printintpress11

The deconstruction of American journalism – 1955 style

While I was cleaning out my house, I came across the Superior “Cub” all metal printing press No. 8401. This small metal press, made in 1955 by SMECO, promises on the packaging that this will allow you to “Print your own newspaper.” And in its original form it comes complete with the small metal press, typesets, ink and full instructions.

Inside is the Swiftset Rotary Printer’s Journal, which lays out how to start and run a newspaper. Here is a quote encouraging potential journalists to stick with it.

“Once your decision has been made, stick to it. Your readers will expect your paper on a certain date, and a few slip-ups would result in the same lackadaisical attitude toward your paper as was put into the deadline by the editor.”

The book also includes tips on everything from color printing to story ideas, and includes advice on local history and covering “animals.”

“What happened to the stray cat the neighborhood has been feeding for the past month? Tell about the puppt who sneaked into the school doors and wandered about in the classrooms until he found his master. Animals make interesting copy, and such events are about us every day.”

But the cover of this journal offers a remarkably simple depiction of the daily life of a journalist.

The book also includes tips on everything from color printing to story ideas, and includes advice on local history and covering “animals.”

Inside the box is the small metal crank press and a small set of ink brushes and metal stencil tools. The paper comes in small sheets – too small for any conventional newspaper, but with some ink it might be possible to still make a newspaper using these materials.

Below are some pictures of its interior contents.