaller plant may by obtaining a location on the top floor
of a tall structure; but the natural light and air decrease rapidly as
tJie location is shifted down toward the ground. In some cities the
streets are extremely narrow and ground space is too valuable to
permit setting the buildings back from the property line and, con­
sequently, quarters near the street level become decidedly disagree­
able, from a hygienic point of view, for any industrial plant. This
question has been solved by many large plants by moving to out­
lying districts where property is cheaper and buildings can be con­
structed that will admit light and air freely on all four sides, which
is really the ideal condition. A number of managers declared, how­



HOUSING OF PRINTING TRAM PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
96
ever, that location was of first importance and it was necessary for
them to remain in the business area of the city, close to the source of
business, consequently they were compelled to put up with the unde­
sirable conditions.
A great deal depends also on the working space in the establish­
ment in proportion to the number of people employed, amount of
equipment, and quantity of work performed. There is practically
always continual change in this relation. A small plant will start
up in what seems to be far more space than required but, as business
grows and more equipment is added, the quarters become cramped
and the working space crowded. Additional q’u arters are secured
in the same location, or the plant is moved to another place that
seems ample at first, but sooner or later the same thing takes place
again. This is a common occurrence among printing-trade plants,
where most of the large establishments have evolved from small
ones and in comparatively short time, especially in the book and
job or the periodical printing branches. The same thing also holds
good with newspapers, which increase so rapidly in both circula­
tion and size that they outgrow their facilities quickly, and what
was thought to be more than sufficient quarters or equipment for a
long time ahead must be added to, or exchanged. Several of the
plants surveyed were congested by constant addition of machinery.
A modern plant has the machinery arranged thoughtfully to make
as near as possible a continuous line of progress for the work, but
quite a few plants were seen where the equipment was placed in any
spot that offered available space without regard to correct location.
This may be partly a question of efficiency, but it often also becomes
a point of hygiene through placing in certain localities equipment
that creates fumes which may affect other workers, or through mak­
ing it necessary to arrange equipment so that vision will be affected.
Some plants were found that contained ideal arrangements, with the
floor,marked for aisles and with fixed spaces for certain portable ac­
cessory equipment, such as trucks, rolls of paper, etc., and instructions
were posted to keep aisles clear. In contrast with these were others
where a number of aisles were blocked and workers could not move
around without hitting against a pile of material, sometimes up­
setting part of it, or where balconies or galleries had been placed
in the room to take care of additional equipment or material. Stor­
age space for material, both new and finished, is a very important
factor and considerable of the overcrowding in workrooms is due
to insufficient quantity of room for storage. This is often the case
on a newspaper that has reached the limit of space, especially in
the pressroom, where large rolls of paper may be placed around
in all available nooks, reducing the cubic contents of air in the room
considerably.
*
Several places were found that required daily supplies of rolls,
and in one establishment the space was so limited that only a day’s
supply could be squeezed into the building. If the size of the edition
was changed unexpectedly, it was necessary to remove the paper in
the room and haul it back to the warehouse, then supply the proper
size instead. This, of course, again looks like a question of efficiency
but is so closely allied with hygienic conditions that it should be con­
sidered from such a point. Overcrowding reduces the air of a room,






OLD

METHOD

OF

BELT

DRIVES

AND

OVERHEAD

SHAFTS

IN

AN

ELE CT RO TY P IN G

PLANT




97
the light is retarded, and sanitary conditions also suffer, because
proper cleaning is out of the question. In addition there is a possi­
bility of creating drafts through open doors or passageways, where
material is brought in at all times, which may affect the health of
the workers. Some plants are well equipped with commodious
quarters for storage, both of material and finished products, such as
some large book-publishing establishments in Boston. The summary
of tabulation (p. 228), under heading of 44Working space,” shows
70.3 per cent of the plants surveyed classed as having ample work­
ing space and 29.7 per cent crowded. Ample is meant to imply that
there was sufficient room for the workers to move around and per­
form the work in an efficient manner, while crowded is used only for
those establishments where the work or equipment occupied so much
floor space that the execution of the operations was hampered and
cleaning was made difficult. It is, of course, a constantly shifting
condition, and a plant which was crowded during the time of in­
spection may have changed to more commodious quarters since then.
The crowding may also not be apparent except on close inspection,
such as was the case with the largest book and job printing plant in
Washington, which seemed to have plenty of room but in reality was
very congested and did not have sufficient space to handle the large
amount of work turned out. A large plate-printing plant in the
same city was also suffering from the same complaint and overcame
it to a certain extent by moving part of the work into a building
formerly occupied by it and located close by. That structure is,
however, not so modern and consequently it constituted a backward
step for the workers who were changed to the old building.
The application for motive power was taken into consideration
as affecting the health of the workers. At one time all power for
driving the various machines was generated at a central point by
a steam or gas engine and transmitted by belts to line shafts with
pulleys, usually placed near the ceiling but sometimes under the floor,
then by belts from the pulleys to countershafts or to the machines.
Later the motor was substituted for the engine or, in some cases,
added to it but still used with line shafts and belting until about 30
years ago, when the individual motor system was introduced. To­
day the majority of printing trade establishments use the individual
motor-drive system exclusively, one motor to each machine, with
either belt, chain, gear, direct connected, or friction drive. This
has resulted in eliminating the hangers, shafting, and overhead belts,
which obstructed and retarded the diffusing of light and accumulated
or scattered dirt or oil, and has permitted better lighting and clean­
liness, aside from the flexibility in layout which admits of the placing
of the various machines in the most advantageous manner for better
light, etc. It has also proved very valuable in reduction of accidents,
through the individual control of machines as well as through the
safety attachments and automatic devices for the protection of the
operator, the machine, and the electric equipment. A few plants still
use collective drive for all of the equipment and some drive small
groups of machines, usually in the bindery, by a single motor and col­
lective belt system. In the summary of tabulation (p. 228) is shown,
under the head 44Motive power,” the division of the establishments
surveyed into three classes. Individual motor drive was used exclu­
sively in 76.7 per cent of the plants, old-time collective belt drive in



HOUSING OF PRINTING TRADE PLANTS

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
98
only 3.5 per cent, and 19.8 per cent used both. In the latter class the
majority of equipment was driven individually in 65 per cent of the
establishments and collectively in 18 per cent, the remaining 17 per
cent being about equally divided. Several proprietors explained that
they were eliminating collective line shait drives gradually when
replacing old machines by new ones.
Safety guards on machines affect the health of the workers to a
certain extent through moral influence, aside from the prevention of
accidents, so the plants were inspected closely for condition of these.
They were divided into three classes, under the heading “ Safety
guards,” in the summary of tabulation. “ Good” means that all
reasonable precautions were taken to guard dangerous machinery,
regardless of existent State laws; “ fa ir” means that part of the
plant was provided sufficiently with safety guards but all of it was
not; while “ bad ” indicates that all, or practically all, of the estab­
lishment was neglected in that respect. The summary shows that
57.5 per cent of the plants were good, 31.5 per cent fair and only 11
per cent bad as to condition of safety guards (p. 228).

LIGHTING-NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL

The majority of the operations in the trade require close applica­
tion and abundant light, making adequate daylight facilities in all
parts of the workrooms highly desirable to keep the vitality of the
workers at the maximum and to minimize eyestrain. Aside from the
benefits to the workers themselves it also means increased production
for the employer through greater accuracy in the workmanship, and
a substantial saving in artificial light bills. A printing-trade plant
should be constructed so as to admit the maximum amount of day­
light, reaching to the center of the room and distributed so it falls
as uniformly as possible on the working surfaces from a proper direc­
tion. This idea has been carried out in a number of modern plants,
where the maximum ratio of the floor space to window area is often
four or five to one. Many plants are built in the open, admitting of
windows on all sides, some of them reaching nearly to the ceil­
ing. In a congested area of a large city it is usually difficult
to obtain desirable conditions, because permanent daylight can be
secured only where the building is bounded by streets and alleys,
protected by ownership of adjoining properties or placed back from
the property line. Light courts and light wells are also employed
as an expedient, though not always successfully. The top floor of
a multistory building is usually supplied with skylights, mostly of
the saw-tooth style, which face north, giving uniform light and no
sun glare or heat. Some have hip, monitor, or flat skylights, which
require protection from sun glare on clear, sunshiny days, reducing
the benefit of the light. Several examples of multistory construc­
tion were given in the description of buildings, both good and bad.
Quite a few photo-engraving plants were provided with large sky­
lights in the galleries, notably one direct gallery in Chicago, where
both sides of the two-story room were glass and the front (glass also)
ascended in a curve up over the top. Others in the same city had
long sloping glass fronts and glass tops in the direct gallery, provid­
ing splendid light.



LIGHTING----NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL

99

Practically all of the buildings of the single-story type were found
provided with saw-tooth roofs which, together with the windows,
made the inside of the plants as light as if there were no obstructions.
One in Eichmond was visited one afternoon in December and,
although it had been raining up to noon and the weather was still
gloomy, there was not a single artificial light burning in the plant,
which had ample daylight. Similar conditions were found in that
class of structures in Atlanta, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago,
Philadelphia, and New York, as well as single-story parts of large
plants located in outlying districts, which sometimes housed the
majority of the operations. One establishment in Chicago had just
before the visit completed such an addition, 120 feet square, con­
sisting of three glass sides and provided with a saw-tooth roof.
A number of top floors in some excellent buildings, two or more
stories in height and likewise situated in outlying districts, also
were equipped with saw-tooth roofs, eliminating the use of artificial
light in the daytime. One such structure, located near New York
City, situated on an 18-acre plot and consisting of a main building
450 feet long and, at each end, a right angle wing 200 feet long, had
abundant light on the two floors, and even the basement which
extended above the ground level and had good-sized windows was
well lighted. No spot in the building was 40 feet distant from a
window.
The building facilities may be sufficient and the daylight be ob­
structed by equipment or inside arrangements. This was observed
on some floors of multistory buildings in New York, which had a
number of large presses arranged around the outside of the rooms.
The presses, which reached nearly to the ceilings, prevented the light
from getting beyond them and made it necessary to use artificial
lighting in the center of the rooms, and even for the back part of
the presses. In one newspaper establishment in Denver a battery
of about 20 line-casting machines was placed right in front of a largo
window extending across the building, shutting off the main source
of daylight from the rest of the room and necessitating use of arti­
ficial illumination at all times. In some plants balconies or galleries
had been added to increase available floor space and these usually
obstructed the light to a certain extent, spoiling the lighting facilities
originally provided for the building. The same held good with
partitions erected that were not in the original plan and layout of
the plant. In several cylinder pressrooms it had been found neces­
sary to place curtains around the delivery ends of the presses to pre­
vent the wind, created by the fly, from disturbing the paper on
another press located behind it and too close to it. These were
often hung from the ceiling and obstructed diffusion of daylight.
There is considerable difference of opinion regarding the best
quality of glass for windows. Some prefer rough or translucent
glass, partly to prevent the workers from being distracted by activi­
ties outside of the building. It breaks up direct light beams, diffuses
them in all directions, and is very good where there is a large amount
of exposure to direct sunlight, but has less lighting efficiency than
clear glass. Others favor the clear glass, on the theory that the
eyestrain is felt less by the workers when they can obtain a distant
view at will. The majority of modern buildings are provided with



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
100
wire net glass, which differs very little from the plain varieties in
light transmission but is often required by building and fire
ordinances.
Window shades are often necessary to avoid the direct glare of
the sun. Some plants are found that seemed to have solved the ques­
tion satisfactorily, especially one in Louisville and one in New York,
which were provided with shades consisting of translucent strips
that let the light through but killed the glare. Others used ordinary
roller shades, which retarded the light more or less, and a decided
difference was presented by some establishments where the windows
were not equipped with shades and the workers had pasted sheets of
paper over them or hung these on strings inside the windows. Two
places were noticed that had covered the window glass with green
opaque paint to exclude the direct rays of the sun, and in some the
same proceeding had been followed with the glass in the skylights.
It is naturally necessary to clean the windows at intervals to pre­
serve good natural lighting but, while the result plays a prominent
part in transmission of light, the subject belongs properly under the
head of “ State of cleanliness,” where it will be referred to.
The placing of machines or working tables determines the rela­
tive position of the operators, or other workers, toward the windows.
Authorities agree that facing the direct source of light creates addi­
tional eyestrain. The majority of plants try to arrange the ma­
chines and worktables so that the workers will be placed sideways to
the windows, but in adding new equipment, especially in an establish­
ment that has not reserved vacant space for that purpose, it is at
times very difficult to do so. Consequently the workers were often
found facing the windows, particularly in crowded plants, or placed
so that they obstructed the light from other workers. It was claimed
by many that it was absolutely necessary to certain operations to
have the workers face the windows, such as copperplate and steeldie engravers, reetchers, and finishers of photo-engravings, or elec­
trotype finishers. Plate and die engravers were usually placed fac­
ing the north light and provided with tissue-paper shades on the
windows to prevent glare of the light on the highly polished work­
ing surface. In one plant individual steel booths were provided, in
which the closed ends were supplied with large circular openings
, covered with tissue paper. In another plant a shadow board placed
across the window above the tissue screen was claimed to enable
the engraver to see the incisions better. This is an operation usually
performed with the aid of a magnifying glass, creating considerable
strain on the eyes. Reetchers and finishers in photo-engraving es­
tablishments were ordinarily found facing windows which were
not screened for this work, but in a few places they were seated at
desks placed sideways to the windows and seemed to perform the
work just as efficiently. It may be merely a matter of custom,
possibly originated through former inferior lighting facilities of the
buildings, which did not furnish the required strong light except
right by the windows. Or it may be a question of space, as tables
for workers facing the windows do not occupy so much room as
tables placed sideways for a similar number. This was emphasized
in one long narrow room occupied by finishers, in which the tables
were placed sideways, except in the center part, where the elevator



101
shaft projected into the room and made it too narrow to accommodate
the tables in that position. Two of them had been placed against
the outside wall, consequently making the workers face the win­
dows. Magnifying glasses are used extensively in this operation
also, which involves considerable strain on the eyes.
Electrotype finishers were, with a few exceptions, seated at long
tables or benches placed against the outer walls of the building,
facing the windows. It was claimed by a number of the finishers
that such a position was absolutely essential to secure the proper
reflection of light on the work, but those who were seated sideways
seemed to get along just as well and the same causes may be re­
sponsible for the method in this operation as for the photo-engravers.
Wood engravers and brass die engravers were customarily seated
facing the windows, but designers and artists for photo-engraving,
or similar work, usually preferred the light from the side. The ma­
jority of others facing the windows were bindery workers; mostly
engaged in handwork, which often in the smaller plants is located
temporarily in any available space.
There is another important factor in proper light diffusion which
affects not only the natural lighting but also the artificial illumina­
tion. The treatment of walls, ceilings, and columns plays a more
prominent part than is commonly realized. The upper portion
should be painted with a light color to render the light more effect­
ive and better diffused. The lower parts should be of a color
which is restful to the eyes, preferably a subdued tint. White is an
ideal color, because it excels in reflecting power, ranking at about 80
per cent. Other colors range from 65 to 40 per cent for the yel­
lows, according to darkness, 35 for pink, 25 for blue, 15 for green, 12
for dark brown or blue, down to a little over 1 per cent for black.
A building may have the maximum amount of window space and the
best type of skylights, but the benefits are lost if the walls, ceilings,
and columns absorb the light instead of reflecting it, and more or
better lights are also required at night for illumination. If a build­
ing does not possess the best of facilities for daylight or sufficient
artificial light the loss is even larger. The main reasons for using a
darker paint for the lower portion of the wall, probably five feet
from the floor, are because this part is easily soiled and because the
refraction of light is not so necessary near the floor.
There is a great deal of difference of opinion regarding the merits
of a gloss surface and a dull surface paint, but the first probably
excels for convenience in cleaning. An ideal surface was presented
in some plants by white glazed walls, used particularly in several of
the large newspaper pressrooms, which reflected light efficiently and
were easy to clean. A substitute—white enameled brick—such as is
used in the largest plant in Washington and in quite a few other
places was also excellent. A large and superior looking plant in
Cincinnati was using a white gloss paint, which was waxed after
drying and permitted washing when dirty, was then waxed again,
and repainted next time. Similar proceedings were revealed in sev­
eral places, while in other establishments the walls were repainted
yearly, as in these cases effort was made to obtain the maximum ef­
ficiency of light. Cold-water jrnints had been tried in some estab­
lishments. While they are white they are very unsatisfactory, be­



LIGHTING----NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
102
cause they can not be washed, have a tendency to scale off and drop
into the machinery or on the work, absorb moisture, and soon turn
from white to gray. The walls of one two-story building in Milwaukee,
which had been painted with cold-water paint some time previous,
appeared a dirty gray and reduced the light efficiency about 30 per
cent. Several of the older buildings were finished with dark colored
wood that absorbed a great deal of light. In one establishment, oc­
cupying a two-story detached brick building in Richmond, walls
and ceilings were covered with wood finished in a dark color, neces­
sitating considerable artificial light (in spite of the windows in all
four sides of the building) which could have been practically elim­
inated if the interior had been painted white. In another plant,
located in Pittsburgh, the composing room occupied the third floor
of a five-story building. The majority of the room was well illumi­
nated, but the tall wainscoating around the room, the ceiling, and the
long balcony at one side (all of wood and finished in dark color)
absorbed a large quantity of the light. A third establishment, oc­
cupying a six-story corner building in New Orleans, had the walls
painted white, but on one floor these were almost covered with darkcolored wood cabinets, which absorbed most of the daylight, re­
quiring the use of considerable artificial illumination in daytime,
and the other two floors used for workrooms were in an almost simi­
lar condition, though more of the walls were exposed. White on
these cabinets would have reflected sufficient light from the win­
dows on the three sides of the building to practically eliminate all
artificial light in daytime.
Daylight is much to be preferred, under ordinary circumstances,
to artificial light, not alone from the effect on the eyesight, the gen­
eral health and vitality of the workers, and the efficiency or accu­
racy of their work, but also from the fact, shown by statistics, that
industrial accidents are more numerous during December, when the
largest quantity of artificial light is used, gradually decreasing up to
July, when there is most daylight, and then increasing again up to
December. In this survey the establishments were divided into
three classes for condition of daylight lighting—good, fair, and
bad. “ Good ” means that the daylight was sufficient under ordi­
nary conditions for the trade work performed in the establish­
ment, “ fair ” means that it was adequate in part of it but not in
all, while “ bad ” means that it was entirely insufficient. In the sum­
mary of tabulation (p. 228), under heading “ Condition of light”
and subhead “ Natural,” it is shown that 40.9 per cent of the plants
were good, 40.3 per cent fair, and 18.8 per cent bad, while 8 of the
establishments worked nights only, so were not considered in the
classification.
Artificial lighting is very important in the printing industry, as
many of the establishments work at night and a large number use
artificial illumination during the daytime on account of inadequate
supply of daylight. The quantity is usually sufficient, but the
quality is often neglected. The quality depends on the kind of light
used, its intensity, absence of glare, and adjustment with respect to
the workers. About 29 per cent of the establishments surveyed
were engaged in night work, ranging from a small percentage to the
entire production. In one-third of these the output at night was 50
per cent or more of the total production, ordinarily performed in



LIGHTING— NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL

103

two shifts, though a few plants were on a continuous operation basis.
A number of others were operated occasionally at night in emer­
gencies, but too spasmodically and seldom to figure, while some did
no night work at all. The operations in the printing trades require
sufficient illumination at the various points where the work is done
to see the finest detail without straining the eyes and to make adjust­
ments on machinery with facility and safety. At the same time it
is necessary to have sufficient illumination in the entire room to dis­
tinguish all objects clearly and not form any violent contrast with
other parts of the room. Insufficient light is very injurious to the
eyes and affects the general health.
There is no need to guess at locations for placing the lighting
units in a plant, because these can be scientifically ascertained to
suit requirements. Each room may require its own individual stand­
ard, according to the equipment it contains, the work to be done,
the height of the ceiling, and the color of walls, and this can easily
be determined by a competent illuminating engineer. Electric light
has practically replaced gas in industrial plants, creating better
hygienic conditions, as gas lights consumed a quantity of the oxygen
in the rooms, added to the impurities of the air, and raised the tem­
perature considerably. Of the plants surveyed, 524 were equipped
with electric light in some form, though 23 of them were supplied
with auxiliary gas lighting systems and 19 were partly using mer­
cury vapor lamps. Six other establishments were equipped with gas
lamps, three or four mantle type inclosed in large globes, and two of
these plants were also supplied with a few electric bulbs. Six addi­
tional plants were mainly lighted by mercury vapor lamps, though
using electric lights also m some parts of the buildings.
Some of the establishments, especially those equipped for night
work, had splendid installations of both indirect and direct types,
with fixtures located so no shadows were observed on the working
surfaces. The majority of plants were equipped with ordinary
transparent incandescent bulbs, single or in clusters, mostly pro­
vided with shades, but some without. Indirect lighting is, of course,
an ideal system and prevents glare. Diffusing globes, surrounding
the bulbs, also render a soft, pleasant light. A great variety of
shades and reflectors were used on ordinary bulbs, some good and
some bad, and in a number of places frosted bulbs were used.
The common cone-shaped tin reflectors may not be very ornamental,
but, if the light is placed at the proper height, this style is far
preferable to some of the more fancy shades used, such as those con­
sisting of transparent ribbed glass, because where these are used it
is necessary to hang the lights low, and they invariably throw a
strong glare into the eyes.
The largest plant in Washington was equipped with large trans­
parent shades, which were gradually being changed to large diffus­
ing globes, suspended by chains from the ceiling, that provided
ample and soft light. The shades in this case did not produce so
much glare, but as the lights were placed too close to the ceiling
most of the rays were directed, up ward through the shades and not
sufficient light was projected downward in proportion to the size of
the unit. A similar instance was found in the Middle West, in a build­
ing erected shortly before by a printing firm. The architect had
selected some special globes of transparent, ribbed glass with flat



104

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

tops and spherical bottoms, in which the bulbs were inclosed. The
globes were placed near the ceiling and looked very decorative but
were absolutely useless for giving light on the work. Most of it
was thrown on the ceiling and it was necessary to use drop cords
supplied with bulbs and ordinary tin reflectors to enable the opera­
tors to work. A few of the establishments showed considerable
disregard for, and neglect of, lighting facilities. One establishment
in Philadelphia, occupying the second floor of an inside building,
practically all one room, which had from 100 to 400 employees, ac­
cording to season, was equipped with naked, incandescent bulbs,
only a few of which were provided with shades. The room was
dark and gloomy and it was necessary to use lights, except close to
the windows at each end. Some of the workers had tried to lessen
the glare from the bulbs by placing paper shades around part of
them. An auxiliary stereotype foundry and pressroom to one of
the newspaper establishments in Detroit, located in the basement
of a separate building, revealed a very bad condition. The plant
was operated only on Friday and Saturday nights and the lighting
system had not been kept in proper repair, making it necessary for
the workers to string cords around the room to replace lights that
were out of commission. The workers employed did not care, as
long as they could work for the one night, because there were
continual changes in the personnel and others might handle the work
of the next shift. Several plants were found in which the bulbs
were so dimmed by accumulations of dust or smoke, created by the
operations, that the illumination was rendered very feeble and far
from adequate, or where the shades had been broken and not replaced,
except perhaps by paper substitutes placed on them by workers par­
ticularly affected by the glare, but such cases were mostly in smaller
establishments.
Mercury vapor lamps were used for general lighting in 6 of the
establishments and for illumination of some departments, or partial
illumination of all departments, in 19 others. In the majority of
places they were used in the composing rooms, especially on news­
papers. I t was claimed in these that, when first installed there were
a number of complaints from the workers, mainly on account of
the additional blue ray projected by the vapor and the consequent
apparent discoloration of the faces, but after about three or four
months’ constant use, it was declared preferable to any other style
and a change would have encountered violent objection. One large
book and job printing establishment in St. Louis, occupying a sixstory building, had at one time installed mercury vapor lamps all
through, but did not like them, so removed all except in the base­
ment and replaced them with incandescent bulbs, provided with
diffusing globes on some of the floors and with metal reflectors on
the rest. Several other plants expressed an altogether different
opinion. In one composing room in Boston about half of the space
was lighted by mercury vapor lamps and was said to give such good
results that it had been decided to replace the-ordinary incandescent
bulb system in the rest of the room with these. In another composing
room, located in Louisville, the mercury vapor lamps had been used
for some time over the make-up tables, and had also proved so satis­
factory there that it was intended to substitute others for the incan­



LIGHTING----NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL

105

descent lighting in the rest of the room. The statement was made
that the vapor lamps gave better illumination, were softer on the
eyes and, in addition, did not require the constant replacement nec­
essary with incandescent bulbs. The ceiling of the composing room
was very high and the lamps were placed about 9 feet above the
floor, but the reflectors diffused the light all around below them, so
there was no dark, contrasting space apparent. The same style of
lamps had been placed in the pressroom of this establishment but
with different result. The room was high, to accommodate three
and four deck presses, and the lamps had been suspended close to
the ceiling, so high up that the rays could not reach the floor with
sufficient strength for illumination, necessitating additional incan­
descent bulbs for practical use. Mercury vapor lamps are seldom
used in pressrooms on account of the blue ray which renders them
impractical for color work, though they were observed in seven of
the pressrooms visited. Binderies in four of the book and job
printing plants, where they were used in the composing rooms, were
equipped with them, two electrotyping establishments likewise, and
a number of lamps were used in a type foundry. They were prob­
ably used most extensively in a large plate and die engraving and
printing plant in Washington, where all the printing sections and
part of the photo-engraving department were equipped with them,
approximately one-half of the establishment. Some iridescent sun­
light globes were placed in certain parts of the rooms for con­
venience in color work connected with it. Rays from ordinary
incandescent bulbs do not blend well with those from the mercury
vapor lamps, on account of the contrast in color. There is also a
danger of getting too strong a light by placing the lamps too close
together, such as was noticed in one composing room in Cleveland,
in which the glare was very prominent. The superintendent ad­
mitted the light was obviously too strong but said that, when he
tried to diminish it after the fact was discovered, there was so much
objection to reduction by the workers that it was decided to leave
it alone.
In two of the establishments using mercury vapor lamps a condi­
tion was observed that also existed in other newspaper composing
rooms illuminated by other means. The linotypes, or intertypes, are
usually grouped together in one part of the composing room, while
another part is occupied by hand composition and imposition, two
operations which both require intensive light over a large surface.
The linotypes, however, do not necessitate high illumination over the
top of the machines for the ordinary operation and each is supplied
with a small individual lamp, covered with a shade, that throws
strong light immediately on the copy from which the operator works.
Consequently the space over the machines was often only poorly
supplied with illumination, or if lamps were placed there these were
usually kept turned off by the operators, who preferred the strong
light concentrated only on the small spot occupied by the copy.
This created a large dark space in the room, which might not affect
the machine operators but certainly was detrimental to those who
worked in another part which was well lighted, as the eyes were
bound to encounter this dark space from time to time during the
hours of work, creating additional eyestrain,



106

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

A number of the machines and other equipment used in the printing
trades are provided with individual, attached lamps to supplement
the general illumination and enable the workers to direct stronger
beams on special operation points. To prevent glare in the eyes of
the operators these are practically always covered with shades that
at the same time act as reflectors, and are often used, even in good
daylight, during the time the machine is operated. This, for in­
stance, is the case on linotypes or intertypes, which are often placed
so the light from the window falls directly over the backs of the
operators on to the copy, though in other plants they are arranged so
the operators are seated sideways to the windows, the most ideal
arrangement from a lighting standpoint, allowing free access for
receiving new copy or taking away the finished product, but is
objected to on account of the extra floor space required. Where the
work is performed at night the relative location of machines and
windows is of no importance, and a number of offices have the ma­
chines placed so the operators face the walls. Very few operators will
work without artificial light, even where daylight is good, and
only one instance was discovered where the auxiliary lamps were
not used. This was a small establishment in Richmond, which had
two machines located in one corner of the composing room on the
first floor, with windows in the wall back of the operators and in the
wall at the side of one machine. The ceilings were high, the walls
painted white, and the windows large and clean—all contributing
factors.
Exits and stairways do not require so high a degree of lighting
and, as a rule, are sufficiently supplied, but attention was called to
two incidents in connection with this feature. In one large estab­
lishment in New York the workers had fallen into the habit of
shutting off some of the lights on the stairways, which were located
in the center of the building and were not supplied with natural
light. This was overcome by placing locks on the push buttons in
the walls so the lights could be extinguished only with the aid of the
key. This incident was due to careless action on the part of the
employees, while the following falls at the door of the employers.
A large establishment, situated in Philadelphia, turned off all the
lights in the building when the machines were stopped at night,
regardless of how the workers found their way out. Some of the
female help suffered indignities while groping their way down the
dark, inside stairs, but protests to the firm were ignored and in­
structions from the industrial board, for keeping the lights burn­
ing, went unheeded quite a while. The board finally took active
steps to enforce the ruling and the lights were afterwards kept burn­
ing on the stairways until all employees had left the building. In
one book and job printing establishment in Richmond a somewhat
unusual occurrence was noted, of the light created in one plant af­
fecting conditions in another. Part of the second floor of the twostory and basement building occupied by the establishment con­
tained a small photo-engraving plant, which was separated by parti­
tions from the main plant. These partitions did not extend up to
the ceiling and, consequently, the intermittent glare from the ex­
posure lamps by the camera in the gallery of the photo-engraving
plant was projected over the partitions into the composing room of



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

107

the other plant, located by the side of it, giving the effect of glare
from lightning, though more protracted, a condition bound to create
a disturbing influence.
The establishments surveyed were divided for artificial, as well
as for natural lighting, into good, fair, and bad, with the result
given in the summary of the tabulation (p. 228), under heading
“ Condition of light” and subhead 64Artificial,” of 28 per cent good,
53.5 per cent fair, and 18.5 per cent bad. “ Good ” means that the
plants appeared to have an ample supply of a good quality of arti­
ficial light, not too strong and free from glare. “ Fair ” is used where
part of the plant was well supplied with ample and good style of
lighting but the balance was not, or where the entire lighting system
was not of the best and still could not be considered absolutely un­
suitable or detrimental to the workers. “ B ad” denotes that the
supply was inadequate or of such a quality that it would be judged
injurious to those working in it.
VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

Fresh and pure air is a vital necessity to health, and an industrial
establishment needs an abundant supply, because people who per­
form physical labor breathe more rapidly than those who are still. It
is estimated that a man sitting still requires about 2,400 cubic feet
of fresh air per hour, 3,200 when doing light work, and 6,000 when
doing hard work, to keep healthy. It is consequently important to
furnish air to an establishment where workers are occupied, and
especially one in the printing trades. In these the air is not only
polluted by the breath of those working in it, but dust, fumes, and
gases are developed in the processes and contaminate it still further,
particularly where the machines are not equipped with special
ventilating devices to carry these off. A poorly ventilated room
affects the health of the workers, but, in addition, also affects the
pocketbook of the employer, through decreased efficiency. The ma­
jority of printing-trade plants depend upon natural ventilation for
the building, through openings such as doors, windows, transoms,
air shafts, and pores, crevices or cracks in the walls. The simplest
method of obtaining fresh air is by opening the windows, but this is
not always satisfactory. If they are carefully placed and properly
constructed, a fairly good ventilation may be obtained when properly
supervised, but they seldom distribute the air evenly, and the workers
employed near the windows often complain of cold and draft. The
modern type of window pivots at the center and opens in such a
manner that the incoming air is deflected upward against the
ceiling. A somewhat similar arrangement is found in quite a few
plants, provided with old-fashioned window .sashes that slide up
and down. Slanting shields or deflectors are placed on the window
sills, which permits raising the bottom sashes to let the fresh air in
and deflect it upward. Even then the workers close by the windows,
especially in the composing rooms, will insist on keeping them closed,
no matter how much others in the back part of the room desire fresh
air, and during cold weather in the winter months the windows are,
as a rule, kept tightly closed.
45331°—25-----8




108

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Each process in the industry differs considerably from the others
and each has special requirements that enter into the ventilation
problem for that part of the plant occupied by it. There are sev­
eral features connected with ventilation that affect the air inside a
building, such as temperature, humidity, and movement of the air.
Some of the processes require a certain condition of temperature,
while others develop an excess of it. A fixed amount of humidity
is demanded for the best results of certain special classes of work.
In some departments the air is kept practically still and in others it is
agitated to a certain extent by the movement of the machinery.
The construction of the building, its surroundings, the location of
the plant in the building, the proportionate cubic contents of air in
the rooms, or fumes, gases, and dust created by the processes, all
play an important part, especially where natural ventilation alone
is resorted to. Breathing of the air unquestionably reduces the oxy­
gen in a room, unless fresh air is supplied, and exhaling the breath
distributes carbon dioxide, which to a certain extent contaminates
the air together with the volatile substances thrown off by the bodies
in perspiration. These do not, however, affect the air to any great
extent and, if no other causes were present, would usually be taken
care of by air entering doors and windows, or through crevices in the
building. The body heat given off by a large number of people
placed together in a small workroom, which raises the temperature
and increases the moisture, has a far more detrimental influence.
For that reason there should always be sufficient space in a work­
room to eliminate any danger fpom that source, estimated by au­
thorities £t approximately 400 cubic feet of air to each worker.
The temperature of a workroom is one of the influential factors
in health and comfort, but is closely allied with humidity and the
movement of the air, together with the physical exertions of the
workers. Humidity is the moisture, or water vapor, mixed with the
air in varying quantities, depending upon its temperature. Cold
air is capable of holding only a very small quantity of water vapor,
about one-half grain per cubic foot of air at zero, while at 70°
Fahrenheit it will require 8 grains per cubic foot to saturate it, and
at 83°, 12 grains per cubic foot. Air may, however, contain varying
quantities of moisture at the same temperature and the amount of
this, termed relative humidity and really constituting the govern­
ing factor, is expressed in terms of percentage of the amount of
vapor actually present in the air compared with all the moisture
the air can hold at that certain temperature. A comfortable air
condition is one which involves higher temperatures when the air
is dry than when it is moist, or when the air is moving than when
it is stationary, and can not be determined by the temperature alone.
Conditions created by a temperature of 64° Fahrenheit, and the air
saturated by moisture, varies only slightly from those resulting from
a temperature of 70° combined with about 45 per cent relative hu­
midity, or experienced from a temperature of 76° with 10 per cent
relative humidity.
The commonly accepted standard for desirable temperature varies
from 60° to 65° Fahrenheit, with about 50 per cent relative humidity,
for work requiring considerable exertion to approximately 70°, with
similar humidity, for people sitting still. It has been found that



v entila tio n op bu il d in g s and e q u ipm e n t

109

the vitality is affected by increase in temperature and humidity so
that physical work performed in a room decreased 28 per cent when
the temperature was raised from 68° with 50 per cent humidity to
86° with 80 per cent humidity. Movement of the air is also highly
essential, as stagnant air is very depressing and causes discomfort
somewhat similar to that caused by excessive humidity. Some estab­
lishments keep the windows open at all times, when the weather
permits. Others keep them open between working hours, to change
the air completely. Still others open them at regular intervals, such
as the largest establishment in Washington, where each window
was opened for five minutes each forenoon and afternoon during
the winter to admit the fresh air. Employees stationed close by
the windows were permitted to leave the work during this period,
if the draft became too strong. Another large book and job print­
ing plant in the same city opens all windows during lunch hour.
Several others were found in various places using one of these
methods. In southern plants it is possible to keep the windows open
practically all the year round under normal conditions, but in the
northern part of the country the weather may prevent this. The
direction of the wind also has quite an influence. One establishment,
located in the southwest corner of the ninth floor in a twelve-story
building in Philadelphia, emphasized the fact that it was practically
impossible to keep the windows open during the summer months,
as the strong prevailing winds blow from the southwest during the
summer and would interfere with the work. Some places were
affected by other outside conditions, such as smoke and soot from
railroad yards or from other industries, which often necessitate
closing of windows to keep the work clean. A few buildings were
provided with ducts placed near the ceilings, through which the
warm air escaped from the rooms and some cold air entered. Among
the establishments surveyed, 361 depended entirely on natural venti­
lation. These were classed in three groups, as shown by the summary
of tabulation (p. 228), under head of “ Ventilation of building” and
subhead “ Natural,” with the result that 43.5 per cent were listed as
good, 39.3 per cent as fair, and 17.2 per cent as bad. “ Good ” means
that proper atmospheric conditions were maintained in the plant,
“ fair ” that part of it was open to criticism regarding purity of air,
quality of temperature, or humidity, while “ bad ” is used for an
establishment containing oppressive air, excessive humidity, or un­
comfortable temperature, sometimes coupled with unpleasant odors
and fumes, gases, or dust from the operations.
A number of large establishments were provided with artificial
ventilating systems for the building, either plenum or vacuum type.
A plenum system is where the air is propelled or forced into the
room by means of fans, and a vacuum system is where it is exhausted
from the rooms by means of fans. Either may consist of large ducts,
placed in the walls or pillars, or projecting into the rooms, in a
connected system, operated by a large inclosed fan, but may also
consist of one or more large rotary fans located in the windows or
outside walls and installed to either blow air in or pull it out, or be
reversible so it can be used for the first operation in summer and
for the latter in winter. The establishments visited which were pro­
vided with mechanical appliances for supplying fresh air or remov­
ing bad air, totaling 175, were divided for purpose of tabulation into



110

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

four main groups, as listed in the summary of tabulation (p. 228)
under head of “ Ventilation of building ” with subhead “Artificial,”
according to type of system used. A further analysis shows that
4.6 per cent were provided with combination plenum and exhaust
systems throughout the plant, 6.9 per cent with plenum for the
entire plant but exhaust for part only, 5.7 per cent with plenum only
for the whole plant, 15.4 per cent with plenum and exhaust for part
of the establishment, 1.7 per cent with plenum alone for part of it,
11.4 per cent with exhaust in all departments, and 54.3 per cent with
exhaust for part of these only. Each of the four principal groups
is subdivided in the table into good, fair, and bad, with practically
similar meanings as applied to these conditions under natural ven­
tilation. The total results for the establishments equipped with arti­
ficial ventilation are 42.8 per cent good, 48.6 fair, and 8.6 bad.
The ideal air condition of a working room is one which can be
controlled at all times, regardless of the outdoor temperature and
the influence of the weather. This can be accomplished efficiently
only by using combination plenum and exhaust systems, where the
air can be supplied to the room through a conditioning apparatus
in any desired quantity, washed and cleaned, heated or cooled,
charged with moisture or with excessive moisture removed, and
distributed uniformly, at the same time drawing out the impure air
from the building. Where plenum alone is used the polluted air is
not necessarily removed but is diluted and mixed with the fresh air
supplied, usually with good result. Considerable depends, however,
on the manner m which it is supplied. It may be introduced into
the room through a conditioning apparatus, or simply be propelled
into the room by a fan inserted in the outside wall, in which latter
case the quality of air would be the same as outside the building.
The. exhaust system, which is the simplest, only removes the impure
air from the room and, if used alone, ordinarily consists of rotary
fans placed in the outside wall, that pull the air directly out.
Fumes, gases, and dust can easily be rendered harmless if carried
away from their source by proper ventilating devices. The equip­
ment used for such purpose is closely connected with the problem
of ventilation for the building itself, because it prevents the sur­
rounding air space from contamination and, in addition, acts partly
as an exhaust tor the room. Its application varies considerably ac­
cording to the different processes in the trades and, consequently,
that part of the summary (p. 228) prepared for this subject has been
divided to fit the main processes which require special ventilation on
the equipment, under that heading, separated into “ Composing,”
“ Photo-engraving,” “ Stereotyping,” “ Electrotyping,” and “ Other
equipment.” The last-named group consists of miscellaneous equip­
ment in the pressroom or bindery, and that used for other oper­
ations.
The summary shows that the composing equipment was provided
with mechanical ventilation in 273 plants, 41.4 per cent of these
classed as good, 28.2 per cent as fair, and 30.4 as bad. “ Good ” means
that the equipment was provided with devices or mechanical means
to thoroughly prevent pollution of the surrounding atmosphere with
fumes, gases, or dust from the operations, “ fair ” means that the ma­
jority of the equipment was provided in similar manner, and “ bad ”
means that the air around it was contaminated.



111
Authorities have agreed for years that the operations in which
type metal is handled or melted constitute a menace to health un­
less proper precautions are taken, but do not all have the same
opinion regarding the actual source from which so-called lead poi­
soning is derived. Some claim it is contracted from the fumes
given off by the metal pots used on type-casting machines, others
that lead dust is the most prominent factor, while others claim
that the main danger exists in contact through handling the
metal. The latter is one risk that can not be eliminated and which,
while mainly affecting the hand compositor, also is shared by the
machine operator, who must handle the metal to a certain extent.
This is, however, a question of sanitation together with personal
cleanliness of the worker. The disposal of the fumes from the
metal pots on type-casting machines or ingot furnaces, as well as
the dust problem, can be solved easily by proper mechanical means,
combined with sanitary precautions for the dust. Until it is proved
absolutely, as some contend, that there are no dangers from the
fumes of type metal as liberated in composing rooms, all efforts
should be made to prevent any possibility of jeopardizing the
health, and even life, of the workers employed in the industry.
This fact has been recognized by the legislation in a number of
States, which provides for exhaust in some form on type-casting
machines and ingot-casting furnaces, to carry fumes and gases out
of the room. The dust question has not been disposed of, except in
a few cases, but is usually regulated by the workers themselves.
Legislation does not, of course, always mean enforcement, and
the observations in the survey were not conducted with a view of
whether the plants were living up to these or not, but merely
whether the health of the workers was protected in a sensible manner
or abused through the neglect of the establishments or, perhaps,
carelessness of the workers themselves. It was found that less than
half of the composing rooms were in what was deemed a proper
condition, and less than one-third fair, with slightly less than onethird bad. In the majority of the establishments contained in the
third class there was considerable complaint from the workers re­
garding bad health, which in most cases was attributed by them to
fumes from the metal pots. This was mostly in small establish­
ments containing only a few machines, but was also the case in a few
large ones that did not like the idea of hoods and pipes on the
casting machines and were disposing of the fumes by means of ex­
haust fans located in the windows or walls. While this method will
expel the fumes from the building in an effective manner, provided
the fan or fans have sufficient capacity, it can not be considered a
healthful method at all. The fans are naturally located some dis­
tance from the source of fumes or gases that are to be expelled, and
consequently these have to travel through the air between the two
points, polluting it the entire distance, and invariably being inhaled
by any one passing through that stratum.
The majority ox type-casting machines are located in newspaper
establishments, several of which were equipped with batteries con­
taining over 50 machines, one having 100 machines. This number
was exceeded only by the number contained in the largest printing
establishment m Washington. In most of the modern plants the
VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT




HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
112
ordinary line-casting machines, linotypes or intertypes, were pro­
vided with electrically heated metal pots, which seem to eliminate the
necessity for piping the fumes created by the metal, and indicated
that the detrimental influence on the health of the operator is not
caused by the fumes from the lead or antimony contained in the pot,
but by the gas fuel used for heating it.
This can not, of course, be absolutely determined without com­
paring the accurate analysis of air secured from over electrically
heated metal pots with the analysis of air over gas-heated metal pots,
but the accompanying information secured confirmed the theory that
the pollution of atmosphere around composing machines is really
caused by gases and fumes from the fuel gas where this is used, and
that illuminating or fuel gas is the most vital factor in the health
question for the printing trades at the present time, and is extremely
detrimental unless proper ventilation is provided. Some plants had
splendid ventilating systems, with large hoods covering the metal
pots and large pipes extending from these to main ducts, provided
with powerful exhaust fans, which removed all fumes from the build­
ing. Others were decidedly different, sometimes from the belief that
if the window ventilation was good there was no further protection
needed, sometimes from ignorance of the importance of ventilation,
and sometimes from reluctance to expenditure necessary for installa­
tion of mechanical devices. Linographs and typographs were also
found equipped with electrically heated or gas-heated metal pots.
In the latter case they were sometimes provided with hoods and
pipes, but other establishments had no device for removing the
fumes. Monotype casting machines were practically all equipped
with gas-heated metal pots, though a few electrically heated pots
were found. Three different methods were used for removing the
fumes from monotype casting machines equipped with gas fuel.
One method was similar to that used for linotypes, hoods cover­
ing the pot and piped to a fan exhaust. Another method was
to use a pipe that was connected with a fan exhaust, the other
end of the pipe being fitted over the exhaust orifice in the pot
and having a connecting pipe extending from about a foot above
the pot to a point near the surface of the molten metal, calculated to
absorb all fumes from it. The third method consisted in placing a
piece of pipe, about 2 feet in length, over the orifice in the metal
pot to act as a chimney, for the gas. As this extends only approxi­
mately 5 feet above the floor, the fumes and gases are liberated into
the room at that level and, even though eventually expelled from the
building by an exhaust fan in the outside wall or window, create a
very undesirable condition.
There is usually more or less smoke and odor around mono­
type casting machines, caused by minor quantities of acrolein
fumes, especially whenever an extra heavy supply of oil is poured
on the machines. The Elrod slug-casting machine seemed to pre­
sent the worst individual condition, on account of having gas flames
burning in three different places, together with a metal pot with
large surface area. It was only in a few instances found equipped
with a hood, though this is one machine that should especially be
provided with protection for the operator. Altogether there were




VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

113

3,575 type-casting machines of the various kinds in the establish­
ments inspected, 64.7 per cent of which were equipped with gasfuel metal pots and 35.3 per cent with electrically heated metal
pots, as shown in the table under summary of tabulation, headed
“ Fuel of typesetting machines” (p. 228). One additional machine
was equipped with a metal pot heated by gasoline, seldom found
except in small communities not provided with gas, and was in­
stalled before the electric pot was perfected sufficiently.
The metal used for casting machines consists of lead, antimony,
and tin in varying proportions. The base metal is lead, but as this
alone would be too soft and lacks other necessary qualities, anti­
mony is added to give it fluidity when molten and hardness when
cold. Tin is mixed in to make the alloy tougher, to increase the
fluidity, and to allow casting at lower temperature, as well as to
materially assist in forming a smooth face on the type. The pro­
portions vary according to the kind of machine in which the metal
is to be used, and further according to individual requirements. The
metal intended for line-casting machines, which is the softest, usually
consists of about 85 per cent of lead, 10 per cent of antimony, and 5
per cent of tin, while for unitype-casting machines it ranges from
this to 72 per cent of lead, 19 per cent of antimony, and 9 per cent
of tin—an extreme mixture used for special work. Lead melts at
621° F., when pure, and antimony at 1,166°, but when anti­
mony is alloyed with lead the melting point is reduced below 621°,
gradually growing less with the addition of more antimony. When
the alloy contains approximately 12 per cent of antimony the alloy
melts at 475°. Increasing the percentage of antimony above that
point will increase the melting point of the alloy in proportion. Tin
which melts at 450° F., does not reduce the melting point of the
alloy appreciably. Other metals are occasionally present but rarely
exceed 1 per cent of the alloy, and are usually mixed in to modify
slightly the main constituents.
The ingot-casting furnace also adds to unpleasant conditions in
some establishments. The large plants are usually provided with
large, well-made furnaces for remelting the metal used in type­
casting machines, and a number of them have molds (for the ingots)
attached on the furnace and filled from a spout or by means of a
force pump. They are also customarily located in separate rooms
and provided with exhaust pipes. In newspaper establishments they
are commonly located in the stereotyping department, but in small
book and job or periodical or type composition plants they can often
be found directly in the composing room. They are sometimes very
flimsily constructed out of thin sheet iron, which is easily battered
out of shape and, consequently, even though the doors or hoods may
fit well at first, there are often large crevices through which the smoke
pours in volumes while the old type and refuse is remelted. The
smaller ingot metal furnaces are usually not equipped with spouts
and it is then necessary for the operator to open the doors, dip out the
metal with a ladle, and pour it into the molds which are placed on
the floor or on a bench by the side of the furnace. The doors must
also be opened to permit skimming off the dross, which floats on top,
or to shovel in more metal, which gives a chance for additional fumes
to escape, especially where the pipe outlet is not supplied with ample



114

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

mechanical exhaust or, as sometimes is the case, is just piped to a
flue with natural draft. These fumes consist of acrolein, produced
by heating the oil and ink on the old type to the decomposition
point, and may not be dangerous, because emitted in small quanti­
ties, but they irritate the mucous membranes of the nose and throat,
inflame the eyes, produce a suffocating feeling and, when a large
quantity is encountered, produce a violent nausea.
Ingot-casting furnaces also give off more or less heat, which will
affect the workers and may create additional unpleasant conditions
when the furnaces are located directly in the composing rooms.
Heat, as well as humidity, is also created in sofrie of the composing
rooms in newspaper establishments by stereotype molding depart­
ments, placed along one side without any separation between the two
processes and, in the majority of cases, without provision for ex­
pelling the heat generated by the steam tables, permitting it to be
absorbed by the surroundings. In newspaper plants the line-casting
machines are usually located together with hand composition in the
same room, placed at one side or in one corner, and a similar con­
dition is often found in other establishments, but this need not be
detrimental in the least to the hand compositors, provided the proper
methods are used for ventilation of the machines. Monotype casting
machines are usually separated from the other operations by parti­
tions, partly on account of the noise created by them and partly to
localize the fumes. Monotype keyboard operators are often located
in special rooms, as are the proof readers.
Some examples of good or bad features in ventilation of plants
and equipment, observed in the various cities, will probably ex­
plain the present conditions better. No attempt is made to compare
one city with another, but examples are given at random and any
of them from one city can probably be duplicated in nearly any other
one of the localities visited.
A large book and job printing establishment in Atlanta, located in
a single-story building with good chance for natural ventilation from
windows all around, had found it necessary to install exhaust ducts,
extending from each end of the building to near the center and pro­
vided with a suction fan at each end, as the windows could not be
kept open in summer on account of smoke and dirt from the railroad
(by the side of which the plant was situated), and the air in the
center of the large room would otherwise become very uncomfortable.
The composing room was equipped with six line-casting machines
provided with electric fuel melting pots and one machine with gas
fuel, seldom used, all placed at one end of the building surrounded
by glass-top partitions, and the air in the inclosure did not seem
different from the rest. A newspaper establishment in the same city
was equipped with 18 line-casting machines and 3 monotype casters,
all with gas fuel metal pots. The line-casting machines had been
provided with hoods and pipes, but most of these had been tom
down. The monotype casters were equipped with 2-foot pipes only.
The composing room was located on the top floor of a five-story
building. An exhaust fan had been fixed in the ceiling over 10 of
the line-casting machines, which were placed in one side of the room;
another fan had been fixed in the center of the ceiling. Considerable
odor of gas was noticeable all around the machines and, in addition,



