Looking back at Tribune printing presses

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2008

By Ed Shannon, staff writer

For most of its years of publishing, the Albert Lea Tribune used a combination of hot metal and letterpress to produce the newspaper.

A major change came in 1958 when a larger letterpress was purchased and actually placed in storage until the newspaper made the move from 101 W. College St. to 808 W. Front St. in late 1960. At that time the hot metal equipment was moved to the new location and the old Walter Scott press went to a firm in Anoka. The first issue of the Tribune was published with the new letterpress on Jan. 3, 1961.

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A major change came in mid-1976 when the Tribune made a switch from typewriters and hot lead linotypes to computerized word processors and typesetters. This resulted in an offset, or cold-type printing press with the brand name of Goss.

Another significant change came in 1988 when the Tribune made a switch to state-of-the-art color reproduction equipment and even newer computers for the editorial and composing departments.

However, the most significant change for the Tribune&8217;s pressroom came with the last issue of the Tribune being published in Albert Lea on Sept. 29, 1992. Then the publication of this newspaper was done at the Austin Daily Herald and the presses at Albert Lea were taken out and shipped to other publishing firms.

Early history of the Tribune

The Albert Lea Tribune has been publishing a daily newspaper in Freeborn County for more than 100 years. The first issue was published Oct. 15, 1897.

The first issue was four pages and was delivered to all 4,500 residents of the city. The newspaper sold for 12 cents per week, 50 cents per month and six dollars per year.

The new publication lasted only four months before it went out of business. It resumed publishing in August of 1898 with the Rev. R.N. Joscelyn as the editor.