Sketch of The Mirror Office
Our New Building, Now Occupied, is One of
the Best Equipped Plants, of Its Kind, in
THE Mirror Printing company's new building, located on the northwest corner of Green avenue and Tenth street and which has been occupied since the first of April of the present year, is one of the most complete newspaper and job printing plants in the state, the structure being the outgrowth of many years of consistent effort on the part of its principal owner and president, Harry Slep, who started in this city many, many years ago as a job printer on a small scale and who today is head of Central Pennsylvania's greatest newspaper, published in the finest plant between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
The Mirror's new home, ground for which was broken on July 12, 1911, is the pioneer in re-enforced concrete construction among the business buildings of the city and county, it being a fine, three-story, solid brick and concrete building, with walls 24 inches thick and, built by Contractor Clifford Hughes, is pronounced one of the most substantially constructed buildings in this section of the state.
The building is noted for its extensive natural light features, it having two sides, on Green avenue and on Tenth street, that are practically all glass, the window space being greater than in any other building in the city, in comparison to its size, and it is only on the very darkest days that artificial light has to be used in any of the many departments of the plant's work.
However, for need, the artificial lighting system of the building is also entirely complete, a fine system of Tungsten lighting, being installed on every floor, while the heating and ventilating systems are the most perfect that money could procure. The interior equipment of the building, selected by experts in the various lines of newspaper work, both with regards to machinery and furniture, leaves nothing to be desired and no expense has been spared to make the new Mirror plant the finest within a radius of over a hundred miles.
The weight of the new building is carried on concrete columns, which, resting on piers four feet square in the cellar, extend end to end to the roof, there being no weight on the brick walls, and the columns have been made strong enough to carry the weight of an additional story or two when the occasion requires. All the floors are of concrete and all the interior walls are of buff brick, with some 50 tons of cement used in the construction.
The general business office of the Mirror, which is furnished throughout with all-steel furniture, counters, cases, partitions, etc., occupies the front portions of the first story, fronting on Green avenue, and here the entire business of the plant is transacted, including the big general office, where the wants of customers, advertisers, etc., are attended to, while about a third of this room, partitioned off, is devoted to the private offices of the general manager, business manager, book-keeper and stenographer, the circulation manager and superintendent of machinery having their desks in the main office, with the clerks. In this room there is also the Bell telephone private exchange, from which two separate trunk lines run to all parts of the building.
The rear of the first floor is occupied mainly by the press room, where is lo cated the magnificent, big press that daily turns out nearly 15,000 Mirrors in the space of about 45 minutes. The press is of the Goss manufacture, of the type known as the Goss Straightline Perfecting press, capable, by means of its four decks, of printing an entire edition of 32 at one operation, and was installed with the building of the new plant.
The press occupies the centre of the room, on a special foundation of brick and concrete, built separately from the foundations of the building on account of the great weight of the machinery, and so complicated a piece of machinery is it that it required experts from the manufactory and the Mirror employes five weeks to complete its installation.
In the stereotyping room, which is an adjunct of the press room, the mats that represent the final efforts of the workmen in the composing room are reproduced in curved metal plates, so that the reproductions of the different pages can be placed on the cylinders of the press, where it comes in contact with the paper.
Before the mat comes from the composing room it is "built up" by the use of a composition material which is pasted on the back of the mat at various places and brings out the low places prominently. The paper mat then comes to the sterotyping room and is placed on the inside of a combination automatic plate casting box which is curved. Hot metal is then poured into it and the characters from the face of the mat are impressed on the metal plate, one of which can be cast every minute, ready for the press.
A month ago an additional one-story building was added for the convenience of the Mirror's newsboys---regular carriers and the many independent carriers and sellers of the Mirror. It was built on the same line of the main building and has a floor space of 11 x 19 feet, well heated and lighted.
The second floor of the building, front, is occupied by the editorial room, a large, splendidly lighted room, fitted with suitable desks and other furniture in which the editorial and reportorial staffs of the paper shape up the news of the day, both local and foreign, as it comes in, preparing everything so that the operators in the composing room can place it in type in the shortest possible space of time.
Adjoining the editorial room is the room occupied by the United Press association telegraph operator, over whose wire the news comes direct to the Mirror office from all parts of the world.
The remainder of the second floor is occupied by the composing room force, where much of the most important work of the plant is carried on, here being located all the machinery that puts into type the material furnished by the editorial room, as well as setting up the advertisements for each day's issue. In this room are located five linotype machines, at which skilled operators quickly convert the copy into slugs, while the large display advertisements are set by hand, and here also are located the new electrical tables for making and drying the mats, the impressions on paper of pages of type as they are made up into forms.
The entire third floor of the building is devoted to the job department of the office, a department capable of handling any amount of job, book or catalogue printing. Since the building of the new plant much modern machinery has been installed in this department and its presses are able to print 32 pages of a book at a time and to turn out any kind of job work done anywhere.