VENTILATION OP BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

115

there was a large quantity of fumes in the room from the stereotyping
department, including both molding and foundry, which was located
by the side of the composing room and only partly separated from it.
On investigation it was found that the hood on the stereotype metal
kettle had a large opening in front to permit use of the two force
pumps in it, and that the pipe from the hood was partly discon­
nected, allowing the smoke from both metal and gas fuel to escape.
Similar condition of pipe was found on the ingot-casting furnace,
which was placed, together with a small dross burner, in a small
separate room. The compositors complained considerably of stomach
trouble and seemed to think it was from lead poisoning but the odor
in the room would indicate that the trouble was caused by gas used
for fuel. Similar symptoms were claimed by the stereotypers. A
small book and job printing establishment in the same city had only
one type-casting machine, provided with a gas fuel metal pot, which
was not piped until two years previous. The operator complained
of stomach trouble and blamed it on the fumes from the machine,
with the result that it was fixed.
A newspaper establishment in Baltimore was equipped with five
line-casting machines provided with electric pots and one Elrod
slug caster with gas fuel, which did not have any device for removal
of iumes. The room had windows on both sides and two exhaust
fans had been placed in the windows by the machines. The stereo­
typing department, both molding and foundry, was located by the
side of the composing room, separated from it by a wood partition
with sliding doors. A new floor had been placed over the old one
in the composing room, preventing the doors from closing, and the
partition had openings above it between the exposed joists in the
ceiling, which permitted fumes to escape into the composing room.
The stereotype metal kettle had no hood over the metal but the gas
fuel was piped, as well as the gas fuel from a small boiler for steam
tables. These pipes and a pipe from a small hooded kettle for ingot
metal and one from a small inclosed dross burner, all led to a larger
pipe out a window. An exhaust fan was located in a window by the
metal kettle, but the compositors claimed that fumes from the stereo­
typing department contaminated the otherwise good air in the com­
posing room. Another newspaper plant in the same city had an
equipment of 32 line-casting machines, provided with gas fuel metal
pots and automatic metal feeders on these. The machines, which
were not piped, were placed in three rows along a wall to the court
of the building, in which two exhaust fans had been placed. The
odor of gas was very strong in the vicinity of the machines. A sepa­
rate room contained 11 monotype casters—all gas fuel and short
exhaust pipes—and two slug casters, one caster being provided with
an electric pot. A balcony above this room, containing dressing room
and lockers, was full of fumes (from the machines) which were not
expelled sufficiently by the windows. The stereotype flat casting de­
partment, which was located adjoining together with the molding
department and only partly separated from the composing room,
contained one metal kettle for flat casts, not provided with a hood
but with gas fuel piped out, and one for ingot metal, which had a
hood with a collapsible pipe leading out of a window. A fan was
located in the window by the flat cast kettle but the ftunes were



116

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

strong in the room and drifted into the composing room, as well as
into the proof room, placed on a balcony above the stereotyping de­
partment. The building had originally been supplied with hot air
heat through grates in the walls from a furnace in the basement,
but this was used only for the burning of waste and the heating was
done by steam radiators, with steam secured from an outside plant.
A third newspaper establishment in the same city was equipped
with 36 line-casting machines, with gas fuel, not piped but provided
with three exhaust fans in the wall. The ceiling was low, the
windows closed, and there were considerable fumes in the room.
It is doubtful if the opening of windows would have helped much, be­
cause while the room occupied the top floor the building was only
three stories above ground, located on an inside lot and surrounded
by tall structures. The stereotype molding department, situated in
one end of the composing room, helped to render conditions unde­
sirable. Four slug-casting machines were placed in a separate room
in the sub-basement. These had gas fuel pots, provided with short
exhaust pipes only, and the room was filled with fumes. The firm
admitted that conditions were undesirable and stated that the plant
had been somewhat neglected lately on account of contemplated re­
moval to a new building, then in progress of construction, which was
declared to include a combination of all desirable factors for ideal
working conditions. A small book and job printing establishment
in the same city had composition, presswork, and binding together
in one room, bunched in departments but crowded. The machine
equipment of the composing department consisted of two monotype
casters with gas fuel and short exhaust pipes. An exhaust fan was
located in a window by the casters and disposed of most of the fumes
from them, but it also pulled the fumes through the room from gas
burners on several cylinder and automatic presses in it, thus con­
taminating the intervening air space.
One large offset and lithographic printing establishment in Boston
was provided with an artificial plenum and exhaust air conditioning
system, which changed the air every 15 minutes, regulating the tem­
perature and humidity. It was installed mainly to keep the paper in
proper condition for color printing by maintaining suitable condi­
tions inside the plant at all times, but it also created a healthful
atmosphere for the workers, free from all outside influences. A
newspaper plant in the same city had provided its building with a
plenum and exhaust system, with intake on the roof, especially
necessary in this case for the several sub-basements, in which the
stereotype foundry and pressrooms were located; and in addition had
equipped the line-casting machines, monotypes, and ingot-casting
furnace, located in separate rooms on the third and second floors,
with artificial exhaust systems of hoods, pipes, and fans, all of which
kept the air in good condition.
Another newspaper establishment there had installed a plenum
and exhaust system for the photo-engraving, stereotyping, and presswork departments, with large ducts and fan exhaust in walls for the
rest, except on the fourth floor, where the composing room was lo­
cated. The walls in this room extended to the top of the fifth story
and the ceiling was provided with three natural draft openings for
ventilation. The 39 line-casting machines, placed together with hand



VENTILATION OB BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

llY

composition, were equipped with gas fuel pots and 2-foot exhaust
pipes only. The firm claimed that it would have installed electric
pots on the machines, but were doubtful of successful operation, and
were preparing to extend the plenum and exhaust system to include
the composing room and the newsroom on the floor below it. Three
monotype casting machines and an ingot metal furnace, all provided
with pipe exhaustf were located in a separate inclosure. One large
composition and electrotyping plant in the same locality was housed
in single-story connecting buildings with natural ventilation. The
air in the composing room was good, except in the monotype casting
department, which was closed off from the rest by partitions and
supplied with an exhaust fan in the outside wall. The 12 casting
machines were provided with gas fuel pots and 2-foot exhaust
pipes, and the fumes were quite noticeable in the inclosure. The
melting kettle for ingot metal was located in one corner of the main
composing room but was provided with a good hood and piped out.
No complaint was made about it. One establishment in the city was
equipped with three monotype casters, with gas fuel and short
exhaust pipes, located on the third floor of a six-story building in a
separate room, with an exhaust fan in the wall which changed the
air every six minutes. The machines had previously been provided
with hoods and piped out, but it was claimed that this did not work
nearly so satisfactorily. The reason was probably that natural draft
was depended on to carry the fumes out of the building through the
pipes, something which rarely can be accomplished. The fumes will
rise when hot but they cool rapidly and, as the specific gravity is
just a shade heavier than the natural air, they have a tendency to
sink if the temperature is equal. A slight pressure by wind outside
of the building would also send them through the pipe back into
the room.
In another plant of the city, situated in a large, double-story
height room, which was supplied with washed air plenum and
exhaust ducts, the two monotype casters were inclosed by glass par­
titions, eliminating the benefits of the ventilating system from that
part. They were provided with gas fuel pots and the usual short
pipes, and a large exhaust fan was located in the outside wall. The
fan, however, was not in operation at time of the visit and the air
was polluted by fumes, an act of disregard for proper conditions on
the part of the operator himself. When attention was called to the
fact, he started the fan and the inclosure was rapidly cleared.
Workers are apt to get so used to certain conditions created by the
work that they overlook the possible danger and neglect to take nec­
essary precautions.
A very bad condition was found in a small newspaper establish­
ment in Charleston, S. C., which occupied a three-story comer build­
ing. The composing room was located in the second story, with the
stereotype molding and foundry department in an extension of the
building in the rear, about half the width of the main part and
separated from it by a wall with a large archway. The entrance to
the second floor was through a door in the rear wall of the composing
room, with access from an outside stairway. The front wall and the
wall of the stereotyping department facing the court both contained
several windows. Six line-casting machines, with gas fuel pots, were
ranged along the inside wall and the operators objected to open­



118

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

ing the front windows, due to draft when the door in the rear was
opened. The room was full of fumes from the machines, as there was
no outlet whatever, and added to this were the fumes from the stereo­
typing department, where the metal kettle and ingot casting furnace
had been piped for the gas fuel only, but not provided with hoods
over the metal. A small ventilation trap over the metal kettle
was supposed to expel the fumes from it, but the blackened condi­
tion of walls and ceiling showed that a great deal was not taken
out. The ceiling over the line-casting machines, was similarly dis­
colored. The condition was extremely unpleasant, especially when
the metal was being melted. The compositors and the stereotypers
complained of severe stomach trouble and of a dull, heavy feeling
shortly after coming to work. The plant had been established about
six years with these conditions, but it had changed hands shortly
before the inspection and improvements were under way. Electric
pots had been ordered for the line-casting machines, a contract let
for skylights, and the new firm declared it was going to be changed
to a suitable place for the work.
Another newspaper in that city was equipped with seven line­
casting machines and one monotype caster, all with gas fuel pots,
located on the top floor of a two-story building. In the beginning
the machines were not provided with any device for removal of
fumes, in spite of complaints from the workers. One of the opera­
tors died and suit was brought against the newspaper, claiming
lead poisoning as a result of the inadequate protection against the
fumes. The firm, stated that, while they were sure it was kidney
trouble instead of lead poisoning, they settled the case out of court.
Workers in the trade mentioned that the cause may have been doubt­
ful but that hoods and pipes were supplied to the machines directly
afterwards.
One of the newspaper establishments in Chicago, which was
equipped with a plenum and exhaust system, obtained its fresh air
supply from the tunnel under the city and maintained a tempera­
ture of less than 70° F. in summer. The large battery of line-casting
machines in the composing room was provided with electric pots;
two monotype casters and one Elrod caster were supplied with
hoods and pipe and suction fan to remove fumes from the metal
and gas fuel, leaving the air free from noticeable contamination.
Another newspaper in the city had the majority of its line-casting
machines in the main composing room. These were, except three,
supplied with gas fuel pots and provided with hoods, piped to a
duct out on the roof with an exhaust fan. The “ ad ” room, which
was separated from the main composing room, contained eight linecasting machines, also with gas fuel pots and similarly provided
with pipes, but the main duct for these pipes was only five inches
in diameter, altogether too small to carry the fumes and, in addition,
was not provided with an exhaust fan. Consequently the fumes were
very noticeable in the room at the time, though according to later
information this condition had been remedied by installation of
a fan. Two Elrod casters, located in the same room, were pro­
vided with hoods and piped out, with a fan attached. The ingot­
casting furnace, which was situated in a separate room, was simi­
larly supplied. In one composition and electrotyping establish­
ment in the same city two of the line-casting machines were equipped



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

119

with electric pots. The other three were provided with gas fuel pots
and one of these was piped to a duct with a suction fan, but the
pipes had been removed from the others. They were located in the
main composing room, which occupied the principal part of the
floor. Seven monotype casters, located in an adjoining room, were
equipped with short pipes. Three of these extended up into hoods,
connected by pipes with the main duct for the line-casting machines,
but on two of them the pipes had rotted off and two were not con­
nected. The windows in this room were partly open but the room
was full of fumes, and fumes were also strong in the main room.
One large book and job printing establishment in Cincinnati had
a good plenum system with large ducts through the seven-story
building. The air was washed and, if necessary, heated by steam
from the boilers in the plant. Another book printing plant, which
occupied a three-story building, detached and with plenty of air
space all around, did not depend on the natural ventilation but had
a plenum and exhaust system, using washed air part of the time
and keeping the plant at a desirable temperature in hot summer
weather. As there was no gas in the building there were not many
fumes to be carried out. A different application of exhaust to remove
fumes from an ingot metal kettle was seen in a newspaper establish­
ment in the same city. Instead of the usual cone-shaped hood and
pipe arrangement a large square hood was placed well outside of the
circumference of the kettle from the ceiling to seven feet above the
floor, with an exhaust fan near the top in one side, which was formed
by an outside wall. The fumes were all kept inside of the hood.
A newspaper establishment in Cleveland had 20 line-casting ma­
chines, provided with electric pots, but 18 of these were equipped
with automatic metal feeders, consisting of a holder for the metal
bar, placed above the metal pot and supplied with a gas flame which
melted the metal from the bottom, letting it drip down into the open
pot. Long hoods had been placed down over the pots and the me­
chanical feeders, provided with a door at one side for easy renewal
of the metal bar, effectually preventing escape of fumes, and were
piped to a main exhaust duct with a fan. Two others were provided
with another kind of metal feeder that covered the top of the pot,
except for the hole, through which a long, thin bar of metal slid
gradually down into the molten metal of the pot, but which did not
permit escape of fumes. Two typographs and one slug-casting
machine were also equipped with electric pots but not piped, as no
automatic feeders were supplied. One Elrod slug caster, which was
equipped with gas fuel, had a large hood piped to the main exhaust
duct for the machines. The ingot metal furnace was located in the
stereotype flat cast department, on the same floor but in a separate
room. Electrically heated metal feeders, otherwise similar to those
using gas fuel, were being tried out by another newspaper of the
city, and if successful would eliminate the necessity of using hoods.
Where gas is used for melting the metal, hoods are essential to
ideal conditions, but even if provided the workers often become
neglectful and leave the doors of the hoods open, permitting fumes
to escape unless there is an exceedingly strong suction in the exhaust
system. In the same manner the covers of the metal pots are often
found open, permitting some escape of gas, if used for fuel, besides



1 2 0

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

fumes from the metal that may be detrimental to the health or, at
least, have not been universally decided to be harmless. One trade
composition plant in,the same city had seven line-casting machines
supplied with gas fuel pots. These were provided with pipes to a
duct out of the building, but, as the pipes were too small and no
fan was used, the system proved useless, so was taken down. At
the time of inspection the room was full of fumes. A book and job
publishing establishment in the city had two monotype casting
machines, provided with gas fuel on the metal pots and on the auto­
matic metal feeders and equipped with short exhaust pipes, placed
in a small room adjoining the hand composing room. An exhaust
fan in the window carried out most of the fumes, but whenever the
door in the wall opposite the outside wall was opened the fumes
were blown into the main room, polluting the atmosphere. An­
other book and job printing establishment, which performed 10 to
20 per cent of the work at night, was not supplied with any heat for
its quarters after 12 o’clock at night during the winter months,
making it decidedly unpleasant for the workers on the night shift,
even with coats and hats on.
One book and job printing establishment in Denver had five line­
casting machines, located in the hand composing room, equipped with
gas fuel on the metal pots and on the automatic metal feeders. The
metal pots were piped to a main duct in a flue, as was the hood over
the ingot casting furnace, also in the room. Two monotype casters,
also with gas fuel metal pots, located in a separate, small adjoining
room, were provided with short pipes, extending up into hoods, which
were piped similarly to a flue. In view of the fact that the ma­
chines were just piped with natural draft and located on the third
floor of a five-story building, there was remarkably little odor from
gas in the rooms. In a periodical printing plant of the same city
were seven line-casting machines with gas fuel metal pots, provided
with short pipes extending up into hoods, that also were piped to a
flue, and where similar conditions prevailed. A small stereotype
molding department was located in one end of the composing room
but did not create enough heat to render it uncomfortable. The ingot
casting furnace was placed in a separate adjoining room and the
hood on it was also piped to a flue. One newspaper establishment in
the city, which was equipped with 19 line-casting machines bunched
in one end of the composing room and provided with gas fuel on the
metal pots, which were piped to a main duct with a fan out througii
the roof, had six very large hoods distributed over the rest of the
room, about 9 feet above the floor, with large pipes to the main ex­
haust duct. The top parts of the windows in front of the casting
machines were lowered to admit fresh air and considerable air came
up from a form elevator shaft, located at one side, reaching from
the composing room on the first floor to the stereotyping department
in the basement. Some of the compositors complained of the draft
caused by this whenever the door was open. Four monotype cast­
ers, separated from the rest of the composing room by partitions
that did not reach to the ceiling, were equipped with gas fuel metal
pots and short pipes only, but the ventilation system seemed to
absorb the fumes well.



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

1 2 1

One newspaper in Detroit was provided with three separate
plenum systems, in which the air was washed, and in winter heated
by steam, then distributed through grates in the walls. One fan
had an intake of 80,000 cubic feet per minute. Exhaust was made
from the workrooms in the main building through similar grates in
the walls, with separate exhaust from toilets, washrooms, and restau­
rant kitchen. The composing room contained 42 line-casting ma­
chines, arranged along both sides, equipped with electric metal
pots, and three slug casters, separated from the rest of the room
by glass top metal partitions, also equipped with electric pots.
An Elrod slug caster, placed together with these latter, was provided
with a hood piped to the main exhaust from the stereotype depart­
ment out through the roof, and with an exhaust fan. The two ingot
metal furnaces, which were of a quality better than usually en­
countered, were placed in the stereotype flat casting department,
located in an adjoining separate room. Another newspaper in the
city, where the composing room was located on the top floor of a
10-story building, had 38 line-casting machines, 10 of which were
provided with electric pots. The rest, together with four slug
casters, were equipped with gas fuel pots and automatic metal
feeders with gas fuel. These were all provided with large hoods,
inclosing the feeders and containing doors, piped in sets to a main
duct out on the roof with a fan disposing of the fumes in a satisfac­
tory manner. The entire stereotyping department was separated
by a glass top partition with sliding doors from the composition
room. A trade composition plant in the city had eight monotype
casters on the second floor but the ingot casting furnace was located
in the basement, which was also occupied by other tenants of the
10-story building. It had a large hood, which was piped out the
flue, and the fuel was piped separately to the flue. The furnace
was located in a very small inclosure and the approach to it was
dark and dirty. The firm claimed that it was used only occasionally,
and then at night.
A newspaper establishment in Indianapolis, which occupied a
4-story and basement building with the plant, had a large plenum
system, through which washed air was supplied to the 10-story office
building in front and the 4-story printing office across the alley
in the rear. The intake was on top of the printing office^ where
the air was cooled by a water curtain, or heated by electric coils,
as desired. Second and first floors of the printing office were not
supplied, as work there did not require it and they got. considerable
fresh air at all times. An exhaust system extracted the foul air
from the building and, in addition, special fume exhaust systems
were provided for photo-engraving and stereotyping departments on
the third floor, and for the ingot caster and dross burner in a
separate room on the fourth floor. The composing room on the
fourth floor was equipped with 26 line or slug casting machines pro­
vided with electric pots and 9 provided with gas fuel pots. It had
an 18-foot ceiling, along the center of which was placed a plenum
duct and along each side an exhaust duct. The casting machines
equipped with gas fuel pots were provided with long exhaust pipes,
ending near the exhaust duct for the room, which had several
openings. The pipes were at first connected, with the duct but it



1 2 2

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

was found that the exhaust was too powerful and pulled the gas too
strong, so they were cut off about 12 f jet from the floor. An Elrod
slug caster, located by the wall by the other machines, was not pro­
vided with a pipe but no odor was noticeable from it. The ingot
casting and dross melting furnaces, which were located in a separate
room, had tight-fitting hoods with collapsible pipes, connected with
an independent exhaust duct out through the roof, with a fan. One
book and job printing establishment in the same city, occupying a
4-story and basement building, was provided with a plenum system,
on which the heat for the air was supplied by an outside plant.
It had a condenser with fan in the basement, but claimed the system
was not satisfactory as it was one of the early ones and was never
completed. The heat from the blast gates was fairly good on the
first and second floors, insufficient on the third floor, and not notice­
able on the fourth floor. The plant was inspected the latter part
of February, when the outside temperature was 32° F. and some
heating was essential. Criticism of artificial ventilation was en­
countered in several instances, but the failures to get results seemed
due either to improper installation or to those in care of the systems
not understanding how to keep them in order. Judging from the
results observed in a number of places, they are very satisfactory
and the most intricate or complex ventilating problems can be
successfully arranged by competent experts.
A periodical printing plant in Kansas City was equipped with
three line-casting machines, provided with electric pots, placed in a
special room extending across the rear of the building, but which
also contained an ingot metal furnace, using gas fuel. The hood on
this had been battered so the door would not fit close, and fumes
escaped in considerable quantity instead of going through the
exhaust pipe and up the flue.
In one newspaper establishment in Louisville the composing room
was located on the first floor, while the photo-engraving department
occupied part of the second floor. The equipment consisted of 17
line-casting machines, equipped with gas fuel pots. The room was
provided with circulation of air, blown in at one end, distributed
by another fan in the center, and exhausted by a third fan in the
other end. The machines had been equipped with hoods, piped to
an exhaust duct leading to the flue. This ,system had been installed
not on account of. the possible action of the fumes on the workers
but because the fumes from the metal pots affected the chemicals in
the photo-engraving department overhead, as the silver baths used
in the wet-plate process seemed to have a great affinity for lead.
Two monotype casters, which were partly separated from the rest of
the composing room and were provided with gas fuel pots, had only
short exhaust pipes, but fumes were well distributed by the circula­
tion of air and were hardly noticeable. The ingot metal furnace was
located in the stereotyping department in the basement, and the hood
was piped to the flue, but it was stated that the fumes penetrated to
the first floor when dross was being burned.
A newspaper establishment in Milwaukee had the composing room
on the second floor of an old eight-story and basement office build­
ing, occupied by it for three years. The 25 line-casting machines,
equipped with gas fuel pots, were placed alongside the windows.



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

123

Four monotype casters, provided with gas fuel pots and with short
pipes, were placed at one end of the casting machines and separated
from them by a low partition. An exhaust fan was located in the
window close to the partition, and one in a window at the other side
of the room, which contained the stereotype molding department
and the ingot metal furnace. The line-casting machines were not
piped, and elimination of fumes by the exhaust fans in windows was
depended on, assisted by bracket fans on the pillars in the room,
placed to blow the air toward the exhaust, together with two venti­
lation grates in the walls, with ducts to the flue but with natural
draft only. There was considerable odor of gas in the room, and the
"workers complained of feeling tired soon after commencing work.
The ingot metal furnace was also piped to the flue.
One newspaper establishment in Nashville was equipped with 12
line-casting machines, with electric pots on two and gas fuel on the
rest. All were piped to a duct, but this led only to a flue and was
not provided with an exhaust fan; consequently a lot of the fumes
escaped and polluted not only the composing room itself but also the
quarters occupied by the photo-engraving establishment, located on
the floor above and with entrance from a long stairway placed in the
composing room. The odor of gas was very noticeable in the photo­
engraving department.
It was found that most of the printing establishments in the city,
outside of the newspaper plants, had practically discontinued man­
ufacture of machine composition in the individual establishments
and were securing this from trade plants, not as a health proposi­
tion, but for financial reasons. This, however, had probably created
a better atmosphere in these plants. One book and job printing
establishment in the city, which had taken out the line-casting ma­
chines, had one monotype caster with gas fuel and provided with a
hood, which was piped to an exhaust duct with natural draft only,
formerly used for the line-casting machines. The openings in the
duct, to which exhaust pipes from the machines were formerly con­
nected, had not been capped, and the pipe from the monotype caster
was partially disjointed, permitting the fumes to escape. It was
explained that the place was partly neglected on account of pros­
pective removal.
A somewhat similar condition was found in the composing room of
a newspaper in New Orleans, where the 15 line-casting machines,
equipped with gas fDel pots, were piped to a duct that had several
openings for other exhaust pipes, which were not capped and
from which fumes were polluting the atmosphere of the room.
The duct had natural draft only and an exhaust fan in the wall of
the hand composing room assisted in pulling fumes from the duct.
Two monotype casters, located in a separate room on the floor above,
each had an extra 2-foot length of pipe on the orifice of the gas-fuel
metal pot. The operator, who was very tall, was troubled with head­
aches during work and concluded the tumes from the machines were
responsible, so added an extra length of pipe on each, bringing the
ends above his head, which stopped most of the trouble. The ma­
chines were located by the windows of the room, which were open at
the time of inspection. A particularly bad condition was encoun45331°—-25-----9




124

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE M INTING THADES

tered in a small trade composition plant in the same city, which was
located in one side of a room occupied by a small book and job
printing establishment, and separated from it by a wall with three
large archways. These formed the only method of ventilation for the
establishment, as there was an inside wall on the opposite side, and
the space was consequently subject to conditions suitable for the
pressroom of the printing plant, making it hot and disagreeable in
summer. The establishment contained only three line-casting ma­
chines, two with electric pots and the third with gas fuel. None
of them were piped, and while there were only a few machines, the
peculiar construction and condition of the room created a pocket of
very unpleasant atmosphere around them. A new building was
almost completed for the trade composition plant, with modern
lighting, heating, and ventilating system, hot and cold running water,
sanitary toilets, and individual lockers, and preparations were un­
der way to move the machines.
Practically any condition can be encountered in New York and
surroundings, large or small plants of all kinds, as well as good or
bad from a viewpoint of ventilation. One large periodical printing
establishment, occupying a large building, was provided only with
natural ventilation, except on two floors where some exhaust
fans had been installed in windows. The ceilings were 16 feet high,
the working space was ample, machines that might create unpleas­
ant conditions were provided with exhausts, and the air was good
except in the pressrooms, which felt a little close. Another one
was equipped with plenum and exhaust system for each floor, but
did not use it. There were some unpleasant conditions in several
departments of the establishment which would have been eliminated
if the artificial ventilation had been used. One large newspaper
establishment had plenum and exhaust system with grates in walls
and ducts extending out in some of the rooms, changing the air every
20 seconds, and using an air-conditioning plant to regulate the hu­
midity. Another newspaper plant had ducts with natural draft for
intake of air in the composing room, adjoining the stereotype mold­
ing department on the fourth floor of a seven-story building, pro­
vided with heating coils for use in cold weather, and exhaust
through walls of both rooms, with a fan on the root. The stereo­
type foundry on the third floor was provided with an exhaust fan
in the wall above the windows, that changed the air contents of the
room every 5 minutes, and the adjoining pressroom was equipped
with an air-conditioning plant, which supplied washed, heated, and
properly moistened air to the paper storage and the reel room on
the second floor, then through the pressroom, recirculated it to the
paper storage in the basement, back to the pressroom, and exhausted
it through a duct with a fan. Four large exhaust fans in the wall
of the pressroom above the windows removed the excess heat created
by the motors, while the stereotype foundry was provided with an
exhaust duct for the metal kettles. The ceiling on the third floor
was about 20 feet high, but on the fourth floor, containing composing
room and stereotype molding department, it was the regular height,
about 14 feet. The large battery of line-casting machines, all
equipped with electric pots, was located with the hand composi­
tion, and two monotype casters with gas fuel pots and short pipes
had been placed in a small separate room in one corner, which was



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

125

ventilated by an exhaust duct near the ceiling, connected with the
main exhaust duct from the building. This was the only place in
the plant where any fumes were noticed. The ingot casting furnace,
located in another small room, was piped to the main exhaust duct.
Another large newspaper establishment, which had a composing
room on the thirteenth floor of a 14-story building, depended mainly
on natural ventilation for the room. Sixty line-casting machines, all
equipped with electric pots, occupied one side of the building, with
hand composition in the center and in one end. The stereotype
molding department occupied part of the other side and three ex­
haust fans had been placed in the windows behind the steam tables,
provided with exhaust pipes reaching above the roof. The room had
a high ceiling, but part of the space was occupied by a balcony con­
taining lockers at one side over a separate room for monotype casting
and stereotype flat casting with ingot metal furnace, and by an addi­
tional balcony for lockers, extending from the wall to the center of
the room. The monotype room was occupied by 14 casting machines
with electric pots and one with gas fuel pot. The ingot metal kettle,
also used for flat casting, was provided with an apron and hood, and
in addition a large hood had been placed above this, piped out the
roof, with a fan. The locker room on the balcony above was, never­
theless, full of smoke from the oil used on the monotype casting
machines, which rose through an air space next to the wall and
drifted in among the lockers over a low railing, making it very un­
pleasant for the workers changing clothes. Another newspaper had
two exhaust fans in the windows of the hand composing department,
which occupied one side of the room, and one in the line-casting
machine department, located in the other side and containing 7?
machines, all with electric pots. The stereotype molding depart­
ment, placed in a room at one end, had two fans in a window back of
the steam tables and the stereotype job casting department, next to it,
had a fan in the window by the metal kettle which was provided with
curtains and a hood piped, with a fan, to the flue. The ingot metal
furnace, which was located in a separate room, was fixed similarly
and this room was also provided with an exhaust fan in the window.
The monotype casting room, containing six casting machines with
electric pots and one with gas fuel, not piped, had the windows open
and the wind carried the acrolein fumes, from excess oil used on the
machines, over the low partition into the adjoining dressing room
with lockers; the odor was very noticeable on account of the low ceil­
ing. Another newspaper occupied an old remodeled five-story and
basement building located on an inside lot. Exhaust ducts had been
installed for the photographic and photo-engraving departments on
the second, fourth, and fifth floors. Part of the third floor, which
was occupied by the main composing room with stereotype molding
department in one end, was provided with both plenum and exhaust
ducts with a water curtain for the plenum. The 15 line-casting
machines were equipped with electric pots and the air felt remark­
ably good, considering the low ceiling and otherwise inadequate
building facilities. An adjoining room, containing two typographs
and one slug-casting machine, all with electric pots, was similarly
supplied with plenum and exhaust, and an Elrod slug caster, also
placed there, was equipped with a hood piped to the exhaust. The



126

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

ingot metal furnace, which was located in another separate room,
was also provided with a hood and piped to the exhaust duct. No
fumes were noticeable in any part of the composing room. The first
floor, containing the mailing room, had been supplied with exhaust
fans in both front and rear windows, while the basement, where the
stereotype foundry and pressroom were located, was provided with
both plenum and exhaust. ^ A new departure in piping metal pots
on line-casting machines was encountered in another newspaper
plant which was equipped with 89 of these, 28 of which were ar­
ranged in three rows and the other 11 facing the windows. All but
one were provided with gas fuel pots. A pipe, attached over the
exhaust orifice of the metal pot, had been curved over the back of
each machine down to a duct, laid on the floor, and covered with a
platform between two of the rows, and similarly back of the third
row? extending outside the wall, with a fan. While not any more
efficient, it added to the looks of the shop by doing away with the
unsightly overhead pipe and duct system. Three typographs, lo­
cated in the composing room, were equipped with electric pots,
while two Thompson and one Elrod caster, provided with gas fuel
pots, had been placed on a balcony and supplied with hoods piped
to the main stereotype room exhaust duct. The stereotyping depart­
ment was placed adjoining, back of glass-top partitions. No fumes
were noticeable in the composing room.
One book and job printing establishment had eight line-casting
machines and one monotype caster, all equipped with gas fuel pots
and piped to an exhaust duct provided with a fan. The metal pots
on the line-casting machines were supplied with gas fuel automatic
metal feeders, but an improvement had been fitted to the gas burn­
ers so that, although the hoods on the exhaust pipes did not cover
the fans, no fumes from them could be detected. Another book and
job printing plant, which was equipped with 24 line-casting ma­
chines, all with gas fuel pots, had small hoods over the orifices of the
pots, piped to a main duct out through the wall, with a fan, but the
individual pipes, as well as the duct, were too small and there was
considerable odor of gas in the room. A different book and job
printing establishment was equipped with 18 line-casting machines
and 1 monotype caster, all with gas fuel pots. The latter and 10
of the former were provided with hoods piped to an exhaust duct
with a fan. It was claimed that 8 of the line-casting machines were
new* and there had not been time to get them piped. The odor
of gas was very strong in the room, which was provided with
natural ventilation only. A large periodical printing plant had
7 monotype casting machines among its equipment, located in a
long narrow room. They were provided with gas fuel pots and
short pipes on these, extending up into large hoods, 7 feet above
the floor, with extra large pipes to a duct with a fan, ending in the
flue. No odors at all were noticeable. In one large periodical and
book printing establishment an ingot furnace was located, together
with a large metal kettle, in a separate metal room. The ingot metal
furnace was piped out the wall, and the kettle, which was used for a
special kind of bars in an automatic metal feeder, was provided with
a hood that also was piped out, but the hood was in poor condition
and permitted the fumes to escape into the room, from which they



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

127

penetrated into the composing room. The kettle was furnished
with a spout to convey the metal into the molds for the ingots and
the valve on the spout was leaking, allowing the molten metal to
drip constantly to the floor. Some good and substantial ingot fur­
naces had been found in different localities, but one style was seen
in this city that seemed better than the rest, not alone from a pro­
duction standpoint but, according to statements furnished, also from
a health standpoint through reducing the temperature of the room
where it was used, giving better control of gas for heating, and
having an automatic mixer. A furnace of a somewhat similar
style, and which had previously been considered the best on the
market, had been used in this establishment, but after the tests were
made it was supplanted by this one. It was claimed that, while
nearly half as much more metal was melted during five days’ work,
there was a saving of 14.7 per cent of gas during this period and,
what affects the health question more, the average temperature of
the room while the furnace was in operation during the five days
was only 81° F., against an average temperature for the other fur­
nace of 112°. The normal temperature of the room in each case was
given as 70°. As the metal is usually heated to nearly 600° to allow
proper mixing, this shows a decided reduction in surrounding tem­
perature, which necessarily must be beneficial to the workers.
One newspaper establishment in Philadelphia, which moved into a
new building during the progress of the survey in that city, made a
decided improvement in the working conditions of its employees.
In the old building the ventilation was mainly natural and was not
very good. On the fifth floor the hand composing room was sepa­
rated from the machine composing room, which had a high ceil­
ing, but, as the equipment consisted of 51 line-casting and two slug­
casting machines, only 5 of which were provided with electric metal
pots, the atmosphere was far from desirable. The photo-engraving
department, located on the same floor, was also filled wT fumes
ith
from the process, as the dark rooms were not provided with outside
ventilation. In the etching room one etching machine had been
piped through the window and an exhaust fan had been placed in the
window near the other one, but did not seem to be sufficient to clear
the room. The stereotype molding department, also located on the
same floor, felt very hot. The stereotype flat-casting department,
where the kettle was also used for ingot metal, was provided with
a ventilating trap in the ceiling and the kettle was equipped with a
hood and piped through the roof. The stereotype foundry, which
was situated, together with the pressroom, in the sub-basement, had
been provided with a plenum system but the fan was not running
at the time of inspection because the stereotypers claimed the air
was too cold. The plant was visited in the middle of January, with
outside temperature of 58° to 60°. The metal kettles consisted of
two junior autoplates and one ordinary kettle, with force pump to
double-page casting box, all with gas fuel and equipped with hoods
and aprons, piped to an exhaust duct with a fan, which removed the
fumes Well, b’ut the air felt close and uncomfortable in both stereo­
type foundry and pressroom. The new plant offered a decided con­
trast. The composing room was located in an airy apartment on
the top floor of the three-story part of the building, with saw-tooth



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HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE FEINTING TRADES

roof. The 57 new line-casting machines were provided with electric
pots and automatic sliding metal feeders. The stereotype molding
department, which was placed in one side of the composing room,
was provided with exhausts for the fumes from the fuel for the boil­
ers for the steam tables. The five monotype casting machines, sepa­
rated from the rest by glass-top partitions, were supplied with elec­
tric metal pots and electrically heated metal feeders. Dark rooms in
the photo-engraving department were equipped with exhaust ducts
connected with the general exhaust system. The stereotype foundry,
placed adjoining, but separated from the pressroom on the first
floor 4 feet above the street level, contained three junior autoplates
provided with flat covers and piped to the building exhaust. An
air-conditioning plant was installed, partly to take care of the
rotogravure department, which had not been moved from its tem­
porary quarters at the time of the visit. A number of other modern
features had been included, radiators on walls and in the skylights,
automatic temperature control, cooling plant for the rotogravure
process, etc.
Another newspaper establishment in the same city had hand and
machine composition together on the nineteenth floor of a 21-story
building. The 37 machines, one of them an Elrod slug caster, were
all supplied with gas fuel pots and were not piped, except for short
pipes on two monotype casters. An exhaust fan had been placed in
one of the windows, but was entirely inadequate to remove the
fumes. The windows, located on three sides of the building, were
partly open, as the o'utside temperature was 53° to 55° Fahrenheit.
Even then the odor of gas was very noticeable and must be very bad
when it is necessary to close windows. A large periodical printing
establishment in the same city originally installed a plenum system
with washed air and an exhaust system in the building, but, as it did
not work well, the plenum was discontinued and exhaust only was
used at the time of the visit, through large ducts on each floor, the
average height of which was 16 feet. Ten monotype casters were
placed in a separate room on the tenth floor, and though they were
equipped with gas fuel pots and only short pipes the fumes were
hardly noticeable, as the strong exhaust absorbed them rapidly. A
book and job printing establishment in the same city had four
monotype casting machines placed on the second floor, separated by
a low partition from the pressroom. These were equipped with gas
fuel pots and provided with short pipes, extending up in hoods,
piped to a duct put through the window, but two of the pipes had
been disconnected and the main duct pulled out of the window.
Fumes were noticeable not only in the inclosure, but also in the ad­
joining pressroom. Another book and job printing establishment
in the same building, all contained in one room, had an equipment
of four line-casting machines, provided with gas-fuel pots and gasheated metal feeders. These had been piped, with a small fan, but
the pipes were too small to handle the fumes, and were consequently
discontinued.
In a newspaper establishment in Pittsburgh the composing room
was located on the top floor of a five-story building and contained
38 line-casting machines, all provided with gas fuel pots, 12 of them
with gas-heated metal feeders, 2 slugr-casting machines with gas


VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

129

fuel pots and feeders, and 1 Elrod slug caster. The line-casting
machines were piped to three ducts out through the roof, but with
natural draft only, and on one the pipe was disconnected. The pipes
covered the exhaust orifices only, leaving the gas flames on the
feeders to scatter fumes in the room. The slug casters were not
piped. The roof was provided with saw-tooth skylights, which
were supplied with natural draft ventilators, and the transoms in the
glass parts were open. The stereotype molding department was
located in one corner, and an exhaust fan had been placed in the
skylight above the steam table which had individual gas fuel boilers
with the fuel piped out through the roof. Considerable odor of gas
was noticeable in the room though it was overpowered by fumes coming
up through a descending pole shaft and open stairway from the stereo­
type foundry on the floor below, creating a very undesirable condition.
Another newspaper plant in the city had its composing room located
on the third floor of a six-story building. It was supplied with 9,000
cubic feet of air per minute, by plenum through three pipes, with
intake on the roof. Twenty-four line-casting machines, provided
with three electric pots, the rest with gas fuel, were piped to two
ducts out through the window, with a fan extending up above the
roof. One Elrod slug caster and two others, all with gas fuel pots,
were each provided with a hood and piped to the ducts. Two mono­
type casters, with gas fuel also and placed in a separate inclosure, were
provided with short pipes extending up in hoods that were also
piped to the ducts. The ingot metal kettle, which was in a small
separate room, was piped above the roof. The stereotype molding
department was located in one end of the composing room and some
heat was distributed by the steam table, as well as some moisture
by the stereotype blankets, hung on a rack above it, but the air was
free from gas odor and seemed very good. In winter the plenum fan
was reversed and used as exhaust instead. A third newspaper in the
same city, where the composing room was located on the top floor
cf an eight-story building, had an equipment consisting of 34 line­
casting machines, 29 of which were provided with gas fuel on pots
and on automatic metal feeders, the rest with electric pots, two typographs with electric pots, two Elrod and one other slug caster, all with
gas fuel pots. All gas fuel line machines were piped to a main duct
out through the roof and hoods over the slug casters were also
piped to same, but the pipes were too small and the duct was not
provided with a fan, so fumes were noticeable in the room. The win­
dows by the side of the line-casting machines, which were partly
open, were provided with deflecting shields at* the bottoms. The
ingot-metal furnace was located in a separate room, together with
a small dross-smelting furnace. Both were equipped with gas fuel
and piped together out through the roof with a fan. An exhaust
fan had also been placed in the window of the room. The stere­
otype molding department was located in one end of the composing
room. An electric drying table was used, and a shaft with descend­
ing pole to the stereotype foundry on the floor below had been in­
closed in a small closet to prevent fumes from coming through.
In one newspaper establishment in Richmond the composing room
and stereotyping department occupied the top floor of a three-story
building jointly. Equipment consisted of 16 line-casting machines



130

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

and one slug-casting machine, all of them with gas fuel pots and
14 of which had been piped at one time, but the pipes had been
removed. The ingot metal furnace was piped out, and the hood of
the metal kettle was likewise piped, but the hood had been raised
from the kettle and there were considerable fumes in the room, both
from the kettle and the composing-room machines. The windows
were closed tightly on account of the low temperature outside,
39° F., wet bulb, and an exhaust fan which was located in a sky­
light above the stereotype foundry did not seem adequate. The
workers complained of headaches and a general feeling of lassitude,
easily accounted for by the fumes in the room. In another news­
paper plant of the same city there were two slug-casting machines,
with gas fuel metal pots, placed under a balcony on which a small
photo-engraving department was located. The ingot metal furnace
was close by in the stereotype flat-cast department, which together
with the molding department occupied the adjoining corner. In
another part of the room were the line-casting machines, the ma­
jority with electric pots, but six with gas fuel pots and not piped.
The odor of gas was very strong, especially on the balcony above
the slug casters and close by the line-casting machines. The opera­
tors on these objected to opening the windows on account of draft,
and an exhaust fan placed in the wall of the stereotype molding de­
partment seemed to aggravate the situation by drawing the fumes
through the room. The door was missing in the hood of the ingot
metal furnace and heavy fumes were emitted, especially when metal
was being melted in the morning. The compositors admitted that
they were feeling bad and laid it mostly to the ingot metal furnace,
but it was unquestionably caused mainly by the other fumes in the
room, though the furnace would be a contributing factor. One book
and job printing establishment in the same city found the fumes
from its ingot furnaces so obnoxious that it was moved from the
basement to a vacant room on the top floor, where it was piped out
of the building. The main trouble, which was evidently overlooked,
was that ordinary natural draft is not sufficient to carry off fumes
created by operation, and the only method for sure elimination of
them is by application of mechanical exhaust.
A book and job printing establishment in St. Louis was equipped
with a plenum system, obtaining fresh air through a large duct in a
window and blowing it through heating coils and a water curtain,
but using it only for its office and stationery store on the first floor.
The composing room located on the top floor of the six-story build­
ing was equipped with 5 line-casting machines (placed with* the
hand composition) that were provided with gas fuel on metal pots
and feeders and piped to the flue, also with 5 monotype casting ma­
chines, placed in a separate room, having gas fuel pots and provided
with short pipes. A large exhaust fan in this room eliminated the
„ fumes well, but there was some odor noticeable around the line-cast­
ing machines, again a question of natural draft. A newspaper estab­
lishment in the same city had the composing room and the stereotype
molding and flat-cast departments in one room on the fourth floor
of an eight-story building. The building was provided with a
plenum system, with intake on the street level, heating coils, and
water curtain, for supplying washed and tempered air to the office,



v entila tio n of b u il d in g s a n d e q u ip m e n t

131

mailing room, stereotype foundry, and pressroom, comprising the
first floor and basement only. Exhaust fans were used in the win­
dows of the photo-engraving and rotogravure grinding departments
on the fifth floor and in the wall of the composing room on the fourth
floor. A special exhaust system was used for the rotogravure presses
on the fifth floor, and the stereotype casting machinery in the base­
ment was provided with fan exhaust. The 38 line-casting machines
in the composing room were equipped with electric pots. Three
monotype casters, which had gas fuel pots, were provided with short
pipes up in hoods and piped out of the building with fan exhaust.
The ingot metal furnace and the hood over the kettle for flat casts,
located together, were also piped to this exhaust. The air in the
composing room felt very good, in spite of the fact that the windows
were closed on account of the cold weather. It was 42° F. outside.
The largest book and job printing establishment in Washington
was supplied with ducts for plenum and exhaust in the *columns on
each floor, but the system was claimed to have proved unsatisfactory
and had been discontinued. Natural ventilation was used, except
in the etching room of the photo-engraving department and in
the monotype casting room, where an exhaust fan had been placed
in a window. The windows were equipped with deflectors at the
bottom and adjustable ventilators in frames below the sashes. Some
ceiling fans and a number of bracket fans, placed on the columns in
the center of each wing, were used to keep the air moving. The
various operations in the ordinary composing room had been sep­
arated, divided into the linotype section, monotype casting room,
monotype correcting and assembling room, typesetting and casting
machine repair shop, and the metal room, all on the seventh floor;
the monotype keyboard room, proof room and the hand composing
room, all on the sixth floor; while on the fifth floor both hand and
machine composition were performed for a special section in a room
containing presses also; and on the second floor machine composi­
tion for the job section was performed in one room, with hand com­
position in an adjoining room. The 88 line-casting machines and
2 slug-casting machines, grouped in the linotype section, were
equipped with electric metal pots, as were 10 others that were
placed in the other rooms, and the air appeared good and whole­
some. The monotype casting room contained 126 casting machines,
all with gas fuel pots, but with individual pipes to two exhaust ducts
that were carried out through the roof and provided with strong
fans. This was the largest collection of gas fuel machines observed
in composing rooms, and gave an effective illustration of the fact
that no matter how many machines are used the fumes created in
their operation can be disposed of through continuous piping or good
hoods with piping, if sufficient exhaust is used. The air felt very
comfortable, probably rendered even better by the exhaust fan,
placed in the wall, a distinct difference from places where the fumes
were carried only a slight distance toward the ceiling by a short ex­
haust pipe, and either scattered from there among the surroundings
or drawn by an exhaust fan through the room, polluting the air in
transit, and finally expelled by the fan.
The monotype correcting and assembling room did not contain
any machines that created fumes, but the metal room, in which the



132

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES*

ingot metal kettle was located, was quite different. As the amount
of metal used per day in the casting machines averaged 15 tons, a
large kettle was required in which to melt it and, as the metal for the
platemaking section consisted of different mixtures, other kettles for
mixing these separately were also used. The kettles, which were
heated by gas, were all provided with good hoods, piped with large
pipes out through the roof with fan equipment. Considerable heat was
noticed in the metal mixing room, but the fumes seemed to be well
under control during the two days spent in the plant for a thorough
inspection of it, and the separate visits to this room, did not reveal
any variation in conditions, even when linotype slugs were being
melted. A dross refining furnace was stationed in one corner, but
was not in operation during the inspection. This was supplied with
charcoal fuel and fan blast when used, expelling the recovered metal
through a spout near the bottom, and was piped to the exhaust fan
for the kettles. The metal room was provided with good natural
draft on account of its location on a bridge between the two wings.
The monotype keyboard room contained 100 keyboard machines, but
no fumes are developed by these machines, and no fumes were in
either the proof room or the hand composing room. The machines in
the special combination section, as well as in the machine room of
the job section, were also provided with electric metal pots.
In the same city, good provision for ventilation was also found in a
large plate engraving and printing establishment equipped with
plenum and exhaust system. A large fan in the basement supplied
washed air through the rooms by means of ducts or by means of grates
in the walls. The ceilings were very high in the workrooms, the
windows in the ends of the wings were louvered and some of those
in the sides were partly open during the visit, which was in the
middle of October when the outside temperature ranged from 50°
to 60° F. Bracket fans on the columns down the center of the wings
assisted in distribution of the air. Special exhausts were used for
some of the various operations, keeping the air of the building in
good condition.
#
#
*
A newspaper establishment in the same city was supplied with
plenum in winter and exhaust in summer by a large fan on the
second floor. Additional natural ventilation wag used at the time
of the visit through deflecting sections in the center of windows, as
the outside temperature was 53° to 68° F. The composing room
was located on the eighth floor of a nine-story building, and was
two stories high with a gallery around part of it on the ninth floor
level. Sixteen, of the line-casting machines in the room were pro­
vided with electric metal pots, while 19 of them were supplied with
gas fuel pots and piped to two main ducts leading out of the room,
one with fan exhaust, the^ other with natural draft only. One
slug-casting machine, also in the room and provided with a gas
fuel pot, was piped together with hoods over the two monotype and
two Elrod slug casters, located in a separate room in the gallery,
to a main duct leading out of the building. As this duct was de­
pendent on natural draft the fumes were not fully eliminated and
were noticeable in the small room. A reversible exhaust fan in a
window on the north side of the composing room, provided with a
shutter outside, was used to remove any possible fumes there, as­



