Printing Films(movies)

Hi Folks,
I know there is a thread on BP about presses in mainstream movies but I thought some of you would find this website interesting.

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Thanks this a wealth of printing history it’s great that it has been preserved. Very interesting in the RRDonlley film the mortise machine. I would love to have one. Bud

I was working in 1969 just a couple of blocks from the Wall Street Journal plant featured in the film “Graphic Communications: We used to call it printing.” The plant was in the Stanford Industrial Park that also still contains the headquarters for HP and also the West Coast Kodak processing labs. I had completed a 2 year stint in San Francisco at Carlisle Co., a firm that no longer exists, but in the late 1960s, had 250 employees doing letterpress, sheet fed and web offset, and steel die engraving. Amid all this and the promises that this film presents for the wonderful world of graphic communications, I made the decision to leave the comforts of Palo Alto and move to the mountains of Colorado.

It is a decision I have never regretted but I still maintained my interest in printing. I was fortunate not to go through all the turmoil that the conversion from traditional printing to “graphic communications” caused the industry that is still going through the transition to digital technology. Here I am, firmly planted in letterpress, watching the world go by. Not all of us wore bell bottom trousers, long side burns, or plaid pants as the film depicts, but working in management in San Francisco, with no union protection, we did have a strict dress code to follow. Polished shoes, business suits and clean shaven except for moustaches was the norm. When we printed the first poster for the Grateful Dead, the production people with their flashy clothes and long hair really caused a stir when visiting the plant. And at the same time, the Haight Ashbury district was in full swing a few miles away.

I still maintain ties to the Bay Area, and my business partner is also a refuge from that life. Even my class mates from college are either dead or long retired, but hand set type, composing sticks, leads and slugs, and all the rest help me defy the bright new world promised in this film.