Sherbrooke Daily Record

First Canadian daily to use new technology

On January 22, 1968, the Record moved to a more modern building and became the first daily newspaper in Canada to be printed by the then-new offset process, using photo-typesetting production or cold-type, as it came to be called. It was the first major change in printing method in almost 60 years for the paper, which had been using the traditional hot-type production.

1911 press

HOT-TYPE: Linotype-machine
operators cast each line of type from
molten lead. Then entire pages were
assembled from the loose type, and
pressed into cardboard molds. The
molds were cast into cylindrical
lead plates, which fitted onto rollers
on the newspaper press like
this one, the Record's 1911 rotary press
in action in the mid-1960s. Rear
left is Austin Cook, pressman.
Rear right is Dave Lessard, press
foreman. Gathering up the printed
papers is Richard Wright.

Cold type production resulted in much cleaner and crisper-looking pages with higher-quality pictures and color.The entire paper was redesigned to take advantage of the new processes. The conversion was the subject of the article below in the major American newspaper trade magazine, Editor and Publisher:

Editor and Publisher article

Old press retired on weekend, new press rolled on Monday

Last run New offset press

The old 1911 press made its final run on a Saturday, Jan. 20, 1968. Above, left, pressman Bill Matthews hands over one of the last papers from the press to Record president Ivan Saunders. The new offset press on the right began printing the paper the following Monday.

But it was all happening too late.....

The conversion to offset had actually been planned for a year or so earlier, and a new offset press ordered then. This was to enable the Record company to tap the huge Quebec market for circulars and flyers. The offset technology promised high quality at lower cost. This would bring in the revenue needed to help pay newspaper costs and provide new profits for the company. No one else in the province had the new technology earlier on; the idea was for the Record to get in on the ground floor.

But according to Record president Ivan Saunders, owner John Bassett liked the press that had been ordered for the Record so much it was diverted to Toronto for a new weekly newspaper enterprise Bassett had started up. So the Record had to start all over again, and put in an order for another press. By the time it was operational, it was too late. Other Quebec printers had their offset presses up and running and had cornered much of the flyer market.


Home page | History of The Record | Those Were The Days
Covering the County Fairs | Glenn Gould Comes to Town | The Editors
60th Anniversary in 1957 | The Strike of '62 | Learning on the Job
Trudeaumania Hits the City | Montreal's Expo 67 | Nightstaff: a poem
Memorable Headlines

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Page created Spring 1999. Last updated Apr. 8, 2006