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

133

sisted by bracket fans in the room, blowing toward the outlet. No
fumes were noticeable during the visit but the natural draft for
the one duct on part of the line-casting machines might not be suffi­
cient at all times. The stereotype molding and flat-finishing de­
partment was located in a separate parallel wing and contained
the ingot metal furnace, which was heated with gas fuel, provided
with a hood and curtains and was piped, together with fuel from the
boilers for the steam tables, to the flue. One book and job printing
establishment in the same city was equipped with four line-casting
machines and provided with gas fuel on the metal pots and the
automatic metal feeders. The metal pots were piped to a duct
leading out through the window, with a small fan attached, but the
fan was not running and the odor of gas was noticeable around the
rear of the composing room, where the machines were located.
In practically all establishments where the odor of gas was no­
ticeable there was a general complaint from the workers of headache
and stomach trouble, as well as a feeling of lassitude commencing
soon after entering the plant, increasing while present there and
gradually disappearing after leaving it. Where good provisions
for absorbing the fumes existed, or in composing rooms where the
casting machines were equipped with electric metal pots, the work­
ers did not seem affected in this manner. This pointed to the fact
that the principal cause of the trouble was not fumes from the lead
but the fumes and gases liberated by the fuel gas.
Adequate provision for heating is sometimes a perplexing prob­
lem. Where the plenum system is used this, of course, takes care
of the situation and large plants, or modern buildings housing small
plants, are usually well provided with one of the various kinds of
heating systems. Small establishments housed in old buildings have
inadequate facilities and several plants were encountered in which
it was necessary to use auxiliary heating stoves during cold weather,
some provided with coal or wood stoves, others with oil or gas fuel
stoves. It is, however, comparatively easy to produce and maintain
a proper condition of heat indoors in winter time, but in summer,
when the outside temperature ranges from 95° F. up, it is very diffi­
cult to attain except through blowers and humidifiers. A number of
establishments were found that did not have a n y provisions for
cooling the atmosphere in the rooms, except by opening the windows
or doors, and were uncomfortably hot. Others were well provided
with ceiling fans or bracket fans, that kept the air in continual
motion, which produced a cooling effect and reduced the discomfort.
The metal pots on the various casting machines naturally throw
off some heat, as the metal is usually kept at a temperature of about
540° F. in line-casting machines and 680° to 720° in unitype casting
machines, but sometimes higher in either according to composition
of the metal and size of type produced. The pots are, however,
small and the application of electricity for heating has helped to
reduce the amount of heat created, as most of it is retained inside
of the pot and, in addition, the current is automatically cut off when­
ever the temperature reaches a certain point, adjustable by the
operator, and is thrown on again automatically at a lower point to
prevent the metal from freezing. Where gas is used this must
be kept burning for some time to melt the metal, if the machine



134

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADE©

is used intermittently, but continuously during the operation. In
some plants the gas was kept burning under the metal pots the
full 24 hours. 'The heat generated by operations in the composing
room itself is inconsequential, but where the ingot metal furnace,
the dross refining furnace, or the stereotype molding department
with steam tables is located in the composing room, some methods
should be used to protect the workers from the influence of these.
It is impossible to prevent dust formation in a composing room,
but most of the dust created can be removed at the point of origin.
The dust, which is composed of the metal used in the process and
consists of lead, antimony, and tin, is a possible source of lead
poisoning, and it is really surprising that so little caution is used
in some places to prevent scattering of the dust, usually through
the carelessness of the workers themselves. The chief source of
danger, and one which seems more important than any possible
fumes from metal pots on casting machines, is the dust which is
brushed off, or otherwise removed, from the plungers used in the
metal pots to force the molten metal into the mold. Through the
continued use of the machines the plungers become covered with
a deposit of oxide of lead, preventing them from working smoothly
in the wells and necessitating removal. In shops containing one or
at most only a few machines this is often one of the duties of the
operator, but in large establishments, especially on newspapers, the
operation is performed by the machinists. Some machinists realize
the possible danger involved, while others ignore it. completely and
expose others to danger as well as themselves. The old method, and
one which is still used in a number of establishments, consists in re­
moving the plunger from the well and, while still hot, brushing it
rapidly with a flat wire brush, which removes the deposit in the form
of a fine gray dust. One large newspaper establishment in New
York, which had an equipment of 72 line-casting machines, was us­
ing this method. During the survey of a newspaper plant in Kan­
sas City, the operation or cleaning the plungers in this manner was
watched. The inspection of the composing room extended through
the lunch period. As soon as the 18 line-casting machines were
stopped the machinist’s helper, who was a young boy, pulled a small
box on wheels up to one of the machines, removed the plunger from
the pot and, resting one end on the box, proceeded to brush it briskly.
The fine oxide of lead dust dropped partly on the floor between the
box and the machine but a large cloud of it could plainly be seen
rising upward, directly into the mouth of the boy bending over it.
The plunger was brushed rapidly to prevent cooling it more than
absolutely necessary. After removal from the metal pot of the
floating dross, which was taken out with a small spoon and dumped
on the floor beside the machine, the plunger was again placed in
the well of the pot, and the operation repeated on the other machines.
Here was, first of all, the exposure of the helper to the oxide dust—
, recognized by all the authorities as one of the most dangerous forms
of lead—supplemented with the exposure of the operator to the
pile of dust left on the floor near each machine during the entire
afternoon, and which he could hardly avoid stirring up with his
feet from time to time, also the similar danger from the dross
skimmings left on the floor and, finally, the possible ris k from



135
these sources to those who cleaned the floor after the day’s work.
Such practices tan not be too strongly condemned, as there is no
necessity for them.
In another newspaper establishment in the same city the plungers
were also brushed by hand with a wire brush, but it was claimed
that the operation was performed during the absence of the force,
between shifts, by a special cleaner, who wore a sponge over the
mouth while doing it, and that the dust was removed before the
operators came to work. A number of newspaper plants were pro­
vided with a small mechanical cleaner, in which the plunger was
inserted and which, when closed, was practically dust-proof. Turn­
ing a handle by hand revolved rotary wire brushes, which removed
the coating from the plunger, collecting the dust in the bottom of
the box and eliminating any possible danger. A large newspaper
establishment in New York had one of these machines stationed in
a separate room, which was provided with an exhaust fan in the
transom over the door, and another newspaper plant in Chicago
was equipped with a somewhat similar but larger cleaner, which
wras piped to a flue, but the majority of the cleaners were portable
and were moved from one machine to the next during the cleaning
process. In two large newspaper plants, one in New York and one in
Chicago, a different method was used, which effectually eliminated all
dust. The plunger was taken out of the metal pot and dipped quickly
into a pail, partly filled with water, where the accumulated oxide
was instantly removed from the plunger by the contact. As the dip
was only of short duration the plunger was not chilled and the re­
maining heat prevented any water from clinging to it. In one estab­
lishment precaution was taken to wipe the plunger roughly with a
rag. This method was also used in a large trade composition
establishment in Chicago and in a few smaller establishments in
various localities, and all declared it to be the fastest way, as well
as the most hygienic. A pail which had been used without changing
the water for two days in an establishment equipped with over 20
line-casting machines, and where the plungers were cleaned daily,
contained over one-fourth inch of lead dust in the bottom. Inquiry
was made of several machinists why this method was not used in
preference to others, as it seemed the most practical one. The usual
answer was that the water would cling to the plunger and cause an
explosion when it was returned to the hot metal pot, even though
these machinists had seen it done without any such effect, such as
in one periodical printing plant which contained two machine com­
position departments, located on separate floors, one of which used
the dip method effectively, while the other declared it could not be
done safely.
Some authorities dwell considerably on other classes of lead dust
in the composing rooms. Thorough observation indicates that there
would not be sufficient quantity of this present seriously to affect
the health of the compositors in an establishment which was kept in
a sanitary condition. Methods have changed considerably with the
passing of the years. The elimination of distribution of used type
has reduced the accumulation of oxide dust in the type cases, previ­
ously one of the chief factors. The vacuum cleaning used for ab­
sorbing the dust from the cases when necessary has removed the
V entilation




of buildings and equipm ent

i3 6

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRACES

danger formerly encountered by blowing out the cases with bellows
or with compressed air. It is regrettable that the Vacuum system
is not more generally used for this purpose and that a number of
establishments still employ the bellows or compressed air. It is
never a good plan to scatter possible injurious dust when this can
be absorbed and localized just as easily. There is at times con­
siderable metallic lead around line-casting machines or unit-casting
machines, but this is usually coarse metallic scraps and does not
appear to cause any appreciable damage. Some fine metallic dust
is created by the saws and mitering machines used for cutting slugs
to required special sizes. They are, as a rule, used only intermit­
tently, but there is really no excuse for not providing these machines
with some device that will remove the dust right at the source. In a
number of establishments they were not provided with any arrange­
ment at all, just left open in the room, permitting the dust to scatter
all around. In others they were inclosed in small booths, mostly to
prevent the particles dislodged by the saw or the mitering machine
from being propelled against other work located close by, such as line­
casting machines. In the majority of such cases the sides of the
booths came only to 4 or 6 inches above the floor, and the metal cut­
tings were scattered all around the booth as well as tracked still
further outside by workers in the room. Only a few plants were
found that used a cabinet reaching the floor or had suction applied to
remove the cuttings, though such could easily be arranged. The
cuttings are unsightly, whether they are dangerous to the health or
not, and should be got rid of instead of kicked around and scat­
tered all over. A new style of metal feeder was seen, by means of
which the old metal slugs, scraps, or other material were fed directly
back into the metal pot instead of being remelted first. In this case
there was dead metal piled in small boxes near to the type-casting
machines and running over on the floor, producing a very unsanitary
appearance and the possibility of scattering dust over the floors from
tramping around in it. In one establishment the machinist was
found rubbing the space bands from a line-casting machine on a
large pad placed on a bench. Considerable fine dust was noticed on
the surface of the pad around the edges, and, as the machinist
leaned right over it, such a method seemed rather careless. He
claimed there were no ill effects from the operation, which was per­
formed right along at intervals, but here, as with the other possible
dangers from dust, the hazard could not be absolutely determined
without analysis of the air.
The examination of composing rooms in printing trade plants
revealed that, in spite of constant improvements, there were still a
number of undesirable conditions existing in some establishments,
which could be remedied with advantage to both employers and
•workers. The latter are interested from a standpoint of personal
health, and the former additionally from a question of production.
There is no valid reason for polluting the atmosphere with either
fumes, gases, or dust, and a composing room can be filled with just
as good, clean, wholesome air as an office.
Photo-engraving establishments, whether independent plants or
departments of combination establishments, are exposed to fumes
and gases developed by the chemicals used in the process or liberated



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

137

by heating equipment, as well as by dust from chemicals or from
the materials of which the plates are made. Ventilation equipment
was used in a number of the establishments or departments sur­
veyed, to eliminate the fumes, gases, and dust. The summary of
tabulation (p. 229), under head of “ Ventilation of equipment” and
subhead “ Photo-engraving,” shows that out of the 142 establish­
ments the provision was good in 29.6 per cent, fair in 47.9 per cent,
and bad in 22.5 per cent. The relative terms good, fair, and bad
are used in the same manner as they were applied for ventilation
of composing-room equipment.
Fumes and gases are liberated to a great extent by the various
chemicals used in the dark rooms, aggravated at times by the heat
developed in these rooms when not properly ventilated, and by addi­
tional heat from the exposure lamps in the galleries or, in summer
time, by the rays of the sun on large glass walls and skylights in the
galleries. Ventilation of the dark rooms, which was included in the
tabulation of ventilation for buildings, is an item that had not been
properly taken care of in a number of the establishments visited.
Dark rooms often consisted of box structures located in the center
of the room, some with a natural draft ventilator to the gallery and
others with ventilation only through the doors which had to be closed
during the operations. Other establishments had the dark rooms
placed by the outside wall, where window ventilation could be
obtained, and in some they were provided with ventilating ducts.
One large plant in Boston, which had moved, about a year previous,
to a new building erected for the purpose, had the dark rooms
arranged along the outside wall, but separated from this by a 2-foot
space, in which the drain pipes were located for easy access, at the
same time giving ample facilities for ventilation.
Another establishment, located in a modern building in Cleveland,
also had dark rooms and stripping placed in a similar manner,
with windows in these directly opposite those in the outside wall.
A newspaper establishment, located in an old inside building in
New York, with the photo-engraving department on the fifth floor,
had provided the dark rooms with a good exhaust duct leading out
through the wall and supplied with a fan. In addition there were
also hoods over the silver bath and acetic acid tray, to remove fumes
from these, and over the exposure lamps. A photo service depart­
ment, placed on the fourth floor, was provided with hoods over a
gas fuel photo printer, piped together with pipe from a gas fuel
drying oven to an exhaust duct with a fan. The dark room of the
stall photographers, located on the second floor, was also provided
with an exhaust duct. The air felt good in spite of the fumes
developed and the unfavorable conditions of the building itself,
showing that even with such handicaps a photo-engraving gallery,
with dark rooms, can be turned into a comfortable place to work.
Another establishment was in part located on the top floor of an
eight-story building in Chicago. The room was provided with a
high ceiling and skylights, used for ventilation, together with the
natural draft turrets through the ceiling in the printing and coat­
ing departments, adjoining the gallery. The dark rooms, ranged
along one wall, had been provided with an exhaust duct with indi­
vidual pipes from each booth, extending out through the roof, 1%



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HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

was claimed it had not proved satisfactory and it was being re­
moved at time of the visit. The reason for failure to work was
probably that it had been attempted to operate it by natural draft
instead of applying a fan. One of the dark-room booths, in which
sulphite of sodium was handled, was provided with a small exhaust
fan in the wall and the coating room had been supplied with an
exhaust fan in one window. In spite of the high ceiling and the
open skylights there was a decided odor of chemicals in the gallery.
A photo-engraving department of a newspaper establishment in
Pittsburgh was located on the fourth floor of a five-story building.
The gallery was an inside room with the dark rooms along one side
and ventilated to the hall of the building only, where fumes were
strong. Two small bracket fans had been placed in a window be­
tween gallery and hall, but one of them had been borrowed for
the etching room, which was separate and was extremely hot on
account of a large gas fuel baking stove, burning continuously dur­
ing the visit. This room also contained an etching machine and
a power rocker etching tub. The former was provided with a pipe
that extended out through the wall, but the latter had no provision
for carrying off the acid fumes that penetrated into the gallery
and made the atmosphere feel decidedly unpleasant.
One establishment in New York was provided with fan exhaust
from the dark rooms, through a duct leading out of a window, but
the grates in the ceilings of the dark rooms were covered, claimed to
have been done a few days previous when it was very windy, and the
fan was not working. Consequently there were considerable fumes
in the galleries. In another establishment in the same locality this
condition also prevailed because the workers objected to the draft.
In a photo-engraving department of a rotogravure establishment in
Cleveland sensitizing, twirling, and printing were all performed in
small dark-room boxes, placed in the center of the room, with no
special ventilation, and it was very hot in the printing booth, making
surroundings uncomfortable. In one establishment in New York,
located on two top floors of a 17-story building, it was found that
each worker was supplied with a window for his station. The dark
rooms were furnished with windows, and only very slight odors
were noticed. One offset printing establishment in Milwaukee was
equipped with electrically heated plenum for its photo-engraving
department and exhaust grates in ceilings of transfer and proofing
rooms, which kept the air in good condition. Sinks and twirler
were provided with special hoods -connected by pipes with main ex­
haust duct. Several large color printing establishments in Chicago
were furnished with good systems of exhaust by means of hoods over
the various equipment in the photo-engraving departments, elimi­
nating fumes and heat. In one of these the direct gallery contained
a large southern exposure of glass, which ordinarily would render it
very hot and uncomfortable in summer, but this condition had been
ameliorated by installation of pipes on the sides of the glass, through
which cold water was circulated. In contrast to these establishments
was one in Milwaukee, located on the second floor of an old threestory office building, with windows on one side, in front, and in rear.
The front of the building contained the office, separated from the
gallery, in which were located the cameras, dark rooms, printing, and



v e n t il a t io n o f b u il d in g s a n d e q u ip m e n t

139

copper etching, while zinc etching, routing and blocking, handtooiing, and proving, also the art department, were each in a sepa­
rate room. The dark rooms were boxlike structures, with ventilation
only through the doors into the gallery. Fumes were very notice­
able in spite of an exhaust fan, installed in the outside wall of the
gallery by order of the factory inspector and against the protest of
the firm, which declared at time of the visit that the window ventila­
tion along one side of the room ought to have been quite sufficient.
The inspection of the plant was in June, and the outside temperature
ranged around 85° F. Even with the windows open and the fan in
operation the room was far from comfortable.
In the majority of places the sinks, where clearing the lines of the
negative, or so-called cutting, with cyanide of potassium was per­
formed, were placed in the often poorly ventilated dark rooms. A
few plants among those visited had them located near windows to
admit all possible fresh air and to minimize the danger in handling
this extremely poisonous material. In some establishments the fumes
created in preparing the nitrate of silver bath for developing the
negatives were very noticeable. One plant in New York had the
bath cooking on a small gas heater in the stripping room, another
had it placed similarly in the gallery, and a third had it in the
copper etching room, none of the plants having made any provision
to eliminate the fumes. In another establishment it was provided
with a hood piped out of the window, but the steam from the pipe
had caused complaints from other tenants of the building and a
change was considered. In one plant the bath was placed in the
chemical store room and equipped with a ,hood piped to the flue with
a small fan exhaust, which effectually eliminated the steam. In an­
other it was located in the gallery but inclosed in a cabinet, also piped
out, with similar result. Glass washing often creates undesirable
fumes when the old negatives are left to soak in a strong solution of
acid to remove the film, sometimes in a room where other operations
are being performed and in an uncovered soaking tray. In some
shops this operation was done in a separate room, and in some the
glass was soaked in covered tanks provided with an exhaust pipe—
undoubtedly the best method. In one establishment a gas mask was
provided and was worn during the cleaning operation—something
seldom met with on account of the aversion of the workers to use such
appendage.
ventilation on equipment is especially required in the zinc etch­
ing department, where diluted nitric acid is used to dissolve the
metal around the designs on the plates. Most of the plants inspected
were equipped with one or more of the various styles of etching
machines, consisting of tanks in which the plates are placed and sub­
jected to the corroding effect of the acid. In one of these the acid
is splashed against the face of the plate with a revolving paddle.
In another it is forced against the face in sprays b y compressed air.
In a different machine the plate is driven vertically in and out of the
acid, face down, and another kind is equipped with a tray having a
corrugated bottom and moving with a rocking motion which forces
the acid up into the plate, held face down. Machines of similar styles
are also used for copper etching, but, as the etching fluid used for
45331°—25---- 10




140

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

that metal consists of a perehloride of iron solution, there are no
dangerous fumes emitted and, consequently, no need for special
ventilating equipment. A different method was also used for etch­
ing copper in some plants by means of an electrolytic machine in
which the copper is etched electrically, the opposite of electroplating.
In the majority of cases the zinc etching machines were piped, either
to a main exhaust duct or separately out through the wall or a window.
Those provided with fan motion were seldom found equipped
with additional exhaust fans, and the pipes seemed to carry the
fumes off well. The other machines were sometimes equipped with
pipes provided with fan exhaust or natural draft, or occasionally
not even piped. It is a natural condition that constant familiarity
and daily contact with dangerous elements in the trade develops a
natural contempt for these in the minds of both workers and em­
ployers. Nitric acid is a very powerful destructive agent, but the
workers get so used to the fumes that they ignore the danger, and
consequently conditions are found at times that by no means should
be allowed to exist. In two of the large color printing establishments
in Chicago the exhaust pipes from the etching machines were badly
corroded, permitting fumes to escape into the rooms. Lids pro­
vided for the machines, to prevent distribution of fumes during
agitation of the acid while operating the machines, were often left
off. In one large establishment in Philadelphia four machines were
observed in this condition. These were piped and the room was pro­
vided with an exhaust duct, but the air was full^ of acid fumes.
The foreman pointed to the covers, lying under the machines, and
claimed that the men did not want the covers on. Similar experi­
ences were met with in other plants. In one establishment in Detroit
the original covers had been replaced by others, home-made ones,
that did not fit well and permitted fumes to pollute the air around
the workers.
A newspaper establishment in New York, previously mentioned as
handicapped by an old building but with installation of devices to
make working conditions tolerable, furnished a decided contrast.
The etching room was equipped with two etching machines, each with
a pipe extending out through the wall, and in addition was pro­
vided with a large hood, extending over these machines, and a powerdriven rocking tub placed between them, through which all fumes
were eliminated. Some smaller establishments were equipped with
etching tubs in place of machines. These are given a rocking mo­
tion, by hand or by power drive, which dashes the acid back and
forth over the face of the plate, deposited in the bottom. When
rocked by hand, the old-fashioned way, the operator is usually sta­
tioned by the side of the tub with one hand on each end of it so as
to press it down alternately, subjecting him to inhalation of the
fumes. When the tub is propelled by power he can walk away
from the immediate locality but, even then, is often required to bend
over the tub to insert the plate, to take it out, or to assist the action
of the acid by brushing the plate. Where no method is provided for
direct exhaust of the fumes, these naturally spread around in the
room and create an undesirable condition, such as was observed in
some establishments where the tubs had been placed by the windows.
Instead of the fumes floating out through the open window, they



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

141

are blown into the room by the draft through it, polluting the
atmosphere not alone on the same floor but often throughout the
whole building. This may also happen even where hoods are provided
and exhaust applied with a fan, such as in one large establishment
in Chicago, located on the fifth and sixth floors of a six-story
building, where the odor of the chemicals was strongly notice­
able near the elevator shaft in the entrance hall on the first floor of
the building. The hood and exhaust appliance localizes the fumes,
but even in such cases whenever the operator bends over the tub he
is more or less subjected to inhalation of the fumes as they ascend
to the exhaust. Rocking tubs were found in some of the larger
establishments also, in addition to the etching machines, and these
were usually provided with power drive and with exhaust for the
fumes. In one establishment in New York a power-driven rocking
tub was observed that had been inclosed in a glass-topped cabinet,
which was piped out of the building and with fan exhaust, but in
other places such inclosure was declared to be impracticable for the
operation involved.
One of the sources of fumes in the etching room, or other parts of
the establishment where it may be located, is the carboy containing
the concentrated nitric acid. The carboy itself does not allow the
fumes to escape, but the carelessness of the workers, who pour the
acid from it into their receptacles and then leave the stopper
out instead of replacing it in the carboy, permits the fumes to spread
through the room and pollute the air. This condition was found in
several of the plants visited. In one of these, located in New York,
the attention of the etcher was directed to the circumstance. He
claimed that it had been left out by the night shift, but, as the survey
of the establishment did not start until 11 o’clock a. m., he evinced a
personal disregard of his own health by not stopping up the carboy
himself before then, even though some one else might have left it
open. No attempt was made to do so, even after attention had been
called to it. In another New York establishment a sign had been
placed above the carboy, reading “ Keep top on.” This plant was
inspected twice to observe working conditions for both day and
night shifts, and in both instances the carboy was found open. In
cases such as these the workers have only themselves to blame if
other conditions are not of the best, because the employers can
hardly be expected to make improvements which are slighted or
ignored by those who would benefit by them. There is a danger of
breakage of the carboys containing nitric acid or other acids used in
the process, in spite ox the wooden case which protects the large glass
vessel. This would liberate a great quantity of fumes, the inhaling of
which under similar circumstances have proved fatal or, even where
the exposure appeared to have been light, developed severe after­
effects many hours later. A number of the establishments were pro­
vided with special hangers in individual frames for holding the car­
boys and to permit easy tipping to pour the fluid. Some kept the
supply of carboys on concrete stands provided with a projecting edge
to prevent escape of acid in case of breakage, and a number of them
were supplied with large quantities of bicarbonate of soda or soda
ash and ammonia to neutralize the acid and prevent fumes in such
event. In two places the storage stand was located on the roof, out­
side the door of the etching room, for additional safety.



142

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Chemical fumes are also spread throughout the etching room or the
entire plant by drains from etching tubs, etching machines, or sinks.
In some establishments the drains consisted of open gutters, molded
in the concrete floors, which allowed the fumes to escape freely
from the fluids flowing to the main drains for the building. Metal
pipes can not be used Successfully, on account of the corroding effect
of the acid, and terra cotta drains have a tendency to become
loosened in the joints whenever there is any vibration in the build­
ing, letting the fumes escape through the cracks, as observed in
some instances during inspections. In plants that were using hard
rubber drains there were no fumes noticeable from this source, and
consequently it seemed to be the ideal method. There may also be
other causes for fumes, such as in one establishment in New York,
where a sink in the etching department contained one open tray
with acid and another with phenoid cleaner. The sink was placed
right against a window, partly open, in the top part of which
a small exhaust fan was located. The fan was not in running order
and there was considerable complaint from the workers about the
fumes distributed by the acid and the cleaner. That chemical
fumes can be entirely eliminated by proper exhaust and by coopera­
tion of the workers was successfully demonstrated in a number of
establishments, both large and small, where the air was good and
wholesome, no taint of fumes being noticeable.
There is still another source of fumes, especially in the etching
department, but also existing in other parts of the plants, which ordi­
narily is completely ignored by the workers. During etching the
designs on the plates are protected from the acid by an acid-resist­
ing coat of ink and a resinous powder. To fix this latter it is neces­
sary to melt it by heating the plate, which in the majority of cases
was done by holding it over a stove, usually consisting of several
tubes, provided with perforations and supplied with gas by opening
a valve. The gas is lighted from a pilot light, left burning, while
the stove is Supposed to be extinguished except when actually in use.
In a number of cases the stoves were found burning continually,
consuming the oxygen of the air and polluting the room by fumes
and gases. Whirlers, which are used in the galleries for turning the
plates during drying operations in sensitizing them, are ordinarily
suspended over gas stoves. Drying ovens, used for drying negative
glass after washing, are also ordinarily supplied with gas fuel,
though a few were found that were heated by steam. Some of the
plants were well provided with hoods and exhausts for the gas
stoves, but in several others the odor of gas was noticeable over the
chemical fumes in the establishments, and these were quite strong.
In a few plants electrically heated whirlers and drying ovens were
used, and one establishment even used an electric stove for baking the
acid resist on the plates. Electrical equipment is ideal from a health
standpoint and, according to those who were using it, performed the
work in a satisfactory manner, but is objected to mainly on account
of the comparatively high co§t. Gas fuel can be made safe by
proper ventilation, which should in all cases be applied to it to
prevent contamination of the atmosphere, no matter where or how
it is used. The undesirability of it under other circumstances was
emphasized in one photo-engraving establishment in Philadelphia,



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

143

which was visited during the end of January, when the outside
temperature was about 15° Fahrenheit. The ceilings were low and
only natural ventilation was provided for the rooms. As the day
was cold the windows and the ventilation pipes in the roof were
closed, keeping the gas fumes from whirlers and baking stoves
and the chemical fumes in the building. The dark rooms were, with
one exception, provided with ventilation to the galleries only and
two rocking tubs in the etching room had no provision at all. The
heating system for the building was insufficient and it had been
necessary to augment it by the use of coal stoves and gas fuel stoves.
These latter distributed considerable fumes also, and altogether the
atmosphere in the plant was far from desirable. A number of the
workers complained of headaches and nervousness—not surprising
under the circumstances.
The dust proposition in the zinc etching department is also ob­
jectionable, on account of the fine resinous powder, called dragon’s
blood, which is brushed over the face of the plate to cover the
design and protect it from the action of the acid. In some of the
establishments this was kept in open trays, in others in cabinets
with open fronts, while several used better arrangements, though
none of those observed were ideal and the old-fashioned method of
hand brushing was used in all except one of the plants inspected.
The operator holds the plate in the box or cabinet with one hand
and brushes the fine powder over the face of it in four different
directions so as to cover all edges, then bakes the powder by heating
the plate over a stove and inserts it in the acid bath. As the plate
usually receives three separate immersions in the acid this means
that it must be powdered at least three times.
The dragon’s blood is a very fine powder and is distributed
through the air by the agitation and brushing of the plate. It is an
organic dust, and as such not classed by authorities among those that
cause pulmonary lesions. There is, however, no question that a
large amount ox it is inhaled, as in a number of plants the hair
and clothing of the workers were thickly coated with the fine, red
dust, and all projections in the room, in some cases even the per­
pendicular walls, were similarly covered. In one establishment in
Richmond the departments were separated by galvanized-iron parti­
tions. The partition dividing the etching room from the gallery
was covered with dragon’s blood, which had also drifted through
imperfect-fitting joints and was visible in streaks on the other side
in the gallery. One establishment in New York had installed cabi­
nets with slide fronts for the dragon’s blood, but these fronts had
been raised or nailed up, probably to save the exertion of opening
them, and dust was scattered all over the room. Several plants were
found that had open-front cabinets, with pipes extending from the
top out through the walls, equipped with small fans or piped to ex­
haust systems. Other cabinets were provided with hoods, extending
over the boxes, and piped out in a similar manner. Equipment with
fan systems does not always mean that this is used, and in several
of the establishments the men neglected to start the fans when
powdering the plates, with the result that the dust was scattered
throughout the room. In places which used the ventilating system
there was a n o t i c e a b l the p d o e wc rapparente in the room
e
de ae sr i n



144

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

as well as on the men. In Detroit a special design cabinet was ob­
served, which was equipped with a roller front door, a small exhaust
fan, and a hopper for collecting the dust expelled by the fan. No
dust was observed in the room. One establishment in Nashville was
provided with the usual open tray for small work, but in addition
had a cabinet for large plates, which was not in operation at the time.
It was explained that the plate was inserted in this cabinet, the door
closed, and the dust forced against the face of the plate by a fan.
It is understood that since the field survey ended a new machine
has been placed on the market which automatically powders the
plate, driving the powder against the face by a fan blast through a
narrow orifice. The plate carriage is propelled into a stove com­
partment by turning a handwheel, which ignites the gas burners and
drives the heat against the top of the plate, baking the powder.
Turning the handwheel again propels the plate—which meanwhile is
being turned one-fourth way around—into another chamber, where
it is cooled by a blast of cold air. As soon as copied, the operation
is repeated until the plate has been powdered on*all four sides.
It is claimed that no powder can escape from the machine, so, if
correct, this would solve the problem effectually and enable the
etchers to breathe unpolluted air.
The problem of the finishing departments is mostly metallic dust,
zinc or copper, created by the use of the various machines, such as
saws, trimmers, bevelers, mortising machines, and routing machines,
as well as by hand tools. Though it is seldom done, the dust
created by the saws, trimmers, and bevelers could easily be collected
at the source by exhaust pipes and conveyed to a receptacle. The
bases of the machines are ordinarily hollow and intended to catch
the majority of the cuttings. It is a question if there is sufficient
danger in the dust created by the operations to justify exhaust equip­
ment. The same holds good with the chips from the routing ma­
chines. Information has been received that in one establishment in
Chicago an experiment is being made with an exhaust system for
these, but the result is not known. Two of the plants inspected were
equipped with exhaust on the trimming machinery, such as one in
New York, which had applied it to a small circular saw and a jig
saw. It was claimed that it paid from a standpoint of cleanliness,
even if there were no dangerous features in the dust. The dust was
collected in a box, from which it was removed at intervals. The wood­
trimming machines in several places were provided with exhaust, but
as wood dust is declared not detrimental to the health, such equip­
ment was considered under sanitation. The exhaust system could
have been put to good use in the two brass-engraving and die-sink­
ing establishments inspected, where the cuttings from the lathes,
saws, trimmers, and routers were scattered all over the floors. These
seemed to be quite coarse and, as the amount of work was small, were
probably not so detrimental to health as to looks.
The photo-engraving work for offset -printing presents additional
factors, together with some of those in the ordinary branch. The
provisions for the gallery apply equally to either, but as the opera­
tions differ materially from there on the ventilation problem would
naturally apply also. The only two factors in the offset method that
seemed to require special ventilation in the plants inspected were



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

145

the drying of the grained plates by open gas flames, as found in some
instances, and the fumes from the turpentine in the transfer room,
which were strong enough to cause headaches and irritation of the
mucous membranes of the nose in two of the plants visited. The
majority of places used air for drying the plates, and most of the
transfer rooms were so well ventilated that the fumes from the tur­
pentine were carried off.
In photo-engraving work for the rotogravure method the ques­
tions of ventilation are practically the same as for the others,
but to this is added the preparation of the cylinders, consisting in
grinding and polishing. These are operations which always create
a fine dust and, as the material is copper, would prove dangerous if
not properly taken care of. The grinding is performed wet, which
disposes of the danger in that operation, but the polishing material
usually consists of emery or crocus cloth, fastened on a block, which
rests on the revolving and automatically oscillating cylinder. The
operator, as a rule, inserts the polishing block and starts the ma­
chine, which works automatically, and then leaves the immediate
vicinity to do other work until the operation is finished. The fine
copper dust, liberated through the action of the crocus cloth, flies all
through the room, polluting the atmosphere, and is consequently
inhaled by the workers, even though quite a distance from the work.
In some of the plants surveyed there was sufficient* dust to irritate
the mucous membranes of the nose and cause sneezing. In one estab™ * ,1
J
handkerchief over mouth
A worse condition was
A ,
, where the operator was
seated bending over the cylinder and holding the block with the
emery cloth on the revolving cylinder. Being located so close to
the source of the dust he was naturally inhaling considerable of it,
as his face was unprotected. One establishment in New York
claimed to have eliminated the dangerous feature- by using polishing
paste, spread on a felt pad, in place of the crocus cloth on the auto­
matic polishing machines. It seemed to prevent the distribution of
dust through the air, judging from observation, though the de­
gree of absence could not be determined without analysis of the air.
Some fine metallic dust is created in steel and copper plate or die
engraving, but the relative quantity is very small, and establish­
ments where this was done were usually well ventilated. The opera­
tion of hardening the plates and dies involves some special ventila­
tion if done on a large scale, such as in one establishment surveyed,
located in Washington. It was performed in a special room, which
contained tanks with cyanide of potassium, heated with gas fuel
and forced draft to 400° or 500° F., in which the plates were dipped.
These, as well as the accompanying cooling tanks with oil and water,
were provided with hoods that were connected by large pipes with
an exhaust duct up through the building and roof, and all fumes
were carried off by the fan.
Considerable smoke and fumes are developed by the stereotyping
process. The metal used is an alloy consisting of lead, antimony,
and tin, and, similar to that for type casting, ordinarily contains
about 15 per cent of antimony and 6 per cent of tin. It is kept
molten in huge kettles during the casting operations. Scraps, dust,



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
146
and sweepings are thrown into the kettles and remelted, together
with plates which have been used or, occasionally, with new metal.
When the metal is heated to the melting point or, above, and the
surface is exposed to the action of the oxygen in the air, it becomes
covered with a thin film of oxide, commonly called dross. The higher
the temperature the more dross is formed, and this is also affected
by agitation or stirring, which presents fresh surfaces to the air.
Impurities in the material rise to the top, part of them working
into the dross, floating on the surface, and part of them rising in
the air as smoke or fumes. The metal is stirred to facilitate rising
and the dross is skimmed off, leaving the metal surface clear and
bright. The subsequent action of the air forms another film of
oxide, which is often carried into the air when disturbed by stirring
the metal or by mechanical agitation. Coupled with the large amount
of heat distributed from the equipment and the fact that a great many
of the establishments are partly located in basements, the provisions
for ventilating both rooms and equipment are of vast importance to
the workers. That part of the summary of tabulation (p. 229) headed
“ Ventilation of equipment” with subhead “ Stereotyping,” shows
that of the 103 establishments 39.8 per «cent were good, 31.1 per cent
fair, and 29.1 per cent bad, with the terms used relatively as for
equipment of the composing room.
The molding department, where the paper matrices are made, is
often located m one side of the composing room and has been re­
ferred to in connection with this. There are no fumes developed,
as a rule, by the operations in the work, but in several cases the odor
of gas fuel, used on boilers for the steam tables, was very noticeable.
Excessive heat is created, seldom with any provision for carrying it
off. Humidity is also developed through the drying process on the
steam tables, making the heat more noticeable. Where the flat cast­
ing department is located in, or adjoining, the molding department
there is the addition of metal fumes, together with acrolein fumes,
from the kettles and usually also from the ingot metal furnace or the
kettle used for that metal. The majority of stereotype flat casting
kettles are provided with hoods and with curtains extending from
the hoods to the edges of the kettles, but it is necessary to have doors
in the curtains for feeding in the old metal and dipping out the new
metal with a ladle. Consequently the doors are open part of the
time, leaving a chance for the fumes to escape into the room. In
several places they were found to be open at all times, except just
at the beginning of melting down the metal, when the clouds of
smoke often were so dense that even a strong exhaust had difficulty
in removing them. In some shops the kettles were not provided
with curtains, depending on the exhausts being strong enough to
draw the fumes up through the hoods. In others the curtains were
provided with slots to accommodate the handles of the force pumps
used in place of ladles to pour the molten metal into the flat casting
boxes. The hoods and the fuel exhausts were ordinarily provided
with separate pipes leading to exhaust ducts, as the oil and dirt in
the metal has a tendency to create soot in the pipes and this might
catch fire from the fuel exhaust. Considerable heat is created by the
metal kettles, and in a number of plants these were found covered
with asbestos, applied in some also to the curtains and part of the



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

147

pipes, which helped to protect the workers from the radiation. The
kettles often have a capacity of 5,000 pounds or more of metal, which
is usually kept at a, temperature of 650° F.
The largest amount of fumes is developed in the foundry, where
even larger metal kettles are used. The kettle on the ordinary
double junior autoplate has a capacity of 8 tons of metal and, as it
is usually kept filled, constitutes also a source of considerable heat,
even though its sides are covered with asbestos. The operation of
the casting units at each end requires considerable muscular effort,
because these will each produce three plates per minute, which must
be removed and transferred to the shaving and cooling machine,
and a stereotype plate for a newspaper press usually weighs about
60 pounds. Old plates, to be remelted, must also be fed into the
metal kettle to replace the amount removed and to keep the rest at
the required temperature. The dross is often allowed to accumulate
on the top of the metal in the autoplates to about 1 inch in depth,
instead of skimming it continually, as is necessary in metal kettles
where ladles are used. The covering of dross protects the metal
from the air, retarding oxidation, and consequently there is less con­
tamination of the air by actual lead fumes. Plain metal kettles are
substituted in some plants for the autoplates, either provided with
force pumps or, in smaller newspaper establishments, intended for
the use of a ladle to remove the metal. Both kinds are ordinarily
supplied with hoods and curtains, though the latter are often re­
moved after the metal has been melted. Where force pumps are
used, a gas burner is placed under the mouthpiece or spout, situated
above the casting box, so the metal will not be cooled before reaching
the box. As this flame burns in the open and there is no provision
for removing the fumes, the operators are subject to any detrimental
influences that may come from it.
Several methods are used to exhaust the fumes from the auto­
plates, as there is no equipment for such purpose turned out by the
manufacturers and a variety of opinions regarding the most efficient
manner prevail. The most common arrangement consisted of a side
curtain, fitting tight around ’the kettle but with vertical slots at
each end, permitting free movement of the levers controlling the
feeding pump, with a tight-fitting hood, which was piped, together
with a pipe for fuel exhaust, to a duct with a fan. The curtain was
supplied with a trapdoor, through which old plates and cut-off ends
could be returned to the supply of metal in the kettle, but as the
curtain retarded operations to a certain extent and prevented a free
view of the interior, it had been removed in the majority of cases.
The hood was of the same circumference as the kettle, and with this
arrangement it was necessary to place it up high enough to prevent
interference with the levers, about 2 or 3 ’feet above the kettle.
The fumes naturally spread out as they rose from the surface of the
metal, even where the pipe from the hood was provided with a good
exhaust, and consequently were escaping outside the edges of the
hood. This condition was especially bad when the ink-covered plates
were melted down, liberating dense acrolein fumes.
In one establishment in Chicago one of the autoplates had been
placed in a small inside room and the side curtain removed. The
ceiling was low and the small room was filled with fumes that were



148

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADESI

escaping from, under the hood, as well as through an opening in
the pipe, intended for additional connection and which was not
capped. Failure to keep equipment in proper order was also at
times a cause of undesirable conditions. A newspaper establish­
ment in Cleveland was equipped with two autoplates, located on a
4-foot-high platform in one corner of the pressroom in the base­
ment. These were provided with hoods of the same circumference
as the kettles, piped to a main duct, with separate pipes for the fuel
to the duct. The exhaust fan was not working on account of a fire
in the pipes three months previous and fumes were escaping in
large quantities outside the hoods, vitiating the air in the stereo­
type foundry and also in the pressroom, making it especially bad
for the workers on the top decks of the tall presses used. The base­
ment was supplied with plenum and exhaust which helped the
condition somewhat. The management claimed continual trouble
with the pipes from the autoplate exhaust, no doubt due to the fact
that the fan was located directly in the duct, and also to neglect
of burning out the soot in the pipes at regular intervals to prevent
accumulation of a large deposit, which would create a very hot fire.
Difficulty from similar cause was encountered in other plants, espe­
cially where small pipes were used, which rapidly became filled
with the soot from the acrolein fumes. An establishment in Chi­
cago, where the equipment was provided with large exhaust pipes
and a fan which was situated by the side of the main duct so the fan
could be shut off from the duct, took the precaution of burning out
the pipes regularly every three weeks—an excellent method. The
fuel was piped separately in this plant, as well as in a number of
others. Other ventilating conditions in the building also affected the
system. One establishment in Denver had two autoplates, pro­
vided with hoods of the same size as the kettles, around which con­
siderable fumes escaped, though they were piped with exhaust to
the flue. The gas fuel was piped separately to the flue, but with
natural draft only. A separate room had been inclosed in the
center of one end of the stereotyping room, leaving a 4-foot-wide
space at one side between this inclosure and the side wall for a
paper-roll chute. An exhaust fan was located in the end of this
chute, near the ceiling of the foundry, about 4 feet above the level
of the alley, which drew out some of the fumes, but a considerable
portion spread through the rest of the room and into the press­
room in front, which had no wall separation. The superintendent
claimed this was partly due to the open windows in the side wall,
.which prevented the fan from exhausting properly, but it seemed
largely due to improper location of the fan, to no separation of rooms,
which left too large an air space for the exhaust, and especially to
the small size of the hoods. If these had been extended about 2 feet all
around and raised high enough to permit the free working of the cast­
ing levers on the machines, a strong suction in the pipes from the
hoods might have prevented any escape of fumes whatever. One
establishment in Indianapolis was equipped with two autoplates, one
double and one single. The hood over the double junior autoplate
was about 3 feet higher than the top of the kettle and, as it was
only slightly larger in circumference, the fumes were not completely
a b s o r Escape ,o u t s i d edges twas eaccelerated b y draft f r o m
b e d
e h



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

149

the open windows in the department, which was located on the
third floor and equipped with both plenum and exhaust. The gas
fuel on the drying tables and fumes from gas on the matrix roaster
were also piped to the exhaust. The washed air from the plenum
system made conditions fairly good but they would have been even
better if the exhaust for the autoplate had been perfect. An estab­
lishment in Washington was equipped with one junior autoplate,
which was supplied with a hood of the same size as the kettle but
no curtains. This was piped, together with pipe for the gas fuel,
to a duct leading to a flue, but provided with natural draft only.
The fumes spread outside of the hood and were, in addition, drawn
from under it by the action of an exhaust fan located in a rear
window of the room on the first floor, the window being 3 feet
above the street level in front though 4 feet below it in the rear.
An exhaust fan applied to the duct would have cleared the room
more effectively of fumes.
A newspaper establishment in Pittsburgh was equipped with two
junior autoplates, located on the fourth floor. These were provided
with hoods, each piped out through the roof, with a fan. The hood
over an ordinary kettle for flat casting metal was piped to one ex­
haust and the hood over a. similar kettle for ingot metal was piped
to the other. The fuel on a small dross refining furnace was piped
to one of the exhausts, but there was no hood over the kettle part.
The gas fuel on a boiler, supplying steam to a steam table on floor
above, was piped to a flue. The room was provided with a plenum
fan in a window at one end and an exhaust fan in a window at the
other end. These drew the smoke and fumes out from under the
hoods, scattering them all around. A large amount drifted through
a stairway and a descending pole shaft to the floor above, on which
the stereotype molding department and the composing room were
situated, polluting the air of these also. It felt very warm in the
room, in spite of asbestos covering on the autoplates and metal
kettles and pipes from these and the boiler. The condition was very
undesirable. Windows and walls were dirty from smoke, and even
the light bulbs were grimy from it. In some plants the autoplates
were provided with covers or flat lids extending a foot or two above
the top of the kettles, provided with trapdoors for return of. the cut­
off ends or of old plates, such as in one establishment in New York,
where the stereotype foundry was located on the third floor and sepa­
rated from the pressroom by a plaster curtain partition hung from the
ceiling to about 8 feet from the floor. The two junior autoplates
were each provided with two pipes from the lids over the metal to
the main fuel pipe which was covered with asbestos up to about
nine feet above the floor and was provided with a fan on the roof.
The sides of the autoplates were also covered with asbestos. In
addition, large hoods had been placed up near the. ceiling, connected
with the exhaust duct, and fresh air was supplied by a plenum sys­
tem through four large funnels, extending part way down in the
room by the wall. In spite of basement location, the air was good.
In another establishment in New York, where four junior autoplates
were located on- the second floor, these were equipped with flat tops
in the same manner, but there were several holes in the lids
through which fumes could be seen escaping. An exhaust fan in



150

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

the window removed them, but they were polluting the air between
the kettles and the window. In a different plant, where four senior
autoplates, located in the basement and in a crowded space, were
piped to a duct with a fan exhaust, the flat lids were partly open
and the presence of fumes in the room from that source were quite
noticeable. A metal kettle in one end of the room, equipped with
one force pump to a double-page casting box, and another to a
flat casting box, did not have any ventilating attachment and fumes
were expected to be eliminated by a fan placed in the window above
it. It was used only for special occasions, but would naturally be
a source of contamination whenever that happened.
In other plants no special equipment was provided on the auto­
plates, exhaust fans being placed close to them for the removal of
the fumes. This was the case in one establishment in Pittsburgh,
where the foundry was located on the seventh floor and contained
two junior autoplates. The fuel was piped to a large flue, pro­
vided with a fan on the roof, and the fuel from two ordinary metal
kettles in the room was piped to the same. An exhaust fan had been
placed in the window in the rear of the room. Considerable
smoke and fumes were in evidence, as it was quite a distance from
the kettles to the windows. The fumes at one time penetrated
through a sliding pole shaft to the stereotype molding department
and composing room on the floor above, so the top of this had been
covered with a cabinet. In Philadelphia a somewhat similar condi­
tion was noted in one establishment, which had two junior auto­
plates located on the eighth floor and one additional on the seventh
floor, together with a metal kettle for double-page casting and one
for flat casting or ingot metal. The fuel was piped out through the
roof on all, but the flat casting and ingot metal kettle was the only
one provided with a hood, also piped. Some fumes and smoke were
evident, in spite of exhaust system with duct applied to the room.
An establishment in Cleveland presented considerable difference.
The foundry, located together with the molding department on the
sixth floor, was equipped with one junior autoplate, one kettle with
three force pumps for plate casting, one kettle for flat casting metal,
and one kettle for ingot metal. The three kettles were provided with
large hoods, piped'to a main duct out through the roof, with natural
draft only. The autoplates were not provided with hoods, but the
fumes seemed to rise straight up to three turrets in the high ceiling
above, leading out through the roof and supplied with a suction fan.
The fuel was piped separately out through the roof.
Ordinary metal kettles were found equipped in different ways, as
well as the autoplates, and with comparatively the same results.
They had smaller surfaces to create metal fumes* there was not so
much fuel used, consequently less radiation of heat, but the air
space of the foundries using them was ordinarily also less, so the
proportionate pollution may be just as large under unfavorable cir­
cumstances. One establishment in Cincinnati was equipped with
two kettles, each with two force pumps to casting boxes. These
were located on the first floor, together with the pressroom, and*
were placed under a large hood, reaching from the ceiling to about
7 feet from the floor, with a 42-inch exhaust fan near the top, which
pulled the fumes out of the building. In a plant in Atlanta the



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

151

stereotyping department, which was only partially separated from
the composing room, was located on the fifth floor. The metal kettle,
on which coal was used for fuel, was equipped with two force
pumps and had been provided with a curtained hood piped out of the
building, but the pipe was partially disconnected and the curtain had
a large opening in front. The room was full of fumes, which were
also drawn into the composing room by two suction fans in the
ceiling. Strong gas fumes were also emitted by the matrix roaster,
especially noticeable when it was opened. A new system for equip­
ment ventilation had just been installed in one stereotyping depart­
ment visited in Detroit. The department was situated on the tenth
floor, separated from the composing room by a glass-top partition
with sliding doors. The equipment consisted of one kettle with three
force pumps, one kettle with two force pumps, both for plate casting,
one kettle with a force pump and double-page casting box, and one
kettle for ingot metal with molding attachment. The gas fuel on
all four kettles was piped to the flue and each kettle had been provided
with a hood, piped separately out through the roof, with a strong fan.
No fumes were noticeable, and the workers were well pleased with
the improvement, as the former system had been inadequate and
filled both the stereotyping and composing rooms with smoke. A
bad condition was found in an auxiliary stereotype foundry in
Detroit, located, together with the pressroom, in a basement with a
high ceiling. It was used only on Friday and Saturday, but during
the rest of the week a slow fire was kept under the metal in an ordi­
nary kettle equipped with three force pumps and heated by gas.
The kettle was provided with a hood and with a curtain in the back
but was open in front. It was piped out into a small court with fan
exhaust, but the fan did not work well and the entire room was full
of smoke and fumes. The following night the fan was found en­
tirely out of commission.
Besides the metal fumes there was often considerable odor from
gas noticeable in the stereotyping departments of newspapers. A
great many of the steam tables were provided with steam from in­
dividual gas fuel boilers. The majority of the autoplates and metal
kettles were heated by gas and the matrix roasters, used in prac­
tically every foundry visited, were nearly all heated by gas. It is
of course the same as in any other department where gas is used.
Improper combustion is sure to produce fumes and gases among the
surroundings, and it is extremely difficult to secure complete com­
bustion. One establishment in Boston had been experimenting for
quite a while, in cooperation with the local gas company, to secure
proper automatic control on the gas fuel for its autoplates.
The stereotpying departments in book and job and periodical
printing plants were on a minor scale and were usually equipped
with small kettles, provided with hoods on collapsible pipes, to be
raised or lowered at will, and piped out of the buildings.
The dust problem in the stereotyping process is greatly ignored by
the workers. The dross, which is skimmed off the top of the metal
in the kettles, is probably the most dangerous form. This was often
thrown on the floor in a heap by the side of the kettle, but in the
majority of larger plants it was commonly placed in drums or other
receptacles t o shipped t o
b e
refineries. Only a few of the
th e



