In the Silence of the Nevada Printing Press

“A Nevada ink slinger working on a daily paper was required to stand, rarely to sit, before the type case for long hours every day, six days a week, picking up individual pieces of type, called sorts, and arranging them in a composing stick to make lines of type. It is no wonder, with the long days and wearying drudgery attached to the job, that when a printer found himself with no more ‘p’s’ or ‘q’s’ – and a real need for ‘q’s’ or ‘ps’ – he was said to be ‘out of sorts.'” — Chic Di Francia, Master Printer, Virginia City, Nev.

The past two weeks have been a time of worry for the Comstock Chronicle and the Dayton Valley Dispatch newspapers.

For years, a company in Carson City printed the CC/DVD. Unfortunately for us, this printer sold its press to an outfit in West Virginia. Along with our two papers, all newspapers in Nevada must go out of state for printing; California, Utah, and Arizona.

In short: no newspaper will be printed in Nevada as of Thu., Feb. 3. It is a disheartening realization for those of us who value the feel, odor, and sight of a printed news page or have ink coursing their veins.

I suggested to my wife that we buy a printing press and go into business, filling this niche, but the idea went over like a ‘fart in church.’

Here is the difficulty, the CC/DVD is not even a ‘Mom and Pop operation,’ but more of a ‘Mom operation.’ Other small papers in our area have people who can drive to out-of-state places to pick up and return overnight, but this paper does not have this capability.

Worse yet, we are in an area where snow, as we had last December when 16-plus feet fell in the upper passes, crippling the roads for days, leaving people stuck on one side of the divide or the other, and bringing commerce to a halt. Larger outfits overcame this by flying their papers in, but many of us cannot afford such an expense.

Anyway, things are looking up as ‘Mom’ in this ‘Mom operation’ is purchasing a Xerox machine, reducing the newspaper size to 11-inches by 17-inches single-page newsprint, and hand-folding the pages. All this after finding a new building from which to begin printing.

It means a little more work, but it will be well worth the extra effort.



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