Hot metal memories
HERE IS another photograph from the Trinity Mirror archive, giving a glimpse of life in the early part of the 20th century.
Technology today is developing with incredible speed. A hundred years ago, many things were still done by hand, at a steady pace. At that time, newspapers were printed using a technique known as ‘hot metal.’
Reporters wrote up their stories on typewriters and the copy was turned into print by linotype operators, who produced individual lines of text as lead ‘slugs’. These were put together to form a page by compositors working on flat metal benches, who were incredibly adept at reading copy upside down and back-to-front as they put the newspaper together.
If a page was dropped while being transferred from a workbench to a trolley, the lines of lead text would be scattered. This was known as a ‘printer’s pie’, and the compositor had to start from scratch. Fortunately, this happened rarely.
Our picture shows men in the composing room of King and Hutchings, a former publisher of the Gazette, as they prepare an edition of the newspaper. It was a time-consuming job but a crucial one if mistakes were to be avoided.
Take a look at our galleries of old photos at www.getwestlondon. co.uk/all-about/nostalgia.
Do you have old photographs of the borough you would like to share? Email highresolution copies to mort. firstname.lastname@example.org.