Remembering the past as a new era begins

The press room at the Keizer News as it looked in the 1960s. The forerunner to the Keizertimes was the Keizer News, founded in 1948. For 22 years the weekly community newspaper reported on the news and the people of the unincorporated community of Keizer.

Like all newspapers of its era, it was produced on big presses—the final home of the Keizer News was in central Keizer, about where the Oregon State Federal Credit Union stands today. 

The final owner of the Keizer News was Clarence Zaitz, father of two publishers of the  Keizertimes—Les Zaitz (1987-2000) and Lyndon Zaitz (2007 to today).The Keizertimes was established in 1979 by John Ettinger.

Content for the Keizer News was printed on a big Cranston press. The paper was set on a Linotype, a “line casting” machine. It was a hot metal typesetting system that cast blocks of metal type for individual uses. Linotype was one of the mainstay methods to set type, especially small-size body text, for newspapers, magazines, and posters from the late 19th century to the 1980s. In the 1980s phototypesetting and computer typesetting became the norm for the industry.

The Heidelberg press, the workhorse of print shops around the world for decades

A linotype machine operator entered text on a 90-character keyboard. The machine assembled brass matrices, which are molds for the letter forms, which were assembled by hand in a line and used over and over. The assembled line is then cast as a single piece, called a slug, from molten type metal in a process known as hot metal typesetting. The used type was melted down and cast into ingots to be used again in the Linotype. The matrices were then returned to the type magazine from which they came, to be reused later.  

The Keizer News switched to offset printing in the late 1960s. From that point printing was outsourced and the big Cranston press was old for scrap. The Linotype and the company’s Heidelberg press were sold to local printers.