152

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

plants do their own dross refining at the present time, considering
it a better financial policy to sell it. It is certainly better for the
health of the workers, as it is bad enough to handle the dross in re­
moving it from the kettle into the receptacle for it. Routing ma­
chines for curved plates were commonly located in the foundry, and
were inclosed in booths provided with wire screen sides to prevent
the chips from scattering. At times the floors of these booths were
covered with metal chips, most of which were too coarse to be dan­
gerous. It is possible that some fine dust is liberated and inhaled
through the process of routing, but to determine this would require
a thorough analysis of the air. There are usually considerable
scraps, cuttings, and dust around the flat finishing department,
where the saws and trimmers are located and where additional hand
tooling may be performed. The workers in a job stereotyping plant
are exposed to practically the same problems as those in the flat
casting and finishing department of a newspaper. The establish­
ments of that class which were surveyed did not present any unusual
features. There was often considerable dust around the saws and
trimming machines, due to the carelessness of the workers in push­
ing aside the receptacles that were placed by the spouts on the
machines or letting them fill to overflowing.
Aluminotypes were used besides stereotypes in one of the news­
paper and periodical printing establishments. The plaster composi­
tion used for molding requires considerable heat for drying, and it
was kept in the specially designed oven for about one hour and a half
under a temperature of 180° to 190° F., supplied by a steam radiator
inside with the hot air circulated by a motor. The fusing point of
aluminum is high, 1,218° F., and the alloy of aluminum and copper
used in the plates was melted in special kettles, heated by forced
draft gas fuel to 1,900° F., throwing out considerable heat. Some
dust was scattered by the removal of the mold from the cast, but
this consisted principally of gypsum, clay, and asbestos, and the
quantity was small. This special method was also found in a large
electrotyping plant in Cincinnati, where it was used on a more ex­
tensive scale. The additional heat was taken care of in that place
by good window ventilation and did not seem annoying.
Electrotyping is another process in which metal fumes are created,
but additional conditions also require ventilation for the equipment
used in some of the other operations to make the workrooms com­
fortable. This is often neglected, especially in the smaller establish­
ments, as shown by the figures of the summary of tabulation (p. 229),
under head of “ Ventilation of equipment” and subhead “ Electro­
typing.” Only 16.1 per cent of the 62 establishments surveyed were
found to be good, while 53.2 per cent were judged fair and 30.7 per
cent bad. Good, fair, and bad were used in the same relative terms
as for the other processes.
The most important source of fumes is the kettle for the backing
metal, which is also an alloy of lead, antimony, and copper, but with
a smaller percentage of antimony than metal for type casting,
usually only about 2 to 3.5 per cent, with the tin varying from 1.75
to 5 per cent. It is kept at about 650° F., though sometimes a con­
siderably higher temperature is reached. The kettles are ordinarily
smaller than those used for stereotyping, and ladles are used for



VEKTILATIOK OF BOTtMNGS AND EQUIPMENT

153

dipping out the metal and pouring it into the flat, open backing pans.
The majority of the kettles in the establishments surveyed were pro­
vided with hoods, fitting down close and arranged with collapsible
pipes that can be let down on top of the kettles while the metal is
melted, and then raised to permit ladling. As in stereotyping, the
scraps, cuttings, and sweepings are remelted with the metal, thus
creating acrolein fumes as well as metal fumes during the operation.
Where the hood was let down tight over the kettle and a good ex­
haust provided for the pipe the fumes were insignificant during the
melting operation. This was not always the case, such as in a
periodical printing establishment in New York, where the electro­
type foundry contained two metal kettles. The edges of the hoods
were about 6 inches above the tops of the kettles on account of the
scraps and cuttings heaped in the latter for melting. The exhaust
pipes were provided with only natural draft, which permitted escape
of fumes all around the edges. After the metal was melted the
hoods were pulled up to permit skimming and ladling, leaving the
surface of the metal free to distribute fumes whenever agitated by
the ladle. Other establishments were provided with stationary
hoods, at times supplied with curtains similar to those used on stereo­
type metal kettles, but often the curtains had been removed, leaving
a hood of the same size as the kettle suspended up too high to catch
all of the fumes, even with a fair exhaust in the pipe leading from it.
One book and job printing establishment in Cincinnati, whose elec­
trotype foundry was equipped with two kettles, was provided with
only one small hood that was shifted from one kettle to the other,
according to which one was in use, and connected with a pipe lead­
ing to the flue. It was hanging over the kettle containing molten
metal, but there was no fan exhaust and, in addition, the pipe lead­
ing to the flue was disconnected, leaving all fumes a chance to
be distributed in the atmosphere of the room.
An electrotyping establishment in Richmond had only one metal
kettle, with the gas fuel piped out through the wall. A removable
hood was used over the metal, but only while this was being melted.
The gas fuel pipe had a large opening for the connection from the
hood, which was not capped when the hood was removed, and the
fumes from the fuel were ejected partly into the room through this.
As the establishment was small all of the operations were performed
in one room and all the workers in it were subject to the fumes and
gases from the metal kettle and its fuel, as well as to the fumes from
the wax and the electroplating tanks. All of these fumes were es­
pecially noticeable as the windows were closed on account of cold
weather and there was no artificial ventilation provided. The in­
spection was in December and the temperature outside was only 30°
F. In one book and job printing plant in New York City the elec­
trotyping department was located on the top floor of a seven-story
building, separated by a partition from the composing room. The
metal kettle was provided with a hood, which was piped out of the
window, but fumes were escaping around the edges and mingled
through the room with the fumes from the wax kettles and the stopoff, together with fumes from an open vat in which kerosene was kept
for hand scrubbing of the electrotypes. In spite of the windows being
open, the atmosphere was decidedly unpleasant, A large periodical



154

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

and job printing establishment in New York had the foundry lo­
cated on the seventh floor of an eight-story building. The two
metal kettles were originally provided with hoods and curtains, but
the curtains had been removed and the fumes escaped outside the
edges of the small hoods in spite of the exhaust fan in the duct.
Hoods over the backing pans and over the wax kettles with tables were
also piped to the same exhaust, and the fumes were carried off effec­
tively. If the curtains had been left on the metal pots, the equip­
ment would have been well provided with ventilation. The removal
of these was probably due to carelessness of the workmen on the metal.
Further carelessness was shown by large piles of dross, spoiled shells,
and other scraps that were thrown back of the metal kettles and
which emitted considerable smoke, in that way further contaminating
the air, a condition for which there was no excuse. An electrotyping
establishment in New York had a large hood over the two metal
kettles with pans, piped out with a 15-horsepower exhaust fan, that
effectually removed the fumes from the room. The fuel was piped
separately, together with fuel from a large gas-fired boiler and from
a stove tor burning rubbish. Another similar plant in the same
city also had a large hood, placed high up over the two kettles with
backing pans, ending against the wall, where a large fan placed in
the window eliminated the fumes from the metal, while the fuel
was piped separately. In a large electrotyping establishment in
Philadelphia the two metal kettles and the pans were provided with
hoods, piped to a special exhaust duct for the plant, together with
hoods over the wax kettles.. One metal kettle was equipped with a
spout to the backing pans and the other with a spout to a casting
box, eliminating the use of a ladle. The room was provided with a
plenum system, and the effective disposal of fumes from the casting
operation was not so noticeable as it might have been otherwise.
The problem presented by these fumes is practically the same as in a
small stereotype foundry, where the metal is poured by a ladle. It
is necessary to have free access to the surface of the metal so the
ladle can be dipped in it, and there is consequently a possibility of
distribution of fumes in the room, at least whenever the metal is
agitated by dipping of the ladle. The kettle should in all cases be
provided with a hood and a sufficiently strong exhaust to localize the
fumes and to prevent them from spreading. Even then the operator
is liable to come in contact with them when bending over the kettle,
and the attachment of a spout from the bottom of the kettle seems to
be a better solution of the difficulty. A more elaborate arrangement
was seen in a large electrotyping establishment in Cincinnati, which
was using an automatic casting table of its own special design. This
consisted of an inclosed metal kettle, around which a rotary casting
table with 10 pans was revolving, stopping each pan under a spout
from the bottom of the kettle until the pan was automatically
flooded with the metal, then turning to bring the next pan under
the spout. By the time the circuit had been completed the first
cast was cooled sufficiently by air blast to allow its removal to the
scrubbing machine. Fumes from the metal container were carried
off in a large pipe. The backing pans with the ordinary metal
kettles were sometimes an additional source of fumes, as hoods were
not always provided for them.



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

155

In the largest book and job printing establishment in Washington
the metal kettle in the electrotype foundry was provided with a
stationary, curtained hood with removable front, piped out of the
building with fan exhaust. The backing pans were taken from the
kettle by a pneumatic lift and carried on rollers under the pan table
to the far end of the table for cooling. At the time of inspection a
breeze, coming through the open windows near by, was blowing the
fumes from the hot metal in the backing pans into the room. Pro­
vision for exhausting these fumes through a hood was contemplated,
and a long hood extending over the pan table has since been in­
stalled, which prevents scattering of fumes. In a large book and
periodical printing establishment in New York the electrotype
foundry contained two metal kettles provided with hoods extending
over the accompanying backing pans and piped to a flue. An addi­
tional pan, heated by gas burners and not equipped with a hood,
had been placed on a stand between the two kettles. Fumes were
noticeable from this pan, and the odor of gas from the heating de­
vice was also apparent. An exhaust fan in the wall had a tendency
to draw the fumes out from under the hoods and pollute the inter­
vening air. A similar condition was observed in one electrotyping
establishment in Chicago located on the top floor of a six-story
building. A large hood had been placed over the two kettles and
the backing pans, but it was placed high up on account of a high
crane for moving the pans and Was provided only with natural draft
exhaust. A large exhaust fan in a window near by drew the ma­
jority of the fumes from under-the hood. Other windows in the
room were open, and at the time of the visit a strong breeze was
blowing part of the exhaust fumes back into the room through
these. As a rule, there were considerable fumes in the rooms where
metal kettles were not provided with hoods, even though exhaust
was used, but such was not the case with one electrotyping establish­
ment near Boston.' It was housed in a single-story building and
was. provided with strong exhaust fans in the ceiling. The scrap
metal kettle was equipped with a hood, but the backing kettle was
not, and no fumes were noticeable, as they were absorbed by the ex­
haust. It was different in another establishment, located in In­
dianapolis, where the two metal kettles had been placed on the third
floor of a five-story building. The coal fuel on these had been piped
out of the room, which was provided with natural ventilation only,
and the windows were closed on account of the cold weather, as the
inspection was made in February when the outside temperature was
only 30° F. The room was filled with smoke and fumes from the
kettles and from gas fuel used on the backing pans. The smoke and
fumes drifted through on open stairway up into the finishing depart­
ment on the floor above, polluting the atmosphere there also. The
backing pans were usually cooled by a blower and air-pipe system
against the bottom of the stand, but in one establishment this was
accomplished by dashing cold water on the cast with a short-handled,
stubby broom, dipped in a pail. Considerable humidity was added
to the room by the vapors generated.
In some places, especially where the windows were closed, vapors
•were noticeable from the electroplating tanks but the detrimental
45331°—25-----11




156

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE M INTING TRADES

effect could not be determined without analysis of the air, and very
little information could be obtained about possible danger. None of
the establishments visited had hoods over the tanks, though one plant
in Cleveland had attempted to install them at one time. This plant
was equipped with two metal kettles, one with gas fuel and one with
oil fuel, six plating tanks, a small gas fuel boiler for the wax depart­
ment, and a gas-heated oven for wax plates. Hoods had been placed
over these, with pipes to a large duct out of the buildings, but the
exhaust fan proved too small to handle the system, so the equipment
was taken down. The fuel on the metal kettles was piped out
through the window at time of the visit and the firm stated that a
contract had been let for an exhaust fan in the ceiling above the
metal kettles, which was the roof of the five-story building. The
windows were open, but fumes from the metal and from the wax de­
partment were strong in the room, as well as in the hall outside the
plant. The majority of plating tanks seen were about 5 feet long,
25 feet wide, and 2 feet deep, containing approximately 200 gallons
each. As many as 16 tanks were found grouped in one room. The
solution used for copper plating baths usually consists of 2 to 8 per
cent of sulphuric acid and 10 to 20 per cent of sulphate of copper,
mixed with water, kept at about 65° to 75° F. and, in a number
of cases, agitated by an air pump. The solution used for nickel
plating baths ordinarily contains about 10 per cent of double sul­
phate of nickel and ammonia, with 8 to 10 per cent of salt. There
did not seem to be any vapor from these to affect the system at all,
or to warrant any complaints about them having a bad effect on the
electrotype workers.
One of the main sources of fumes in the small electrotyping estab­
lishments was the wax department where the ozokerite was melted,
mixed with plumbago, and spread on the cases. Dense smoke, con­
sisting mainly of acrolein fumes, was often found drifting from
the kettles, which hold about 20 to 30 gallons of wax, through the
rooms and out at some window located in the opposite wall. Con­
siderable smoke was also created by the builder and the stop-off in
some plants. In one electrotype foundry in Deteroit, an exhaust
fan had been placed in a pipe through the roof above the wax kettles,
eliminating the fumes from these, but heavy fumes from the stopoff were carried all over the room by drafts from the windows. Ex­
haust fan equipment does not always mean that the fumes are re­
moved. One book and periodical printing establishment in New
York had a fan in the window by the wax kettles in its electrotyp­
ing department but the fan was not in operation at time of the visit
and the fumes were consequently drifting around. An electrotyping
establishment in the same city had the wax department) located in
one corner. Adjoining it, but separated by a partition projecting
out into the room, was a gas fuel boiler and a washstand by a
window in which an exhaust fan had been placed. This fan drew" the
smoke from the kettles by the wall around the end of the partition
and back to the wall on the other side before expelling it. A
large book and job printing establishment in Washington was well
provided with hoods over wax kettles and tables, gas flash, wax
cutting machines, molding press, and steam for removing wax from
molds. These hoods were piped to the main exhaust for the foundry
and carried off all fumes.



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

157

The question of gases and fumes distributed by illuminating or
fuel gas is also brought to the front in this process. Gas is seldom
used directly on wax kettles but often on a boiler to supply steam
for melting wax and other operations. It is used in every wax mold­
ing plant for the flash, to remove bubbles from the surface of wax
cases, often on wax shaving machines, on molding tables or ovens,
on builder’s knife or flame, on builder’s iron, on stopping out. The
majority of metal kettles are heated by gas fuel. It is also used on
soldering irons for finishers, sometimes for smoking the face of the
plate, and on some plate curving machines. A number of these op­
erations were not provided with exhausts in many of the plants sur­
veyed and, consequently, there was often considerable odor of gas.
In one electrotyping establishment in New York each plate correct­
ing station was provided with a tube connection on a gas pipe,
equipped with a gas jet on the other end, which was kept burning
continuously during working hours, vitiating the atmosphere. Elec­
trically heated wax kettles and ovens were observed, and these were
claimed by the users to work splendidly. Among additional sources
of fumes are vats or scrubbing machines containing kerosene for
scrubbing the plates. The fumes from wood alcohol, sometimes used
for the same purpose, were complained about by the electrotypers
in one periodical and job printing establishment in New York, the
workers saying that it affected the vision of those using it and of
others in the vicinity.
The metal kettles in the electrotyping departments do not ordi­
narily distribute as much heat as the kettles used in the stereotyping
process, because they are smaller, but some of the equipment for
other operations tended to increase the temperature of the work­
rooms, especially the live steam used in some establishments to sep­
arate the copper shell from the mold or to clean it, which created
excessive humidity. Some plants use cold water and compressed air
for the separation which, regardless of the efficiency, maintained a
better temperature.
Dust is considerably more of a problem in the electrotyping
process than in some of the other processes, for in addition to that
from the backing metal, which is present in large quantities, there is
also the copper dust and, although it may be harmless, the so-called
black lead or graphite dust. The finishing rooms contain a number
of machines for planing down the backs of plates, trimming the edges,
routing out the high spots, and mortising the plates. A great deal
of the lead alloy scraps consisted of large pieces, and many of the
trimming machines were provided with hollow pedestals, intended
to catch the trimmings, but the emptying of these was often neglected
and the contents had run out on the floor, where the workers stepped
on them and possibly distributed some of the finer particles in the
air. Other machines were supplied with spouts, under which port­
able trucks were supposed to be placed to catch the cuttings, but
these had often been pushed aside through carelessness, or had not
been placed under the spouts, so the cuttings fell on the floor beside
them. At other places they were found full and running over.
Such conditions can only be charged up to carelessness among the
workers themselves and are entirely unnecessary. A few excellent
plants were seen that were kept very free from cuttings and scraps,



158

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

such as in the largest book and job printing establishment in Wash­
ington, as well as some in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St.
Louis, Boston, and other cities. An excellent system was seen in a
large electrotyping establishment in Cincinnati, where the trimming
machines were located on the second floor and had been supplied
with suction attachments. One set, for wood alone, were piped to
a large metal receptacle on the first floor near the boiler, where
the trimmings were used for fuel and for packing in shipping cases.
The other set, for combination wood and metal, were piped to a
resmelting room, also on the first floor, where the cuttings were
run through a separator, dividing the metal from the wood.
Straight pietal was conveyed to the resmelting room by a chute from
the second floor. There was very little dust visible in the finish­
ing room but the aiQOunt contained in the atmosphere was, of course,
problematical.
Routing machines are a continual source of cuttings and dust, just
as in the same operation in photo-engraving and stereotyping. They
were usually inclosed in booths, either of close mesh wire netting or
of wood with glass tops to prevent the chips from flying into the
other work. The floor inside the booths was in most cases covered
with the cuttings and in a number of places these were being tracked
over the floor for quite a distance outside. The larger establish­
ments were, as a rule, cleaned well but in a number of small ones
a great deal of dust, partly copper, was observed on the tables by
which the finishers were seated and on the window ledges near them.
This dust was easily dislodged by blowing the breath and was in­
variably found to irritate the mucous membrane of the nose, pro­
ducing heavy sneezing. The workmen may be more immune, due
to continual and prolonged exposure, but the accumulation of dust
is a menace to the health and should not be permitted. Some of
the smaller plants were also found to be very careless regarding the
dross skimmed off the metal kettle, throwing it on the floor and
leaving it there for a considerable length of time—another practice
that should not be tolerated. Preparation of wood bases is similar
to that operation in the photo-engraving process. In some of the
establishments the blocking and woodworking department was sep­
arated from the rest, such as in the large book and job printing
establishment in Washington, previously mentioned, where it had
been placed behind a glass top partition at one end of the finishing
room, to localize’ the wood dust produced. Since the survey was
made in this plant, suction equipment has been placed on the ma­
chines, carrying all the wood dust out of the room. The dust is
not dangerous to the system, but detracts considerably from the ap­
pearance of a plant and should, consequently, be carried out by ex­
haust wherever produced.
Most of the dust in an electrotype foundry is liberated in the
molding operations. In spite of its common name, black lead, this
dust does not contain any lead but consists of graphite, a metallic
variety of carbon, which is very light and scatters easily through
the air. The wet black-leading method, which is now used in the
majority of the plants, has eliminated a great deal of the dust,
though some polishing with dry graphite follows the wet-leading
operation. The wax mold is inserted in a machine, containing black



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

159

lead suspended in water, where its face is covered with a fine deposit
of the graphite by constant agitation of the mixture against it.
After it has been removed from the machine a small amount of dry
black lead is ordinarily applied by hand with a soft brush. As a
rule, there was not a great deal of the graphite dust scattered by
this operation, except by careless workers. A few plants were using
combination machines, in which brushing with dry black lead was
performed automatically after the wet leading was completed, which
seemed to distribute less dust than the hand method. With the oldfashioned dry-leading machine, found in over 11 per cent of the
establishments inspected, there was a decided difference. The mold
was polished with the fine dry graphite by badger-hair brushes,
which traveled back and forth at a rate of 600 to 800 movements a
minute. This was done in a box, in which the door and other parts
of the machine were supposedly dust tight, but in reality were not,
and the room was full of the dust, which settled upon everything in
it. Both employers and workers declared that the dust was harmless
and could be chewed or swallowed without ill effects. It can be un­
derstood that a minimum quantity, such as distributed in the wet­
leading method, would not be more harmful to the system than the
small amount of ordinary dust inhaled on the street. It does not,
however, seem reasonable that the workers would not be affected to a
certain extent whenever the quantity became excessive. Black lead,
or graphite, belongs to the insoluble inorganic dusts and, while it
may be merely obstructive, the breathing of large quantities can
not be deemed beneficial to the system. It is probable that, on ac­
count of its nonpoisonous qualities when compared with lead dust,
its effect has not been thoroughly and scientifically investigated. In
some establishments a large amount was seen, covering every pro­
jection in the room, walls, and even ceilings. It was also observed
on the floors and in the type cases of adjoining composing rooms,
where the type used for electrotyping was kept. There is no neces­
sity for having a plant full of dust, just because such dust is not
poisonous, and the fact that conditions in such respect are better
than they used to be is not justifiable excuse for failure to improve
them more. The wet-leading method has accomplished a great deal
in reduction of the dust but there is still room for further improve­
ment. The use of sheet lead for molds, in place of wax, eliminated
the dust entirely in the molding operation and is, of course, prefer­
able from a sanitary, if not from a health standpoint, but where
certain reasons demand the use of wax and black-lead molding, this
should be carried on with some regard to less scattering of dust. In
listing electrotyping establishments for ventilation of equipment the
question of black-lead dust was not taken into consideration, as it
was decided to be more of a sanitary problem.
It was found that, as a rule, there was scant provision for venti­
lating molding departments except by windows, outside of a few
that were equipped with either plenum or exhaust for the building.
One electrotyping establishment in New York, where the molding
department was separated from the finishing department, had in­
stalled two natural draft ducts for fresh air in the former. These
extended along the ceiling from the windows for about 15 feet into
the room. Two exhaust fans had also been placed in the windows 


1 6 0

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

near the molding presses, while an additional exhaust fan was located
in the other end of the room close to the wrax kettle, making a decided
improvement in the atmosphere of the plant.
While there are two other principal processes, presswork and
bindery work, besides additional minor operations not strictly be­
longing to them but still related, the equipment used in them was of
too varied a character to be considered individually for tabulation.
Consequently these were listed jointly under the head of “ Ventila­
tion of equipment” and subhead “ Other equipment” in the sum­
mary of tabulation. This classification includes 147 establishments,
which contained equipment that was, or should have been, provided
with ventilating devices outside of that used for either of the other
four processes previously described. Some plants did not have any
equipment requiring special ventilation. Only 15 per cent of the
147 were found good, while 37.4 per cent were judged fair, and 47.6
per cent bad. Good, fair, and bad were used with similar meaning as
for ventilation of the preceding equipment.
The pressroom of a printing-trade plant has its own special prob­
lems of ventilation that differ from those of the other processes and
some of which have been touched upon in mention of building ven­
tilation, as the tabulation for that subject covered the pressrooms
themselves. Many pressrooms were heated to 80° or 90° F. in winter,
or whenever the outside temperature was less. This is claimed by
some to be necessary, especially for color work, to insure proper dis­
tribution and drying of ink. In addition the air is often kept stag­
nant for the same reason, creating an extremely bad condition of the
atmosphere. Observations showed that these conditions were not at
all necessary and there was no valid reason to compel workers to toil
in such unhealthy air or high temperature. The question was found
to hinge more on the degree of humidity, coupled with a reasonable
temperature, not over 70° F., and that fresh air at such temperature
dried the ink far better, especially where this depended on oxida­
tion. The modern plants were usually equipped with ventilating
systems to provide fresh air of proper temperature and humidity for
the entire building or certain parts of it, several of which have been
referred to. Others had installed air conditioning plants, or hu­
midifiers, for the pressroom only, maintaining steady temperature
and movement of the air.
Artificial ventilating systems are not always satisfactory and even
good systems may create some unpleasant conditions. A plenum and
exhaust system used for the pressroom and stereotype foundry in
the basement of a newspaper establishment in Cleveland looked
ostensibly good. The intake for fresh air and the fan were located
on the roof of the 14-story building, and the air was distributed
through grates in the walls. It was found that large areas around
the grates in the pressroom were covered with soot and dirt and,
judging from the looks of the walls, the air drawn in must have been
very dirty or was contaminated after entering the building. In
winter steam is used for heating the air before distributing it. The
workers complained that the air supplied seemed lacking in oxygen.
The atmosphere was polluted considerably by fumes from the two
autoplates in the stereotype foundry located in one corner, as the fan
.in the exhaust from these was out of commission and fumes were



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

161

drifting from under the hoods. A corner in the other end was used
as a storeroom for composition rollers and oil tanks. This was not
provided with any ventilation, and the air inside of it felt nauseating
when the door was opened. The ventilation of this plant was not
perfect when examined closely, but was better than that of another
newspaper pressroom in the same city, which was located in a
basement. In this the ceiling was high, reaching to the top of the
first story, except in one rear corner which was occupied on the first
floor by the stereotype foundry. The presses were three decks high,
about 21 feet, and reached close to the ceiling. The only ventila­
tion was through the windows on the first floor in the front part
of the building and some in one side, which was bounded by a
covered driveway and loading station. These were all closed at time
of the visit, although the outside temperature ranged between 71°
and 84° F., and the air in the room felt very stagnant. # It was
claimed that new equipment had been ordered and that improve­
ments in ventilation would be made when this arrived. It is often
difficult to maintain correct temperatures in all parts of the rooms
where tall presses are located. An instance of this was observed in
one newspaper establishment in Philadelphia, located in a basement,
which was supplied with a plenum system, cold in summer and hot
in winter. The ceiling was high, but some of the presses were four
decks high and reached close to the top. The visit was made dur­
ing the middle of January when the outside temperature was 29°
to 39° F. The distributors in the plenum ducts on the ceiling were
closed, and the temperature at the bottom deck stood at 76° F. The
top deck, however, showed 93°, altogether too warm, and it was not
surprising that electric bracket fans were necessary on the top decks
to prevent the composition rollers from melting. One thing which
sometimes contributes to unpleasant conditions in pressrooms is in­
stallation of additional equipment to meet expansion of business.
This was exemplified in a newspaper and periodical printing estab­
lishment in Boston, which erected a building consisting of two stories
and basement in 1907 and added two more stories three years later,
that gave ample facilities for all departments in the upper parts.
The basement, containing the newspaper pressroom and stereotype
foundry, was originally built to accommodate one sextuple web press.
At time of the visit it contained three of these, crowding the space
and hampering ventilation in that part of the building which did
not permit of extension.
Botary and cylinder pressrooms were found provided with humid­
ifiers in some plants that did not have plenum systems for the
entire building. Several different styles were observed, most of them
consisting of inclosed boxes and blowers, with ducts through which
correctly moistened air was supplied to the room. In one establish­
ment steam was liberated in the pressroom through perforated pipes
extending from a small water tank with gas fuel. In another place
the Steam-heating pipes for the room had been tapped in three places
and water containers with open tops about 1 foot in diameter were
attached with a valve connection to permit heating water in the con­
tainers and liberating steam from them to moisten the atmosphere.
The pressroom was kept at about 78° F., dry bulb, and sufficient
steam was liberated to make about 10° difference for the w ebulb,
t



162

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

Change in the humidity-of the atmosphere causes a corresponding
change in the paper stock, expansion or shrinkage, which seriously
affects color printing, as the colors must be registered over each
other. This also affects the drying of the ink and the presence of
static electricity in the paper, making it important to keep the
humidity as uniform as possible.
Also, special drying attachments are used on cylinder presses and
on some rotary presses. One style of these consists of a tube, con­
taining a number of perforations, placed across the full width of
the press. It is supplied with gas, producing a low continuous
flame over which the freshly printed sheets pass to the delivery.
Some of these so-called neutralizers or burners are attached to the
carriage delivery, in which case the sheet first passes over the burner,
which next passes ahead of and backwards over the sheet after it
is deposited on the delivery board, heating both sides. Others are
stationary, placed near the delivery end or up close to the front
part of the cylinder. The latter position is where they are usually
found on small hand-fed cylinder presses, often burning contin­
ually and with long flames. It is possible that their presence in
that location may be an explanation for the abnormally high
percentage of tuberculosis among press feeders, who are stationed
almost directly above the gas burners and are compelled to inhale
a large quantity of fumes and gas rising from them. They may
not be a direct cause but, at least, would have a tendency to affect
the throat and lungs by weakening their power of resistance to the
disease. Accurate statistics are not available on this point but
general observation indicates that the largest proportion of tuber­
cular cases come from places where this condition exists. It may
also explain why pressmen working in rooms where gas burners
or neutralizers: are used on the presses are less subject to tubercu­
losis, even though these are -placed on the deliveries. The pressmen
are not compelled to stand continually over the gas burners, as are
the feeders, but ordinarily just walk up to the deliveries to remove
a sheet for inspection and then turn away. When burners are
placed on the delivery end the flames are usually not so strong,
because a great many of these are equipped with automatic con­
trol, which shuts off the flow of gas when a sheet is passed and
then turns on the gas and relights it from a pilot light. A num­
ber of the pressrooms visited were filled with a strong odor of gas
from these attachments, perhaps from leaky conveyor tubes. The
largest book and job printing establishment in Washington, for
example, was discovered to have this odor, especially in one corner of
the cylinder pressroom, during the inspection. Experiments had
been conducted to eliminate it, such as installing a fan with spray
system in a large duct, but this did not prove entirely satisfactory.
The fan and spray have since been removed and measures taken to
install a humidity system. Artificial ventilation overcomes the bad
condition to a certain extent. This was especially noted in a book
and job printing establishment in New York that was equipped
with 89 cylinder presses, 24 of wl * 1
*1 ’ with both gas
and electric neutralizers, while
burners only.
They were located on separate fl
h contained 14
presses and had only natural ventilation, while the others were



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

163

supplied with fresh air by a plenum system with intake on the
roof, fan in the basement, and ducts in the floors. The odor of gas
was far more pronounced on the floor provided with natural ven­
tilation only.
In other plants the presses were equipped with additional electric
neutralizers, while in still others these were used alone. Some
claimed that the work could not be done satisfactorily without gas
burners, but establishments working under similar conditions in the
same locality and provided with electric neutralizers only, seemed
to perform the work just as well. One large plant, equipped with
40 cylinder presses, had no gas in the building and used electric
neutralizers exclusively. The building was supplied with washedair plenum and with exhaust. The windows of the pressroom were
kept closed and the temperature held at 75° F. It felt a little
warm, but the constant circulation of the air ameliorated the condi­
tion somewhat. Another establishment, some distance from a city,
where no gas was available on account of location, was provided with
natural ventilation only in the pressroom. Electric neutralizers
were used on the cylinder presses, and in addition a large circular
shield had been placed on each press, extending clear across the bed
back of the cylinder, inside of which was located an electric heater,
consisting of eight Simplex units. Some of the small job cylinder
presses were, equipped with gas burners, in some instances dis­
tributing a strong odor of gas, while others used electric neutralizers
only. In smaller establishments hand presses for copperplate
printing were found provided with gas burners. The large plate
and die printing establishment in Washington, however, had made
a decided change, after first motorizing these presses, by changing
the individual gas heaters to electric heaters, eliminating the noxious
gas fumes and creating a better atmosphere. The question of gas
burners on presses was not taken into consideration in tabulating
equipment ventilation, as no direct appliance was seen for elimi­
nating the fumes or gases.
The odor of ink was noticeable in practically all pressrooms,
differing according to the chemical contents. Considerable has been
said at times about printing ink as a direct agent in contracting
tuberculosis. The ordinary vehicle of ink used for printing on flat­
bed and rotary presses is linseed oil. This class of ink, especially
that used for color printing, dries by oxidation and naturally ex­
tracts oxygen from the atmosphere of the room besides scattering
small particles of pigments in the immediate surroundings. The
ink used for newspaper printing usually has a paraffin or resin oil
vehicle and dries by absorption, penetrating into the paper. More
pigment is distributed into the air in newspaper pressrooms than
in others, partly through the high speed, the consistency of the ink,
and the abrupt stopping of the ductor roller which carries the ink
from the fountain. A piece of white paper laid down, even a con­
siderable distance from the newspaper press, will in a short time
become covered with fine black spots, showing the high rate of pollu­
tion in the atmosphere. The new method of spraying the ink from
the fountain on the ink drums and eliminating the ductor roller has
reduced this considerably. There has been no successful method
put into use to prevent the distribution of ink fumes for the



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
164
ordinary printing processes, outside of ventilation for the building.
Supplying fresh air minimizes the relative amount of pigment in
the atmosphere of newspaper pressrooms and provides, an additional
quantity of oxygen for drying where oxidation is required, but it is
not often done artificially, and where natural ventilation is used the
windows are usually not opened during cold weather. One press­
room in Milwaukee was visited in the latter part of June, when the
temperature outside was about 85° F. It was located on the fourth
floor of an old seven-story corner building. The windows were open at
the time of the visit and the air felt good, but the workers stated that
the odor of the ink was very strong, practically nauseating, when
they came to work mornings after the windows had been closed all
night. Similar cases were found in all other cities on account of the
supposedly necessary high temperature maintained. In some estab­
lishments the windows were found nailed down to prevent opening
them.
The odor of ink for planographic printing was less noticeable and
that for intaglio plate printing was almost imperceptible, but the
ink used for rotogravure printing was decidedly different. The ve­
hicle used for it, either naphtha or xylol, is extremely volatile and
requires special exhaust devices to absorb the fumes distributed
from the presses. These were consequently included among equip­
ment which should be provided with ventilation. Different methods
were found, some plants depending upon room ventilation only.
One establishment, which had the pressroom located on the first
floor of a four-story corner building, was equipped with five presses,
arranged side by side, facing the outside wall. A large hood had
been placed over each press, close over it, and provided with a large
exhaust pipe leading out of the building above the windows with
a strong exhaust fan. A small ventilation duct had been placed in
the adjoining ink-mixing room and connected with one of the ex­
haust pipes from the presses. This had been carried down a column
from the ceiling and provided with an intake near the floor, as it
was stated the solvents were heavier than the air when cold. The
fumes were only slightly noticeable, mostly from the printed product,
in which they linger ior a considerable period, but the exhausts,
approximately 10 feet above the street level, were discharging thick
fumes along the sidewalk, eliminating them successfully from the
pressroom, but making it very unpleasant for anyone to pass the
building. One rotogravure pressroom located on the second floor
of a seven-story comer building was equipped with two presses.
A hood, piped out of the window with an exhaust fan, had been
placed over one press, and the hood for the other one was said
to be on the way. Some fumes from the solvents were noticeable in
the room, which was provided with natural draft only. Another
pressroom situated on the twelfth floor of a 14-story corner building
contained three presses. Each was equipped with a double hood
j)iped out through a window with an exhaust fan, and two addi­
tional exhaust fans had been installed in other windows for ventila­
tion of the room. Only a slight odor could be detected.
Another pressroom containing five presses was located on the
seventh floor of a 14-story inside building. There was no special
ventilation equipment for the presses but the room was provided



VENTILATION OE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

165

with both plenum and exhaust through grates in the walls, which
changed the air every 20 seconds. In spite of that and the windows
on three sides of the room, which were open, the fumes were quite
noticeable, even in the entrance hall and clear up on the thirteenth
floor. Several others were visited that were equipped with ex­
haust fans in the windows, which, of course, disposed of the fumes
but compelled them to travel from the source to the ejection point
first, polluting the air on the way. A special dispersing method for
the fumes was observed in one plant containing a large rotogravure
press on the top floor of a three-story building. The exhaust fan
in the wall expelled the fumes through a short duct in which burlap
had been hung with the bottom in water pans. These seemed to kill
the odor effectually at the end of the exhaust, but some fumes were
noticeable around the press, as well as between it and the exhaust.
Two rotogravure presses in another establishment located on the
fifth floor of an eight-story corner building were provided with
special exhaust systems above the fountains. These consisted of
tubes placed about 2 feet higher than the uncovered tops of the foun­
tains with a number of small perforations and supplied with a
strong exhaust, about 2,500 cubic feet per minute. The fumes from
the solvents were heavier than the air when cold, but as they were
heated through the action of steam dryers on the presses they rose
and the exhaust in the tubes seemed to absorb them well. There was
a noticeable odor around the presses, but probably from the printed
product. The room was provided with additional exhaust. A simi­
lar arrangement was seen on a rotogravure color press, which carried
the fumes off well. The ordinary rotogravure presses in that plant
were not provided with such attachments, but the air was kept in
good condition by a plenum and exhaust system. There was also
more space than ordinarily found, as the pressroom was high and
provided with a saw-tooth roof. In one establishment visited some
fumes from the solvents in the ink were noticed, but these did not
seem nearly so strong as the fumes from wood alcohol used for
washing the printing cylinders in an adjoining and only partly
separated room. The floor was provided with both plenum and ex­
haust, but these did not seem adequate to overcome the condition.
The fumes from the solvent used on varnishing machines were
found strong enough to be classed among those for which special
ventilation should be provided. Wood alcohol or denatured alcohol
is ordinarily used and the main danger consists in inhaling the
fumes, together with rebreathed air, in a confined space. It would
be a very simple matter to equip the varnishing machines with
a tube exhaust system, similar to that mentioned for rotogravure
presses, just above the fountains, but no attempt to do so was
discovered. In one large establishment in Baltimore the varnishing
machine was located in a right-angle narrow projection about 100
feet long, through which the fumes were drifting. In St. Louis a
varnishing machine with steam-heated drying oven was seen, which
occupied the entire space by the side of the wall, 180 feet long. The
atmosphere around the machine and in the rest of the room, which
was 36 feet wide and was used for a warehouse, was strongly
charged with the odor of the denatured alcohol used in the varnish.
The condition was possibly at its worst because windows and venti


166
HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
lators in the saw-tooth skylights were closed on account of the
cold day. The plant was visited in March, with outside tempera­
ture of 44° F. In one establishment in Chicago the varnishing
machine was placed in the room with ink grinding and one rotary
press. The oven was heated by hot air. The odor of alcohol was
very strong in the room, though the windows were partly open, and
it must have been extremely bad when they were closed. Only a
few of these machines were found. They were ordinarily equipped
with steam-heated ovens, but gas fuel was *used in some establish­
ments instead, increasing pollution of the atmosphere. One large
establishment in New York was equipped with three machines,
inclosed within a separate room. The gas-heated drying ovens had
previously been piped to an exhaust duct with a fan, but the pipes
had been closed and the ovens piped out through the windows. An
exhaust fan had been installed in one window tor ventilation of the
room and the rest of the windows were partly open. In spite of that
the odor of the alcohol in the fountains and of the gas on the ovens
was quite noticeable.
In newspaper pressrooms the tension men are often affected by
acrolein fumes from the tension blocks on which oil is used. The
wood blocks, which are clamped around the friction pulley on
one end of the roll shaft to act as a brake, becomes heated by the
constant rubbing of the pulley against it. In some cases oil is
poured directly on the brake blocks; in others a pad is placed over
the top block and saturated with oil. The heating of the pulley
through friction decomposes the oil and causes considerable smoke,
which irritates the throats of the tension men, who must bend
over the attachment at intervals to adjust it. This condition was
eliminated where the presses had been equipped with magazine
paper reels provided with belted braking devices.
Fumes were also encountered in the pressrooms from the solvents
used for washing composition rollers or ink-distributing systems
and fountains on the presses. The solvents commonly used were
kerosene, benzine, a mixture of the two or a mixture of either with
machine oil. In changing from one color to another on flat-bed or
rotary presses it is often necessary to remove carefully all traces
of the previous color, to prevent tainting the new one, but on
daily newspapers the rollers and ink-distributing mechanisms are
merely cleaned to remove paper dust and grit accumulated on them.
Roller-cleaning machines were used in a few places, but as a rule
the work was performed by hand. The solvent was applied by rub­
bing the surface with a saturated rag and the softened ink was
removed by brisk rubbing with clean wiping rags. Special roller
washes are placed on the market, but no reliable information could
be obtained regarding their effect on the health. Several newspaper
establishments were using special rubber rollers, a comparatively
recent substitute for composition, which it was claimed did not need
wash up and consequently would eliminate fumes from that source.
The question of the dangerous quality of the common dust in the
pressrooms has never been definitely settled. There is often quite
a quantity present, though not comparable with that created in
paper, asbestos, or cement factories. Most of this dust is organic
from the paper fibers, mixed with a mineral dust from the clay or
*




VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

167

enamel used in filling or coating the paper. The dust is scattered
through the air by the movement of the paper in its passage through
the machines, and can often be seen accumulated by the presses or
observed as a fine white dust in the air, when pierced by a ray of.
sunlight, but the quantity and character seem to indicate that it has
been very much overrated as a hazard in the past. There is, however,
one dust that is distributed by a special operation in pressrooms,
which is a serious menace to the health of the workers. This is
so-called bronze dust, consisting of fine particles ordinarily composed
of copper, zinc, and aluminum. This dust is very fine and is scat­
tered through the air during the operation of bronzing. It also
sticks to the surface of the sheets outside of the designs that have
been printed with size or ink to retain a coating of the dust, and the
freshly powdered sheets must not be brushed, as this would have a
tendency to remove part of the bronze dust from the design. Con­
sequently more or less of the bronze is conveyed by the product
through succeeding operations, most of it being gradually eliminated
from the sheets by these, and a trail of bronze dust is usually scat­
tered all along by the machines used subsequently and by the paper
cutters, and is even in the waste. Bronzing is a specialty operation
and was performed in only 50 of the establishments surveyed. The
hazards from the dust had been reduced in most of the plants by use
of covered machines with vacuum attachments for collecting the
superfluous dust, but not entirely eliminated. In several establish­
ments the bronzing machines were additionally kept in separate
rooms, in others they were inclosed with curtains, which localized
the dust somewhat. This operation was included among those in
which the machines should be provided with ventilating equipment,
and establishments in which they were operated were consequently
included in the summary.
Various conditions were observed. In one establishment in Bichmond there were several bronzing machines attached to cylinder
presses. These were located in one side of the building, separated
from the rest of the plant by glass-top partitions, and the air inside
the inclosure was filled with dust. In another plant in the same
city one new large bronzing machine was placed on the first floor
and was provided with a large duct extending to the top of the
four-story building and back down, through which the superfluous
dust was removed and returned to the machine. Very little dust
was noticeable around the machine. A large establishment in Chi­
cago was equipped with a number of bronzing machines, all located
on one floor but divided into two separate sets at different ends.
Five of these, placed together, were previously piped with the
vacuum system to two small structures outside the main building,
where the waste dust was collected, but the pipes on four of the ma­
chines had been detached and caps placed on the outlet pipes, so
that the dust was returned to small boxes near the machines.
Considerable dust was floating through the air quite a distance from
the machines and settled on the clothing in walking around them.
This was also the case in the other end of the plant where the rest of
the bronzing machines were located, one of which was connected to
a cylinder press. A great deal of bronze dust was observed in other
parts of the plant, especially near the baler in the basement and in



168

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

the bronze storage room also in the basement. This condition was
far from desirable as the dust contaminated the air in a large por­
tion of the plant, subjecting, other workers to inhalation of the
dust also. In one establishment in St. Louis, equipped with several
bronzing machines that were provided with vacuum attachments and
piped outside of the building additionally, one machine was observed
which had been in constant operation for three months. There was
considerable dust scattered around it, and this was stirred up by
the movements of the workers and sent flying through the air,
together with additional dust liberated by the machine. In Balti­
more several machines were found in the pressrooms of one estab­
lishment. These were attached to the presses and provided with
vacuum attachments, as well as piped to. an exhaust duct, but a
great deal of the dust was floating in the air. The plant was
equipped with plenum system with a central vertical duct through
the floors and four radiating distributing pipes, about 12 feet in
length, on each floor.
One establishment in Detroit was using several large portable
bronzing machines in a pressroom on the second floor. A large duct
with exhaust fan had been placed on the ceiling back of the delivery
end of the presses, clear across the room and out of the building.
This was provided with a fitting behind each press to accommodate
the vacuum pipes from the bronzing machines, which were attached
to the presses as required. One stationary machine on the third
floor was placed in a separate room, being connected by a tape con­
veyor through an opening in the partition with a press in the main
room. It was provided with vacuum attachment and piped out of
the window, as was a detached one on the second floor. One addi­
tional detached machine on the third floor was supplied with a
vacuum attachment also, but was piped to a small box only. There,
was not much dust noticeable, though the amount contained in the
atmosphere was problematical. The plant was provided with good,
natural ventilation from the windows on both sides of the room,
which were open except right by the presses as the outside tempera­
ture ranged from 75° to 85° Fahrenheit during the visit. One estab­
lishment in Milwaukee was equipped with four large bronzing ma­
chines in part of the pressroom, all with vacuum attachments. One
of the machines was piped to a flue, while the other three were piped
to a large duct leading out of the window. There was only a slight
amount* of dust noticed near the machines, but more was visible
around the cutting machines and die-stamping presses on the floor
below. The pressroom was supplied with air-conditioning equip­
ment, improving the atmosphere considerably. In a large establish­
ment in New York it was very clean around the bronzing machines,
but the machines themselves were covered with dust. A large
amount was observed around the embossing machines and die presses,
as well as around the cutters and creasers. Another large estab­
lishment in New York was equipped with bronzing machines on
three floors. One machine was attached to a cylinder press by tape
delivery, but inclosed in glass-top partitions. An exhaust fan had
been placed in the window of the inclosure. A portable machine
was located in the main room on the same floor. Two machines on
another floor were provided with vacuum attachments and placed



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

169

in a separate room, provided with a fan, and three machines on
another floor were similarly equipped, the rest being located in
the pressrooms and not piped. The largest amount of bronze dust
was observed around the embossing press, though evidence of its
use was seen all over the plant.
As a rule there is not much heat generated in the operations in
presswork, outside of the motors used for driving newspaper presses,
but the atmosphere was often found uncomfortably warm through
artificial heating of the room. This was mostly the case where
makeshift heating was employed, as in one printing plant in Wash­
ington, which had installed one hot-air furnace in the bindery on
the third floor of the building occupied by it and another on the
first floor for heating the pressroom, located there, as well as the
office, composing room, and job pressroom, all on the second floor.
The pressroom was not provided with ventilation, except through
large doors in the front of the building, and the furnace in one of
the rear corners made work very uncomfortable in winter. Lack of
space may also have considerable influence in that regard, such as
in one newspaper establishment in Chicago, where the back ends of
part of the presses were close against the front end of the boilers,
making it uncomfortably hot in spite of the four exhaust fans lo­
cated in the wall beside the boiler.
There are also several machines used in the binding operations
that require special ventilating devices for the removal of either
fumes or dust. The principal operation in which fumes are lib­
erated is spraying of artificial leather book covers. The vehicle
used in the ink for that purpose, commonly known as banana oil on
account of its bananalike odor, consists mainly of amyl acetate.
This is very volatile, and the inhalation of even a small quantity
will produce a headache, giddiness, and nausea. The ink is usually
sprayed by means of an air brush and stencils on the cover, which
is held under a low hood that is provided with a large exhaust pipe
and a strong exhaust fan. The hoods are made in different sizes to
accommodate two or more operators, who are seated facing the table
under the hood. In recent years several plants had installed one of
these machines and sometimes did not quite figure on the toxicity of
the fumes liberated by the operation. A large bindery in Detroit
installed a three-station spraying machine in one corner of a floor
occupied by ruling, perforating, punching, and embossing ma­
chinery—the fourth floor of a five-story corner building. The
health department decided that the operation should be isolated and
better ventilated. A hollow tile wall was consequently placed
around the other two sides, separating it from the main room, and
on one side a small additional room was added for a buffing ma­
chine and air compressor. When the plant was inspected the three
stations were used by four operators and the hood seemed too small.
Fumes were escaping around it and drifting through the open doors
and the buffing room into the main room, probably assisted by a
draft through the open windows of the spraying room. Fresh air
was supposed to be distributed in the room by a small fan, through
an intake on the floor below, also ordered by the health department,
but did not seem noticeable. The air in the spraying room was
heavy with the odor of banana oil, both from the spraying machine
and from the finished products on tables.



