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MsdMinigJ a Newspaper


PERHAPS nowhere else in the world are seconds of such momentous impor{3 rjjniett&' tance as in the mailing ^> room of a modern daily paper: and nowhere else is system—pure, concrete, mechanical system—of such vital necessity.

When John Jones, of Miles Away, opens his paper and swears because the little red or green or yellow address label on it covers a particular bit of the news, he thinks it was put there for spite. And if it happens more than once or twice he is pretty apt to write to the paper's home office about it. Then, if the paper rejoices in a good circulation manager he receives in reply a short, courteously worded letter form which tells him just why it occurs. And after that Mr. Jones knows that when his label covers some of the news—instead of being on the headlines of the paper, as it should be—it is

because his paper happened to be an inch or So out of line with the rest of the pile when the mailing machine operator stamped it, and that if the operator had stopped for even the instant necessary to chanee or adjust his label it is very probable that .Mr. Jones—and some five hundred other subscribers on that particular line of railway—would not have received their paper until some time next day. And then Mr. Jones begins to understand the value of seconds in a newspaper mailing room.

Imagine a long, low-ceiled apartment crowded with tables and large iron sack racks under which hundreds of empty canvas mail bags are suspended. At the tables are men bending over narrow strips of paper, cutting or tearing them into still narrower ones and pasting these together, end to end, in a long, continuous strip as they work. This is the paper's mailing list. And somewhere


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subscribers and postoffices. This is the route heading, and designates the line of railway to which Mr. Jones' and the other five hundred subscribers' papers shall go; and because they are thus separated and are thus placed in a sack and consigned to this particular line of railway, Mr. Jones and the other subscribers always receive their papers at the earliest possible moment. That is system in a mailing room.

After the mailing list is cut up and pasted together in a strip hundreds of yards in length, and containing thousands of names, it is distributed to the several mailing machine operators who wind it on little brass machines, in the front of which are knives arranged like a pair of scissors to clip and paste the

It is almost midnight: the last page has shot down the elevator; been whisked to the plate box: cast in the form of a metallic half-cylinder, and, still hot, is placed upon the press. A whistle shrills out and the presses begin to revolve; slowly at first, then faster and faster, until'their roar shakes the building and the whirling gears on their sides change to living bands of flame.

Faster and faster they go: the papers spout from their mouths in a white avalanche under which press boys stagger in the gloom.

Out in the mailing room everything is apparently confusion: a swirling mob of half-clothed men sweat and struggle under the electrics, while at the tables the mailing operators with their queer little

„ machines dab, dab, fiercely away at the piles of paper that melt under their touch. Others are wrapping and tying, wrapping and tying, and the sacks on the racks fill to bursting with the bundles. Every new moment outside the door a truck, automobile or mail wagon dashes up, is loaded down, and goes tearing off into the night.

Slowly the inexorable seconds tick away. Mails are made when the last heavy sack, flung into the rapidly moving railway car ricochets against a tired postal clerk who hurls it angrily on top of the pile behind, to swear at the blackness two hundred miles away when he heaves it out again.

Steaming horses shiver for an instant in the glow of the mailing room doorway, and then, their loads complete, dash madly away; every nerve in their game bodies tense in the race against time.

Back in the pressroom the registers are clicking; cveiy monstrous press is hot to the touch, and a thousand papers roll from their mouths with each drop of oil on their bearings.

The pressmen shout and chatter in the

uproar and run swiftly back and forth across the cement floor. Then stand to watch, with solicitous eyes, the swift rush of the paper above them as it reels dizzily in and out of the presses: one instant a smooth expanse of white, and in the next, printed, cut, folded and belched out with a hundred of its brothers sprawled on top.

Hour after hour the work goes on; a fine white dust from the presses drifts into and chokes the mailing room.

Outside the first gray light of the morning climbs into the east, and through the railing that blocks one end of the room the faces of myriad .newsboys appear. High up on the building sparrows are chirping and fluttering sleepily across the window ledges, and down in the dark street the early milk wagon noisily takes its way.

Presently the roar of the presses sinks to a subdued murmur that finally dies away. And out in the quieted mailing room gaunt, hollow-eyed men fling themselves thankfully across the rough tables to sleep in the red dawn of another day.

The paper is mailed.

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Was She Coached?

Little Giri.—"Please, have you a sheep's head?"

Facetious Butcher—"No. my dear; only my own."

Little Girl—"It won't do. Mother wants one with brains in it."

Every Man to His Specialty

"what is your vocation, my friend?"
"I am by vocation a striker."—Dzienciol.

Two is Company

Aunt: Tommy! How cruel! Why did you cut that poor worm in two-?

Tommy: He seemed so lonely.—Punch.

Mere Bagatelle

"while rummaging an old vest just now I found $1,000,000 that I didn't know I had."

"Lucky boy! I'll match you for it."—Pittsburg Post.

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