The Best of Newspaper Design

The Tyranny of Printers

The Metropolitan Newspaper, continued

W. H. Hurlbert, New York World

Above: W. H. Hurlbert, New York World
little gentleman requested to "make a paragraph of the Pope," "cut down Anna Dickinson," "double-lead General Grant," "put a minion cap bead on Peter Cooper," and "boil down the Evangelical Alliance." But making a paragraph of the Pope simply applied to the compression of some news concerning him into that space; "the minion cap head" intended for the venerable philanthropist meant the kind of type to be used in the title of a speech or lecture of his; and boiling down" and "cutting down" were two technicalities expressing condensation. The gentleman in the linen duster was the night editor in charge, the despot of the hour, and the intermediary between the writers and printers, the latter being on the floor above, and the little tin box in the shaft communicating with them.

By three o'clock the last line of "copy" must be in the printers' hands, and from midnight until that time a newspaper office in the editorial department is in a state of nervous intensity and activity for which I can imagine no parallel.

The smoke from the cigars and pipes rolled up to the ceiling, and the pens sped over the pages of manuscript paper. The writers bent to their work with tremendous earnestness and concentration; there was not one of them who had written less than a column of matter that night, and some were closing two and three column articles,

The World and Evening Mail

Above: The World and Evening Mail.
which contained nearly as many words as five pages of Harper's Magazine. They were pale and care-worn. One of them was heading and sub-heading cable dispatches from the seat of war, another was writing editorial paragraphs on the important telegraphic news that came in, another was damning a new play in virulent prose, another was revising a thrilling account of a murder another was transcribing his stenographic notes of a speech on the inflation of the currency, another was putting the finishing touches upon a well-considered article criticising a debate in the French Assembly, and another was absorbed in the description of a yacht race. The little tin box in the shaft bounced up and down more frequently, and the night editor became more nervous and imperative than ever, as the lingers of the big clock on the wall went beyond two. The pages of manuscript were sent up one by one, and long moist proof-sheets came down from the composing-room. Then the "cut-

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