170

H y g ie n ic

c o n d it io n s i n t h e p r in t i n g t r a d e s

Another bindery in Detroit had installed two single station ma­
chines of a different construction. These were also equipped with
fans and exhaust pipes, but the hoods, instead of being horizontal
and placed low over the table, were arranged vertically and just
covered the back, extending up in the air with a curved end over the
top. They were not in operation, but the proprietor stated that the
fumes were bad and that he was going to change the ventilating sys­
tem on them. In one book and job printing establishment in New
York an air-brush machine had been placed in the edition bindery
near windows. The hood was piped out through a window and the
other windows were open, but the fumes were strong in the vicinity.
At the request of the assistant director, who was acting as guide,
the operator put on a gas mask furnished for him but which he
does not ordinarily wear. In this establishment the covers were
subsequently baked in a steam-heated oven, located close by, which
was piped out through the wall. It was claimed that this proceeding
would successfully eliminate all lingering fumes from the product.
The tables between the oven and spraying machine were provided
with suction—piped to the main duct from the spraying machine—
which removed a great deal of the fumes. A different spraying ma­
chine in the same establishment had only a hood over the back and a
bracket fan placed in a hole in the same toward the window. This
machine was used for spraying book edges only, which was done
with aniline dissolved in water, and no fumes were produced. An
establishment in Chicago, which produced a large number of arti­
ficial leather covers for the trade, had 45 double station spraying ma­
chines, each 15 piped individually to a large exhaust duct leading out
through the wall and with a strong fan. The machines were located
in a light, airy room, recently added to the building and, as far as
could be observed, the ventilation system was ample for removal of
the banana-oil fumes. In an adjoining room was located a case­
drying oven, with steam coil and blower for the hot air, in which the
covers were baked, and a buffing machine. The building was sup­
plied with a plenum system, and in addition six ozone generators
had been installed, some connected directly with the plenum system
and others, independent portable cabinets, to be used where necessary
for freshening the air. The machines were small, about 12-cylinder
capacity, of the same type as used in connection with the ventilating
the United States Capitol Building in Washington,
gstem for survey the electric current was turned off on one of the
uring the
enerators
and after the odor
G oil located near the drying oven,and offensive in thefrom the
anana had become very noticeable
vicinity
the current was again turned on, starting the machine. The odor
was destroyed in a very short time, resulting in a more invigorating
atmosphere. This was the first and only establishment where the
ozone generators were seen applied to the printing processes, but
from what could be learned about them they seemed to be a very
desirable addition to any ventilating system for purifying the air
where obnoxious odors exist. In one printing establishment, sur­
veyed later, one of the generators had been installed to ozonize the
air of the office.
In another large establishment, also located in Chicago, coloring
of pictures was performed by means of air brushes through stencils.
This was done over open tables in a light, airy room, and the colors



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

171

used appeared to be weak solutions of aniline dyes. No fumes were
observed and the only noticeable effect was the staining of the left
hands of the operators, who used these to hold the stencils while
spraying. In a book and job printing establishment in Boston the
edges and borders of greeting cards were gilded by means of spray­
ing. The operator was standing in front of a table provided with a
hood over the back and extending out over the table. A pipe with
exhaust fan led from the hood out of the building, but the fan was
not strong enough and allowed the fumes of the banana oil to escape.
The operation was separated from the rest of the shop by a parti­
tion, the door in which was standing open, and the fumes were
strong in the main room as well as in the inclosure for the spraying
operation. Air-brush stations were seen in several other places,
though not in use at the time of the visits. A great deal depends, of
course, on the vehicle used in the spray, but if banana oil, benzene, or
a similar liquid is used, great care should be taken to provide suffi­
cient ventilation on the equipment.
A number of gas-heated appliances were found on binding ma­
chinery. Gas was used extensively on the older style of machines
for heating glue containers, but on the newer machines gas has been
practically replaced by electricity. There was always more or less
odor of gas where it was employed, partly due to improper com­
bustion and partly to leaky tubes or pipes. The latter were often
found in smaller establishments, such as in one bindery in New
Orleans which employed only five workers and was all together on
one floor. An exceptionally strong odor of gas was noticed. When
traced it was found to come from leaking rubber tube connections
leading to a small gas stove used for cooking glue and to a small hot
die embossing press. Gas fuel was used in a number of plants
for glue cooking and for hot-die embossing presses, but in the larger
and more modern binderies were found electrically heated glue
cookers and glue pots, and die-heating devices on the embossing
presses, and a far better and healthier atmosphere was maintained in
the rooms. Although the odor of gas was bad in some establishments,
this feature was not considered under the tabulation of ventilation
for equipment.
Drying ovens, such as are referred to under artificial leather book
covers, were also found in some binderies and in plate-printing estab­
lishments for drying the product. A large plate-printing establish­
ment in Washington had several drying rooms located in various
parts of the building, but especially in the wetting division. These
were provided with drying cabinets, where air was forced through
perforated pipes at one side, over the racks on which the product
was spread and, with the moisture, out through the other side to
ducts. Two large ducts with exhaust fans carried the moistureladen air up above the roof. The rooms were rather warm, about
90° F., though not when compared with the ovens, which had a
temperature of 180° inside. Gumming machines with drying ovens
were also used in this establishment. The gummed sheets were
carried by grippers on an endless chain through a long box, in which
air was forced betAveen steam coils, and which registered 140° F.
at time of the visit. The surroundings were somewhat warm but
45331°—25---- 12




172
HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
ameliorated by the plenum system for the building, which supplied
fresh washed air and made a complete change once per minute, as
well as by an exhaust fan in the window. Gumming machines
were also observed in label-printing establishments, ordinarily with
steam driers but sometimes with gas-heating devices. These natur­
ally gave off some heat but were not sufficient factors to render
conditions uncomfortable except in a minor degree. The same was
the case with paper seasoning machines, of which a few were also
found, heated by steam pipes or electricity. The effect from these
was principally local, and insignificant where proper ventilation of
the building was provided.
Paraffin-coating ^machines are sometimes the source of disagree­
able and nauseating acrolein fumes, but no provisions were observed
for carrying off the vapors in case these were developed. The par­
affin is heated, so that a thin coating can be applied to the paper as it
passes through the machine. When too much heat is used the paraf­
fin is decomposed by the heat and acrolein vapors are produced. One
establishment in Kansas City, where several paraffin machine^ were
used in the production of wrapping paper, claimed to have solved
the difficulty by a special process, but, as this was a trade secret,
information on the method could not be obtained. Another plant
in Denver also claimed to have eliminated the smoke problem by
melting the paraffin before placing it in the machine, and was
equipped with a special (own design) melting tank system. Paraffin
machines are seldom found in any quantity in printing trade plants,
one or two machines usually being sufficient for even a large quantity
of work, and then are ordinarily operated intermittently. They
are used mostly in specialty work.
The dust problem in the binding process is principally a sanitary
question, as most of the dust created by the operations and the
material is paper dust, and only a few establishments develop suffi­
cient of this to make it a menace to the health where the room is
properly ventilated and cleaned regularly. Several of the larger
plants were using suction attachments on cutting machines or trim­
ming machines for removing the waste cuttings, or on covering
machines for eliminating the dust from scoring saws. These at­
tachments are, however, an aid to ventilation, as they are often pro­
vided with good-sized openings and consequently exhaust consider­
able of the air in the rooms, disposing of foul odors and keeping
the atmosphere circulating. Suction attachments, of this class, were
considered in the tabulation for other equipment, but only where
they existed, and were then included as good, fair, or bad, according
to their influence and condition.
Two of the bindery operations created dust that would prove
harmful to the health if not properly provided for, but were un­
usual and not general operations. One of these was grinding the
edges of books, playing cards, or other products, to smooth them
thoroughly before gilding. A very fine dust was liberated by
holding the edges against rapidly revolving emery wheels, but the
grinding or polishing machines were provided with suction, which
absorbed the dust well. In one binding establishment, which was
engaged only in repairing boots, a similiar operation was employed
for removing old glue from the backs of books. Two special double



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

173

grinders were used, against which the operators held the backs.
The grinders were provided with small hoods and suction, but this
did not remove all the glue dust and the operators were covered
with it. Naturally a quantity was inhaled, though the extent or
possible damage could be ascertained only by analysis of the air
and physical examination of the operators. The other operation is
the removal of superfluous gold, bronze, or other metallic leaf from
book covers or other material after it has been applied. This was
ordinarily performed by rubbing the surface by hand with cotton
or brushing it with soft brushes. Where gold leaf was used, pre­
caution was taken to save this on account of its monetary value
and the work was usually done on tables provided with screens in
the center, through which the particles of gold leaf dropped. Some
tables were provided with suction pipes through which the particles
were carried to large hoppers suspended above the tables. In one
establishment a small machine was observed which performed this
operation automatically. The saving of the gold leaf eliminated
danger of dust from the operation, but where cheap imitation leaf,
ordinarily bronze, is used it is merely brushed off and scattered all
around, distributing a fine dust. Pieces dropping on the floor are
ground up by the feet of the workers and add to the dust in the air—
an undesirable condition. It is not found in many establishments, so
affects only a small number of workers, but could be eliminated by
use of brushing machines, one of which was seen in use for bronze
leaf also.
Among other equipment was included that of two specialty estab­
lishments, type foundries, though the fumes and dust hazards in
these resemble those of the composing rooms so much that they
could well be considered together. Type-casting machines, used for
the production of the type, were equipped with metal kettles, in
which the metal was heated by gas. The composition of metal used
for foundry type varies slightly from that used in the composing
machines. It ’usually consists of 55 to 60 per cent of lead, 25 per
cent of antimony, 10 to 15 per cent of tin, and 5 per cent of copper.
The high percentage of antimony and the addition of copper, which
has a melting point of 1,981° F., require considerably more heat and
the alloy is kept at temperatures varying from 600° to 850° F.
Different designs of casting machines are used. One style pro­
duces the type entirely finished and ready for use, while type cast in
the other style requires considerable handwork before assembling,
which produces some dust. In one of the establishments hoods had
been placed over the casting machines, piped to ducts leading out of
the building, and provided with fans. No fumes were noticeable in
one room, which contained a number of small-size casting machines
and where an exhaust fan had been placed in one of the windows.
There were several small ventilating turrets in the roof, and, in ad­
dition, the windows and ventilators in the saw-tooth skylights were
partly open. The large-size type-casting machines were located in
an adjoining room, with similar natural ventilating facilities, but
no fan. Some of these machines had not been provided with hoods,
claimed d'ue to recent installation, and there was considerable odor
of gas around these, as well as around some which had been tem­
porarily swung out from position under the hoods for change of



174

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

matrices. Large die-casting machines with force pumps were
located in a separate room on the floor below, with natural ventila­
tion from the windows only, but the machines had been provided
with hoods that were piped to a duct with a fan, leading out of the
building. In the other establishment the tj^pe-casting machines
were, with exception of two large hand type casters, not equipped
with hoods, but there did not seem to be any strong odor of gas.
The majority of the machines were located in several bays with
very high ceilings. One of these was provided with two exhaust
fans in each end of the gable in the monitor skylight. A few hand
casting machines were also used in both establishments, with gas
fuel on the metal, none of the machines being provided with hoods.
Both plants mixed their own ipetal, but did not refine the dross.
One plant was equipped with a large metal-mixing kettle, located in a
separate room in the basement. It was provided with a tight-fitting
hood, piped to an exhaust duct with a fan. A long pipe was used
for conveying the molten metal from the tap in the bottom of the
kettle to the molding pans, which had been placed on the floor in a
semicircle. The doors of the hood were open and the pans were
being filled, but no fumes were noticeable. r A large metal kettle was
also used for slug casting in a separate room, also provided with a
hood and piped out to a duct, with artifical exhaust. The slugs were
cast in continuous strips, passing over a long conveyor to a reel on
which they were wound to be cut up and trimmed later. In addi­
tion, there were several kettles for metal used for printers’ furniture
that were provided with similar exhaust. The fans seemed to carry
the fumes off well throughout, and with the windows partly open the
air felt very good. The plant was visited in May, with an outside
temperature of 74° to 77° F., which would naturally make inside
conditions better than if it had been inspected during cold weather
that would necessitate closing of the windows. The other establish­
ment was equipped with two large metal-mixing kettles provided
with pump drive agitators for the metal and with spouts with screw
stoppers near the bottom. The kettles were covered with good hoods
and curtains, with exhaust pipes to a large hopper placed between
the two. The gas fuel was piped separately out or the building.
A separate, special container, for shipping the dross, was provide
with a hood and piped to the hopper also. An old dross refining
furnace with charcoal fuel, placed in one corner, was piped only to
the flue, but it was stated that it was not used any more, all dross
being sent away for refining. It was explained that the hopper hjad
been installed to collect antimony from the fumes of dross in the
metal kettles, and that about one-half of 1 per cent had been saved
since installation. The air in the metal-mixing room, which was
located at the end of the foundry, semed very good, partly due to
the high ceiling and window ventilation and partly to. the hood over
the kettle in use being closed tightly during inspection of the room.
The visit was in May, with an outside temperature of 53° to 64° F.,
and the heat from the metal kettle did not seem excessive. Hand
casting furnaces for brass type, located on the top floor of the twostory part of the establishment, were provided with large hoods and
curtains but were open in front. The hoods were piped with exhaust
fan out through a flue. The rooms on the second floor were supplied



VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

175

with grates in the ceilings to turrets on the roofs and felt well
ventilated.
Some type-metal dust was produced in both establishments
through hand finishing. One style of casting machine turns out
the types all finished and ready for assembling, breaking off the jet,
grooving the foot, and leaving the edges smooth. In one establish­
ment the jets, whigji are small projections on the ends of the types,
were broken off in the machines and fell into small, removable pans
placed under the machines for catching them. When the jets were
not removed by the machines it was necessary to break them off
afterwards, smooth the broken surfaces or edges of the type, and
nick it, which naturally distributed some dust. In one establishment
the dressers, who smoothed the ends of type and nicked or grooved
it with a hand plane, removed the dust at intervals by a swipe with a
soft flat brush, intending to deposit it in a box at the end of the bench.
The box caught most of the dust, but not all. The burs on the edges
were removed by hand rubbing on three large flat stones, around
which the operators were seated, bending over the work. Some were
using special files laid on the stones in addition to the stone surfaces.
The fine dust from the edges clung mostly to the stones and files, but
some stuck to the hands or to the pads where used, while no doubt
some was inhaled by the workers. Special trimming machines were
also used for overhang type. Additional dust was created by all of
these operations, but none of it was visibly oxidized, and it looked to
be mostly metallic particles, too heavy to rise in the air. The dust in
the sorting room and type-dividing department was probably more
dangerous, as the type had been exposed to the air for a longer
period and it would be more likely to consist of oxide of lead rubbed
from the type by contact. Brass rules were also finished by hand
planing and hand rubbing in similar manner, though part were
finished by power trimming machines, which were provided with
vacuum attachments for removal of dust. In either case this would
also be metallic dust, consisting of proportionately heavy particles.
In the other establishment two large stones were similarly used for
hand smoothing of type; also grooving of the partly finished type
was done by hand planing. A number of small kerning ma­
chines were used for cutting down special sizes of type, and these
were provided with drawers under the benches for catching the
cuttings. Brass type was also finished by hand in a similar manner,
but brass rules were finished in a special, own design machine, which
was equipped with a vacuum attachment fois dust. The dust in the
assembling and dividing departments was similar to that found in
the first plant, but was very slight in both of the plants. The same
thing holds good for die engraving and finishing.
The manufacture of ink produces more or less fumes and dust,
but very little is definitely known regarding the possible injurious
effects of the fumes. Considerable complaint was heard in depart­
ments adjoining ink-grinding equipment where it was not entirely
separated from these, but no ill effects were actually proved. It
seemed to be merely a question of disagreeable odors, and where
proper ventilation existed these were not apparent. The dust was
ordinarily a local problem and very few of the printing-trade estab­



176

' HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

lishments used dry colors, most of the ink grinding consisting of
reduction, mixing of colors, or regrinding ink left in the fountains.
The two separate ink factories visited did not require any special
ventilation provisions, and those located in the larger establishments
were provided with sufficient ventilation. Occasionally an ink­
grinding department was seen which needed better ventilation, such
as an auxiliary one in Chicago—located in thejbasement of a sixstory building—engaged in coating carbon paper. This depart­
ment contained several hopper mills for grinding, a mixer, a re­
tainer, and a coating machine with fan-blast cooling. All were pro­
vided with steam heat from the boilers in an adjoining room. There
was no ventilation to speak of, so the air felt decidedly close and
unpleasant.
Factors outside of the establishments themselves may also be re­
sponsible for unpleasant conditions in the workrooms, such as in
one plant in New York, where considerable painting was being per­
formed in adjoining rooms, not well separated from the printing
operations. The air in the shop was laden with fumes of turpentine,
and complaints were heard of headache from this cause. Another
establishment in New York, which occupied part of a six-story
factory building, was well provided with ventilation for the plant
itself, but the workers were subjected to strong fumes from banana
oil, used by a special process plant located in the same building, which
penetrated through the halls and elevator shafts, tainting the atmos­
phere. The agencies that distribute unpleasant conditions are not
always industrial. A variation was observed in a newspaper estab­
lishment in Cleveland, part of which was located in a basement
which had some small windows in the rear end of the building,
facing on a concourse in the alley used for delivery vehicles. Most
of these vehicles were small wagons drawn by horses, which stood
quite a while waiting for papers, and the place was in a filthy con­
dition. Stench from it penetrated into the basement and polluted
the air. Such a situation was, of course, absolutely unnecessary and
could have been easily remedied.
Observations showed that adequate ventilation is one of the most
important factors in health conditions of the workers in printingtrade establishments. The effect of insufficient provision could not
be accurately and scientifically determined without thorough physi­
cal examination of the workers, which was out of the question. One
examination would give only a basis and would have to be followed
through a period of years with other examinations of the same sub­
jects, to readily establish accurate data by comparison.
SANITATION

The importance of keeping the working rooms clean is not always
recognized, neither by employers nor by workers. Even though the
actual constituents of dirt may not be dangerous to the health, a
workroom filled with it encourages unhygienic habits and practices.
Dirt not only looks unsightly, but, in addition, has a tendency to
render the workers careless in habits and in the execution of work.
When compared with the conditions of past years, still fresh in the
memory of former printing workers, now owners of establishments,



SANITATION

m

the sanitary conditions of printing plants show a vast improvement.
But former conditions can not be accepted as a standard, and im­
provements in sanitation are of importance to the workers from a
health standpoint. Incidentally they are of importance to the em­
ployers, because better working conditions create additional produc­
tion. Sanitation includes several subjects and merges to a certain
extent with provisions for ventilating devices on equipment, because
some of these devices either carry off the dust, which otherwise would
litter the floors and cover the objects in the rooms, or eliminate the
fumes that assist in producing unsanitary conditions. Some of the
work is of a dirty nature, but even the worst phases of it were found
in buildings that were kept clean all through and furnished pleasant
surroundings for the workers. This means more than appears on
the surface, because the environment in which the worker Spends
approximately one-third of his or her life has a marked influence
on both physical and mental development. Dark and dirty work­
rooms naturally foster a depressing feeling which affects health,
contentment, and efficiency.
The main subject considered under sanitation was the “ state of
cleanliness ” in the workrooms. Under that head the summary of
tabulation (p. 229) gives the condition as observed in the various
plants for the important features. In the 536 establishments it was
found that the condition of cleanliness for the floors was good in 40.9
per cent, fair in 34.9 per cent, and bad in 24.2 per cent. “ Good ” means
that the floors of the plants were clean at the time of the visit,
though the method of cleaning was not always taken into considera­
tion. “ Fair ” means that the majority of the floors were clean at the
time or showed evidence of regular and reasonable cleaning. “ Bad ”
means that cleaning was generally neglected, the floors littered with
rubbish or accumulations of dirt. The state of cleanliness for the
equipment ordinarily goes hand in hand with the condition of floors
but was found to be even better, as shown in the tabulation. In 65.9
per cent of the establishments it was good, in 22.4 per cent fair, and
bad in only 11.7 per cent. Good, fair, and bad were applied in the
same general terms as for the floors.
Information was sought regarding the use of vacuum cleaning for
factories. This was found in use for that purpose in 33 of the estab­
lishments surveyed—only a little over 6 per cent—and not exclu­
sively in all of these. A few were equipped with vacuum systems in
the walls of the buildings, but the majority used portable cleaners.
These seemed to work well, whether the establishment was engaged
in book and job or periodical or newspaper printing, in photo-en­
graving or electrotyping, or in bindery work. Comparison of the
places where it was used with those where it was not gave a feeling
of regret that vacuum cleaning was not more commonly employed.
It is certainly an application of the correct principle, because it
removes the dust altogether from the workroom instead of scattering
it, as invariably is done in sweeping. In 6 other plants vacuum
cleaning was used for the equipment only, and 4 additional establish­
ments stated that the system was used in the building for the offices
but not for the workrooms.
One newspaper establishment in Cincinnati was equipped with
vacuum tubes in the walls and turbine attachment in the basement.



178

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

but used sweeping mostly. Another newspaper plant, located in
Cleveland, also had vacuum tubes in the walls, with a stationary
pump in the basement, but the system was used only for the offices.
I t was claimed that it would not work well in the workrooms. At
the same time there was a considerable amount of dust visible on
some ledges and sloping parts of walls in the pressroom which
could easily have been removed by the vac’uum system, and similar
conditions were found in other departments. When attention was
called to this fact, the real reason for not using the system was dis­
closed by the statement that it would require extra janitor service.
The floors of the plant were swept well in the easily accessible
places, but not thoroughly all over. A different view of vacuum
cleaning was held by a large book and job printing establishment in
Louisville, which had just completed a new addition to its 8-yearold, four-story-and-basement building and had installed vacuum
tubes in the walls, convinced that it was the best method of clean­
ing. A large book and job printing establishment near Chicago,
which was housed in a single-story building, was provided with
vacuum tubes, through which waste paper was taken during work­
ing hours to a waste room in the rear of the building. The room
was separated by glass-top partitions from the main room, and the
interior, where the waste was being sorted by girls, was full of dust
from the waste. The plant was cleaned thoroughly by vacuum
every Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Another large book and
job printing,establishment, located near New York City in a twostory and basement building, was also provided with a vacuum tube
system in the walls, with outlets every 75 feet. The rooms were kept
well cleaned. Some firms were skeptical on the subject. One label­
printing plant in St. Louis stated that it had tried vacuum cleaning,
but did not find it suitable. A book and job printing plant located
in Nashville also explained that vacuum cleaning had been tried there
and found not satisfactory. On further inquiry it was learned that
the attempt had been made with a small hand-propelled suction
sweeper, intended for housework and not for an industrial estab­
lishment.
Vacuum was also used in some establishments for removal of
paper dust and trimmings directly from the sources, as well as for
all paper waste. ' One large periodical printing plant in Chicago
has applied suction attachments to the paper-trimming machines,
so that one sweep of the arm by the operator would bring the trim­
mings close to the opening of the tube. The tubes extended through
the floor to a duct close to the ceiling of the story below and down
through the six stories of the building, with additional pipes and
ducts on other floors from trimming or covering machines, or for
other waste paper, to the baling room in the basement. The system
seemed to work excellently, so that both floor and equipment were
kept comparatively clean. A large book and job printing estab­
lishment near New York was also provided with a vacuum system,
on trimming and covering machines, etc., that was piped outside
the main building to a separate structure, in which the waste was
baled. Both of these plants were cleaned by sweeping, and
compressed air was used xor blowing dust out of various machines.
Compressed air blowers are objectionable because of distributing



179
the dust instead of eliminating it. They were commonly used in
newspaper establishments for removing dust from the type-cast­
ing machines, from around stereotype steam tables, from the fold­
ing mechanisms of the presses, and from other places difficult to
clean.
In the ordinary printing establishment the main article to be re­
moved from the rooms is paper waste. The cuttings and dust from
this can not be considered a direct menace to health, but large
quantities scattered over the floors have an indirect influence by
creating disorderly workrooms and encouraging unsanitary habits.
The ordinary method for disposing of it was to place it in containers
and to convey these to the waste baler. In small plants, located on
one floor, the baler was usually place'd at one side, away from the
actual working machinery, though in'some plants it was seen lo­
cated right alongside the trimming machines. In large multistory
buildings the baling machine was ordinarily placed in the basement,
by the end of a large gravity duct that extended up through the
building, with doors on each floor for admittance of the waste.
Cuttings from trimming machines were sometimes thrown into bins,
from which they were removed at intervals, though in some places
they were just pushed off the machine to the floor and swept away
from time to time. A few establishments used sacks for containers,
and in, one establishment these were taken to the basement when
full, where they were piled until sufficient had accumulated to dis­
pose of. This is a very hazardous proceeding when fire risk is
considered. Other plants were supplied with metal containers for
the paper waste. Metal containers, some open and some with covers,
were usually employed for other waste in the pressroom, such as
rags filled with oil or ink. The largest book and job printing estab­
lishment in Washington used sanitary containers with hinged lids.
The problem of metal waste in composing, photo-engraving,
stereotyping, and electrotyping establishments is noted under
“ ventilation of equipment.” Such material constitutes an actual
danger on account of possible harm to the health of the workers,
and it seemed strange that the employees were often so careless in
that respect. In one book and job printing establishment in Pitts­
burgh a small saw was used in the composing room for trimming line
slugs. It was inclosed on three sides by low partitions, inside of
which the cuttings were heaped up nearly one foot high. As these
did not accumulate very fast this meant that the metal had been
lying there for a considerable time and had probably formed a
quantity of oxide of lead, which would be distributed by stirring
up. In the composing room of a newspaper establishment in the
same city, where several saws were used for trimming line slugs,
the cuttings were collected within the hollow pedestals and ejected
through spouts near the bottoms into small receptacles, placed under
them. The spout wT missing on one of these and the cuttings
as
were scattered over the floor outside the receptacle, and later kicked
around by the workers passing by, but no attention was paid to it.
Corresponding cases were found in the other cities visited, feut
there were also a number of establishments that were kept spick and
span, where the employers took an interest in having the plant
clean and where the workers cooperated. Several establishments



SANITATION

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
180
were provided with gravity chutes, for dead slugs or type from the
composing room, to bins or boxes near the ingot casting furnaces
on a floor below. Others merely conveyed such material in con­
tainers on wheels to the ingot furnace and dumped it in a heap near
by, from which it was later shoveled into the kettle.
The majority of plants depended on sweeping for cleaning the
floors. Some used sweeping compounds, some used wet sawdust, and
others used oiled sawdust; in several establishments dry sweeping
was practiced altogether, at times during working hours. This
should never be allowed in the workrooms, and especially not while
work is being performed, on account of raising unnecessary dust and
filling the air with it. In a number of places, where the floor sur­
faces were wood, these were k6pt oiled to prevent raising dust. In
addition, some sprinkled with disinfectants. Thorough cleaning of
floors depends on several conditions. A workroom crowded with
equipment, product, or material is extremely difficult to clean. An
old wood floor, perhaps broken in several places, presents additional
difficulties, and a concrete floor with broken surfaces creates trouble
also. One or more of these conditions as well as some mistaken ideas
about sweeping were found in different localities. In one photo-en­
graving establishment in Chicago the manager stated that the floors
were swept three times a day. This would have involved sweeping
at least twice during working hours—not a healthful proposition, as
it was performed dry. The statement was not quite commensurate
with the looks of the plant, as there was considerable dust visible in
the etching room as well as in the routing and blocking room. In
the pressroom of one book and job printing establishment in Phila­
delphia a sign was noticed, “ Floor swept at 1.30 and 4.30 p. m.”
The place was very crowded, and the floor was littered with paper,
said to have been left over from an emergency shift on the previous
night. Several of the plants during the inspection, and probably
brought about by it, were cleaning the floors and the equipment. In
one large periodical printing plant in New York attempt was made
to sweep the worst part of a lower floor while the upper ones were be­
ing looked over. The place was very untidy and was crowded, mak­
ing sweeping difficult. In another large periodical printing plant
in the same city the electrotype foundry was being swept during the
visit to it, and the foreman frankly admitted that it would have been
cleaned previously if he had known about the inspection beforehand.
He stated that it was cleaned twice a week, but judging from the
looks of it and the large heaps of metal scraps this seemed doubtful.
Electrotyping establishments are, as a rule, difficult to keep clean,
unless it is done right along and thoroughly. A great many of them
were just cleaned superficially and contained large deposits of dirt
under the tables and benches or under the raised platforms between
the plating tanks. The surface of the floor plays a very important
part in the cleaning process. If broken or full of cracks it naturally
retains more or less dirt, a condition noted in several old wooden
floors. Concrete floors have a tendency to give off a fine dust from
th% surface unless coated with a finishing material, due to the im­
proper combination of the cement with the other ingredients. This
was especially noticeable where the surface had become* chipped or
cracked by heavy trucking or by material falling on it. Such condi­



181
tions sometimes prohibited thorough cleaning, and each attempt
stirred up quantities of dust which was of an unquestionably detri­
mental character.
Large plants maintain a regular force for cleaning the floors and
some also have special help for cleaning the equipment. In these the
cleaning was, as a rule, done wT In very small establishments
ell.
there is not a great amount of dirt produced, and the majority of these
places were found in good condition. While many of the medium
sized plants were clean and orderly, this group presented the most un­
sanitary appearance, often due to the fact that where separate help
was employed to do the cleaning the force was either too occupied at
other tasks to devote sufficient time to the work or was too careless
to do it correctly. An example of the latter was, for instance, seen
in a printing establishment in Louisville employing about 135 work­
ers. The various departments were full of .accumulated dust and
dirt, and during inspection of the plant several of the porters were
found asleep in various nooks. The blame in such a case belongs
principally to poor supervision. In distinct contrast to this was the
largest establishment in Washington, where cleanliness was apparent
all around and where the janitor service was probably better than
in any other plant of similar nature. Where the cleaning is left to
the craftsmen, as was the case in several instances, the operation is
likely to be slighted because a great deal of time can not be devoted
to it. Exceptions were found, such as in a type foundry where the
type-casting machines were stopped at 11 a. m. on Saturdays and
the operators cleaned thoroughly around the machines. In the
larger establishments the floors were scrubbed regularly, daily in
some and at varying intervals in the others, mostly weekly. Tables,
also, in the binding departments were scrubbed at regular intervals in
some of the plants, commonly by those using them. In establish­
ments which are operated continuously it is, of course, difficult to
clean up, but some of them were remarkably well kept. Certain
processes develop considerable dirt which, if left for any length of
time, is difficult to remove.
An example of this was observed in a small ink-grinding estab­
lishment where the ink had caked on the concrete floor. It was be­
ing cleaned during the visit there and probably on account of the
visit. The deposit of ink was so solid that it was necessary to scrape
the floor with sharp-edged bars to remove it. The majority of ink­
grinding departments were supplied with iron or steel plate floors,
which were usually scrubbed regularly with chemical cleaning com­
pounds dissolved in hot water. These compounds were used in some
color printing establishments also, to remove accumulations of ink
from patent bases or other furniture in the forms. The furniture
was placed in a perforated cylinder, which was revolved slowly in a
vat containing the hot solution. Shelves or other projections on the
walls are naturally dirt catchers, especially where dry sweeping is
employed, and are generally absent in modern, sanitary plants.
The walls in these plants were usually smooth and covered with some
material which could be washed and kept clean, such as in the large
printing establishment in Washington, previously referred to, where
the bottom parts consisted of enameled brick and were washed at
regular intervals. Where counter shafting and overhead belts were



SANITATION

182
HYGIENIC conditions in the printing trades
used for operating the machines there was considerable dirt accumu­
lation on the overhead hangers. The walls and ceilings were ordi­
narily covered with dark streaks in line with the belts from oil pro’
and covered later with dust
up
{ected by themShelving, wliere necessary, wasthat had been stirred the
>y the belts.
often isolated from
main workrooms, and in modern plants was usually of steel. Steel
bins were also found, either on wheels or stationary, and so con­
structed as to give access for cleaning the floors. The equipment is
usually cleaned by wiping it with rags to remove the oil or grease
and the dirt which has settled on this. The wiping rags are some­
times a source of danger when they are bought indiscriminately and
no attention is paid to sterilizing them before handling. In several
cities the use of any but sterilized rags has been prohibited, and in
New York several of the large firms were using sanitary towels fur­
nished and recleaned by a special service company instead of rags.
Compressed air was utilized in a number of establishments to assist
in cleaning the equipment, especially for freeing it of paper dust,
and in a few places vacuum cleaning was used for the same purpose.
The latter is gradually coming into use as the benefits of the system
are being realized.
In a few plants it had been found necessary to protect the work
against dust dropping through the floor above, scaling of paint,
particles of concrete loosened by vibration, or falling plaster, and
makeshifts had been employed, such as paper or beaver board nailed
on the ceilings, or canvas stretched under it, presenting a very un­
sightly appearance. Such conditions were not the fault of the
trade but due to inadequate construction or maintenance of the
building, just as were other conditions which created unpleasant
and unsanitary environments from time to time in basements.
Quite a few basements had been dug below the level of the sewer
systems, and were flooded during heavy rains by backing up of the
sewers, adding considerably to the other discomforts attending base­
ment locations.
Cleaning of windows is a very important factor because when
these become dirty the daylight is retarded, causing eyestrain for
the workers or waste of artificial light, which affects the pocketbook of the employer. In the larger plants the windows and sky­
lights are washed regularly, to admit the maximum of daylight.
The outside conditions and the weather naturally have considerable
influence on the state of cleanliness, but sometimes it is affected by
inside conditions also. In some establishments the windows were
thickly coated with smoke and dust, developed inside the building,
which interfered greatly with the light. For “ state of cleanliness ”
of windows, the summary of tabulation (p. 229) shows that the condi­
tion of these was found good in 61.2 per cent of the plants inspected,
fair in 15 per cent, and bad in 23.8 per cent. Good, fair, and bad
were used with the same general meaning as for previous items.
It was noticed that some establishments overlooked the importance
of keeping the artificial lighting equipment clean. The original
installation may be above reproach, but, unless properly maintained,
may soon become practically worthless. Bulbs and other appli­
ances should be kept clean.



SANITATION

183

The condition of type cases was considered separately from other
equipment on account of the special character, as well as on account
of the nature, of the dust found at times in these. For them the
summary of tabulation shows that in 67.6 per cent of the plants
inspected the state of cleanliness was judged good, while in 32.4 per
cent it was considered bad. “ Good” means that no appreciable
amount of dust was observed in the cases, and “ bad ” that these con­
tained a noticeable quantity. No intermediate term could be con­
ceived for these, because even a small amount of oxide dust might
prove dangerous. One establishment was included which was not
listed as performing hand composition, as it was a trade composition
plant that supplied the product to printing establishments, but used
containers for this up to delivery. Type cases formerly constituted a
great menace to the health of compositors on account of the oxide
of lead dust which was rubbed off the type and deposited in the com­
partments. At the present time the majority of the type is pro­
duced on machines right in the plants and dumped into the com­
partments for use but not distributed into the cases after using.
Consequently it does not get a chance to form any quantity of oxide
on the surface, and in the majority of places the lead dust observed
in the type cases was mostly small metallic particles, too heavy to
float in the air. A great many of the establishments were equipped
with either wood or metal cabinets containing the type cases, though
older plants still used the open frames which allows dust to settle
freely among the type in the compartments. Most of the cabinets
extended to the floor and did not leave any space under them for
accumulation of dirt. The cleaning of the cases may prove a danger
unless precautions are taken. It is, however, not necessary now so
often as before nondistribution came into general use, and the hazard
from the dust can be entirely eliminated by the use of vacuum clean­
ing. This was used in some places with good results, according to
the foremen, though it was not actually seen. There is no reason to
subject any workers to the possibility of lead poisoning by allowing
them to blow the dust out of the cases, either by means of bellows or
with compressed air. The sensible method is to absorb the dust by
vacuum cleaning instead of scattering it. A fine-mesh wire screen
laid over the type case will prevent the suction from pulling the type
into the vacuum cleaner, an argument given against the use of it m
several instances. A great deal of dust formerly found in type cases
was not actual dust from the type itself but dust from the sweeping
or other outside sources, which had settled there and mixed with the
dust from the type. This is practically eliminated where cabinets,
or so-called Tracy-style cases, are used, which close tightly and do
not admit outside dust unless left open through carelessness of the
workers.
The state of cleanliness of the toilet rooms was deemed of suffi­
cient importance to be referred to. The sanitary codes of the va­
rious States usually provide for a certain number of fixtures to a
certain number of employees, separation for sexes, and ventilation
of rooms, but do not always include cleanliness as one of the requi­
sites. The summary of tabulation (p. 229) shows that 3 of the estab­
lishments inspected did not have any toilet rooms and that 67 per
cent of the remaining 533 were found good and 33 per cent bad, as re­



184

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS^IN THE PRINTING TRADES

lating to cleanliness. The classification is, similar to that for the pre­
ceding Subject, divided only into good and bad, because no inter­
mediate term was judged fitting, and this part of the inspection
pertained to general cleanliness of the toilet rooms and fixtures
only. No attempt was made to pass on the adequacy of facili­
ties, desirability of fixtures, quality of plumbing, condition of
ventilation, or sufficiency of lighting, though some unusual fea­
tures were noted in passing through. Large establishments occu­
pying single-story buildings were provided with toilet rooms all
around the buildings, convenient to the different departments. In
older multistory buildings the toilet rooms for males and females
were usually located on alternate floors, but in the newer structures
separate installations for the sexes were often found on the same
floor. Many of the toilet rooms seen were of excellent construc­
tion, finished with tile or marble, supplied with doors for the sepa­
rated fixtures, and cleaned regularly. Others were observed that
had not been provided with doors, as well as some where the doors
had been partly or entirely broken by the workers. A few were
found that were not even provided with separating partitions, sqch
as in the pressroom of a newspaper establishment in Chicago, where
the toilet fixtures were placed side by side in the washroom without
screening provision from one another or from the rest of the room.
Complaints were heard in several plants about the carelessness of the
help in maintaining sanitary conditions in the toilets and this
seemed to be one of the main difficulties. There was evidence of
this in some of the best plants, where the toilet rooms were equal
in style to those of first-class hotels and where regular janitor
service was supplied, but pieces of toilet paper, matches, cigarette
stubs, and even expectorations were observed on the floors of the
stalls, although cuspidors were also provided. Several rooms were
found in which the bowls had not been flushed and which showed
other evidences of disregard for the comfort of fellow workers or of
sanitary surroundings. In one place, where part of the plant was
located on the tenth floor and the toilets were on a balcony in the
room, the bowls could not be flushed at all times on account of lowwater pressure, creating extremely undesirable conditions. Auto­
matic flush was found in several other instances, which effectually
remedied oversights.
In one large establishment in New York glue cooking was being
performed in part of one toilet room for males and a cutting-knife
grinder was located in part of another, while in another large plant
in the same city part of one toilet room for males was used for stor­
age of acid and part of another for storage of oils, an arrangement
that could not be considered sanitary. In one large electrotyping
establishment, also in New York, the floor in the toilet room was
covered with a thick deposit of graphite dust, probably due to in­
sufficient or careless janitor service, making it so slippery that it was
dangerous to walk on it. The worst feature encountered was a
noticeable insufficiency of fixtures in several plants, a condition which
affects the health of the workers through tendency to induce con­
stipation with attendant complications. In one newspaper printing
establishment in Cleveland it was found that there were often 50
men employed at one time in the pressroom, but only two fixtures



SAKITATTOK

185

Lad been provided for that department, hardly a sufficient number.
In another newspaper plant located in Detroit there was also an
inadequate number of fixtures for the men employed in the press­
room Saturday nights, though sufficient at other times. In this place
the toilet facilities were bad at the time of the visit, due to tempo­
rary backing up of the sewer. Similar conditions of insufficient
toilet arrangements were observed in a newspaper pressroom in
Indianapolis, while in a newspaper plant in Pittsburgh the accommo­
dations for the stereotypers and photo-engravers on the fourth floor
were too scant, and a single urinal for the pressroom was stopped
up, overflowing, and distributing unpleasant odors. In one photo­
engraving establishment in New York there were no toilet rooms in
the three stories occupied in the five-story factory building. About
100 workers were employed in two shifts and use was made of
the toilet rooms in a connecting building in which the offices and the
art department were located. A small trade-composition plant in
Richmond, which occupied the .first floor of an old store building,
had a toilet fixture located in a small, dirty basement with access
only through a trapdoor in the floor. The majority of the toilet
rooms were provided with outside ventilation. Once in a while in­
side water-closet compartments were seen, such as in one job-print­
ing establishment in Detroit, which occupied the first floor and base­
ment of a four-story building. The toilet facilities for the male
workers on the first floor consisted of a stool inclosed in a small
cupboard under the stairway ventilated by a stovepipe to the flue,
while in the basement a small space was partitioned off around an­
other stool with ventilation to the main room only. Both of these
were dirty, as was the one for the female employees located in a
makeshift dressing room on the first floor. A few outdoor toilets
were found in connection with very small shops, usually when these
were housed in old dwellings, but they were ordinarily in good
sanitary condition. One small job-printing establishment in
Charleston, S. C., was housed on the first floor of an old di­
lapidated store building, which had no toilet facilities on that floor.
The plant had been located there for four years under other owner­
ship but had been purchased by the present manager about two
months previous to inspection. Installation of toilet facilities had
been demanded of the owner, who refused to make any changes, and
new quarters were looked for.
Another of the items under sanitation was the provision for dress­
ing rooms and lockers. The summary of tabulation (p. 229) shows
for that subject that 41 per cent of the establishments inspected
were provided with dressing rooms for both sexes, while 8.4 per
cent additional were provided with dressing rooms for female em­
ployees only. The remaining 50.6 per cent did not have any dress­
ing rooms. Individual lockers for clothes were furnished in 55 per
cent of the plants, collective lockers in 5.2 per cent, but none in
39.8 per cent of them. The number given for plants provided with
individual lockers includes five in which the majority were indi­
vidual but some were collective, while in the number containing col­
lective lockers two were provided with some individual lockers also.
In the processes which involve dirty or heavy work the workers
usually change their street clothes for overalls and other special



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
186
garments. In a few of the plants special working clothes were
furnished, but the workers usually provided their own. Oftentimes
all of. the wearing apparel was changed, including underwear and
shoes. Suitable dressing rooms are consequently required, and the
majority of the State sanitary codes have regulations concerning
dressing rooms where more than a certain number of workers are
» employed. Some of the larger establishments had adequate facilities,
large and well-kept rooms, furnished with individual and well-ven­
tilated steel lockers or with overhead hangers for the clothing, free
from any fumes or dust that might be present in the factory rooms,
and kept clean and tidy. In other plants the dressing rooms were
located on balconies in the different departments, sometimes entirely
inclosed. At other times they were partly open, and clothes hanging
in them were subjected to fumes or gases liberated in the rooms
below. In some of the smaller shops makeshift ^affairs had been
installed by inclosing a small place with partitions that did not
extend clear to the ceiling and, consequently, gave free access to dust.
A few of the older plants were supplied with wooden lockers, not
very desirable from a sanitary point of view, and in several places
halx-length steel lockers were observed. These were entirely inade­
quate, and it had been necessary to hang outside wraps around in
available places without any protection, as they were too long for
the lockers. A number of plants were provided with good, fullsized steel lockers, often with sloping tops to prevent piling stuff on
top of them and detracting from the sanitary surroundings. In
several locker rooms the lockers had been placed on composition
bases with concave floor joints for easy cleaning.
In some of the newspaper establishments special locker rooms
were maintained for the compositors, photo-engravers, and perhaps
for the stereotypers, but in several of the pressrooms the lockers
were found stuck in available nooks, wherever space could be found.
In others regular rooms were provided for the purpose. These
•were often littered with paper, as the floors usually were of concrete
and the workers in pressrooms commonly change all their wearing
apparel, so object to standing with bare feet on the concrete floors.
The rooms are often swept in a haphazard manner, as they are not
seen much by the public. In small establishments clothes were
usually hung on the walls without any protection, though in some
places the workers had covered them with sheets of paper to keep
the dust away from them. It seemed strange to see lockers pro­
vided in some of these plants for the wraps of the office help, placed
in rooms that were clean in themselves, while the other workers
were compelled to dispose of their wearing apparel in-rooms con­
taining considerable dust, and without any protection whatever.
Several of the processes in the printing trades are clean but
others are extremely dirty, and in some of them the workers are
brought into contact with possible poisonous material. This makes
washing facilities one of the important items of sanitation in^the
trade, and one which was found sadly neglected in a number of
instances. The accumulations of lead, ink, and grease can not be
removed properly with cold water, and hot water should always be
provided for that purpose. This is, of course, usually furnished in
winter in shops located where heating is necessary at that time of



SANITATION

187

year, but several of these were supplied only with cold water during
the summer season, and in the South it was not uncommon to find
cold water provided throughout the year. The summary of tabula­
tion (p. 229) shows that 61.4 per cent of the establishments inspected
were equipped with hot water for washing purposes, while 38.6 per
cent were supplied with cold water only. Among the establishments
which were provided with hot water it was found that in 9 of them
only part of the plant was supplied and in at least 21 others it was
furnished in winter only. The summary shows that 21.5 per cent
of the plants were equipped with shower baths. These are seldom
supplied for bindery workers, and in some plants they were installed
for special departments alone, such as in three of the establishments
where they were located only in the pressrooms and in five others,
where the electrotyping departments only were provided. The
importance of washing up has been very much underrated in the
past and the lack of facilities was probably largely responsible for
considerable of the illness attending work in the printing trades.
Managers of some of the large establishments pointed with justifi­
able pride to the arrangements existing in their plants, ample space
and adequate facilities in nicely finished rooms that were kept clean.
Some were equipped with individual bowls, such as one large
establishment in Cincinnati, where one of its washrooms contained
148 of these, all filled by the porter just before lunch time and
quitting time, ready for the workers.
In some modern plants spray faucets were used instead of indi­
vidual basins, a more sanitary way. The main objection in the
South to providing hot water was on account of the heat generated
in preparing it, but it has been learned that some establishments
which were not previously equipped have installed hot-water facili­
ties for washing since the plants were surveyed. A possible solution
of that problem might be found through the electrically heated
water faucet, such as is allowed by the New York State Department
of Labor to be used in small plants that have no general hot-water
heating system. These do not distribute any heat and would be
well adapted for a warm climate, although the operating cost might
prove too great. Some buildings use special water heaters, separate
from the heating system for the plant, all the year round while
others use these only in summer. Makeshift arrangements were also
found, such as in one establishment in Cleveland, where hand and
machine composition, electrotyping, presswork, book and pamphlet
binding are all performed in the plant. An individual gas fuel
boiler was used in the electrotyping department to furnish steam for
the work there, and the workers in that department drew hot water
from it for washing purposes. The other departments used cold
water only. In two establishments, located, respectively, on the
tenth and the eleventh floors of the same building in New York, only
cold water was supplied, but this was heated by the workers, a
bucketful at a time, with live steam. The free end of a steam pipe,
which was kept inclosed in a small cupboard on each floor, was in­
serted in the water and the steam turned on. These pipes were prob­
ably installed originally for cooking paste in a similar manner,
a method still used in some small establishments, where it also serves
45331°—-25-----13




188

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

for heating water for. washing. Some establishments seemed to dis­
regard sanitation in washing facilities. In one job-printing plant
in Detroit, employing about 23 male and 12 female workers, the
only provision for the compositors and job pressmen was an old
dirty sink, placed by one wall in the composing room on the
first floor and supplied with cold water only. The washstand for
the female workers, located in a makeshift dressing room in the
adjoining bindery, was likewise dirty. In the basement, containing
the cylinder pressroom, was found a pail, two-thirds full of dirty
water, placed on a box, the arrangement used for the workers in that
department. A few employers seemed to think that hot water was
not a necessity. In one newspaper establishment in Cincinnati the
composing room was located on the third floor. There was no hot
water above the first floor, and the management stated repeatedly
that it did not want to install a system, as a new building was con­
templated. In a contract finally entered into with the compositors
it was agreed to install hot water above the first floor, but the original
intention was partly evaded by installation of one faucet in the
washroom on the third floor, entirely inadequate for the workers
employed there.
A newspaper establishment in Baltimore was not supplied with hot
water. The workers had requested it and the manager stated that he
had offered to run steampipes from the boilers for the steam tables in
an adjoining room into the washroom for the compositors, but the pro­
posal had been rejected as unsatisfactory. The manager explained that
the firm would be in the building only a short time, but the workers
stated that the building was leased for five years and only one year of
this had expired. It looked rather unreasonable to expect them to con­
tinue for four years more without hot-water provisions. In one of
the type foundries visited there was no hot water at the time, as the
heater for that purpose was being equipped with oil burners. The
same condition was found in two of the printing establishments.
In a few newspaper plants the equipment for washing was sufficient
for ordinary purposes but not for the additional force employed
Saturday nights, though the majority were prepared for the emer­
gency. In a number of photo-engraving establishments the work­
ers were observed to wash at the sinks provided for the work, usually
without soap, and many of these plants were not provided with
any other facilities for washing. This should not be permitted, es­
pecially where poisonous chemicals are handled, and proper wash­
rooms should be supplied in all establishments of that kind. An
undesirable condition was observed in several binderies, in which
the sinks were used during the making of paste, for the cleaning of
implements as well as for washing, and were found filled with
lumps of paste. Soap was furnished in a number of the establish­
ments. In some, liquid soap had been provided and in others bar
soap was furnished to the workers. Some plants provided paper
towels, while others supplied individual cotton towels. The workers
in a few plants were using roller towels, a practice which should
never be allowed, as it is a possible source of infection. In a large
binding establishment in Detroit, employing over a hundred workers,
the firm supplied roller towels, hung by the washstands. A sign
on the wall by these read: “ Individual face towels will be fur


