Took picture of this Linotype machine on display in a front window of the Clearfield Progess Newspaper building, Clearfield Co., PA. The poster reads: "For many years, the linotype was an integral part of the newspaper business. With growth of the offset printing process and the change from hot metal type to computers and other complicated machinery, the linotype machine is, as the Model T Ford, a museum piece. The Linotype is a Comet 300 model built by Mergenthalen Linotype Company, NY.
Several of my ancestors were or became coal miners after they immigrated to America and settled in western PA. None of their descendants are coal miners today. Mining was and still is a dangerous occupation, and I can understand why my ancestors wanted to get out of the industry.
In the early 1930s, my father's biological brother, Russell Stryke, nee. Strike, was a composing room foreman at the Alexandria Gazette in Virginia. He traveled to Ramey, Clearfield Co, PA, and convinced his aunt, Martha Streich Kramp, who was fostering his younger brother, Robert, that he could apprentice him to the printing trade. So, my father, at the age of 16, learned to be a linotype operator at the Alexandria Gazette, and later at The Washington Evening Star, and finally at the Government Printing Office, Patent Section.
As a young boy, I remember going downtown in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), to the Evening Star building and meeting my father at his job in a room full of Linotype machines. All the surfaces were black with ink and the room smelled of ink. I can understand why it is said that a printer has ink in his blood. Dad showed me how he sat at the keyboard and clinked the keys so that individual letters made out of hot lead fell into a tray at his side. Eventually a mold of the composition would be formed and taken to the presses where it was inked and pressed into the rolls of newsprint.
Incidentally, I was at the Clearfield Progress to obtain the recent obituary of Thomas H. HAAS, son of John G. Haas and Cora Mae EMIGH. Thomas died earlier this year at the age of 79 years.
Family History is where you find it.