One Flew East

When Industrial Age technology began to catch up with the printing trade, several things happened. One of these was the splitting of a single profession into several. Though there had been compositors and pressmen and editors before, in most shops the roles were played by individuals who could slip in and out of them according to need. Personally, I loved this about the print shops I trained in as a kid. I think I always knew I wanted to write, but I loved the process of transferring words to product and wanted to learn every particular. I didn’t think one was better than the other–just different.

Few people have had the luxury I had, of learning both sides. By the time the Hoe lightning press was introduced in the 1840s, the printing trade had begun to divide. Editors and writers found themselves removed from the mechanical activities of adding ink…

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