WELFARE

189

nished b y ----- Towel Co. for 35 cents per week.” In a book and
job printing establishment in Philadelphia containing about 50 em­
ployees the help also paid for the use of individual towels. These
were the only two instances where that condition was noticed, though
there may possibly have been others.
In one private printing plant, owned by a large life-insurance
company in Boston, electric hot-air blowers were used instead of
towels. These were also found installed in a newspaper establish­
ment of the same city. Some of the installations for shower baths
were excellent. A few were the reverse, such as in one newspaper
establishment in Detroit. The composing room on the tenth floor
was supplied with a shower bath which could not be used because the
water pressure was too low. The pressroom in the basement was
also supplied with one shower bath, entirely insufficient for the 50
men employed regularly, and especially so when 25 men additional
are employed Friday and Saturday nights. In a large newspaper
establishment in Chicago the pressroom was the only department
supplied with shower baths, and one of these was used as a store­
house for dirty ink taken out of the fountains. Electrotyping
establishments of any size, as a rule, were equipped with shower
baths on account of the dirty nature of the graphite dust employed
in electrotyping. A few fair-size*d ones were found that had failed
to install baths.. One of these, located in Cleveland and employing
about 30 men, had been occupying the same quarters for about 18
years. Recent changes were made in the arrangement of the plant,
and the blue prints showed installation of shower baths. A space
had been partitioned off for these but no plumbing had been
installed, and the inclosure was used for storage of stock. In a large
printing establishment in St. Louis, employing about 400 workers,
no shower baths were provided, although electrotyping and bronzing
were being done in the plant, as well as stereotyping and ordinary
presswork. The firm claimed the men would not use them if they
were installed, an assertion that seemed completely refuted by ob­
servation in other places. # Good use was made of shower baths
where they were installed in plants, especially in electrotyping es­
tablishments, and in spite of the dust accumulated during working
hours the majority of the workers in the manufacturing processes
were found to be as clean as the office workers. In fact, many of
them were cleaner, because the work compelled them to bathe daily,
something all office workers do not indulge in. For all workers that
handle lead thorough washing is very essential, not alone when
stopping work but also at lunch time before eating, as this prevents
what seemed to be the greatest hazard connected with lead or anti­
mony in the printing industry—the accumulation of lead on the
hands and conveying it into the mouth. Adequate facilities should
always be provided, and shower baths should be installed in all
departments where the workers are exposed to lead dust, to exces­
sive dust, or to excessive heat.
WELFARE

Under this head were considered the provisions for lunch rooms,
either separate rooms where the workers could eat the lunches brought
with them or restaurants provided in the plants, provisions for



190

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

drinking water, provisions for medical attention, and other provi­
sions for the comfort, of the employees. The summary (p. 229)
shows that separate lunch rooms had been provided in only 4.9 per
cent of the establishments inspected and that 6.5 per cent additional
maintained restaurants with lunch rooms, where food was served
to employees. Aside from these, lunch counters were established in
eight plants, where food could be purchased, but no place was
provided to eat it. A few plants had installed automatic candy
sellers. The restaurants consisted of 7 with table service and 26
cafeterias. Two other restaurants were for employers only. Some
of the cafeterias were elaborate and in a few of the large establish­
ments separate service was maintained for the sexes. In one of these,
maintained by a large periodical printing plant in Philadelphia,
luncheon was served at cost to over 2,400 people daily. A splendid
large four-way cafeteria was seen in a lithographic printing estab­
lishment in Cincinnati. A newspaper establishment in New York
maintained a large restaurant, with a seating capacity of about 200
in the main room, and table service or self service, besides large
executive dining rooms. About 3,000 people per day were fed in
this restaurant, which was operated by two shifts and was open up
to 2 o’clock a. m. A private printing plant, operated by an insur­
ance company in New York, maintained a nice cafeteria in which
lunch was furnished free to 370 employees.
Another insurance company, which was located in Boston and
operated a small private printing plant in its headquarters, with
about 40 trade workers, maintained a good cafeteria in which a
substantial lunch was served to all employees at 10 cents each. The
trade workers, of course, were only a small percentage of the total.
Among the cafeterias none were found better than one conducted
by the largest printing plant in Washington—the Government Print­
ing Office—a full description of which was printed in the May, 1923*
issue of the Monthly Labor Review, published by the Bureau oi
Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. A nice cafe­
teria was also seen in the large die and plate printing establishment
in Washington—the Bureau of Engraving and Printing—though it
was not quite so modern as that of the Government Printing Office,
because it had been installed eight years previous. It was a necessity
in this building, as the workers were not permitted to leave the plant
during the lunch hour. A large newspaper establishment in Wash­
ington maintained a cafeteria, serving food at cost to employees and
tenants of the building, but the workers in the stereotyping depart­
ment and the pressroom seldom ate there, as they were not admitted
in working clothes, consequently they either ate in restaurants
outside the building or brought their lunches and ate in the work­
rooms. Two large printing establishments, one in Louisville and
one in Atlanta, stated that they had established cafeterias at one
time but discontinued them on account of poor patronage. While
restaurant service in the plant is desirable it is not necessary in a
business district where it is surrounded by eating places, but the
relative importance of good food to health is well known and it is
a business policy for employers to keep the workers in good health,
which goes hand in hand with efficiency. There is no question
that a substantial hot lunch, properly balanced, is better for the



WELFARE

191

system than cold, unappetizing food in the majority of cases, and
that the change of environment from the workroom during the
lunch period benefits and invigorates the workers. Where no restau­
rant is maintained a separate lunch room should be furnished, giv­
ing a change from the working surroundings and providing freedom
from fumes or dust created by the industrial processes. Attempts
on the part of employers to do so were sometimes met with rebuffs,
such as in one book and job printing establishment in Milwaukee,
where a small lunch room had been installed in the bindery depart­
ment, equipped with gas plates and porcelain tables. It was stated
that offers had been made to install similar ones for other depart­
ments, but that the help did not care for it.
Sometimes the arrangements were not of the best. In one news­
paper establishment in Philadelphia a small temporary table was
found placed in the stereotyping room close to the elevator during
the night lunch period, and several compositors and stereotypers
were served there with food cooked on a small stove near by. The
main stereotyping room was full of fumes and such a place was
altogether unfit for eating purposes. A large printing establish­
ment in Baltimore had separated a small space in one corner of
the main pressroom with iron pipe hand railing and used this space
for a lunch room and kitchen. The pressroom was located m a
one-story part of the plant and was equipped with two exhaust fans
on each side of the building, in the skylights, but there was con­
siderable odor in the pressroom from the ink and gas burners on
the cylinder presses. In addition there were eight bronzing ma­
chines located in the room, and the open corner for a lunch room
certainly could not be considered as a proper place for eating. In
a number of places the help was found eating in the workrooms.
It seemed to be a customary proceeding in the binderies, several of
which were equipped with small gas stoves for cooking coffee. In
others the gas plates for paste cooking were used for that purpose.
It was bad enough in the binderies, but the eating of lunch was also
observed in composing rooms, in photo-engraving, stereotyping, or
electrotyping departments, and in pressrooms, something that should
never be allowed. In one large periodical printing plant in New
York it was stated that eating was prohibited in the composing
room and in the engraving department, but was permitted elsewhere.
One electrotyping establishment in the same city had a sign on the
wall prohibiting eating in the workroom. There could not be a
worse practice than eating in workrooms contaminated with lead in
some form, end often without washing the hands. Even though the
workers themselves are willing to disregard all warnings regarding
the dangers of such habits, the employers ought not to allow it and
should provide separate lunch rooms, as well as insist on the help
leaving the workrooms during the lunch period.
Drinking water, a very essential item in connection with health,
still received only scant attention in the smaller plants. The large
modern establishments were usually equipped with filtering and
cooling systems for drinking water, piped to the various rooms and
supplied through bubbling fountains. These fountains were pre­
sumed to be sanitary but did not all prove so, as quite a few were
seen which were not provided with guards to prevent the lips from



192

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

touching the waterspout. In most of them* the water was dis­
charged vertically, though in a few places oblique discharge was
found, considered the superior method. The common arrangement
for summer consisted of tank coolers, filled with water from the
hydrant and with a piece of ice inserted directly in the water. In
some instances the ice was not in contact with the water, and bottle
coolers were also observed. These latter were in the majority of
cases supplied with hydrant water in the workrooms, but it was
not unusual in the same plant to find that the drinking water fur­
nished for use in the office was bottled spring water or distilled
water, though no logical reason for the distinction could be seen.
In a few places bottled water was furnished and in others it was
purchased by the workers of certain departments themselves in pref­
erence to using the hydrant water. In one printing establishment in
Richmond, which employed about 100 workers, one-fourth of whom
were females, ice water was supplied by the firm but the help was
charged 10 cents a week each for the use of it. Hydrant water is not
always desirable, as was noticed during inspections in Milwaukee in
the latter part of June. The city water supply had been contami­
nated and public warning was issued by the commissioner of health
to boil the water before using. The commissioner claimed that a
bacteriological test showed the presence of 1,500 disease-bearing
organisms in each cubic centimeter, which under ordinary circum­
stances contained only 10 or 12. Most of the printing-trade plants
in the city were using drinking water direct from the hydrant, a
dangerous practice under the circumstances. In winter cooling
tanks were usually discarded and water was secured from the hy­
drants, either from bubble fountains or individual glasses or cups,
though in a very few instances cups were still used in common. In
two small establishments the requirements of bubble fountains,
ordered by the authorities, had been met by turning an ordinary
faucet upside down so the water would be propelled vertically, clearly
an evasion of the issue. A sufficient supply of pure, cool drinking
water should always be furnished for the workers, especially as some
of the operations require severe physical labor and the workers
consequently find relief and comfort in good drinking water.
Health supervision of the workers is growing more common each
year as it is realized that healthy employees mean additional produc­
tion. The summary of tabulation (p. 229), under head of 66Medical
attention,” shows that 10.8 per cent of the establishments inspected
were provided with emergency hospital rooms, sometimes under the
supervision of one of the bindery women, but in 38 cases having a
regular trained nurse in attendance. A few of these emergency hos­
pitals had the service of visiting physicians, while five of them had
regular physicians stationed there and four others had dental clinics.
Of the plants surveyed, 60.8 per cent additional were equipped with
first-aid kits, and among these 49 contained also female rest rooms, in
most instances supplied with cots. While hospital departments were
seen that were excellently equipped, some supplied with as many as
six beds, none were found that excelled the emergency hospital in
the large book and job printing establishment in Washington—the
Government Printing Office—operated with a staff of two physicians
and three nurses. A complete write-up of this was included in the



WELiFAKE

193

article on the welfare work for the plant in the May, 1923, issue of
the Monthly Labor Review, published by the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics, United States Department of Labor. It was claimed by the
establishments which were provided with emergency service that the
firms had been more than repaid by the reduction in absences from
work. Emergency treatments for minor illnesses had often pre­
vented development into severe sickness, just as treatments of slight
wounds prevented serious infections. The importance of dental
clinics in the health program had also been recognized and the medi­
cal attention included dental infirmaries in three of the New York
establishments and one in Washington. Two of these were attended
by riurses during working hours, with a dentist half of the time. In
the other two the dentist was present all day. One provided free
cleaning and an examination of the teeth every six months for all
employees. In another, prophylactic treatment and X-ray service
was free, with reduced rates for special work. In the others the
dental service was optional.
A number of the establishments were located adjoining or close to
one or more hospitals, and the firms had not seen any use for indi­
vidual emergency rooms. Some plants called near-by physicians in
cases of emergency, while others sent the patients direct to the
physicians selected by the insurance companies. In one large peri­
odical printing plant in New York it was found that the emergency
hospital room had been eliminated during recent changes, but it was
stated that it would be installed again. In one novelty printing
establishment in Cincinnati an emergency room had been provided,
equipped with a cot, but it was used at the time of the visit as part
of a laboratory and would not be readily accessible in case it were
needed. The large establishments ordinarily were examined from
time to time by safety committees, selected by the workers from
among themselves. These submitted to the management plans for
necessary improvements regarding either sanitation or safety. It
was found that, in addition to emergency treatments especially good
work was often rendered by the medical staffs, physicians, or nurses,
thro'ugh instructing the workers in the fundamentals of public
health, personal hygiene, and preventive medicine—great factors in
the reduction of illness. These are very important subjects and some
which the workers often ignore thoughtlessly. An instance of this
was observed, among others, while visiting a small printing estab­
lishment in Atlanta. The floor in the bindery department was lit­
tered with paper cuttings from the machines and was also dirty, as
the crowded condition prevented thorough cleaning. The foreman
of the bindery was emphasizing that the plant was nice and hygienic
to work in, and punctuated his remarks by vigorous expectoration
on a large pile of paper, a proceeding in direct contradiction to his
words. The first-aid kits in the various plants equipped with them
were usually in good order and kept well filled. Once in a while
some were found, mostly in binding departments, that had not been
kept up, such as in one job printing establishment in Richmond,
where the cabinet was in charge of the forewoman in the bindery.
The cabinet was hanging on the wall, but the contents were gone,
and in case of accident there was nothing on hand to use in first aid.
In several establishments, notably in Chicago, the workers that
were subjected to fumes from lead were examined monthly by



194

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

physicians. The same course was followed in a private printing
plant operated by an insurance company in New York, and the rest
of the employees in that plant were examined yearly. Other estab­
lishments required physical examination of applicants for posi­
tions in the trades, such as in the Government Printing Office in
Washington, where the medical staff conducted rigid examinations,
including tests for sight and hearing. It was also found that some
of the trade-unions required examinations by physicians for the
physical fitness of applicants before admitting them as members.
This subject had unfortunately not come up until near the end of the
survey, so the only ones recorded as doing so were New York Typo­
graphical Union No. 6 and the photo-engravers5’unions in New York
and Philadelphia. There were probably others which also de­
manded this safeguard for the other members and for the applicants
themselves. The application blank for admission to the New York
Photo-Engravers5 Union contained the following subjects under the
report of the physician:
Age_____ Height------- - Weight: Usual_____, present_____ Arte­
ries _____ Blood pressure: Systole------- , diastole------- , reflexes______
Eyes_____: Right_____ , left_____, with or without glasses______ Pupil­
lary reactions: Light ____ , distance _____ E ars_____: Right_____ ,
left_____ Tongue_____ Teeth_____ Tonsils_____ Pharynx_____
Nasal passages-------- Lungs-------- Heart_____ Skin: Cold or warm
_____, dry or moist------- , eruption------- - Abdomen_____ Tremor______
Flat foot: Right------- , le ft-------- Glands _____ Varicosities _____
Hemorrhoids _____ Fistula _____ Hernia _____ General condition
____ _ Remarks_____ Date_____ Signature_____
Any physical condition that might menace the health of other
employees, or which would prohibit the applicant from performing
the work in the trade efficiently, would cause rejection of the appli­
cant.
The welfare of the workers includes a number of miscellaneous
subjects, some of which were not gone into fully, but which are all
to a certain extent connected with the health of the people employed
in the trade. The question of wages and hours was scrupulously
avoided, although it has a great influence on health. Low wages
prevent the workers from enjoying decent housing, at times even
from obtaining sufficient food, and causes worry which naturally
affects the health. Long hours create fatigue and do not give proper
time for recuperation. This lowers the resistance of the body to dis­
ease and sometimes creates nervous disturbance of the system.
Insurance features were not tabulated. These are only mental fac­
tors as far as health is concerned, but may be almost as important in
preventing worry about the future, a phase that often contributes
to ill health. Several establishments furnished health insurance,
accident insurance, or life insurance to their employees. In others
part of the premiums was paid by the firms, the workers paying
the balance. Some plants had established regular pension systems,
but most of them did not have any certain methods and considered
each case of aged workers individually in making provisions for
them. Others again were not concerned about their employees,
except from day to day. One book and job printing establishment
in Nashville, employing about 160 trade workers, advised that it
retired male employees at 60 years of age and female workers at 55,



PERSONNEL

195

and that employees with 20 years’ service received a pension. This
sounded very good on the face of it, but it was found that if an em­
ployee at retirement age had worked in the establishment only 19
years and 6 months, he or she was “ out of luck,” as the manager put
it, and not entitled to a pension. A different attitude was taken in
a periodical publishing establishment in Boston, which employed
about 250 trade workers. None of the employees were discharged for
age, only when infirm, and the ages of those on the active list ranged
from 18 years to TO years. In addition to the employees on it there
were 15 others on the pension list. A book publishing establish­
ment in Boston, employing about 600 workers in the manufacturing
processes, did not discharge employees on account of age and kept
several on the pay roll who did not perform any active work in the
plant.
Other provisions for the welfare of the workers were found in
different establishments, arrangements for recreation and amuse­
ment, all of which play an important part in the wide scope which
is being adopted for conserving the health of the workers. A few
were equipped with auditoriums, which were also used for social
gatherings, sometimes provided with stages and arrangements for
moving pictures. Some plants had roof gardens, where fresh air
could be enjoyed during rest periods. Others had provided club
rooms, with current periodicals or libraries, smoking rooms, or
recreation features, such as bowling. In some plants a piano or a
phonograph had been placed in the rest room for diversion of the
workers during the lunch time. Conveniences in cases of emergency
were also found provided, such as in some establishments which fur­
nished rubbers or umbrellas at nominal cost to employees caught
without these by inclement weather. One large plant,, which was
located quite a distance from the business center of the city, furnished
free bus service for the workers to and from the same. Mutual asso­
ciations were noticed in several plants, usually backed by the firms.
Aside from looking after some of the features just mentioned these
also at times conducted commissaries, where food or other merchan­
dise could be purchased at less cost than outside. Some of these items
may seem trivial and altogether beside the point, but they all con­
tribute partly to the well-being of those engaged in the industry,
assist in maintaining the vitality and general health of the workers
and, consequently, mean increased efficiency and production to the
employers.
PERSONNEL

The number of workers engaged in the trade in the 536 establish­
ments surveyed in detail, as furnished by the managers of the vari­
ous plants, totals 81,314. According to figures compiled from the
Fourteenth Census of the United States this constitutes approxi­
mately 20 per cent of the number of wage earners in the various trade
processes of the industry, or about 15 per cent of the total number of
people engaged in the industry, the latter item including proprietors,
superintendents, managers, and clerks. In small establishments the
first three divisions were often actively engaged also in the trade
processes of the plant. The size of the establishment regulated the
proportionate number of proprietors, managers, superintendents, and



196

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

foremen to the total number of workers, which was naturally largest
in the smallest establishments. In the plants inspected about 10 per
cent of the total working force occupied supervisory or directive
positions.
The summary of tabulation (p. 229) shows that 21.43 per cent of
the workers were female. The majority of these were employed at
skilled or semiskilled work in binding departments or establish­
ments, though females were found in nearly all branches of the trade.
In binding work they usually start on some of the simplest opera­
tions, such as folding or pasting, and gradually acquire practice,
when opportunities arise, in the more skilled work. Some of the
binding work is seasonal, with a heavy demand ordinarily from
September to December, causing considerable irregularity in em­
ployment and variation in number of employees, though less than
in other industries where a large number of females are employed.
There is less irregularity of employment among the males. These
follow, as a rule, the same vocations in which they started and seldom
shift irom one trade to another. The tendency of modern con­
ditions is toward a sharper definition and limitation of work in each
trade, and this has resulted in specialization of operations in the
same trade. The largest group of workers in any occupation in the
industry consisted of hand compositors, followed in rotation by press­
men, press feeders and assistants, machine compositors, bookbinders,
electrotypers, photo-engravers, and stereotypers.
No accurate count was kept of minors employed in the industry,
but the number of workers less than 16 years of age in the establish­
ments surveyed was about 3 per cent of the total. Full informa­
tion was sought about employees actively engaged in the trade
that were 60 years old or over, and questionnaires were submitted to
these for records of birthplace, age, number of years in the trade,
occupation, present condition of health, past cases of sickness, con­
dition of eyesight, and length of time glasses had been worn. In­
formation from the offices in the establishments gave the number of
trade workers over 60 years of age at 1,363, or 1.7 per cent of the
total employees. Only 600 questionnaires were obtained, as the
workers in a number of places refused to fill them out, fearing it
might deprive them of work were it known they had passed that
age. A foreman of a large composing room stated: “ I am past 60,
but I am not going to let them (the employers) know it.” A differ­
ent stand was taken in other places, where the men seemed proud of
their ability to perform active work even though they were 60
years old or over. A tabulation of the questionnaires has not been
attempted, as copies of these were furnished to Dr. Frederick L.
Hoffman, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., who was cooperating, on behalf
of the Joint Conference Council of the Printing Industry, with the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in the survey, and had obtained addi­
tional data direct which might affect the general result of compila­
tion.
A summary of the 600 questionnaires shows that 490 of the work­
ers were native born and 110 were foreign born. Among these, 267
were between 60 and 65 years of age, 223 were between 65 and 70,
85 were between 70 and 75, and 19 between 75 and 80. Two of the
rest were 80 years old, and one each, respectively, 81, 82, 85, and 91



197
years of age. Fifteen had been less than 30 years in the trade, 39
others less than 40 years, 340 others less than 50 years, and 186
others less than 60 years. Eleven had put in 60 years of trade life,
three 62 years, two 63 years, two 65 years, one 68 years, and one 73
years. In the occupations the hand compositors dominated with
220. Proof readers came next with 115, all former hand compos­
itors. Composing machine operators totaled 63, photo-engravers
35, stereotypers 18, electrotypers 12, pressmen 47, press feeders 3,
bookbinders 52, bindery women 4, and workers in type foundries 31,
of which 16 were casting machine operators, 2 type dressers and 1 a
type rubber. Among the six oldest, all past 80, it was found that
the worker who was 85 years of age was a composing machine op­
erator, one of those who were 80 years of age was a former hand
compositor engaged in proof reading, and the other four were hand
compositors. The figures for trade life are probably not strictly
accurate, because the numbers ending in fives and zeroes predomi­
nate so much that they indicate some workers gave these as approxi­
mate numbers.
The present condition of health was given as good by 497, fair by
95, and bad by 8. These statements are open to doubt, because in a
number of places the questionnaires were received through the busi­
ness offices and the workers would, in such case, want to appear in
as favorable a light as possible. In several plants they were made
out by one of the executives, such as in one from which 16 ques­
tionnaires were received. These all stated that the present condition
of health was good, but the questionnaires were all filled out in the
handwriting of one of the executives. While the statements may be
accurate, there is too much chance in such a case to rely absolutely on
them, especially where the firm is known to wish its workers to ap­
pear very healthy. The eight workers describing present health as
bad consisted of 2 hand compositors, 4 linotype operators, 1 stereotyper, and 1 pressman. One of the hand compositors, 68 years old,
was suffering from phlebitis and gave typhoid fever as the only
former illness worth considering. His eyesight was good, though
glasses had been used 33 years. This case was not considered due to
any trade influence. The other hand compositor, aged 73, gave
former sickness as bleeding of lungs, pneumonia, and bronchitis,
which were also the cause of present ill health. These may have
been contracted, or at least aggravated, through the trade work,
though the composing room in which he was employed at the time
was well ventilated and free from fumes or dust. The condition of
eyesight wT bad, with glasses used 39 years, and it was no doubt
as
affected by the badly placed artificial lighting in the composing room.
One of the linotype operators, 65 years old and employed in the same
place, likewise complained of poor eyesight, probably also aggra­
vated by the faulty arrangement. Glasses had been used for 22 years.
In this case the bad health was not caused, so far as known, by trade
work. The second linotype operator had been subjected to four
severe attacks of neurasthenia, the first three one year apart and the
fourth after an interval of six months. This might have been a
result of trade work, which involves considerable nervous tension.
His age was 63, glasses had been used for 31 years, and his eyesight
was bad. The composing room in which he was employed was



PER SO N N EL

198

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

crowded, badly lighted, and badly ventilated—contributory causes
to bad health.
The third linotype operator, age 62, had also suffered from
nervous breakdown, but was troubled especially with bronchitis, pos­
sibly produced by unhealthful working conditions and aggravated
by fumes in the composing room where he was employed. Poor light­
ing facilities in the same were also claimed to affect the eyesight.
Glasses had been used for 27 years. The fourth linotype operator
was likewise afflicted with bronchitis, though complicated by liver
and kidney troubles. The establishment in which he was employed
was strictly modern and healthful, but up to a year previous had
been housed in an old building, which was practically the reverse.
The stereotyper, who was 73 years of age, gave heart trouble and
rheumatism as causes of ill health, but stated that they were not due
to trade work. The workroom was in a basement, where the artifi­
cial light was fair, but the ventilation was bad. Glasses were used
for reading only. The pressman, 66 years old, also complained of
heart trouble and rheumatism, but, in addition, was suffering from a
rupture, said to have been caused bv heavy lifting in connection with
the work. Glasses had been used for 10 years and the eyesight was
listed as bad. Records of past cases of sickness were either marked
“ none” or left blank in 358 of the questionnaires. Previous attacks
of tuberculosis were reported by 3 hand compositors and 1 book­
binder. Cases, or alleged cases, of lead poisoning were cited by
9 compositors, 1 photo-engraver, 3 stereotypers, 2 pressmen, and 2
type foundry employees, one a type dresser and the other a type
inspector. Paralysis was stated by 3 compositors, hardening of
arteries by 1 compositor, stomach trouble by 15 compositors, 1 elec­
trotyper, 1 pressman, and 2 bookbinders. Congested lungs were
reported by 2 compositors, bleeding of lungs by 2 compositors and
1 stereotyper, nervous breakdowns by 7 compositors, and other ner­
vous disorders by 2 additional compositors and 1 bookbinder. These
illnesses may have been, at least partly, due to industrial causes.
Five cases ox blood poisoning were reported, two of which were due
to occupational infections, one of a compositor and the other of a
pressman. The only skin disease mentioned was erysipelas, which
was given by 1 compositor and 1 pressman. Among other former
illnesses reported, influenza was stated by 49, pneumonia by 44,
typhoid fever by 39, rheumatism by 38, bronchitis by 15, and kidney
trouble by 10.
The present condition of eyesight was reported as good by 418,
fair by 152, and bad by 30. Glasses were worn by 579 of the 600
workers, but 95 of them had neglected to give the number of years
they had been used. Among the rest, 73 had worn them less than
10 years, 209 less than 20 years, 114 less than 30 years, 64 less than
40 years, 20 less than 50 years, and only 4 had used glasses 50
years or more. The other 21 did not wear glasses, in spite of the
age, which ranged from 61 to 67 years, with one each over 69, 73,
74, and 80 years old. The last four were all compositors and, in
view of the exacting nature of this work on the eyes, these circum­
stances were noteworthy.
In three establishments, where no questionnaires could be obtained,
the individual ages of the workers were secured from the records



HAZARDS

199

in the offices. A summary of these show that among the 1,645 em­
ployees listed, 244 were 60 and less than 65 years or age, 125 were
65 and less than 70 years of age, while 9 were 70 years old or over.
HAZARDS

Trade work in the printing industry has in the past been con­
sidered extremely dangerous to the health and full of hazard, and a
number of individuals engaged in the various vocations have at
times suffered serious impairment of their health. This is alto­
gether unnecessary. There is no reason why printing should not
be one of the healthiest of indoor occupations, as all of the unhealthful conditions can be avoided or remedied. Ordinary work
under normal conditions is not a menace to either health or life,
but is in fact beneficial to the human system and has a ten­
dency to preserve health and prolong life. The conditions under
which the printing industry is usually conducted are naturally
of vital importance to the health of the workers. When these con­
ditions become abnormal in regard to the character of the working
place, degree of light, purity of air, care of sanitary conditions,
undue speed or duration, the work may be a source of real danger
to good health and may shorten the lives of the workers.
In many of the establishments surveyed the conditions were found
excellent, with full regard for the health and comfort of the workers.
This has, incidentally, proved a benefit to the employers by a cor­
responding increase in efficiency and production. The strenuous
competition in the industry is a great factor and necessitates prac­
tice of economy, but a tendency was observed at times to carry such
economy too far and curtail space, light, or other requirements for
the bodily welfare of the workers, a false economy for the employer
as well as a peril to the well-being of the employee. A printing
trade establishment is not a sanatorium, but there is no excuse for
permitting absolutely detrimental conditions to prevail in the plant.
Some establishments were found that were poorly lighted, badly
ventilated, and with uncomfortable temperature, and were dirty or
insanitary. Such neglect was at times due more to a lack of knowledge
on the part of the employer about proper arrangement of the plant
and possible menace of the industrial agents than to willful neglect
of sanitary principles. The carelessness and ignorance which was
often displayed by the workers constituted an additional, and very
dangerous, factor. It was, however, also used for an excuse by
some employers, who stated that when certain improvements were
proposed by them, in reality to comply with the requirements of the
State laws, the men had declared such installations were unnecessary
and consequently they were not put in.
While the opinions of the workers may have some influence in a
few plants, it was noticed that these had very little control over the
conditions under which they worked, either individually or col­
lectively, but that conditions were arranged and regulated by the
employer as he saw fit. Some good work had been done by various
labor and health departments of the different States in regulation of
hazardous processes and insanitary conditions. Additional good work
had been performed by the health campaigns of the different tradeunions and their attempted education of the members, A number



200

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

of the ailments from which the workers in the vario’us trades suffer
were directly due to their ignorance or disregard of ordinary precau­
tions to guard against certain easily preventable dangers. A more
intensive educational campaign is needed for the education of both
employers and workers. The employers should be educated in their
duties toward those who are actively engaged in the trade work and
in the means or devices for the prevention of industrial illness, while
the workers should be instructed in the common dangers of indus­
trial life, of the special ones in their occupations, and in the conser­
vation of health or life.
The chief occupational diseases in the printing industry are tuber­
culosis and lead poisoning. Other common ones are nont'uberculous
diseases of the respiratory system and diseases of the digestive or­
gans. A number or the hazards of the industry are strong contribut­
ing factors to these, as well as to other diseases, just as faulty light­
ing, improper ventilation, extreme temperatures, vibration, and
fatigue play an important part in the health of those subjected to
them. It has not so far been proved to just what extent any of these
latter is responsible for disturbances in the human system, and it
can not justly be claimed that individual sickness is due to the work
only, and not to some cause in the life outside the workroom, witho’u t
complete data on this also.
Tuberculosis has been recognized for a number of years as one of
the occupational diseases for the printing industry. The various
trades in this industry have always ranked high among the special
industries subject to that disease, resulting partly from dust created
in the process, insufficient ventilation with stagnant air or abnormal
temperature, and lack of personal cleanliness or regular habits of the
workers. The constantly increasing reduction of these undesirable
conditions has resulted in lowering the death rate from tuberculosis
year by year. According to mortality statistics issued by the United
States Bureau of the Census the death rate per 100,000 enumerated
population had decreased from 154.6 in 1910 to 113.1 in 1920 for
tuberculosis in all forms in the special area surveyed in both years
and which contained more than one-half of the population of the
country. The deaths from tuberculosis among the printing-trade
employees in 1910 were approximately 80 per cent of deaths from
all causes, but they have probably decreased in similar proportion as
for the country at large. Information was requested from employers
in the various establishments regarding cases appearing among their
workers during the five years preceding the visits. The result was
rather surprismg, as seen in the summary of tabulation (p. 229)
under heading “ Tuberculosis.” Only 29 cases were mentioned for
the 536 establishments, employing 81,314 workers.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that some of the instances
were withheld, or not known to the employers, because these cases
were simply attacks of the disease and not deaths, while according
to statistics on the subject the deaths would ordinarily be nearly
100 annually for the 81,000 workers, or 500 for the total period of five
years. The employees mentioned as afflicted consisted of 7 com­
positors, 3 photo-engravers, 1 electrotyper, 5 pressmen, 4 press
feeders, 4 bindery girls, 1 ink grinder, and 4 other workers. One
case was arrested, 2 had been cured, and 7 had died. In nearly



201
every instance the managers explained that the disease had been con­
tracted in other plants or through outside influences, but in several
of them the appearance of the establishments would indicate at
least contributory causes. The possibility of trade origin was usually
disparaged, such as in one electrotyping establishment where the
proprietor claimed that in his 35 years of experience in that trade
he had known of only 4 cases, and these were probably of outside
origin. In one newspaper establishment, which employed about 425
trade workers and had reported 2 cases of tuberculosis within the
past five years, it was claimed that only 10 cases had been found
among the employees in the 48 years of its existence.
In the early part of the survey attention was attracted to the
prevalence of the disease among cylinder feeders by the statement
of a trade-union official, that out of 11 deaths among these during
the two previous years 9 had been caused by tuberculosis. The
pressrooms of that city did not seem to differ much from others
seen up to that time or to show any condition at first glance which
might account for such a high percentage.
Information was received from reliable authorities that this pro­
portion was probably relatively high, but that the death rate from
tuberculosis among cylinder-press feeders exceeded the rates for other
trades in the industry. On further examination it was found that a
number of pressrooms in that city contained several small hand-fed
cylinder presses equipped with stationary gas burners, or neutraliz­
ers, located close to the cylinders on the delivery side. The majority
of these were not provided"with gas control, consequently were burn­
ing continuously, and on some the flames were unusually long. Con­
siderable odor of gas was noticeable around the presses, and the
feeders, who were stationed practically directly above the burners,
were naturally subjected to even larger amounts of the fumes and
gases liberated by these than would be present at a lower level. The
contact with the gases, together with the elevation of position and
the posture during the hours of labor, were the only differences ob­
served from the hazards to which the pressmen were exposed in the
same plants. The elevation might make some difference by subject­
ing the feeders to a higher temperature, and the posture might affect
the system, but not sufficiently to cause a general increase in death
rate. The only conclusion to be drawn was that the fumes and gases
distributed by the burners were an important factor or at least a
strong contributory cause. This would not necessarily mean that
tuberculosis was contracted through inhalation of the gases, but that
the respiratory organs and the system were weakened by exposure to
these, so that the power of resistance was lowered against attacks of
tuberculosis. The situation was closely watched in other cities subse­
quently and did not disclose any other differences between the
hazards for the pressmen and the feeders. The correctness of this
theory can, of course, be established only by tests of atmosphere and
medical examination of the workers. It was the most logical reason
from point of observation alone, and some cause certainly exists for
the variation in death rate. Reference has previously been made to
unhygienic habits of workers, which play a very important part in
connection with tuberculosis, such as one incident of a foreman in a
bindery expectorating in the waste paper on the floor* Such prac­



HAZARDS

202

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

tices have been found difficult to regulate, although this seems strange
when it is considered that the group of workers in the printing trades
are presumed to be above the average workers in intelligence. Cities
have tried to regulate expectoration in public places, but not always
with success, especially one of the cities visited in which the people
were expectorating all over the sidewalks, even around the city hall
and on the steps of the same, in spite of the ordinance against it.
In one establishment some of the workers had formed a habit of
expectorating in the corners of the hallways and staircase, where
the bottom part of the walls had been painted black. A small
space in each corner of the wall next to the floor was painted white,
and this seemed to have helped to eliminate the practice. Signs were
posted in most of the plants by the local labor or health depart­
ments prohibiting spitting on the floors. In one establishment an
additional sign was found, placed by the workers, imposing a fine
of 25 cents for each violation, which was claimed to have been an
excellent remedy against forgetfulness. The various health com­
mittees of large establishments and of trade organizations have done
some splendid work in eliminating indiscriminate expectoration, one
method by which tuberculosis is frequently transmitted. The cus­
tom of having spittoons placed around the shops seemed to be gradu­
ally diminishing and in the majority of places where they were still
used they were cleaned and disinfected daily. In several plants the
floors were sprinkled with disinfectants, both against tuberculosis
and other diseases. A superintendent of a large establishment
stated that during the influenza epidemic he kept the disease down
to a minimum among the workers in the plant by copious spraying
with germicides. Tuberculosis may, of course, be contracted out­
side the workrooms, but conditions in some of the printing establish­
ments surveyed were undoubtedly contributing factors and should be
eliminated.
The other important, recognized occupational disease, lead poison­
ing, has been a subject of much controversy. Authorities disagree
regarding the method by which it is acquired, by contact, by breath­
ing of fumes, or by inhaling of dust. It may possibly be contracted
by all three methods, but it has been proved conclusively that it can
be acquired by contact. It is a disease particularly affecting com­
positors, stereotypers, electrotypers, pressmen, and type-foundry
workers, as these are the trades in which lead is used or handled in
the process. Type founders and compositors are working in old
processes, though at the present time modified considerably from
what they once were, eliminating a great deal of the handwork,
but both have increased greatly in magnitude. As practiced at the
present time, stereotyping is only about 75 years old and electro­
typing about 50 years old. About 50 years ago there was consider­
able talk about lead poisoning among compositors and type found­
ers, and no doubt a great deal of it existed then, as well as during a
number of succeeding years. It has gradually been diminished
among the compositors by the reduction in the handling of type and
consequent absorption of dust from the type cases, coupled with the
adoption of modern hygienic standards in the workrooms. Hygienic
improvements have also eliminated many of the dangers for the type
founders, stereotypers, and electrotypers, but the increase in the use



HAZARDS

203

of stereotype and electrotype plates, following the constantly grow­
ing use of rotary presses, seems to have increased the hazard for
pressmen in late years. Statistics are, unfortunately, not available
for these different processes, but it is hoped that the report compiled
by Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman for the Joint Conference Council of
the Printing Industry, in cooperation with this survey, will throw
some light on the subject. The statistics for the European coun­
tries, while valuable for comparison, are not applicable to conditions
in the United States, as the methods of production, facilities, and
hygienic standards are altogether different.
Acute and violent cases of lead poisoning were seldom found or
heard of during the survey. The rarity of these cases is borne out
by the mortality statistics issued by the United States Bureau of
the Census, which gives the death rate for lead poisoning per 100,000 enumerated population, for the special districts surveyed in both
1910 and 1920 and which contained more than one-half of the popu­
lation of the country, as 0.2 for both years. This is significant when
one considers that over 100 different occupations are engaged in
industrial use of lead, some^of which are constantly exposed to lead
in more dangerous forms, the various salts of lead, which are fairly
soluble. The lead used in the printing processes is in metallic form,
which is relatively insoluble, except when oxidized by exposure to
the air. The danger from oxidization of type has been greatly
reduced by the nondistribution system, which eliminates continued
contact of the same pieces of material with the air and consequent
formation of oxide, as well as by a higher standard of personal
cleanliness among the workers. Only 12 cases of lead poisoning
during the previous five years were reported by the employers in
the establishments surveyed. Two other bona fide cases were found
that had unquestionably originated in one of the newspaper estab­
lishments inspected, and these were consequently included in the
summary of tabulation (p. 229), which gives a total of 14, consisting
of 8 compositors, 5 stereotypers, and 1 lithograph artis^ In one
newspaper establishment two compositors were cited, but the man­
ager claimed he was skeptical of the diagnosis because one of these
had been an inmate of a tuberculosis sanatorium twice. A large com­
position establishment stated that one employee was advised by his
physician to quit the trade, that no record was kept of the case, and
the present whereabouts of the invalid was unknown. This was
claimed to be the only case known in this plant, which had been in
existence over 40 years. A compositor operating a monotype cast­
ing machine with electric metal pot, a Ludlow type caster and an
Elrod slug caster, both with gas-heated pots, in a newspaper estab­
lishment, complained of stomach trouble, which had been diagnosed
by some physicians as lead colic but was declared by one to be due
to lack of exercise. It might have been lead poisoning, but the
absence of any conclusive symptoms and the presence of strong gas
odor around the machines would indicate that the fuel gas on these
might be the real factor.
A linotype machinist on another newspaper was stated to have
been affected by lead poisoning four or five years previous, but was
apparently cured. When interviewed he claimed to still suffer
45331°—25-----14




204

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

slight attacks from time to time. He was 45 years of age, 5 feet 8
inches in height, and weighed only 181 pounds. The duration of
his trade life was 27 years. One workman contracted the disease,
according to his own statement, when operating a small job printing
establishment, through placing the type in his mouth while setting.
In 1908 he was attacked by paralysis from the hips down and in the
hands. After being five weeks in a hospital for observation, without
result, he was moved to another hospital, where correct diagnosis
was made and he was partly cured through galvanic treatments.
His weight had been reduced from 145 to 87 pounds through the
illness. At time of the interview he was 45 years of age, 5 feet
4% inches in height, and weighed 128 pounds. He was still suffering
from partial paralysis in the lower limbs, though able to move
around, and had a decided case of drop-wrist. In one large period­
ical printing and stereotyping establishment the manager stated
that one compositor was then absent on half pay, that the claim of
another had been rejected by the compensation board, and that one
stereotyper had claimed stomach trouble as a result of lead poison­
ing. There was nothing noticeable in the plant to account for any
unusual amount of this disease. The building was provided with
good window ventilation, though most of the windows were closed
at the time as the outside temperature was only 48° F. The top floor,
on which the composing room was located, was provided with two
large saw-tooth skylights, with three exhaust fans in the ends, and
with natural draft ventilators. The line-casting machines were
equipped with gas-heated metal pots and short pipes, extending up
in large hoods that were piped to a main duct with an exhaust fan.
The ingot metal caster was also piped to this duct. The type cases,
which were cabinet style, showed the presence of some dust, though
not an* unusual quantity, and there was very little dust noticeable in
the room, except some in corners and nooks. The plungers on the
line-casting machines were cleaned by dipping in water, so there
was no chance of lead oxide dust from that source. The only negli­
gence noticed was that some of the workers were allowed to eat in
the workroom, just as was found in a great many other establish­
ments.
^
Eating in the workrooms often leads to carelessness in washing
the hands and consequently conveying particles of lead into the
mouth with the food. The stereotvpe foundry, which was located in
the same room as the electrotype foundry, occupied part of the floor
below. The kettles were heated with coal and provided with hoods
on collapsible pipes, leading to a main duct with exhaust fan. The
hoods were raised high, but the suction was good and absorbed all
fumes well. The equipment in the adjoining electrotype foundry
was also well provided with exhaust for fumes, but considerable
carelessness was evident as far as dust was concerned, especially
graphite dust, as the dry process of blackleading was used. A num­
ber of the trimming machines were provided with receptacles for the
cuttings, and these were filled and running over. Eating was also
indulged in here. No information was obtained in one newspaper
establishment about lead poisoning among employees, but it was
found that one stereotyper, who had been working there for about
20 years up to 1916, had been confined to his home since that, time



HAZARDS

205

and for the last two years was unable to leave his bed. The case had
been diagnosed conclusively as lead poisoning, with paralysis of both
legs and drop wrist. Another former employee was also said to be
confined at his home with lead poisoning. One of the stereotypers
working there, 66 years old and with a trade life of 45 years, claimed
that his left leg was at times affected as a result of a previous stroke
of paralysis from lead poisoning. Another stereotyper claimed he
was affected by rheumatic pains, which some physicians had attrib­
uted to lead poisoning. He was 64 years of age and had been work­
ing at the trade for 40 years. The stereotype foundry in this estab­
lishment was located in the basement, and while the metal kettles
were well provided with exhaust systems the conditions were far
from desirable. One' stereotyper in a different newspaper establish­
ment stated that he had an attack of lead colic about 15 years previ­
ous, and another one about 9 or 10 years later, but effected a cure in
both cases by means of castor oil. Another newspaper establish­
ment stated that a claim had been received recently by a former
employee, also a stereotyper, of lead poisoning. In one large litho­
graphic printing establishment it was claimed that the only occupa­
tional disease, originated in the plant was a case of lead poisoning
contracted by a lithograph artist. He wT continually placing the
as
brush in his mouth, using the saliva for a medium, and was affected
by the lead in the materials ’used.
In one of the two type foundries surveyed it was stated that only
one case of lead poisoning had occurred, 15 years ago, and the other
one stated that no case had been found during the past five years.
Among the employees in one of these plants 14 trade workers were
found past 60 years of age, and in the other plant, 16. All, ex­
cept two, claimed they had never been afflicted with lead poisoning.
One of the two, a 64-year-old type dresser, stated he had an attack
of alleged lead poisoning for two weeks 44 years ago, and the only
subsequent illness, two attacks of pneumonia. The other, a 62-yearold type inspector, mentioned an attack of lead colic over 40 years
ago. Both of these establishments had the employees examined
regularly for possible affliction. One of these establishments had
conducted a private inquiry regarding the prevalence of lead poison­
ing among the printing trade establishments in the State where it
was located, and claimed the result showed remarkably little knowl­
edge of the disease. This corresponded with results of this survey
and with a statement made by Dr. Lei and E. Gofer, director division
of industrial hygiene, department of labor of the State of New
York. Letters had been sent to 10,200 physicians in the State, call­
ing attention to the statutes making it compulsory to report all
cases attended of poisoning by lead or various other substances as
a result of employment. About two-thirds of these returned re­
ports for the year 1923, mostly negative, showing the number of
lead-poisoning cases attended by them to be only 65, an insignifi­
cant number, as it was not from the printing industry alone but
from all occupations.
The existence of some cases do, however, show that the danger
exists and should be safeguarded against. The various opinions
by authorities regarding the source or method by which the disease
is contracted complicates the manner of safeguarding the workers



206

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PBINTING TRADES

against it. Some claim the fumes are the most dangerous agents,
while others ignore these altogether. Some claim the dust liberated
from scraps and contained in type cases is the real menace. All
of them agree on one point, that it can be acquired through contact,
by a deposit of oxide on the hands being conveyed into the mouth.
Observation in the survey and deduction from the prevalence would
indicate that the latter is the method by which the majority of cases
are contracted. This can be proved conclusively only by tests,
analysis, and examination, and as long as there is a possibility that
other agents may be at least partly responsible, the other two fac­
tors should also be guarded against. The symptoms of the disease are
sometimes obscure, or other complications may be present, such as in
two cases, both compositors, where the diagnosis was at first given
as lead poison but following the autopsy was changed to cancer. In
another case the lead poisoning was found to be complicated by a
social disease, which may have aggravated it.
The various alloys used for type casting, stereotyping, and elec­
trotyping also contained antimony, likewise a poisonous material,
and might also include some impurities of arsenic. According to
information obtained, it would be exceedingly difficult to determine
which of the three is the responsible factor in a case of poisoning
when all three metals are found together, because the symptoms are
similar in a number of respects. In searching for information on
this subject it was learned that a partial examination had been made
of dust accumulated in some monotype exhaust pipes in the Govern­
ment Printing Office in Washington. The monotype casting ma­
chines in that place were equipped with pipes over the gas fuel ex­
haust on the metal kettles, supplied with an additional small pipe
extending over the top of the kettle. The pipes extended vertically
for 10 or 12 feet and, with a right-angle bend, horizontally to a
main duct provided with an exhaust fan. In 1921 some of these
had been taken down and cleaned. The accumulated dust in the
horizontal part of the pipes had been analyzed for the medical
director, but unfortunately for lead only. It was claimed that no
trace of that metal was found in the dust. The fact that a consider­
able amount of antimony was collected from fumes exhausted from a
metal mixing kettle in a type foundry, as previously mentioned,
about one-half of 1 per cent, would indicate that some of this metal
is a constituent of the fumes from the alloy, and that it might be the
leading factor in so-called lead poisoning contracted from fumes, if
these are detrimental. There is a very good argument against the
agency of metal fumes in the disease. In establishments where
metal pots on line-casting machines are heated by gas fuel, and suf­
ficient ventilation was not provided to absorb the fumes direct from
the machines, there was usually considerable complaint of ill health,
dull heavy feeling, disorders of the digestive system, and other
complications, mien the metal pots were electrically heated no
complaints of that character were heard, even though no exhaust
was provided for the metal fumes, a condition found only in rare
instances.
Accurate knowledge can, of course, be obtained only through
analysis of the air and medical examinations, but on the face of it,
the conclusion would be that the illness complained about was not



HAZARDS!

