Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Blast From the Past .....

It's a day such as this where many of you might wish you were not fully employed, at least for a little while ..... a day long "Twilight Zone" marathon on the Sci Fi Channel.

I just finished watching the 'Printer's Devil' episode in which a desperate publisher sells his soul to the Devil in order to keep his bankrupt newspaper going. The Devil creates events in town for great stories, scooping the competing newspaper at every turn. But the publisher is unhappy with the situation and he later tricks the Devil and wins his soul back ..... with the help of his linotype.

An honest-to-gosh
linotype! One way someone in the print media can date themselves is whether they have seen one only in photos or museum exhibits, or whether they actually sat down and used one ..... me, I'm with the latter. In high school, our shop classes offered a variety of experiences, including setting type and printing. It was great experience, and it gave me some appreciation for the business ..... but, by the 1970s, it was already disappearing - after all, the machines had been around for nearly a century by then.

We also learned to set, block and print from type by hand ..... and don't get me started on computer class, which involved punching holes through cards with one console, then reading and sorting them into data sets in another console to arrive at answers.

Getting back to that 'Printer's Devil' episode, Robert Sterling and Patricia Crowley get top billing .... but for me, the real star is Burgess Meredith as the ink-stained Devil. Meredith would show up in a number of Twilight Zone episodes, including one of my favorites, 'The Obsolete Man.'


Anonymous said...

AHA! Burgess Meredith!

I was trying to recall his name all the way down to your last paragraph.

Eric Siegmund said...

Doesn't the marathon run through tomorrow (the 4th)?

It's become a favorite holiday tradition!

Jeff said...

George, he was special, and was in at least three episodes of TZ - I think. I've always enjoyed his work.