Sunday, September 25, 2022

Back in the day …

… Michael Dirda looks back at Book World's roots in the Watergate era - The Washington Post. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Partly because I’d never worked at any newspaper before, everything about The Post struck me as magical. And surprisingly noisy. In those days, each staffer’s cubicle held a telephone, a heavy metal Rolodex and a Selectric typewriter. Phones in the open newsroom rang almost continuously, and reporters hammered out their stories on sheets of six-ply paper, instantly creating five copies of each page. One of those pages — called “takes” — would be scrolled up in a canister and sent via pneumatic tubes to the composing room. There, linotype machines would turn those paragraphs into rows of metal type.

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