207

due to fumes from metal but to the fuel gas, and that the metal
fumes from a line-casting machine were not dangerous. The sub­
ject has been referred to under the question of ventilation in preced­
ing pages, where mention was made of one newspaper establishment
in Charleston, S. C., which had exceedingly bad conditions in the
composing room and adjoining stereotyping department. One com­
positor who had worked in that plant for about two years suffered
from stomach trouble and loss of weight. He quit the trade for
about six months, then went to work in a newspaper establishment
in another city in which working conditions were all right. After
being there one year he advised his friends in the former plant that he
was feeling fine. A proof reader, 63 years of age, employed in the
same establishment, complained especially of stomach trouble. The
other compositors and the stereotyper specified also a dull, heavy
feeling appearing soon after starting work, but which seemed to
diminish somewhat after leaving the plant. The strong odor of gas
seemed naturally to point to this as a cause of the trouble instead of
the metal fumes. Similar conditions were encountered in a news­
paper establishment in Atlanta, also previously described, where
the fumes from several line-casting and monotype casting machines
were being drawn through the room by an exhaust fan in one side.
The compositors complained about stomach trouble, as did also the
stereotypers, who were working in the partly separated but adjoin­
ing foundry. One stereotyper found it necessary to leave the trade
after working in the shop for 12 years. In Nashville one of the
photo-engravers in a newspaper establishment was similarly affected.
The photo-engraving establishment was located on the floor above
the composing room, with an intercommunicating open stairway, up
which the fumes and gases were drifting, and the odor of gas was
very noticeable in the photo-engraving department. The same com­
plaints were encountered in practically all plants where similar
conditions prevailed.
The dust feature did not seem very dangerous, as touched upon
under ventilation and sanitation, where proper cleaning was effec­
tive. The metallic lead was ordinarily too coarse to be dangerous,
unless left exposed to the air long enough to oxidize. The real
danger from the lead seemed to lie in handling it and conveying the
oxide particles into the mouth in eating. Promiscuous eating in
workrooms should not be allowed. True enough, most States have
laws that prohibit such practice, but they are often ignored. Hand
washing is ordinarily left to the discretion of the individual workers,
and in a number of establishments no attempt was made to wash
clean, neither at lunch time nor at quitting time. In many cases
no washing was done at all, the worker just grabbing his lunch re­
gardless of poison or of any dust on the hands. To a certain extent
the blame lies with the worker himself in such a case, but the in­
dustry should be safeguarded, and the only way to do so success­
fully is by compulsory washing under supervision. It may exist in
some places but was not encountered, and the only place known
where it was enforced is the Pullman-car shops at Pullman, 111.,
which previously had a number of cases of lead poisoning among the
painters employed there. Ten minutes before the noon hour a bell
is rung, the workers go to central washrooms where they are pro­



208

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

vided with individual nailbrushes, soap, and towels and spend 5 to
10 minutes under supervision of the foremen. It is claimed that lead
poisoning was reduced in this plant from 77 cases in 1911 to none in
1912. Just providing washbasins and hot water is not sufficient to
insure a proper cleansing of the hands. In discussing the subject
with Dr. C. T. Graham-Rogers, medical inspector, division of indus­
trial hygiene, department of labor of the State of New York, it was
learned that tests had been made by the division regarding removal
of accumulations from contact with lead. Water used in successive
washings, with the aid of various cleansing agencies, had been
analyzed. The results showed that lead can not be removed by cold
water and not thoroughly even with hot water, but requires a sul­
phate product for absolute elimination. Doctor Graham-Rogers
seemed to regard both dust and fumes as very dangerous factors, but
admitted that some of the principal symptoms in lead or antimony
poisoning lire very similar to those produced by constant exposure to
carbon monoxide from illuminating or fuel gas.
Only slight attention had been paid to any cases of lead poisoning
except those of the violent or extreme order, until near the end of
the survey, when it was found that Dr. Louis J. Harris, director
health department, city of New York, had examined approximately
10 per cent of the members of the New York Typographical Union
No. 6, with a total membership of about 9,000. Doctor liarris
claimed that about one-fifth of those examined had been found
affected by lead poisoning in some degree, after all possible doubtful
cases had been eliminated and only those in which a combination of
symptoms assured the presence of lead had been accepted as positive
cases. Until his report has been published it can not be determined
on just what the contentions are based and whether the mere pres­
ence of a relatively small portion of lead, shown by analysis to
exist, would be detrimental in any perceptible degree to the system.
There is still a great deal to learn about lead poisoning in its rela­
tion to the printing industry, especially about the slow, insidious
cases and the part these might take in developing other diseases. It
is extremely difficult to get accurate information from either the
employers or the workers. The former are apt to minimize the
dangers and point to the old employees in their plants, who have
worked at the trade for a long time and never suffered from lead
poisoning. The latter are often unwilling to make any statements
or undergo examinations, for fear that they might be afflicted and
possibly lose their jobs from that cause. They do not like to appear
neglectful of personal hygiene either, no matter how much they may
actually evade it. Several cases were found where workers had in­
sisted that they washed their hands thoroughly before eating; but
later observations showed that they indulged only in hasty and
insufficient rinsing.
In some of the large cities mention was made of an increase in
recent years of paralysis among the rotary pressmen. Paralysis is
one of the symptoms which is usually found in connection with lead
poisoning, and the only reason seen for an increase is that more
work is constantly being executed on rotary presses, instead of on
flat-bed presses. This involves more handling of stereotype and
electrotype plates, which often are partly oxidized, and the risk



HAZARDS

209

would naturally be added to as the number of men are increased.
With ordinary precautions it should not affect the situation, but
when the human element is considered and the same conditions
applied as mentioned previously about careless washing, it is not
surprising.
-aside xrom tuberculosis, which is contracted through the agency
of several sources, lead poisoning has long been thought the heaviest
hazard in the printing trades establishments. From observations it
is believed that there is another factor which is responsible for more
of the illness in the industry. This is carbon monoxide gas, derived
from the illuminating gas used for heating various equipment in all
the departments of the industry and liberated when the combustion
is not complete. Illuminating gas is so common, not alone in the
printing industry but in many other industries and in domestic life,
that the odor from it is considered a natural consequence by many
and the potential dangers are completely ignored. Conditions seen
and information received during the survey have established the
conclusion that illuminating gas is the most dangerous factor in the
health question of the printing trades at the present time. The odor
of gas has been referred to several times in the preceding pages,
though carbon monoxide has not been specifically mentioned, because
this m itself can not be seen^or smelled, as it is colorless, tasteless,
and odorless. It is, however", safe to conclude that whenever there
is any odor present in a room from illuminating gas used for heat­
ing the equipment, there is bound to be a certain amount of carbon
monoxide also. The quantity contained in the illuminating gas
itself varies, according to the relative mixture of coal gas and water
gas, the former containing usually 4 to 10 per cent, while the latter
contains 26 to 30 per cent. The extent and seriousness of carbon
monoxide poisoning has not been fully determined and there has up
to date been very little scientific study of it in connection with the
printing industry. It has been established that carbon monoxide is
very poisonous, that exposure to 4 parts in 1,000 parts of atmos­
pheric air for one hour may kill a man, and that one-half part in
1,000 parts of air is often dangerous. No fatalities were reported and
the subject of carbon monoxide poisoning was mentioned only four
times by employers during inspections. These four cases are included
in the summary (p. 229) under “ Other occupational diseases,” which
shows a total of only 15, a very insignificant number. The balance
consists of 9 cases of bichromate of potassium, or chromic acid,
poisoning, and 2 cases of eczema. The total number of cases re­
ported by the employers is so insignificant, when taken together with
the number of workers employed in the establishments visited and
the period of five years for which the information was requested,
that the accuracy is extremely doubtful just as with the enumerated
cases of tuberculosis and lead poisoning. Consequently the figures
published for these three items can not be vouched for and should not
he used to determine proportionate rates of hazards.
According to the manager of one newspaper, a compositor had an
alleged case of carbon monoxide poisoning, but left without notify­
ing the commission on compensation. It was rather strange that
this one instance happened in a city where natural gas was used,
which was claimed to contain only between 13 to 14 per cent of car­



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
210
bon monoxide. It did, however, seem very significant that com­
plaints about ill health were so frequent in the establishments which
had a pronounced odor of gas and that all of these were so similar.
Headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, indigestion, chronic constipa­
tion, lassitude, mental dullness, insomnia, nervousness, palpitation
of the heart, and occasionally nausea, were the symptoms usually
described. Thorough medical examinations might reveal some other
cause, but the relationship between these symptoms and the presence
of gas odors seemed constant. Where proper combustion of the il­
luminating gas existed, or where there was sufficient exhaust to re­
move the fumes and gases entirely, there were no such symptoms
among the workers. None were found in workrooms that used elec­
trically heated devices instead of gas heated ones. The substitution
of electrical heating equipment was seen to be getting more general,
and will, of course, eliminate the danger from carbon monoxide pro­
portionately. The use of illuminating gas is widespread, because
it is the cheapest fuel, but unless proper precautions are taken it
should not be countenanced. The danger can easily be overcome in
the majority of cases by adequate exhaust, so that no fumes or gases
are allowed to escape and pollute the atmosphere, and by provision
for sufficient ventilation in the workrooms. One circumstance was
encountered in one city, where natural gas was used, that was not
found elsewhere, or perhaps was overlooked. In this place the
workers complained that the gas sometimes hurt their eyes when not
properly mixed. This was possibly due to some chemical com­
position of the gas, probably a local condition only.
Chromium poisoning was given most frequently by the employers
among the other occupational diseases, though only nine cases were
reported in all. Eight of these were bichromate of potassium poi­
soning among photographers in photo-engraving establishments,
three of which were claimed to have contracted the disease before
being employed in the respective establishments. One of the others
was a part proprietor of an establishment, who stated that the ail­
ment necessitated his quitting active work in the photographing de­
partment, as it returned whenever he came in contact with fumes
from the material. Another, who was proprietor of a small estab­
lishment, stated that he was almost cured, but likewise found it nec­
essary to remain away from the dark rooms. It manifests itself by
pitlike, gangrenous ulcers, that are very painful and very difficult
to heal. It is claimed that no permanent cure has been discovered
for it, and while it may not show itself for a number of years it will
often break out again, long after an apparent cure, with sores all
over the body. It is stated that even children, which were born later
on in the families, have been found afflicted by it. In some cities
rubber gloves were provided for the workmen, b'ut they seldom care
to use them, assuming that previous immunity meant safety for the
future also. The ninth case was chromic acid poisoning, occurring in
a lithographic establishment where this material was used as an
ingredient of an etch for the offset plates. In some establishments
the workers refuse to use this etch for a while, but often, when the
substitute material does not work just right, resort to the use of
chromic acid again, regardless of the danger. The effect is similar
to that caused by bichromate of potassium.. The other two cases,



HAZARDS

211

given as eczema, were copperplate printers, but details could not be
obtained, as they had left the establishment.
The photo-engraving process involves handling of several chemi­
cals of a dangerous nature, principally in the developing operations.
The most poisonous of these is cyanide of potassium, used for fixing
wet collodion on the negatives, for intensifiers, and for cutting
solutions. The workers become so used to handling this that the
hazard is sometimes ignored, although only three grains constitute a
fatal dose when taken internally: One example was heard of where
a photographer just wiped his hands casually after handling some
of the crystals, took some fine-cut tobacco from a package, and
placed it in his mouth. He dropped almost instantly to the floor,
and it required nearly one-half day’s strenuous work by physicians
to bring him out of danger. Rubber gloves are furnished by many
establishments and should always be worn when handling any ma­
terial containing such an element of danger. Cyanide of potassium
can also be absorbed through wounds or abrasions of the skin, and
one skin affliction seen in a photo-engraving establishment in Chi­
cago was claimed to have originated in that manner, but looked more
like a case of bichromate poisoning instead. A large portion of the
body was covered with rash, sores, and ulcers, mostly on that part
covered by the clothing, but some sores were visible on the back of
the neck in the hair. The affliction, which had appeared about 18
months previous, had first been diagnosed as parasitic bacteria, con­
tracted from a dog or cat, but this did not seem reasonable as he had
great aversion for these. Additional diagnosis established the cause
as poisoning from chemicals and some relief was obtained from
treatment, but this was hampered by continuing at work, necessary
for financial reasons, and by scratching on account of the violent
itching from the ulcers. He was wearing rubber gloves when seen,
and would probably not have been suffering from the affection if he
had done so previously.
Among other poisons commonly used are compounds of mercury,
nitrate of silver, ether, used as a vehicle in collodion, ammonia, and
the various acids, especially nitric acid. The latter, which throws
off strong fumes that cause corrosion of the windpipe and violent
inflammation, was discussed fully in connection with ventilation.
Turpentine, used extensively in offset plate making, is also very
volatile and unless the rooms are properly ventilated may cause
headaches and irritation of the respiratory system. It may also
act as a skin irritant and produce eczema. The danger from all
fumes or vapors can easily be eliminated by adequate ventilation of
rooms or equipment, while the hazards from contact can be pre­
vented by using rubber gloves. The same thing holds good with
other poisonous material used in printing trade plants, such as
wood alcohol or denatured alcohol, ordinarily a solvent in varnish­
ing machines. Considerable complaint was heard about the effect
of this on the eyes of the workers where the ventilation was not
sufficient. When the fumes were diluted with considerable fresh
air the annoying effect ceased. The same condition existed in elec­
trotype foundries where alcohol was used for washing the shells.
Kerosene, used also for the scrubbing of shells, is not so volatile but
was claimed to cause dermatosis in the form of acne. In one estab­



HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
212
lishment soap powder was used in place of either of these on account
of those undesirable qualities. Kerosene was commonly used in
newspaper pressrooms for washing composition rollers, and many
of the pressmen were found affected in a minor degree with acne,
claimed to be caused by the kerosene and ink penetrating the work­
ing clothes, especially when these were worn any length of time with­
out washing. This was mostly a matter of personal hygiene, which
was really up to the individual, though there is a wide difference
in the susceptibilities of individuals to skin irritants. On account
of the dirty nature of the work in some newspaper pressrooms there
is a tendency to neglect the cleansing of working clothes, which
naturally aggravates conditions, and thorough cleanliness should be
observed to avoid contributory causes. No benzol was encountered,
so far as known, though it might have been used in some places.
A similar liquid hydrocarbon product, xylol, was used in a number
of the rotogravure printing establishments as a vehicle for the ink:
This liquid is extremely volatile and the pungent fumes, unless they
were absorbed by a good exhaust, irritated the eyes, the membranes
of noses and throats, as well as the bronchial tubes of the workers.
In the absence of thorough individual medical examinations extend­
ing over a period of time, it is of course difficult to decide just what
effect these various agencies may have on the systems of the workers,
just how much danger there is from the constituents of the inks
used, or from the materials used for type wash in composing rooms.
Amyl acetate, used as a vehicle for ink sprayed on book covers, was
also referred to under ventilation. The hazards for all of these
poisonous substances can be avoided by sufficient ventilation when­
ever they exist, by thorough cleanliness on the part of the workers,
both of the person and of the working clothes, and also by the use of
gloves where contact is required.
Considerable trouble was found from acrolein fumes, which are
very poisonous. These are developed in ingot metal furnaces or
stereotype metal kettles when used type material is remelted—from
the ink and oil on this material, which are decomposed by the heat
and form dense clouds of smoke with a pungent, suffocating odor.
They are easily confined and are exhausted from the kettles by
mechanical systems but are a source of great annoyance, at least, if
allowed to spread through the rooms. Some are generated at times
by monotype casting machines when an excess of oil is used on them
and some by the tensions on newspaper presses, both of which were
mentioned under those subjects in ventilation. These are more diffi­
cult to control, but are also a question of adequate ventilation and
supply of fresh air.
Another of the common hazards, which can also be taken care of
by proper methods of ventilation, is the dust problem. Lead dust
and other common metallic dusts have been fully dealt with. One
of the worst of the rare metallic dusts is bronze dust, also de­
scribed partly. There was considerable difference of opinion among
the employers and the workers in regard to the detrimental effect
of this dust, the employers stating that the men grow fat on it. This
does not conform to the opinion of the authorities, who hold that the
bronze dust irritates the respiratory system, that poisoning by in­
halation causes headache and digestive disorders, such as vomiting



HAZARDS

213

and diarrhea, and also anemia. That it penetrates the system was
shown by the fact that the perspiration of the workers in the bronz­
ing department turned their clothes green. Several plants were
found that* would not use bronze dust on account of the possible
danger to the workers, and in some of the other plants the workers
were furnished with milk, which is a recognized antidote. It was
claimed that the result from exposure to bronze dust does not always
manifest itself openly and that a number of years might elapse
without any apparent results. One instance was in St. Louis where
a pressman had died from heart disease shortly before this survey
was made. He was 40 years of age and had worked in press­
rooms since he was 15 years old, a considerable time around bronz­
ing machines. The autopsy disclosed a very congested state of
the lungs from bronze dust. Once in a while infection is derived
from contact, such as one worker in Chicago who became infected
with bronze through a cut on the hand when employed previously
in another city. The poison caused water blisters all over the
body, and the color of the skin was turned green. He claimed
that a cure had been effected through the use of milk. The possi­
bility of eliminating all bronze dust by ventilating devices does not
seem feasible, as it sticks to the surface of the paper and is scattered
from this all over the surroundings. A good deal of the dust can,
however, be eliminated by adequate vacuum attachments on the ma­
chines, and every possible means should be employed to control the
largest amount, so as to protect the workers as far as the operation
will permit.
Other industrial dusts, such as dragon’s blood and the so-called
black lead, or graphite, seem dangerous mostly through possible
congestion of the lungs. The expectorations of photo-engravers in
etching rooms were continually found to contain dragon’s blood, and
fine particles of this material may be responsible for part of the high
death rate among these trade workers from tuberculosis, especially
when combined with the weakening effect of the fumes from the
acids used. Electrotypers were similarly found expectorating
graphite dust. One former electrotyper, encountered in New York,
82 years of age, stated that he at one time owned a good-sized
electrotyping plant, but was compelled to get away from the busi­
ness on account of the black lead settling in his throat and lungs,
necessitating removal by a physician. A considerable quantity was
taken away and he did not, apparently, show any detrimental effect
but looked very healthy and robust.
The majority of trade workers seemed to be in good health and the
records that were obtained in some instances were exceptionally
good, considering the hazards to which they were exposed. In one
city the stereotypers were found to have a local benefit association.
The secretary of this association, who had occupied that position
for 18 years, stated that during this period there had been no cases
of tuberculosis, lead poisoning, nor other occupational diseases
among the members. Illness among the members was confined
solely to outside causes, such as colds, ordinary ailments, and out­
side accidents. No serious accidents had occurred in the same period
due to the trade work, and the only things which could be charged
against the industry or conditions were minor accidents, such as



214

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

burns or slight cuts on the hands, possibly resulting in short lay offs.
The membership of the association was 170 and about 15 or 20 of
these were 60 years of age or over and actively engaged in the trade
work. All of those seen looked very healthy. Some claims were
made in various localities of different ailments due to conditions
in the work, but medical examinations and extended tests would be
necessary to establish facts. As an example, it was stated that in
one periodical printing establishment the press feeders were com­
pelled to carry many and excessive loads of paper, causing profuse
perspiration, resulting in several deaths from pneumonia. Men­
tion was made in one city that attacks of cancer seemed to be on the
increase for cylinder pressmen. But, according to information ob­
tained, it also seemed to be on the increase for workers in general,
eliminating the possible theory that some condition of the work
might influence the disease.
During recent years it has been shown that there is a close relation
between eyestrain and health. Most of the work in the printing
industry is very exacting on the eyes, even with good lighting facili­
ties. Attempt was made to note the approximate percentage of
workers who wore glasses in the plants surveyed. While some ex­
ceptions existed, it was found that the general proportion of workers
wearing glasses amounted to about 33 per cent in the composing
rooms and 10 per cent in the other departments, making a total ox
about 15 per cent for the industry as a whole. These figures are
only of slight significance regarding the influence of the trade on
the vision, as the age of the worker is an important factor. The
natural condition of eyesight varies for individuals, and the develop­
ment of knowledge on the possible improvement of eyesight has
caused a general use of glasses among the younger generation and
even among children. This brings up the question of how long
glasses have been worn and would require individual statistics to
establish anything reliable in regard to occupational effect. There
is no question but that some of the operations create considerable
eyestrain, aside from any additional hazard caused by poor illumina­
tion, which subject was referred to under lighting. Many of them
require continuous and close eye work, demanding the best of day­
light or additional artificial illumination. When either of these
are defective, eyestrain is developed, which will produce headache
and contribute to neurasthenia. Neither by employers nor by em­
ployees is sufficient attention always paid to conditions which might
prove of benefit. The former neglect to install artificial lighting of
proper intensity and distribution, absent from glare. The latter
fail at times to provide themselves with glasses which might relieve
an undesirable condition, reduce eye fatigue, and regulate defective
vision. In one large periodical printing establishment an inquiry
was made of .the physician in charge of the emergency hospital
regarding the approximate number of employees wearing glasses.
The answer was: “ Those that do and those that should amount to
about 50 per cent.” This showed a lack on the part of the workers
to provide adequate safeguards for themselves, a condition which
affects not only the individual workers but also the employer through
reduced output and a tendency to an increase in accidents.



HAZARD®

215

Abnormal temperature, caused by excessive heat or humidity, was
referred to at length under ventilation. It is a subject that has re­
ceived a great deal of attention recently, together with other ventila­
tion questions in the printing industry, and as a consequence is grad­
ually being adjusted to obtain more comfortable and healthful condi­
tions in the workrooms.
Another hazard of the printing trades is fatigue, which is far
more important than is generally realized, especially for workers of
a nervous and sensitive temperament. Many of the operations in
the printing trades involve great nervous or mental strain, from
maintained use of intelligence and observation, from constant atten­
tion 'upon one skilled task, or divided attention in operating several
machines. Others include considerable muscular strain as well, at
times combined with a demand for speed. Fatigue often results in
failure of the power of concentration or in lack of coordination of
the nerve centers. A slight case is easily overcome by proper rest,
but accumulated results of excessive fatigue are damaging to the
general health, reflected in sickness returns or lost time. The ques­
tion of hours was not touched upon during the Purvey, as it involved
a special labor question in the printing industry. Kesearches have
been made from time to time m the correlation between hours of
work and output, without any accurate results being obtained, but
there is no question that long hours have a tendency to produce
fatigue. In some cases complaints were received regarding the neces­
sity for long ho'urs, while in other cases the workers did not seem to
object. In one newspaper printing establishment in Cleveland it was
claimed that some of the men were compelled to work all Saturday
night after working in daytime. Similar circumstances were reported
for one newspaper establishment in Detroit. Such conditions are,
of course, difficult to regulate when they occur spasmodically, but
can easily be avoided where they can be figured to take place regu­
larly by proper distribution of personnel during the week. They
are more difficult to handle in book and job printing establishments,
where a special rush may require extra work for a short period. In
one plant, located in Milwaukee, the men were found to be working
two hours overtime daily, starting one hour early, having a short
lunch period, and working the rest at night. Some workers are
somewhat anxious to obtain such extra work when possible, on ac­
count of the increased hour rate in pay and the addition to the usual
salary. If it is only for a short period the results are not ordinarily
sufficient to have any effect, but where long hours become a regular
custom it will inetitably affect the vitality. A great deal of com­
plaint was heard about a large periodical printing establishment in
New York, in which some of the departments were operated on a
12-hour basis, producing considerable fatigue among the help.
Night work is also an active factor in fatigue, partly because night
work in itself is unnatural. Deprivation of sunlight, daytime noises
from the street, which disturb the sleep, and the interference with
normal family or social life all have a decided tendency to produce
fatigue. The additional effect of a very common occurrence, loss of
sleep by the night worker, in order to be up as much as possible
during the day, increases the chances through lowering the power
of resistance. Night work is necessary in some of the printing
trades, especially for morning newspapers. As nearly one-third of



216

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

the establishments surveyed were engaged in night work, and these
were mostly large plants, a number of workers were subject to the
detrimental influences from it.
Excessive noise affects the nervous system and increases fatigue.
While it may be ignored by workers in perfect health, only a few
are in a physical and mental condition to resist the irritation and
weariness created through prolonged loud noises, such as produced
by a number of the machines used in the various operations. In
many establishments some of the noisiest operations were separated
from the rest on that account. The clicking of line-casting machines
is not loud but is very persistent and has a tendency to produce irri­
tation and nervousness. It is claimed to be a heavy contributing
factor in neurosis, a common illness among machine compositors.
In one of the newspaper printing establishments in New York a
sound-deadening ceiling had been placed in the composing room,
which minimized the disturbing influence from the noise—the best
arrangement seen for the purpose. One large printing establishment
in Chicago had covered the floor of the composing room with battle­
ship linoleum, which seemed to absorb considerable of the noise.
From that point of view it is probably the most ideal floor covering,
and is also waterproof, hygienic, and durable but not adaptable
where considerable trucking is done or much oil is scattered around.
The loud, deafening noise from large presses, especially in news­
paper work, coupled with the nervous strain of incessant watching
of the machines, also affects the workers considerably.
Vibration is another source of annoyance to the system and a con­
sequent factor in fatigue. Buildings erected principally for printing
are usually constructed so as to reduce vibration as much as possible,
and in the modern printing buildings it has been entirely eliminated
by insulation of the foundations upon which the machinery rests
from the building structure. Such a method was found employed in
a newspaper pressroom in New York, located on the third floor of
a seven-story building, which contained four octuple presses, but did
not produce any sign of vibration, even when all of these were
operated at maximum speed. A coin could be stood on its edge on
the press frame without disturbance. Another provision was noted
in a lithographic printing establishment in Milwaukee, where a new
two-story addition, about 66 by 104 feet, had just been completed.
The offset presses installed in the top story had been placed m two
rows, diagonally to the sides of the room, so the vibration was dis­
tributed from corner to corner of the building instead of straight
across. In addition to the change in direction, the angular position
of the presses also gave better distribution of the light from the
windows to the different parts of the presses. This arrangement,
which was the only one of the kind seen, seemed ideal. About
4 per cent of the buildings inspected were found to vibrate, at least
partly from the operation of monotype casters, electrotyping ma­
chinery (especially roughers), cylinder presses or large platen
presses, binding machinery (especially cutting machines and gather­
ing machines), or ink mills. In one photo-engraving establishment
in New York, located on the top floor of a 12-story garment-factory
building, a very heavy swaying of the building was observed. Some
of it may have been caused by the 12 platen presses used for proving



HAZARDS

217

in the establishment, but it was probably accelerated by other ma­
chines in the garment factories on the floors below. The workers
claimed they did not notice it much any more, but it was very
annoying and disturbing for anyone not accustomed to it.
Another photo-engraving establishment, also located in New York,
occupied the three top floors of an old five-story building. The
second floor housed a label cutting and gluing plant, whose machin­
ery created a distinct vibration of the entire structure. Most of the
buildings where vibration existed were old, such as one in Indian­
apolis, consisting of five stories, occupied by a photo-engraving,
stereotyping, and electrotyping, plant. The building originally
housed a printing plant, but this had moved because the weight of
the machinery was too much for the floors. Heavy vibration was
noticeable all over, partly from the machines and partly from the
line shafts and belt drives used for some of these. At times vibra­
tion was also observed in newer buildings. A large establishment
in New York occupied a nine-story modern building of reinforced
concrete and steel construction, covering an entire block. The work
consisted of relief and planographic printing, photo-engraving, elec­
trotyping, and paper-box manufacturing. The building looked sub­
stantial, but considerable vibration was observed, probably partly
due to the location of presses on some of the upper floors, especially
cutting and creasing presses used in the paper-box departments.
Proper construction of a building, with appropriate interior ar­
rangement, will eliminate vibration easily and remove one possible
source of fatigue.
Posture has been found through research to be a very important
item in the hazard of fatigue. It is well known that maintaining
a cramped, unnatural position will reduce the energies of the
worker, but this fact has until recently been completely ignored by
manufacturers of machinery, who had designed this exclusively
for perfect mechanical operation without regard to the physical re­
quirement of the workers who operate the machines. Continuous
sitting is injurious, and continuous standing equally so, consequently
work should be arranged so the position can be varied and so as
to admit of good posture in either case.
Few of the machines used are provided with seats by the manu­
facturers, but special seats can be obtained and attached on some of
them, for example, the seat for cylinder-press feeders, which rests
on a bracket fastened to a pipe that is secured to the floor and to
the footboard on the press. Every hand-fed cylinder press should
be equipped with a seat for the press feeder, wT many of the
hich
machines were unfortunately found to lack. Stools or chairs are
necessary for seating of operators in a number of the occupations,
such as on line-casting machines and in bindery work. As there is
considerable variation in comfortable arrangements for the different
individuals the best results can be procured by the use of adjustable
posture chairs and these were found in actual use or on trial in sev­
eral of the establishments visited. In one large bindery all the
chairs used by hand folders and by work inspectors were provided
with backs, and it was claimed that this simple addition to the
equipment had materially reduced absence from work on account
of illness among the female employees. In some establishments com­



218

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

plaints were heard of physical discomfort due to the hard surface
of the floors, usually concrete, causing fatigue and, occasionally,
even flat foot.
Fatigue through heavy muscular strain has been partly eliminated
in many of the operations by special equipment such as xorm trucks,
tiering machines for handling stock, paper lifts on trucks for load­
ing feeders on cylinder or offset presses, electric motor trucks for
transporting material, electric or hydraulic elevators, and conveyors
or chutes. As the question of fatigue and its effect on the health is
being realized, there is more effort developed to protect the workers
against it, because of the increased production which follows hand
in hand with better health.
ACCIDENTS
A special hazard, which exists in practically all departments in
the printing industry, accidents, is closely interwoven with the pre­
vious subjects and the cause for an accident is often directly due to
the condition of the building, especially insufficient lighting facilities
or some insanitary conditions, while a great many can be traced to
fatigue. Other important factors are the carelessness of the work­
ers and the desire for speed. Several other occupations are more
dangerous to follow than those in the printing industry, but a
number of machines are used in connection with the work which
endanger the safety of the workers unless carefulness is constantly
exercised. The “ safety first” doctrine has resulted in a constant
reduction of major accidents causing death or amputation. Safety
committees were found in the larger establishments, which performed
good work in recommending improvements for the preservation of
health of the employees and elimination of dangerous conditions, as
well as in conducting educational campaigns among the workers on
these subjects.
Information was requested from the employers in each of the 536
establishments, which were inspected in detail, regarding major ac­
cidents in the plants during the previous five years. A total of 139
cases were obtained, 6 of which had resulted in fatalities, but this
total can not be entirely depended on, because several instances were
discovered subsequently which had occurred in plants that had stated
there were none. One newspaper establishment in Baltimore claimed
there had been no accidents during the past five years, but it was
later ascertained that one pressman had lost four fingers from one
hand three years before and three from the other hand since then.
In one newspaper establishment, located in Chicago, the same state­
ment was made* but it was found that one pressman had lost a hand
three years previous. The figures, as furnished by the employees,
have been included in the summary of tabulation (p. 229), but should
not be used for any proportionate comparison or statistical purpose.
It was sometimes extremely difficult to obtain detailed information
on the accidents and no attempt was made to verify the statements
given. Consequently the cause for these was not ascertained, though
it would have proved interesting to know whether these happened
through the fault of the employer, of the workman, of both, or of
fellow workmen, or through chance. The employers usually stated
that the cause was carelessness of the worker and this was un­



*

ACCIDENTS

219

doubtedly true in many cases, though sometimes the presumed care­
lessness was in reality taking a chance for the sake of speed, either
required by the plant or through personal inclination. The acci­
dents reported were roughly divided, according to their nature, as
follows:
Loss of arm, 19 cases; of hand, 19 cases; of fingers, 33 cases; total,
71 cases.
Crushing of arm, 6 cases; of hand, 8 cases; of foot, 5 cases; total,
19 cases.
Fracture of leg, 5 cases; of arm, ankle, toe, and fingers, 1 case
each; not specified, 5 cases; total, 14 cases.
Burns from fire, 5 cases; from metal, 2 cases; total, 7 cases.
Infection from cuts, 2 cases; injury to eyes, 2 cases; caught in
belt drives, 2 cases; crushed by falling object, 1 case; elevator acci­
dents, 19 cases; hernia, 2 cases; total, 28 cases.
Loss of the arm had occurred in 16 cases in pressrooms, particu­
larly newspaper pressrooms, where the revolving cylinders on the
large, high-speed presses, coupled with hurried pace of the work,
constitute a danger. This is amplified where some of the cylinders
turn together and others on the same press turn away from each
other, which was the case in some of the plants visited, by creating
confusion and consequent catching of the hand or arm between the
cylinders. On some of the newer presses safety bars were found
that prevented getting the hands caught. In one newspaper estab­
lishment, guards 6 inches wide had been placed over the opening
between each pair of blanket cylinders, which turned together, be­
cause two men each lost a hand between these about 15 years pre­
vious. The various automatic devices on newspaper presses have
assisted greatly in eliminating accidents. Some of the cases, espe­
cially in the book and periodical printing plants, occurred through
ignorance or carelessness, such as in trying to wipe a plate or a
roller when in motion, through reaching for a piece of paper, or
through another workman starting the press while some one was
working on it, all of which could and should have been prevented.
In one case an arm was lost through neglecting to replace a guard
around the driving gear on a cylinder press in a large establishment
in Chicago. This could have been prevented, and may not occur
again in that establishment because the presses have been equipped
with an automatic device for shutting off the power in such case.
That example could be adopted with advantage by other establish­
ments and similar arrangements for prevention of mutilation of the
workers could be applied to a number of different machines used
in the industry. Most of the States require guards on machines
where danger exists, but overlook the human element. The guards
are sometimes removed and not replaced, making it even more dan­
gerous because the workers are accustomed to the protection of the
covering and may overlook its absence. A partial remedy was seen
in one establishment in Milwaukee where wire guards on a number
of small machines were hinged to the floor so they could not be
entirely removed and placed to one side, where they would be over­
looked. Starting the machines when someone is working on them
has been eliminated to a great extent by installation of push button
systems with safety stops*
45331°—25-----15




HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
220
In one newspaper establishment in Chicago and in other plants in
different cities each individual machine was equipped with auto­
matic starters and safety stops, making the control as near fool­
proof as possible. Signs were found in several plants warning
workers not to clean the machines while in motion, but to be sure to
shut off the power first. One loss of an arm occurred in a paper
elevator, where a boy tried to straighten a bundle placed on it after
the conveyor had been started. The other two cases were stereotypers
who had their arms cut off on saws. One of these had lifted the table
on the saw trimmer, but neglected to put it down again before start­
ing the power, and in leaning over the table to do so, he placed the
arm directly on the saw.
Loss of the hand had taken place in the pressrooms, in similar
manner as described for loss of arm, in seven cases, and in two
other cases on die presses. Eight cases were on flat paper-cutting
machines. This is a machine that can not be made absolutely fool­
proof and when he is using it the operator must keep his presence of
mind. The machines which are being manufactured at the present
time are comparatively safe, as long as handled properly, since they
are constructed with safety devices. A number of old machines were,
however, found in different localities which were absolutely danger­
ous on account of their tendency to slip and repeat. The majority of
accidents on paper-cutting machines, both of loss of hands and loss of
fingers, were laid to that source. In some places this had been
eliminated by a cam safety device attached to the machine by the
manufacturers or by an auxiliary automatic brake added by the
establishment where it was in use. An extra source of danger was
found in small shops through neglect to overhaul these machines
sufficiently, allowing the clutch to become full of oil and cause slip­
ping. Still worse was the practice, also found in some places, of
using the machine again, when it had shown signs of repeating, in­
stead of cleaning the clutch. Some of the large establishments had
issued strict instructions to report immediately anything observed
out of order and not to use the machine until thoroughly overhauled.
In others the fuse plugs were removed from the power wires as soon
as they were discovered out of order and were kept out until in­
spected and fixed. Several plants stated that their cutting machines
were overhauled regularly once a month. Accidents due to the
mechanism of the machine can ordinarily be averted by keeping it in
proper working condition, and others which usually are caused from
excess speed can easily be eliminated by the use of common sense.
One instance was seen which showed absence of it, both on the part of
the operator and on part of the employer. The trip on the machine
was tied back, keeping the knife in continuous operation while the
operator was pushing the stock under the knife and removing the
trimmed parts. Such a practice is absolutely foolhardy, and no em­
ployer should permit a man to take such chances.
Another hazardous performance, though not so dangerous, was
seen in a number of plants. Two men were working on the same
cutting machine in trimming three piles of pamphlets or books at
one time. As soon as the knife was raised, one pile was taken out,
the other two shifted to successive gauges, and a new pile inserted.
One of the workers tripped the knife and there was a possibility



221
of its coming down before the other could get his hands out. It is,
of course, easy to say that the operator should watch his work, but
any distraction at all might result in tripping the machine too soon,
with a consequent loss of a hand or some fingers. Two of the cases
were claimed to have resulted in that manner. In one of the cities
visited this danger, as well as other undesirable features, had been
eliminated through an agreement between the employers and the
operators, that “ under no circumstances shall two men be allowed
to work on the same straight cutting machine,” later amplified with
prohibiting any man or boy, other than the operator, from handling
or taking away books from cutting machines, unless they are on the
far side of the table. The operators were instructed not to allow
any one to work on the machines with them, not to permit any one
to stand or walk inside the cutting table, nor to operate a machine
which is out of order until it had been adjusted. It was also agreed
that when a plant was operated 24 hours a day three shifts would
be employed, to prevent fatigue and possible danger through this
in operating the cutting machines. Fatigue was responsible for
several of the accidents mentioned by the employers, through dull­
ing the intellect and powers of concentration. Some of them were
also due to contributory negligence on the part of the workers, per­
haps coupled with fatigue, which prevented clear thinking. Such
an instance was found, where the foreman of a bindery had tripped
the knife in a machine he was operating, then tried to straighten
the pile of paper, which had become disarranged. He saw the knife
coming and knew that it would catch his hand, but he could not
concentrate sufficiently to pull his hand out of danger.
The attempt to straighten paper in the cutting machine had been
responsible for a number of accidents, and an operator has no busi­
ness to attempt it after tripping the knife. Some plants had pro­
vided the operators with sticks to use in case such an operation was
necessary, but they were seldom used. As the knife was ordinarily
tripped with the right hand, the left one was usually employed for
straightening and consequently was the one mutilated. One case
was found where both hands had been cut off, but in this the acci­
dent was due to the shirt of the operator catching in the tripper
and releasing the knife while both hands were used to push the
material against the back guide. In one city attempt had been made
to introduce a double tripping device which necessitated the use of
both hands for the operation^ thinking that it would eliminate the
accidents. It had been recommended by insurance companies, and
one of the establishments interviewed had equipped its cutting ma­
chine with it, thinking it a State regulation. The device unques­
tionably has its merits, but the real utility is doubtful. It must
necessarily slow up the operations and, as it involves the use of both
hands instead of one, it would have a tendency to confuse the oper­
ator to a certain extent. An accident can take place in spite of it,
because in one case an operator who had tripped a machine with
his right hand placed this same hand under the knife before it came
down. While it was not under far enough to sever the hand, he lost
two of the fingers and, as blood poisoning followed, it looked as if
it might be necessary to amputate the hand at least. If there was
time to get the hand under the knife after releasing it by a single



ACCIDENTS

222

| HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

hand trip, this could also take place with a double-hand trip, so
nothing would be gained in that respect. Another undesirable fea­
ture was the fact that by loosening a set screw the use of two hands
was rendered unnecessary and the knife could be tripped in the
usual way with one hand. Some of the cutting machines were
equipped with a shield, which descended in front of the knife and
ahead of it, intended to warn the operator that the knife was coming
down. In the majority of cases this had been taken off or rendered
nonoperative, because the operators claimed it prevented them from
seeing the knife and that the jam from it was as bad as the cut from
the knife, with the additional disadvantage of being located closer
to the body. Removal of disturbing surrounding influences, lessen­
ing the chances of fatigue, and the proper care of the machines
seemed to have helped more to minimize the accidents than any other
factors. The main difficulty in eliminating them entirely lies in find­
ing some method of stopping the knife, in case of necessity, after it
has been tripped. It seems possible that a magnetic braking device
could be applied for the purpose.
One of the remaining two cases was a bindery worker who caught
his hand in a book-covering machine, necessitating amputation. The
other was a photo-engraver who lost the hand through an explosion.
Loss of fingers were sustained in similar manner as the loss of
hands, and really were just a minor degree of such mutiliation.
Among the 30 cases mentioned, 15 had occurred on presses. Several
of these were on platen presses, one style of machine that was
formerly responsible for a number of accidents. These have been
largely eliminated by the use of mechanical feeders, but in many
small plants the platen presses were still hand fed, usually by boys
or girls, sometimes minors, which naturally increased the hazard,
as these would be more or less reckless and lack concentration on the
work. In some States regulations prescribing minimum age re­
quirements for platen-press feeders were in effect, while in others
it was compulsory to equip the presses with safety guards, which
were claimed by several to increase the danger through necessitating
raising the arm higher and preventing the feeder from watching
the actual operation of printing. One accident had happened on a
bronzing machine, two on embossing presses, and one on a punch
press. Employers usually claimed that such accidents were mainly
due to carelessness of the workers, who were looking around or talk­
ing at the time. The monotony of the occupation may, however,
have been partly responsible through attendant fatigue. Seven of
the accidents took place on cutting machines and one through a man
slipping on the floor and catching his fingers in a stitcher head. In
two cases part of the hand was cut off by stereotype saws. The saws
used by stereotypers, electrotypers, and photo-engravers for rough
work are seldom provided with guides, as it would take too long to
adjust these. Only a few were found with guards provided over
the saw, and there was always a danger present of getting fingers
nipped. The main difficulty seemed to be the lack of a suitable guard,
according to both employers and workers. Saws used in composing
rooms subject the workers to similar dangers, but mostly on account
of speed and carelessness, especially where several of the workers
use the saws. This had been eliminated in larger establishments by



ACCIDENTS

223

Raving one man attend to all the trimming for the department. In
such case it was usually isolated from the rest of the work, mini­
mizing the danger from jostling the operator and shoving his hand
against the saw. A possibility of this was especially seen in one
newspaper composing room, where three Miller saw trimmers had
been placed tandem in the middle of the floor with narrow aisles
at the sides, through which other workers were constantly passing,
who avoided jostling of the operators on the saws only with difficulty.
The remaining case was attributed to carelessness on the part of
a stereotyper, who was leaning with his back against a flat power
shaver, holding one hand on the bed. He happened to lean up
against the shifter and started the machine, with a consequent loss
of three fingers. It was, of course, a direct act of carelessness, but
would have been avoided if the machine had been provided with a
safety stop instead of an old-fashioned shifter. The reason for
the finger amputations in three cases was not learned.
Crushing or arms or hands were attributed to practically the same
causes as the preceding accidents. Four of the cases involving the
arm, and all eight cases of the hand, were on presses. Two of these
cases, which resulted in compound fractures of the arms, occurred
in one establishment and, according to the employer, were directly
due to fatigue of the workers from excessive continued work during
the busy season. Two additional cases were in the bindery, where
one arm was crushed in a folding machine and one in a book com­
pressor. Four cases of crushing of the foot also took place in presses.
In one of these the foot was caught in a flywheel, necessitating ampu­
tation. Another was caught through the removal of a footboard
across the bed of a cylinder press. The feeder on this press had
been accustomed to place one foot on the footboard while feeding
and, in attempting to resume his usual position, was caught in the
bed motion. A good arrangement for prevention of such accidents
was seen in one establishment where the presses had been provided
with high guards along the side frames, so the feeders could not get
their feet inside of them. The fifth case was caused by a heavy
lithographic stone dropping on the foot of the operator, crushing
it badly. These stones were usually handled by tongs on overhead
tracks, both around the planing machines and in the pressrooms.
Broken bones were due to various causes. One fracture of a leg
and one fracture of an ankle were caused through slipping on the
floor. It was really surprising that only two accidents were given
from that source, as quite a number of the floors were found in a
deplorable state. Some of the concrete floors were full of holes, caused
by dropping objects on them. In some cases they were covered with
loose iron or steel plates, which also constituted a danger as the
edges were often curled up or the plates were pushed away from
the original location. Some wooden floors were also observed that
were badly broken, and others where they had been repaired by
placing an additional layer of flooring on top over the badly broken
parts, leaving projections against which the workers would be liable
to stumble. Similar danger was noticed where an establishment was
located in several connecting buildings with uneven heights of floors,
where platforms had been placed around sinks or machines, or where
pipes had been laid on the floor surface, either entirely exposed or
covered with wood strips. Modern plants did not contain any such



224

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

undesirable features, but some of the old buildings had been fixed
as cheaply as possible, without regard to the danger for the workers,
a false economy, because it naturally slows down the movements oi
the workers or else invites the hazard of stumbling. Additional
danger was found when the floors were slippery from oil or water or
a combination of both, due to careless or insufficient janitor service.
Three fractures, one of the leg, one of the toes, and one of the
fingers had been sustained through type forms falling on the re­
spective portions of the anatomy. The accidents may have been due
to carelessness in handling the forms or to lack of proper equipment.
One fracture of a leg and one of an arm were the results of falls
from the presses. It was also claimed that shocks were received
from improperly insulated electric neutralizers, containing sufficient
force to knock the men off the presses and injure them severely
through the falls. Two other cases were fractured legs, but causes of
these and of the remaining five cases of fractures were not specified.
Some of the processes involve considerable fire risk, mostly
through the carelessness of the workers. Five serious accidents
were cited, all claimed to be from that cause, and three of them with
fatal results. Printing trade plants are in a class by themselves as
fire risks. They have all the hazards common to ordinary factories
but also have certain elements peculiar to themselves. Gasoline or
benzene is commonly used for various purposes, and when it is con­
sidered that a pint of gasoline is estimated to render 200 cubic feet
of air inflammable when evaporated in a closed space, the danger
from this can easily be seen. When a room is provided with suf­
ficient ventilation the danger is greatly minimized and the safety
cans found in most plants reduce it additionally. The large number
of gas heating devices, with open flames, are particularly dangerous
in connection with this. In one instance, where a disastrous fire
was averted only by quick action, a small fire originated through
the use of gasoline for cleaning a stereotype blanket. This had been
placed in a small kettle, partly filled with water and gasoline, the
latter floating on top. Live steam was used for heating the mixture,
through a pipe inserted in it, and caused a strong vapor of steam and
gasoline to drift to the gas fuel burners under the metal kettle,
located close by. The vapor was ignited by the gas flames and the
fire traveled back on it to the container, where it caused an explo­
sion, scattering fire all over an oil soaked floor. The workers, who
luckily were not within range of the explosion, acted promptly and
extinguished the fire before any headway was gained.
The workers are not always lucky enough to be outside the danger
zone. In one periodical printing establishment in New York a. ro­
tary pressman was engaged in washing a form and the benzene he
was using was ignited from a gas burner on the press. He was
burned to death and another worker received serious burns. A color
proofer in a photo-engraving establishment in Chicago spilled some
alcohol on his clothing and it was also ignited from gas flames in the
room, burning him severely. Another fatality, which occurred in a
large plate printing establishment, differed somewhat as the fire was
originated by electricity. A workman was engaged in cleaning
motors when his clothing, which was saturated with gasoline ana



ACCIDENTS

225

oil, was ignited by a spark from a motor, resulting in his death from
bums. As a rule electricity is considered safe and several rotogra­
vure printing establishments had installed electric heating equipment
in preference to gas on just that account, as the naphtha and xylol
used for that method are extremely volatile and inflammable. Elec­
tricity is comparatively safe but the innocent-looking motors or
transmission wires may create sheets of flame instead of power un­
less properly inclosed. Several of the modern plants were found to
have tanks for gasoline, benzene, turpentine, or naphtha placed
underground, outside the building, in courtyards or under the base­
ment floors, provided with pipes to pumps on the various floors. The
third fatality from burns was that of a pressman, killed in a fire
in a press pit of a large newspaper establishment in Chicago about
four or five years previously, the details of which were not learned.
One source of danger from fire is oily waste or rags, sometimes
permitted to lie around in corners, such as in one large book and job
printing establishment in New York, where a large pile was observed
under a stairway, together with a heap of empty ink cans. An
apparently burned out match tossed in such a heap would find excel­
lent fuel. Fireproof containers were found in many of the plants,
but even with the use of these constant watching is required because
a careless worker might leave some rags, soaked in oil or ink, lying
around loose. In the large cities these things, as well as methods for
disposal of the inflammable paper waste, are usually regulated and
looked after by insurance inspectors and fire departments. Fire
escapes and exits are likewise taken care of but some undesirable
conditions were seen in spite of the regulations. In one establish­
ment in Pittsburgh, located in a three-story building, the only en­
trance or exit to the third floor was by means of an interior open
stairway, leading to a large trapdoor in the floor, which was kept
closed in spite or workers located on that floor. Some of the base­
ments where pressrooms and stereotype foundries were located were
mainly accessible through narrow, deep stairways with obstructions
of rolls of paper or other material, providing very unsatisfactory
exits in case of fire. Several of the modern establishments have regu­
lar fire drills, with selected employees who Imow just what to do in
case a fire happens to break out. Such a drill was witnessed in the
largest printing establishment in Washington. As soon as the gong
sounded each employee went quickly but orderly to the appointed
station, ready to fight the fire. Several plants were also found pro­
vided with large chemical tanks on wheels. One newspaper estab­
lishment in Philadelphia, occupying an eight-story building, was
equipped with one on each floor.
“ No smoking” signs were found posted in practically all of the
establishments visited, but in several of these the regulation was
absolutely ignored by the workers, and in many places it was not
unusual to see the employers or the managers walk through the
workrooms puffing on cigars, although the workers were strictly
prohibited from smoking. In three establishments in Denver, housed
in the same building, signs were found on the walls, but a number
of the employees were smoking. In a large lithographic printing
establishment in Cleveland smoking was also found among the
workers in the art and plate-making departments. In Philadelphia



226
HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES
smoking was found in one large newspaper establishment, princi­
pally in the composing room and stereotype room, as well as in the
photo-engraving establishment connected with the same. The most
general disregard of the law, as well as of the safety of both them­
selves and fellow employees, was found in New York. In four of
the large newspaper establishments smoking was indulged in by the
heads of the departments and by the workers, especially in the com­
posing rooms, while at work. The same was the case in two of the
large book and job printing establishments and in five of the photo­
engraving plants visited. One instance of the danger incurred
through this practice was shown by an incident that happened dur­
ing the inspection in New York. A photographer in a photo-en­
graving establishment was smoking while working in the dark room,
and a spark from his cigarette ignited the collodion on the negative
in his hands. His clothing, which was saturated with the chemicals
after a minor explosion, caught fire and he was badly burned before
the flames were subdued. It was stated in New York that several
arrests had been made in various factories for smoking shortly
before, but it had evidently not affected the printing trade estab­
lishments.
Two cases of burns from molten metal were reported. One was
a stereotyper, the other an electrotyper. The latter, it was stated,
developed into a serious case, due to carelessness of the physician.
Two cases of blood poisoning from cuts on the hand were also
cited. One of these was a stereotyper who had gouged his hand
with a screw driver; the other was an operator of a ruling machine
who had cut his finger. Both cases had necessitated amputation.
A number of minor injuries occur right along in the printing trade
plants, such as cuts and bruises, which are apt to be ignored by the
workers and, while insignificant at the time, may develop into serious
infections. Many of the large establishments were equipped with
splendid first-aid service and expected the employees to have all
injuries treated. It is not always done and it is, in fact, a difficult
matter to convince many of the workers that such a course should
be followed. An excellent method was seen in a large periodical
printing establishment in New York, which maintained an emer­
gency hospital with four beds, graduate nurse in attendance, and
daily calls by a visiting physician. Employees were requested to
report all accidents, no matter how trivial, and if this was neglected
they were posted on bulletin boards on each floor of the building.
The card, which was posted at the time of the visit, read:
Due to their own negligence in not reporting slight accidents to nurse, the
following employees have not only suffered considerable pain but lost time,
which could have been avoided had the accident been reported at the time it
happened:
(Name) Scratched hand; infection set in.
(Name) SpUnter of wood in hand; infection set in.
(Name) Lacerated finger; infection set in.
(Name) Scratched hand; infection set in.
Be sure to report the slightest injury as soon as it happens and have it
treated, no matter how trival it may appear to you, and trouble will be avoided.
(Name of Firm.)

