Weekly newspaper schedule

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Last week’s “Wash on Monday” column reminded me that the weekly newspaper business always observed its own calendar, which depended on the day the paper was published.

When I first joined the staff of The Fulton Patriot, a once-a-week newspaper, the traditional day of delivery was Thursday, just before the busy weekend shopping days.

On Monday and Tuesday, the stories were gathered and set in type. The headline type and larger type for ads was set by hand out of type cases. The smaller type was set on linotype machines. Ads were put together and went into their places in the page-size forms.

The type was arranged in columns in the forms. Most weeks, we printed two sections of six to eight pages. Pages were assembled in the forms on the main floor of the building and then carried by two employees down stairs to the big noisy printing press in the basement. The press could print an eight-page section at a time.

The first section was ready to be printed by Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the second section was finished, printed, and the completed paper was put together (or collated).

Linotype machines in the newspaper’s composing room really streamlined the production process as the columns no longer had to be put together by employees assembling each piece of small type into lines, but by machines which produced lines of type (lin-o-type).

On Thursday, the papers were bundled and delivered to the paper boys ready for delivery.  Friday was clean-up day. The old pages were taken apart and the type was returned to the cases. Then we got started on the procedure of putting a weekly newspaper together all over again.

There were weeks when we printed more than two sections. We had to get an early start during those weeks and usually worked on Saturdays. During the 50-plus years that I was with The Patriot, the paper was published on different days of the week and the daily schedule was changed accordingly. The following was printed in the column of January, 2000:

“Some of our readers may have been surprised to receive their weekly Patriot on Saturday this week. Don’t be, as your hometown newspaper has become part of your weekend starting today. The new publication day is a move to recognize the changing needs of the newspaper’s readers and advertisers.

“If you remember through the years when this newspaper was published on Friday, then Thursday, then Wednesday, then Tuesday, then Monday, you are a longtime and faithful reader.”

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What did folks in Fulton and Oswego Falls do in 1901 when they were sick? They may have visited Drs. Cusack, Bacon or Hall. All had offices on Oneida Street.

Palmo Tablets, sold at W.J. Watson Druggist, could help cure nervous debility, dyspepsia, atrophy, insomnia, failing memory, or a pain in the back.  Otto’s Cure, the German Remedy, was available to help cure coughs, colds, the grippe, whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis. It was sold by all druggists at 25 and 50 cents.

Shiloh’s Consumption Care was also sold by all druggists — along with Cascarets — to regulate the liver. Sexine Pills were said to have cured all kinds of nervous diseases and were available at Giesler Druggist.

Penny Royal Pills offered “relief for ladies.” Readers were also invited to try Dr. A.W. Chase’s Nerve Pills or Dr. Chase’s Ointments for the most violent forms of eczema. Hood’s Sarsaparilla was recommended for “perfect health,” and Scott’s Emulsion of Cod Liver Oil was also advertised.

Thinacura was available for thin people.  “They make faces plump and help round out the body.”  Celery King was advertised as “a Great Nerve Medicine.”

Do we even know what nervous debility, dyspepsia and atrophy are all about?  I understand failing memory.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

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