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Jun 07

Tribune motorized press

Press room of the Morning Tribune This picture was one of a collection kept by the late Manuel Herrera, who worked for the Morning Tribune for many years. To "keep the presses rolling" with this collection of belts and pulleys was not an idle boast.

A page from the August 7, 1969 Centennial Edition of the Telegram-Tribune.

The article below published in the special section celebrating 100th anniversary of the Telegram-Tribune. The Tribune was the older paper, founded in 1869 to support the Republican party and more specifically the judicial aspirations of editor Walter Murray.
Benjamin Brooks, another attorney,  took over the Tribune in 1885 and saved it from dire financial straits a succession of owners had left it in. With 37 years as editor-owner, Brooks would be the longest serving in that role. His career would span the horse and buggy dirt street era to the railroad, electricity, telephone and automobile era. When he took over, the paper was still printed by hand.
Today internet media companies often have food or entertainment on the premises. The Tribune was ahead of its time, with the Chicago Brewery Depot and a billiard parlor downstairs. I have suggested to the current management a return the historic amenities but the HR department seems to think this idea is a non-starter.
The Telegram was founded in 1905 on prohibitionist principals in less than a decade it was almost bankrupt. No bar in the railroad town would advertise in it. The Telegram only began to thrive after it was sold in 1912 to an independent editor, C.L. Day.
One of the unintended consequences of prohibition was that when alcohol consumption went underground, women were allowed into the speakeasy to drink. With women came the need for entertainment and dancing so many bars in urban areas supported jazz musicians. Back when the Tribune was located over the bar, it was strictly a man’s environment.

Published August 7, 1969

Bar patrons run for life

Among the several locations occupied by the Tribune during the past 100 years, one of the most noteworthy was the old stone building that stood until a few years ago at the intersection of Monterey Street and Chorro, facing directly down Monterey.
In the 1890s, the Tribune office was upstairs, while a saloon occupied the ground floor.
Benjamin Brooks, long-time editor of the The Tribune, liked to tell the story about the first time he tried to harness the Tribune press to a strange new contraption that he had brought from San Francisco called a kerosene engine.
Some of “the boys” were having their afternoon drink downstairs on a quiet day when Brooks finished tinkering with the new machine and got it started with a great roar.
Uncertain as to whether the Tribune had been dynamited or the city was experiencing an earthquake, patrons of the bar quickly emptied into Monterey Street.
It was plain that the upstairs location was no place for the mechanical age. Brooks moved the Tribune to a ground floor location on Chorro Street between Higuera and Marsh and there it remained for more than 30 years.

Related posts:

  1. Volume I Number I, The Tribune’s first issue
  2. 1965 Tribune Newsroom
  3. 1964 Telegram-Tribune Advertising Staff
  4. Walter Murray founds The Tribune
  5. Telegram-Tribune darkroom