Today’s News, Tomorrow’s Men (1946)

While working on the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project I’ve had the chance to explore and research many aspects of newspaper history. One of my favourite subjects has been “newsies” … the boys and girls who brought the newspapers to the street, and later, to the readers’ doors. I’m working on a short compilation of photos set to music, which I’ll post here soon. In the meantime …

Another fascinating subject is newspaper technology. From the earliest steam-powered printing presses and linotype machines, to the first teleprinters used to relay the latest news across the world. See what it took to make a newspaper in 1946 in this extract from the film “Today’s News, Tomorrow’s Men,” filmed here in Knoxville in 1946. It was made by Knoxville-based filmmaker, Sam Orleans. The film encourages young boys to become news carriers in order to learn good business practice and to achieve a sense of responsibility. This extract focuses on the staff and machinery involved in producing the newspaper; it was filmed at the Knoxville News-Sentinel.


I love coming across details in 19th century newspapers that you don’t see anymore. Here are two examples.

This market rates column uses a symbol to represent the word “per”. At least, that’s what it appears to mean. The word “per” is also used in the column so perhaps the symbol has a more specific meaning? Also, the “lb” abbreviation for pound has a horizontal line across the two letters.


And here’s a nifty abbreviation for et cetera: