S E E   A L S O

Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor Day

Photo Corners headlinesarchivemikepasini.com

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Labor Day Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

6 September 2021

The Mechanics Monument at Market, Bush and Battery Streets in San Francisco was sculpted by Douglas Tilden as part of a Market Street beautification project at the turn of the 20th century.

Mechanics Monument. Nikon 990 at f3.6, 1/83 seconds and ISO 100 in 2003. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

As a boy of 15, we used to walk by it on the way to work at the magazine on First Street where, once a week on Wednesdays, we collated signatures together to be stitched and trimmed. We always thought those guys had it tougher than us.

They're said to represent the five ages of man: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Age of Heroes and our current Iron Age. To a teen in the 1970s they represented hard manual labor.

We spent our high school summers working full time at the magazine handling circulation orders on Addressograph plates. We'd use a machine that looked a lot like Tilden's punching machine to stamp a new subscriber's address and expiration date on a metal plate and slip the plate into a metal frame and insert a metal tab in one of the 12 slots at the top of the metal frame for the month of expiration.

We'd delight visitors by stamping their name on a metal plate for them as a souvenir of their visit.

The frames were filed by ZIP code in long drawers, each of which would be used to load the frames in a tall stack in the corner of an Addressograph machine. That machine would slide the bottom frame through a series of gates operated by a foot pedal to a roller that would stamp the address through an inked ribbon onto the magazine for mailing or invoices if it was set up to print for a specific tab. The frame would continue its journey back to the drawer, which had been inserted below the table top of the machine after the frames had been loaded.

We had a friend who worked a few blocks away delivering gloves to the various department stores downtown when it was the fashion for women to wear gloves downtown. We'd meet for lunch at Foster's Cafeteria on Geary, buy a glass of milk and eat the sandwiches we brought from home up on the mezzanine with our milk.

He became a cardiologist. Which is also work that does not require you to remove your shirt.

The Post Office and its mailing requirements meant the end of the Addressograph system, which could not imprint bar codes. We ended up with a Rube Golbergesque database, wide dot matrix printouts and a $10,000 machine that cut the printouts into labels and glued them to the magazine.

It did not provide any way to delight visitors, though, so we kept the old Addressograph equipment around.

BackBack to Photo Corners