THE FEDERAL STANDARD PRINTING WORKS AND NEWSPAPER OFFICE.
Gold was discovered in the Chiltern area in 1858, causing an influx of around 20,000 gold miners.
The newspaper, the Federal Standard commenced in 1859, and continued operations for 110 years, finally closing in 1969.
It was taken over by the National Trust in 1972.
The Federal Standard building still houses the office and printing "factory" with the machines that were operating at the turn of the century, making these machines approximately 100 years old.
Volunteers still open the Federal Standard and offer a wonderful display of historic printing processes in action. These few volunteers are Merv and Barb Death, Rob Lewis, Warren York, John Hodson and Albie Harrison, all retired printers.
This museum is a brilliant living historical memory of the actual machines in working order of a time long gone.
The machine that creates so much interest is the early 1900's Linotype Machine.
What does this Machine Do ?
This incredibly complicated and intricate machine's sole task is to create a " line of type" commonly called in the old printing trade, a slug.
What is a line of type, or a slug ?
In the above photo you can see a "line of type" or slug, ( numbered 1 ). It is a thin rectangular piece of metal which has alphabetical letters or numbers raised up on one edge, ( numbered 2 ). You can see on the second slug which is laying down the raised letters letters are between the two number 2s.
These letters form words or sentences.
What is the purpose of a "slug" ?
Above you can see hundreds of "lines of type" that have been jammed or locked into a "page format" on a printing machine. You can see the newspaper or finished product will have three columns, of 8.5 centimetres. The bottom left block has a heading
but it is written backwards on the line of type because the whole page format above will be run over with an ink roller, leaving wet ink on all the letters, and then a sheet of paper will be pressed onto the page format, at which time the wet ink will transfer to the sheet of paper, which in the case above will be the printing of the back page of a newspaper.
Above is a photo inside the Federal Standard showing the Wharfdale Flat Bed Printing Press ( made around 1887 ) printing a newspaper, while Merv and Barb Death explain the workings to John Lappin of Chiltern.
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