In this establishment accidents were investigated by a safety com­
mittee to determine if the machines were responsible and to suggest



ACCIDENTS

227

improvements or elimination of anything that might affect the
workers.
Loss of an eye through an accident was reported in one instance
and a serious injury to the eyes of another worker through the
breaking of an electric-light bulb. Minor injuries to the eyes were
frequent, especially to operators of routing machines. These, as a
rule, were provided with goggles to keep the fine chips from flying
into the eyes, but considerable complaint was heard about the appli­
ances. Some of them were provided with cloth sides. These were
declared to be extremely hot, causing excessive perspiration. Other
styles were provided with perforated metal screens, fitting close
against the face on the outsides of the eyes. These did not fit close
against the face between the eyes and permitted cuttings from the
drills to enter through the openings there and lodge in the eyes. In
one establishment ordinary spectacle frames, with plain glass,
were worn and declared just as good as any. In some plants gog­
gles were not 'used but in place of these a patented frame, contain­
ing a glass shield, had been attached to the routing machine, which
was claimed to effectually protect, the eyes of the operators from the
flying chips. Similar glass shields, held by an arm, were used over
saws in photo-engraving, stereotyping, and electrotyping establish­
ments or departments.
Two accidents were caused by clothing catching in overhead belt
drives, one of which resulted in death. Collective belt drives are
gradually being eliminated and the danger from these has been
minimized greatly through requirement of proper guarding by the
State departments. A few plants were found where the overhead
drives seemed dangerous, notably a small periodical and job-print­
ing plant in Richmond, where collective belt drive was used in the
basement for an old cylinder press, three platen presses, and a
folding machine. The motor was located in another room adjoining,
the ceiling was low, and the belts were consequently so low that it
was necessary to duck the head to avoid hitting them, especially the
one in the doorway from the motor. The basement was naturally
very dark and the artificial light was badly placed, increasing the
hazard from the low-hung belts.
Another fatal accident occurred thro'ugh the fall of a platform
on a press, which caught a boy and pinned him against the stan­
chions.
Elevator accidents were responsible for the injuries of 18 workers
and the death of 1 additional. The latter and 2 of the others were
individual accidents, falls down the elevator shaft. The other 16
were injured through the dropping of an overloaded elevator.
Only two cases of hernia were reported. If this is anywhere near
correct it shows remarkable reduction in a formerly very common
result of heavy lifting, necessary at times in pressrooms where large
rolls of paper are handled. Tiering machines have, of course, elimi­
nated a great deal of the strain. Electric hoists for presses of sev­
eral decks, and the magazine reels used on modern single-deck
presses, have also reduced the muscular efforts required at one time
in connection with such work.
The accidents which happen through the faults of the employer,
the operator, or fellow workmen can all be eliminated, or at least



228

HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN THE PRINTING TRADES

reduced to an even smaller minimum than was shown by this sur­
vey. Accidents from chance will naturally always exist, but can
not be blamed against the trade.
SUMMARY OF TABULATION
A summary has been prepared of the tabulation made from the
detail reports of the 536 establishments inspected. These were
originally divided into three groups, eastern (339 establishments),
southern (147 establishments), and western (50 establishments),
but as the groups can not fairly be compared with one another, on
account of the varied nature of the plants, the figures have been
combined.
Each item of the summary has been referred to in the text under
the special subject and explanation was given of the terms used.
The classifications made represent, of course, just the viewpoint of
one individual and may be either too critical or too lax, but are uni­
form, from the standpoint adopted, for the entire territory
surveyed.
Number o f establishments of specified classification among the 586 inspected

Operations:
Hand composition________
Machine composition_____
Photo-engraving---------------Stereotyping-------------------Electrotyping------------------Press work---------------------Binding—
Book________________
Miscellaneous________
Building:
Built' for plant___________
Adapted_________________
Appearance—
Good________________
F air________________
Bad_________________
^Working space:
Ample----------------------------Crowded____________
Motive power:
Individual----------------------Collective------------------------Mixed________________
Safety guards:
Good____________________
Fair____________________
Bad_____________________
Condition of light:
Natural1—
Good________________
F air________________
Bad_________________
A rtificialGood________________

Condition of light—Continued.
400
Artificial—Continued.
273
Fair________________ 287
142
Bad_________________
99
103 Ventilation of building:
62
Natural—
425
Good________________ 157
Fair_________________ 142
103
62
Bad_________________
290
Artificial—
All plenum—
221
Good ___________ 224
315
Fair_____________
86
Bad_____________
0
129
All exhaust—
253
Good____________
11
154
Fair_____________
7
Bad_____________
2
377
Part plenum—
159
Good____________ 414
Fair__________ ___ 415
411
Bad_____________
1
19
Part exhaust—
106
Good____________
26
Fair_____________
57
308
B ad_____________
12
169 Fuel of type-setting machines:
59
Gas_________________ ____52,314
Electricity-------------------------1,262
216 Ventilation of equipment:
Composing—
213
Good________________ 113
99
Fair_________________
77
Bad_________________
83
150

1 Not including 8 establishments which work at night only. additional part exhaust.
3Including 8 establishments with additional exhaust and 9 with
• Including 3 establishments with additional part exhaust.
4 All except 1 establishment using part exhaust.
* Including 1 establishment have gasoline only.




SUMMARY OF TABULATION

229

'Number o f establishments o f specified classification among the 586 inspected

Continued
Ventilation of equipment—Continued. State of cleanliness—Continued.
Photo-engraving—
Equipment—
Good________________
42
Good________________
Fair_________________
68
Fair_________________
Bad_________________
32
Bad_________________
Stereotyping—
Type cases—
Good------------------------- 41
Good________________
Fair_________________
32
Bad_________________
30
Toilets—
Bad_________________
Electrotyping—
Good------------------------Bad_________________
Good________________
10
Fair_________________
33 Dressing rooms:
For both sexes___________
Bad_________________
19
For females only_________
Other equipment—
Good------------------------- 22 Lockers:
Fair_________________
55
Individual----------------------Collective-----------------------Bad_________________
70
Hot water___________________
State of cleanliness:
Shower baths________________
Floors—
Good________________ 219 Lunch rooms:
Separate room___________
Fair_________________ 187
Restaurant______________
Bad_________________ 130
Medical attention:
Windows—■
Hospital room___________
Good________________ 328
Rest room for females------Fair_________________
80
First-aid k it_____________
Bad_________________ 6128

—

353
120
63
271
130
357
176
220
45
295
28
329
115
26
735
58
49
326

Personnel

Number of employees---------------------------------------------------------------------- 81,314
Over 60 years of age___________________________________________ 1,363
Percentage of females__________________________________________ 21.43
Sickness and accidents reported by employers

Tuberculosis (cases)_________________________________________________ 829
Lead poisoning (cases)______________________________________________ 814
Other occupational diseases (cases)__________________________________ 815
Accidents (number)___________________________________________________ 8139
6 Including 3 establishments that have no windows.
7 In clu d in g 2 e sta b lish m e n ts t h a t h a v e r e sta u r a n ts fo r
8 Explanation in text*




us,e o f e x e c u tiv e s only*




SERIES OF BULLETINS PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
[T e p b a n of th annual a dsp c l r p r a d of th b o th b lle w s d ­
h u lic tio
e
n e ia e o ts n
e imn ly u tin a is
c n ud inJ ly 1912, a dsin e th t tim a b lle h s b e p b hd a ir e u r in r
o tin e
u,
n c a e u tin a e n u lis e t r g la te ­
v ls, E c n me c n in mtte d v te to o e of a se ie of g nr l su jec T e
a
ah u br o ta s a r e o d n
rs
e e a b ts. h se
b lle s a e n me e c n c tiv ly b g n g w N , 101, a d u to N, 220 th y a o
u tin r u b r d o se u e , e in in ith o
n p
o
e ls
c r y c n c tiv n me s u dr e c se ie Bg n g w N, 227 th se ia n me in
a r o se u e u br n e ah r s. e in in ith o
e r l u br g
h s b e d c n ud A list of th se ie is g e b w U dr e c is g o p d a th
a e n is o tin e .
e r s iv n elo . n e ah r u e ll e
b lle s w ic c n in mte ia r la g to th su jec mtte of th t series. A list of th
u tin h h o ta a r l e tin
e b t a r
a
e
r p r a db lle s of th B r a is udp io to J ly 1, 1912, w b fun hdo a p a
e o ts n u tin
e ue u s e r r u
ill e r is e n p lic ­
tio . T e b lle s mr e th s * a e o t of p in
n h u tin akd u
r u
r t.]
Wholesale Prices.
♦ Bui. 114. W h o lesa le p rices, 189 0 to 1912.
B u i. 149. W h o le sa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1913.
♦ Bui. 173. In d ex nu m b ers o f w h o le sa le p rices in th e U n ited S ta te s a n d fo r eig n
cou n tries.
♦ Bui. 181. W h o lesa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1914.
♦ Bui. 200. W h o lesa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1915.
B u i. 226. W h o lesa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1916.
B u i. 2 6 9 . W h o lesa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1919.
B u i. 2 8 4 . In d ex n u m b ers o f w h o lesa le p rices in th e U n ited S ta te s and fo reig n
co u n tries. [R e v isio n o f B u lle tin N o. 1 7 3 .]
B u i. 2 96. W h o lesa le p rices, 1890 to 1 920.
B u i. 320. W h o lesa le p rices, 1 890 to 19 2 1 .
B u i. 335. W h o lesa le p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1922.
B u i. 3 67. W h olesale p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1923.

Retail Prices and Cost of Living.

♦ Bui. 1 05. R e ta il p rices, 1 890 to 1 9 1 1 : P a r t I.
R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to 1 9 1 1 : P a r t I I — G en eral ta b les.
♦ Bui. 106. R e ta il p rices, 189 0 to J u n e, 1 9 1 2 : P a r t I.
R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to Ju n e, 1 9 1 2 : P a r t I I — G eneral ta b le s.
♦ Bui. 108. R e ta il p rices, 1 890 to A u gust,. 1 912.
♦ Bui. 110. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to* O ctober, 1912.
♦ Bui. 113. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to- D ecem ber, 1912.
♦ Bui. 115. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to F eb ru ary, 1913.
♦ Bui. 121. S u gar p rices, from refiner to con su m er.
B u i. 125. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to A p ril, 1 913.
♦ Bui. 130. W h ea t a n d flour p rices, from fa rm er to consum er.
B u i. 132. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to Ju n e, 1913.
B u i. 136. R e ta il p rices, 189 0 to A u g u st, 1913.
♦ Bui. 138. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to O ctob er, 1913.
♦ Bui. 140. R e ta il p rices, 1 8 9 0 to D ecem ber, 1913.
B u i. 156. R e ta il p rices, 1 9 0 7 to D ecem ber, 1914.
B u i. 164. B u tte r p rices, from produ cer to consu m er.
B u i. 170. F o reig n fo o d p rices a s a ffected by th e w ar.
B ui. 184. R e ta il p rices, 1 907 to J u n e, 19 1 5 .
B u i. 197. R e ta il p rices, 1907 to D ecem b er, 1915.
B u i. 22 8 . R e ta il p rices, 1 907 to D ecem ber. 1 916.
B u i. 27 0 . R e ta il p rices, 191 3 to D ecem ber, 1919.
B u i. 300. R e ta il p rices, 1 913 to D ecem ber, 1 9 2 0 .
B u i. 3 1 5 . R e ta il p rices, 1913 t o 1 921.
B u i. 334. R e ta il p rices, 1 913 to 1922.
B u i. 357. C o st o f liv in g in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 366. R e ta il p rices, 1913 to D ecem ber, 1923.
B u i. 369. T h e u se o f co st-o f-liv in g figu res in w a g e a d ju stm en ts. [In p r e ss.]

Wages and Hours of Labor.

B u i. 116. H ou rs, ea rn in g s, an d d u ra tio n o f em p loym en t o f w a g e-ea rn in g w om en
in se lec ted in d u str ies in th e D istr ic t o f C olum bia.

♦ Supply exhausted.



(I)

W ages and H onrs o f Labor— C on tin ued.
♦ Bui. 1 1 8 . T en -h ou r m axim u m w ork in g-d ay fo r w om en a n d y o u n g p erso n s.
B u i. 119. W o rk in g h o u rs o f w om en in th e p e a c a n n e r ie s o f W isco n sin .
♦ Bui. 1 2 8 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e c o tto n , w o o len , an d silk in d u str ie s,
1 8 9 0 to 19 1 2 .
♦ Bui. 1 29. W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e lu m b er, m illw ork , a n d fu r n itu r e in d u s­
tr ie s, 1 8 9 0 to 1 9 1 2 .
♦ Bui. 1 3 1 . U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h ou rs o f lab or, 1 9 0 7 to 1912.
♦ Bui. 1 3 4 . W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b oot an d sh o e an d h o sie r y a n d k n it go o d s
in d u str ie s, 1 8 9 0 to 1912.
♦ Bui. 135. W a g e s an d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e c ig a r a n d c lo th in g in d u str ies, 1911 an d
1912.
B u i. 13 7 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b u ild in g an d rep a irin g o f ste a m r a ilro a d
ca rs, 1 8 9 0 t o 1 912.
B u i. 143. U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1913.
♦ Bui. 1 4 6 . W a g es an d r eg u la r ity o f em p lo y m en t an d sta n d a r d iz a tio n o f p iece r a te s
in th e d ress a n d w a ist in d u str y o f N e w Y ork C ity.
♦ Bui. 1 47. W a g es an d r eg u la r ity o f em p lo y m en t in th e cloak , su it, an d sk ir t in d u str y .
♦ Bui. 1 50. W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e c o tto n , w o o len , a n d silk in d u str ie s, 1 9 0 7
to 1 913.
♦ Bui., 1 51. W a g e s a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e ir o n a n d s te e l in d u str y in th e U n ite d
S ta te s, 1 9 0 7 to 1912.
B u i. 1 5 3 . W a g es an d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e lu m b er, m illw o rk , a n d fu r n itu r e in d u s­
tr ie s, 1 9 0 7 to 1913.
♦ Bui. 1 5 4 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b oot an d sh o e an d h o sie r y an d u n d erw ear
in d u str ie s, 1 9 0 7 to 1913.
B u i. 1 60. H o u rs, ea rn in g s, a n d c o n d itio n s o f lab or o f w om en in In d ia n a m e rca n tile
e sta b lish m e n ts an d g a r m en t fa c to r ie s.
B u i. 1 6 1 . W a g es an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e c lo th in g a n d c ig a r in d u str ie s, 1911 to
1 913.
B u i. 163. W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b u ild in g a n d rep a ir in g o f ste a m ra ilro a d
c a rs, 1 9 0 7 to 1 913.
B u i. 168. W ages
an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e iro n an d ste e l in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1913.
♦ Bui. 171. U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f labor, M ay 1, 1 9 1 4 .
B u i. 1 77. W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e h o sie r y a n d u n d erw ea r in d u str y , 190 7
•
to 1914.
B u i. 1 78. W a g es
an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b o o t an d sh o e in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1914.
B u i. 1 87. W ages a n d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e m en's c lo th in g in d u str y , 191 1 to 1 914.
♦ Bui. 1 90. W ages an d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e c o tto n , w o o len , an d silk in d u str ies, 1 9 0 7
to 1914.
♦ Bui. 194. U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 1, 1 915.
B u i. 2 0 4 . S tr e e t r a ilw a y em p loym en t in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 2 1 4 . U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1916.
B u i. 2 1 8 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e iro n a n d ste e l in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1 915.
B u i. 2 2 1 . H o u rs, fa tig u e , a n d h e a lth in B r itish m u n itio n fa c to ries.
B u i. 2 2 5 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e lu m b er, m illw o rk , an d fu r n itu r e in d u s­
tr ie s, 1915.
B u i. 2 3 2 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e b o o t a n d sh o e in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1916.
B u i. 2 3 8 . W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in w o o len a n d w o r ste d g ood s m a n u fa ctu rin g ,
1 916.
B u i. 2 3 9 . W a g e s a n d h o u rs o f lab or in c o tto n -g o o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g a n d fin ish in g ,
1916.
B u i. 2 4 5 . U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1 917.
B u i. 2 5 2 . W a g es an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e sla u g h te r in g an d m ea t-p a ck in g in d u str y ,
19 1 7 .
B u i. 259. U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1 918.
B u i. 2 6 0 . W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b o o t a n d sh oe in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1 918.
B u i. 2 6 1 . W ages a n d h o u rs o f la b o r in w o o le n a n d w o r ste d good s m a n u fa ctu rin g ,
1918.
B u i. 2 6 2 . W a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or in co tto n -g o o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g a n d fin ish in g ,
1918.
B u i. 2 65. In d u str ia l su rv ey in se lec ted in d u str ie s in th e U n ited States!, 1 919.
♦ Bui. 2 7 4 . U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15 , 1 919.

♦ Supply exhausted.




(ii)

Wages and Hours of Labor— C on tin ued.
B u i. 2 7 8 .
B u i. 2 79.
B u i. 2 8 6 .
B u i. 2 8 8 .
B u i. 2 8 9 .
B u i. 2 9 4 .
B u i. 2 9 7 .
B u i. 3 0 2 .
B u i. 305.
B u i. 3 16.
B u i. 3 17.
B u i. 3 24.
B u i. 3 25.
B u i. 327.
B u i. 328.
B u i. 329.
B u i. 3 45.
B u i. 3 48.
B u i. 353.
B u i. 354.
B u i. 3 5 6 .
B u i. 358.
B u i. 3 6 0 .
B u i. 3 62.
B u i. 363.
B u i. 3 65.
B u i. 3 71.
B u i. 37 3 .
B u i. 3 74.
B u i. 376.
B u i.
B u i.
B u i.
B u i.

377.
3 81.
387.
388.

W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e b oot an d sh oe in d u stry , 1 907 to 1 920.
H ou rs an d ea rn in g s in a n th r a c ite an d b itu m in o u s coal m in in g .
U n io n sca le o f w a g es an d h o u rs o f labor, M ay 15, 1920.
W ages an d h ou rs o f lab or in co tto n -g o o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g , 1920.
W ages a n d h ou rs o f lab or in w o o len a n d w o r ste d good s m a n u fa ctu rin g ,
1920.
W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e sla u g h ter in g a n d m ea t-p a ck in g in d u str y
in 1921.
W ages an d h o u rs o f la b o r in th e p etro leu m in d u str y .
U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h o u rs o f labor, M ay 15, 1921.
W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in th e iron a n d ste e l in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1920.
H ou rs an d ea rn in g s in a n th r a c ite a n d b itu m in o u s c o a l m in in g — a n ­
th r a c ite , J a n u a r y , 1 9 2 2 ; b itu m in o u s, w in te r o f 1 9 2 1 -2 2 .
W a g es a n d h ou rs o f lab or in lum b er m a n u fa ctu rin g , 1921.
W ages an d h ou rs o f lab or in th e b o o t a n d sh o e in d u stry , 1 9 0 7 to 1922.
U n io n sc a le o f w a g e s an d h ou rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1922.
W a g es a n d h o u rs o f la b o r in w o o len a n d w o r ste d good s m a n u fa ctu rin g ,
1922.
W ages an d h o u rs o f la b o r in h o sie r y an d u n d erw ear in d u str y , 19 2 2 .
W ages a n d h ou rs o f lab or in m en ’s c lo th in g in d u str y , 1922.
W ages an d h o u rs in co tto n -g o o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g , 1922.
W ages an d h o u rs o f labor in th e au to m o b ile in d u str y , 1922.
W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e iro n a n d s te e l in d u str y , 1 9 0 7 to 1 922.
U n io n sca le o f w a g e s a n d h ou rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1923.
P ro d u c tiv ity c o sts in th e com m on-brick in d u str y , 1 9 2 2 -1 9 2 3 .
W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e au to m o b ile-tire in d u str y , 1 923.
T im e an d la b o r c o sts in m a n u fa ctu rin g 1 0 0 p a ir s o f sh oes.
W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in fo u n d ries an d m ach in e sh op s, 1 923.
W a g es a n d h o u rs o f lab or in lu m b er m a n u fa ctu rin g , 1923.
W ages an d h o u rs o f lab or in th e p ap er an d pulp in d u stry .
W ages a n d h o u rs o f lab or in c o tto n go o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g , 1924.
W ages a n d h ou rs o f lab or in sla u g h te r in g an d m ea t packin g, 1923.
W ages a n d
h o u rs
o f la b o r in th e b o o t an d
sh o e in d u str y , 190 7 to 1 9 2 4 .
W ages an d
h ou rs
o f lab or in h o siery an d
u n derw ear in d u str y , 1907 to
1924.
W ages a n d
h o u rs
o f la b o r in w o o len a n d w o rsted go o d s m a n u fa ctu rin g ,
W ages an d
h o u rs
o f lab or in th e iro n an d
ste e l in d u str y , 190 7 to 1924.
W ages a n d h ou rs o f lab or in th e m en ’s c lo th in g in d u stry , 191 1 to 1924.
U n io n sc a le o f w ages, a n d h o u rs o f lab or, M ay 15, 1924.

Employment and Unemployment.

♦ Bui. 109. S ta tis tic s o f u n em p lo y m en t a n d th e w ork o f em p loym en t offices.
B u i. 116. H ou rs, ea rn in g s, a n d d u ra tio n o f em p lo y m en t o f w a g e-ea rn in g w om en in
se lec ted in d u str ies in th e D is tr ic t o f C olum bia.
B u i. 172. U n em p lo y m en t in N ew Y ork C ity, N . Y.
♦ Bui. 182. U n em p lo y m en t am o n g w om en in d ep a rtm en t and o th e r r e ta il sto r e s o f
B o sto n , M ass.
♦ Bui. 183. R e g u la r ity o f em p lo y m en t in th e w om en ’s read y-to-w ear g arm en t in d u s­
tr ie s.
B u i. 192. P ro ceed in g s o f th e A m erican A sso c ia tio n o f P u b lic E m p loym en t Offices.
♦ Bui. 195. U n em p lo y m en t in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 196. P ro ceed in g s o f th e E m p loym en t M an agers’ C on feren ce h eld a t M in n eap olis,
M in n ., J a n u a ry , 1916.
♦ Bui. 2 0 2 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e con feren ce o f E m p lo y m en t M an agers’ A sso c ia tio n o f
B o sto n , M ass., h eld M ay 10, 1916.
B u i. 2 0 6 . T h e B r itish sy stem o f lab or ex ch a n g es.
B u i. 2 20. P roceed in gs o f th e F o u rth A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e A m erican A sso c ia tio n
o f P u b lic E m p lo y m en t O ffices, B u ffalo. N . Y ., J u ly 2 0 an d 2 1 , 1 916.
B u i. 2 2 3 . E m p lo y m en t o f w om en an d ju v e n ile s in G reat B r ita in d u rin g th e w ar.
♦ Bui. 227. P ro ceed in g s o f th e E m p lo y m en t M an agers’ C onference. P h ila d elp h ia , P a .,
A p ril 2 a n d 3, 1 917.
B u i. 235. E m p lo y m en t sy stem o f th e L ak e C arriers’ A sso c ia tio n .
♦ Bui. 2 41. P u b lic em p loym en t offices in th e U n ite d S ta te s.

♦ Supply exhausted.




(h i)

E m ploym ent and U n em p loym ent—C on tin ued.
B u i. 2 4 7 . P ro c ee d in g s o f E m p lo y m en t M anagers* C on feren ce, R o ch ester, N . Y .,
M ay 9 - 1 1 , 19 1 8 .
B u i. 3 1 0 . In d u str ia l u n e m p lo y m e n t: A s ta tis tic a l stu d y o f it s e x te n t an d cau ses.
B u i. 3 1 1 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e N in th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f P u b lic E m p lo y m en t S erv ices, S eptem ber 7 -9 , 1 9 2 1 , B u ffa lo , N . Y.
B u i. 3 3 7 . P roceed in gs o f th e T en th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f P u b lic E m p lo y m en t S erv ices, W a sh in g to n , D . C., S eptem ber
1 1 - 1 3 , 1922.
B u i. 3 5 5 . P ro c ee d in g s o f th e E lev e n th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f P u b lic E m p lo y m en t S erv ices, T oron to, C anada, S ep tem b er 4 -7 ,
1923.
W om en in Indu stry.
B u i. 116. H ou rs, ea rn in g s, a n d d u ra tio n o f em p lo y m en t o f w a g e -ea r n in g w om en in
se lec ted in d u str ie s in th e D istr ic t o f C olum bia.
♦ Bui. 117. P ro h ib itio n o f n ig h t w ork o f y o u n g p erson s.
♦ Bui. 118. T en -h ou r m axim u m w o rk in g-d ay fo r w om en an d y o u n g p erson s.
B u i. 119. W ork in g h o u rs o f w om en in th e p ea c a n n e r ie s o f W isco n sin .
♦ Bui. 122. E m p lo y m en t o f w om en in p ow er la u n d ries in M ilw au k ee, W is.
B u i. 1 60. H o u rs, ea rn in g s, an d co n d itio n s o f lab or o f w om en in In d ia n a m e rc a n tile
e sta b lish m e n ts a n d g a rm en t fa c to ries.
♦ Bui. 167. M in im u m -w age le g isla tio n in th e U n ite d S ta te s an d fo r eig n co u n tries.
♦ Bui. 175. S u m m ary o f th e rep ort on co n d itio n o f w o m a n an d c h ild w a g e ea rn ers in
th e U n ite d S ta te s.
♦ Bui. 176. E ffect o f m in im u m -w age d e te rm in a tio n s in O regon.
♦ Bui. 180. T h e boot an d sh o e in d u str y in M a ssa c h u se tts a s a v o c a tio n fo r w om en.
♦ Bui. 182. U n em p lo y m en t a m on g w om en in d ep a rtm en t an d o th e r r e ta il sto r e s o f
B o sto n , M ass.
B u i. 193. D ressm a k in g a s a trad e fo r w om en in M a ssa c h u se tts.
B u i. 2 1 5 . In d u str ia l ex p erien ce o f tra d e-sch o o l g ir ls in M a ssa c h u se tts.
♦ Bui. 2 1 7 . E ffect o f w ork m en ’s co m p en sa tio n la w s in d im in ish in g th e n e c e s sity o f
in d u str ia l em p loym en t o f w om en an d ch ild ren .
B u i. 2 2 3 . E m p lo y m en t o f w om en a n d ju v e n ile s in G reat B r ita in d u rin g th e w ar.
B u i. 2 5 3 . W om en in th e lea d in d u str ies.
W orkm en’s In su ran ce and C om pensation (in clu ding law s relatin g th ereto).
♦ Bui. 1 01. C are o f tu b ercu lo u s w a g e ea rn ers in G erm any.
♦ Bui. 102. B r itish N a tio n a l In su ra n ce A ct, 1 911.
B u i. 1 03. S ic k n ess a n d a c cid e n t in su ra n ce la w o f S w itz e rla n d .
B u i. 107. L a w r e la tin g to in su ra n ce o f sa la r ie d em p loyees in G erm any.
♦ Bui. 1 26. W orkm en’s co m p en sa tio n la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d fo r eig n c o u n tr ies.
♦ Bui. 155. C om p en sation fo r a c cid e n ts to em p lo y ees o f th e U n ite d S ta te s.
♦ Bui. 185. C om p en sation le g isla tio n o f 1 9 1 4 an d 1 915.
B u i. 2 0 3 . W ork m en ’s co m p en sa tio n la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s and fo r eig n co u n tr ies.
B u i. 2 1 0 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e T h ird A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n
o f In d u str ia l A ccid en t B o a rd s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t C olum bus, O hio,
A p ril 2 5 -2 8 , 1 916.
B u i. 2 1 2 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e con feren ce on so c ia l in su r a n c e c a lle d by th e In te r n a ­
tio n a l A sso c ia tio n o f In d u str ia l A c c id en t B o a r d s an d C om m ission s,
W a sh in g to n , D . C., D ecem ber 5 -9 , 1916.
♦ BuL 2 1 7 . E ffe ct o f w ork m en ’s co m p en sa tio n la w s in d im in ish in g th e n e c e ssity o f
in d u str ia l em p loym en t o f w om en a n d ch ild ren .
B u i. 2 4 0 . C om p arison o f w ork m en ’s c o m p en sa tio n la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 2 4 3 . W ork m en ’s c o m p en sa tio n le g isla tio n in th e U n ite d S ta te s an d fo r eig n
co u n tries.
B u i. 2 4 8 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e F o u r th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f In d u str ia l A ccid en t B o a rd s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t B o sto n ,
M a ss., A u g u st 2 1 -2 5 , 1 917.
B uL 2 6 4 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e F ifth A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n
o f In d u str ia l A ccid en t B oard s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t M ad ison , W is.,
S ep tem b er 24r-27, 1918.
B u i. 2 7 2 . W ork m en ’s com p en sation le g isla tio n o f th e U n ite d S ta te s and C anada,
1919.

♦ Supply exhausted.




(IV)

Workmen's Insurance and Compensation (including: laws relating: thereto)— C on tin ued.

B u i. 2 7 3 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e S ix th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n
o f In d u str ia l A cc id en t B oard s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t T oron to, C an­
ad a , Sep tem b er 2 3 -2 6 , 1 919.
B u i. 2 7 5 . C om p arison o f w ork m en ’s c o m p en sa tio n la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d
C an ada.
B u i. 2 8 1 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e S e v e n th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f In d u str ia l A ccid en t B o a r d s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t S a n F ra n ­
cisco , C alif., S ep tem ber 2 9 -2 4 , 1 920.
B u i. 3 0 1 . C om p arison o f w ork m en ’s co m p en sa tio n in su ra n ce a n d a d m in istra tio n .
B u i. 3 0 4 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e E ig h th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia ­
tio n o f In d u str ia l A ccid en t B o a rd s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t C h icago,
111., S ep tem ber 1 9 -2 3 , 1921.
B u i. 3 1 2 . N a tio n a l H e a lth In su ra n ce in G reat B r ita in , 1 9 1 1 t o 1 920.
B u i. 3 3 2 . W orkm en's co m p en sa tio n le g isla tio n o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d C an ada,
1 9 2 0 to 1922.
B u i. 3 3 3 . P ro ceed in g s o f th e N in th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n
o f In d u str ia l A c cid en t B o a rd s a n d C om m ission s, h eld a t B a ltim o r e , M d.,
O ctober 9 -1 3 , 1922.
B u i. 359. P ro ceed in g s o f th e T e n th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n
o f In d u str ia l A c cid en t B o a rd s an d C om m ission s, h eld a t S t. P a u l, M in n.,
S ep tem b er 2 4 -2 6 , 1 923.
B u i. 3 7 9 . C om p arison o f w ork m en ’s co m p en sa tio n la w s .o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a s o f
J a n u a ry 1, 1925.
B u i. 385. P ro ceed in g s o f th e E lev e n th A n n u a l M eetin g o f th e In te r n a tio n a l A sso cia ­
tio n o f In d u str ia l A cc id en t B o a rd s a n d Commisisionsi, h e ld a t H a lifa x ,
N o v a S c o tia , A u g u st 2 6 -2 8 , 1 924.

Industrial Accidents and Hygiene.

•B u i. 104. L ead p o iso n in g in p o tte r ie s, tile w o rk s, a n d porcelain, en a m eled sa n ita r y
w a re fa c to ries.
B ui. 120. H y g ie n e o f th e pain ters* tra d e.
♦ Bui. 1 27. D a n g er s to w ork ers from d u st a n d fu m es, a n d m eth o d s o f p r o te ctio n .
•B u i. 14 1 . L ead p o iso n in g in th e sm e ltin g a n d refin in g o f lead .
•B u i. 157. In d u str ia l a c cid e n t sta tis tic s .
•B u i. 165. L ead p o iso n in g in th e m a n u fa ctu re o f sto r a g e b a tte r ie s.
•B u i. 179. In d u str ia l p o iso n s u sed in th e rubb er in d u str y .
B u i. 1 88. R ep ort o f B r itish d e p a rtm en ta l c o m m ittee o n th e d a n g er in t h e u se o f
lea d in th e p a in tin g o f b u ild in g s.
•B u i. 2 0 1 . R ep ort o f c o m m ittee on s ta tis tic s a n d com p en sa tio n in su r a n c e c o st o f th e
In te r n a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n o f In d u str ia l A c c id en t B o a r d s a n d C om m is­
sio n s. [L im ite d e d itio n .]
B u i. 2 0 5 . A n th r a x a s an o c cu p a tio n a l d ise a se .
•B u i. 2 0 7 . C au ses o f d ea th b y o ccu p ation .
•B u i. 2 0 9 . H y g ien e o f th e p r in tin g tra d es.
•B u i. 216. A ccid en ts an d a c cid e n t p rev en tio n in m a c h in e b u ild in g .
B u i. 2 1 9 . In d u str ia l p o iso n s u sed or p rod u ced in th e m a n u fa ctu re o f ex p lo siv es.
B u i. 2 2 1 . H ou rs, fa tig u e , an d h e a lth in B r itish m u n itio n fa c to ries.
B u i. 2 30. In d u str ia l efficiency a n d fa tig u e in B r itish m u n itio n fa c to r ie s.
•B u i. 2 3 1 . M o rta lity from r esp ira to r y d ise a se s in d u sty tra d es.
•B u i. 2 3 4 . S a fe ty m ovem en t in th e iro n a n d ste e l in d u str y , 1907 to 191 7 d
B u i. 2 3 6 . E ffect o f th e a ir h am m er on th e h a n d s o f sto n ec u tte rs.
B u i. 2 5 1 . P re v en ta b le d e a th in th e c o tto n m a n u fa ctu rin g in d u str y .
B u i. 2 5 3 . W om en in th e le a d in d u str ies.
B u i. 2 5 6 . A c c id en ts a n d a c cid e n t p r e v en tio n in m a ch in e b u ild in g . R e v isio n o f
B u i. 216.
B u i. 2 6 7 . A n th r a x a s a n o ccu p a tio n a l d isea se. [R e v ised .]
B u i. 2 7 6 . S ta n d a rd iza tio n o f in d u str ia l a c cid e n t s ta tis tic s .
B u i. 2 80. In d u str ia l p o iso n in g in m a k in g c o a l-ta r d y e s a n d d y e in te r m e d ia te s.
B u i. 2 9 1 . C arbon m on oxid e p o iso n in g .
B u i. 2 9 3 . T h e p roblem o f d u st p h th isis in th e g r a n ite-sto n e in d u str y .
B u i. 2 9 8 . C au ses an d p rev en tio n o f a c c id e n ts in th e iro n a n d s te e l in d u str y , 191 0
to 1919.
B u i. 306. O ccu p ation h a za rd s an d d ia g n o stic s i g n s : A g u id e t o im p a irm e n t t o b e
look ed fo r in h azard ou s o ccu p a tio n s.
B u i. 3 3 9 . S ta tis tic s o f in d u str ia l a c cid e n ts in th e U n ite d S ta te s .

•S u p p ly e x h a u sted .

45331°—25-----16




m;

C on ciliation and A rb itration (in clu d in g strik es and lock ou ts).
♦ Bui. 1 24. C o n cilia tio n a n d a r b itra tio n in th e b u ild in g tr a d e s o f G reater N e w Y ork.
♦ Bui. 1 3 3 . R ep ort o f th e in d u str ia l c o u n c il o f th e B r itish B o a rd o f T rade o n i t s
in q u iry in to in d u str ia l ag reem en ts.
♦ Bui. 1 3 9 . M ich ig a n cop p er d istr ic t strik e.
B u i. 1 44. In d u str ia l co u rt o f th e cloak , s u it, a n d sk ir t in d u str y o f N e w Y ork C ity.
B u i. *145. C o n cilia tio n , a r b itra tio n , an d sa n ita tio n in th e d r e ss an d w a is t in d u str y
o f N ew Y ork C ity.
B u i. 1 9 1 . C o llec tiv e b a rg a in in g in th e a n th r a c ite co a l in d u str y .
♦ Bui. 1 9 8 . C o llectiv e a g reem en ts in th e m en ’s c lo th in g in d u str y .
B u i. 2 3 3 . O p eration o f th e In d u str ia l D isp u te s In v e stig a tio n A c t o f C anada.
B u i. 303. U se o f F ed er a l p ow er in se ttle m e n t o f r a ilw a y la b o r d isp u te s.
B u i. 3 4 1 . T rad e a g reem en t in th e silk -rib b on in d u str y o f N ew Y ork C ity.
L abor L aw s of th e U n ited S tates (inclu ding decisions o f courts relatin g to lab or).
♦ Bui. 1 1 1 . L ab or le g isla tio n o f 1912.
♦ Bui. 112. D e c isio n s o f c o u r ts a n d o p in io n s a ffe ctin g labor, 1 912.
♦ Bui. 148. L abor la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s, w ith d e c isio n s o f c o u r ts r e la tin g th e r e to .
♦ Bui. 152. D e c isio n s o f c o u rts a n d o p in io n s a ffe ctin g lab or, 1913.
♦ Bui. 1 66. L ab or le g isla tio n o f 1914.
♦ Bui. 1 69. D e c isio n s o f co u rts a ffe ctin g lab or, 1914.
♦ Bui. 186. L ab or le g isla tio n o f 1915.
♦ Bui. 189. D e c isio n s o f c o u r ts a ffe ctin g lab or, 1915.
B u i. 2 1 1 . L abor la w s a n d th e ir a d m in istr a tio n in th e P a cific S ta te s.
♦ Bui. 2 1 3 . L abor le g isla tio n o f 3916.
♦ Bui. 2 2 4 . D ecisio n s o f co u rts a ffectin g labor, 1916.
B u i. 2 2 9 . W age-p aym en t le g isla tio n in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
♦ Bui. 2 4 4 . L ab or le g isla tio n o f 1 917.
♦ Bui. 2 4 6 . D e c isio n s o f co u rts a ffe ctin g lab or, 1917.
♦ Bui. 2 5 7 . L abor le g isla tio n o f 1918.
B u i. 2 58. D e c is io n s o f co u rts a n d o p in io n s a ffe ctin g lab or, 1918.
♦ Bui. 2 7 7 . L abor le g isla tio n o f 1919.
B u i. 2 8 5 . M in im u m -w age le g isla tio n in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 2 9 0 . D e c isio n s o f c o u rts a n d o p in io n s a ffe ctin g labor, 1 9 1 9 -1 9 2 0 .
B u i. 29 2 . L abor le g isla tio n o f 1920.
B u i. 3 0 8 . L ab or le g isla tio n o f 1921.
B u i. 3 09. D e c isio n s o f c o u r ts a n d o p in io n s a ffe ctin g labor, 1921.
BuJ. 3 2 1 . L abor la w s th a t h a v e been d ecla red u n c o n stitu tio n a l.
B u i. 3 2 2 . K a n sa s C ou rt o f In d u str ia l R e la tio n s.
B u i. 3 3 0 . L ab o r le g isla tio n o f 1922.
B u i. 3 4 3 . L a w s p ro v id in g fo r b u reau s o f la b o r s ta tis tic s , e tc.
B u i. 3 4 4 . D e c isio n s o f c o u r ts a n d o p in io n s a ffe c tin g labor, 1 922.
B u i. 3 70. L abor la w s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s, w ith d e c isio n s o f c o u r ts r e la tin g th e r eto .
F oreig n Labor L aw s.
♦ Bui. 142. A d m in istra tio n o f la b o r la w s a n d fa c to r y in sp e ctio n in c er ta in E u rop ean
c o u n tries.
V ocational Education.
B u i. 1 4 5 . C o n cilia tio n , a r b itra tio n , a n d s a n ita tio n in th e d ress a n d w a is t in d u str y
o f N e w Y ork C ity.
♦ Bui. 1 4 7 . W a g es an d r e g u la r ity o f em p lo y m en t in th e cloak , su it, a n d sk ir t in d u str y .
♦ Bui. 1 5 9 . S h o rt-u n it c o u r se s fo r w a g e e a rn er s a n d a fa c to r y sch o o l exp erim en t.
♦ Bui. 1 6 2 . V o c a tio n a l ed u ca tio n su rv e y o f R ich m on d , V a.
B u i. 1 99. V o c a tio n a l e d u c a tio n su rv ey o f M in n eap olis, M inn.
B u i. 2 7 1 . A d u lt w o rk in g c la s s ed u c a tio n (G re a t B r ita in a n d th e U n ite d S ta te s ).
L abor a s A ffected by th e W ar.
B u i. 1 70. F o re ig n fo o d p r ic e s a s affected b y th e w ar.
B u i. 2 1 9 . In d u str ia l p o iso n s u sed or prod u ced in th e m a n u fa ctu re o f e x p lo siv es.
B u i. 2 2 1 . H ou rs, fa tig u e , a n d h e a lth in B r itish m u n itio n fa c to r ie s.
B u i. 2 2 2 . W elfa re w ork in B r itish m u n itio n f a c to r ie s ."
B u i. 22 3 . E m p lo y m en t o f w om en an d ju v e n ile s in G reat B r ita in d u rin g th e w ar.
B u i. 2 30. In d u str ia l efficien cy a n d fa tig u e in B r itish m u n itio n fa c to r ie s.
B u i. 2 3 7 . In d u str ia l u n r e st in G reat B r ita in .
B u i. 2 4 9 . In d u str ia l h e a lth a n d efficiency. F in a l rep o rt o f B r itish H e a lth o f M uni­
tio n W ork ers C om m ittee.
B u i. 2 5 5 . J o in t in d u str ia l co u n cils in G reat B r ita in .
B u i. 2 8 3 . H isto r y o f th e S h ip b u ild in g L abor A d ju stm e n t B oard, 1 9 1 7 to 19 1 9 .
B u i. 2 8 7 . N a tio n a l W ar L ab or B oard.

♦ Supply exhausted.



(VI)

Safety Codes.

B u i. 331.
B u i. 3 36.
B u i. 3 38.
B u i. 350.
B u i. 351.
B u i. 8 64.
B u i. 375.
B u i. 3 78.
*B u l. 382.

C ode o f lig h tin g fa c to ries, m ills, a n d o th er w ork p la ces.
S a fe ty code fo r th e p r o te ctio n o f in d u str ia l w o rk ers in fou n d ries.
S a fe ty cod e for th e u se, care, a n d p ro tectio n o f a b ra siv e w h eels,
R u les g o v e rn in g th e ap p ro val o f h e a d lig h tin g d ev ices fo r m otor v e h icle s.
S a fe ty code fo r th e c o n stru ctio n , care* a n d u se o f lad d ers.
S a fe ty code fo r m ech a n ica l p ow er-tra n sm issio n a p p a ra tu s.
S a fe ty co d e fo r la u n d ry m ach in ery a n d o p era tio n s.
S a fe ty code fo r w ood w ork in g m ach in ery.
C ode o f lig h tin g sch ool b u ild in g s.

*B u l. 117.
*B u l. 118.
*B u l. 123.
*B u l. 158.

P ro h ib itio n o f n ig h t w ork o f y o u n g p erson s.
T en -h ou r m axim u m w ork in g-d ay fo r w om en a n d y o u n g p erson s.
E m p lo y ers’ w e lfa r e w ork.
G overn m en t a id to hom e ow n in g an d h o u sin g o f w o rk in g peop le in fo reig n
co u n tries.
S h o rt-u n it co u rses fo r w a g e ea rn ers an d a fa c to r y sch ool exp erim en t.
M in im u m -w age le g isla tio n in th e U n ite d S ta te s and fo reig n co u n tries.
F o re ig n fo o d p r ice s a s affected b y th e w ar.
S u b ject in d ex o f th e p u b lica tio n s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s B u rea u o f L abor
S ta tis tic s up to M ay 1, 1 915.
P rofit sh a rin g in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
W elfa re w ork in B r itish m u n itio n fa cto ries.
F o o d situ a tio n in cen tra l E u rop e, 1917.
W elfa re w ork fo r em p loyees in in d u str ia l e sta b lish m e n ts in th e U n ite d
S ta te s.
In te r n a tio n a l labor le g isla tio n a n d th e so c ie ty o f n a tio n s.
H o u sin g b y em p loyers in th e U n ite d S ta te s.
P ro ceed in g s o f S ev en th A n n u a l C o n v en tio n o f th e A sso cia tio n o f G overn­
m e n ta l L abor O fficials o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d C anada, h eld a t S e a ttle,
W ash ., J u ly 1 2 -1 5 , 1920.
H isto r ic a l su rv ey o f in te r n a tio n a l a c tio n a ffe c tin g labor.
A d u lt w o rk in g -cla ss e d u ca tio n in G reat B r ita in and th e U n ite d S ta te s.
M u tu al r e lie f a sso c ia tio n s a m on g G overnm ent em p loyees in W a sh in g to n ,

Miscellaneous Series.

*BuI. 159.
*B u l. 16 7 .
B u i. 1 70.
*B u l. 174.
B u i. 2 08.
B u i. 2 22.
B u i. 242.
*B u l. 2 5 0 .
B u i. 2 54.
B u i. 263.
B u i. 2 6 6 .
B u i. 2 6 8 .
B u i. 271.
B u i. 2 8 2 .

D . C.

B u i. 2 95. B u ild in g o p e r a tio n s in r e p re se n ta tiv e c itie s in 1920.
B u i. 2 99. P erso n n el research a g e n c ie s : A g u id e to organ ized r esea rch in em p loym en t
m an agem en t, in d u str ia l r ela tio n s, tr a in in g , and w o r k in g co n d itio n s.
B u i. 30 7 . P ro c ee d in g s o f th e E ig h th A n n u a l C on ven tion o f th e A sso c ia tio n o f
G overn m en tal L abor O fficials o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d C anada, h eld a t
N ew O rlean s, L a., M ay 2 -6 , 1921.
B u i. 3 13. C on su m ers’ coo p era tiv e so c ie tie s in th e U n ite d S ta te s in 1920.
B u i. 3 1 4 . C o op erative c re d it so c ie tie s in A m erica a n d fo reig n co u n tries.
B u i. 318. B u ild in g p e r m its in th e p r in c ip a l c itie s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s.
B u i. 320. T h e B u reau o f L abor S t a t is t ic s : I t s h isto ry , a c tiv itie s, a n d o rg a n iza tio n .
B u i. 323. P ro c ee d in g s o f th e N in th A n n u a l C on v en tio n o f th e A sso c ia tio n o f G ov­
ern m en ta l L abor O fficials o f th e U n ite d S ta te s an d C anada, h eld a t
H arrisb u rg, P a ., M ay 2 2 -2 6 , 1922.
B u i. 3 2 6 . M eth od s o f p rocu rin g a n d co m p u tin g s ta tis tic a l in fo r m a tio n o f th e B u reau
o f L ab or S ta tistic s.
B u i. 34 0 . C h in ese m ig ra tio n s, w ith sp ecia l referen ce to lab or co n d itio n s.
B u i. 3 4 2 . In te r n a tio n a l S ea m en ’s U n io n o f A m e r ic a : A stu d y o f its h isto r y and
prob lem s.
B u i. 346. H u m a n ity in g o v ern m en t.
B u i. 347. B u ild in g p erm its in th e p rin cip a l c itie s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s in 1922.
B u i. 3 49. In d u str ia l r e la tio n s in th e W e st C oast lu m b er in d u str y .
B u i. 3 52. P ro ceed in g s o f th e T e n th A n n u a l C o n v en tio n o f th e A sso c ia tio n o f G ov­
ern m en ta l L abor O fficials o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d C anada, held a t
R ichm ond , V a., M ay 1 -4 , 1923.
B u i. 3 61. L abor r e la tio n s in th e F a ir m o n t (W . V a .) b itu m in o u s coal field.
B u i. 368. B u ild in g p e r m its in th e p rin cip a l c itie s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s in 1923.
B u i. 372. C o n v ict lab or in 1923.
B u i. 380. P o st-w a r la b o r c o n d itio n s in G erm any.
B u i. 383. W orks co u n cil m ovem en t in G erm any.
B u i. 38 4 . C o n d itio n s in th e sh o e in d u str y in 19 2 4 .
B u i. 3 8 6 . T h e c o st o f A m erican a lm sh o u ses.
B u i. 389. P ro ceed in g s o f th e E lev e n th A n n u a l C on ven tion o f th e A sso c ia tio n o f G ov­
ern m en ta l L abor O fficials o f th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d C anada, h eld a t
C h icago, 111., M ay 1 9 -2 3 , 1 924.

* Supply exhausted.



(VII)

SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Description of occupations, prepared for the United States Employment Service, 1918-19.

B o o ts an d sh o es, h a r n e ss a n d sad d lery, a n d ta n n in g .
C an e-su gar refin in g an d flour m illin g .
C oal an d w a te r g a s, p a in t an d v a rn ish , p ap er, p r in tin g tra d es, a n d rubb er good s.
E lec tric a l m a n u fa ctu rin g , d istrib u tio n , a n d m ain ten an ce.
G lass.
H o te ls and r esta u r a n ts.
L o g g in g cam p s a n d sa w m ills.
M ed icin al m a n u fa ctu rin g .
M eta l w ork in g, b u ild in g and g en era l co n str u c tio n , r a ilro a d tr a n sp o rta tio n , and
sh ip b u ild in g.
M in es a n d m in in g.
Office em p loyees.
S la u g h te rin g a n d m e a t p ack in g.
S tr e e t r a ilw a y s.
♦ Textiles a n d c lo th in g .
♦ Water tr a n sp o rta tio n .

♦ Supply ex h a u sted .




(V III)

O