Wednesday Nostalgia

Ever heard of “printers devils?” Ever seen one? If you have ever been in downtown Spokane, you’ve had the opportunity to see a “real life” printers devil, aka a gargoyle. Look high atop the Spokesman-Review newspaper building….

The Spokesman-Review/Spokane Daily Chronicle newspaper building was constructed in 1891. Keeping with the custom for newspaper buildings of that day, printers devils, aka gargoyles, were set on the top of the building. The idea? To scare away any demons that might hinder the presses from getting the news out on time.

Did your hometown newspaper building have printers devils to protect the presses?

2 comments on “Wednesday Nostalgia

  1. Jim Bull says:

    Way back in 1952-3 in Junior High School my Metal Shop class included learning about commercial printing business including how how to set type and running the school newspaper on a platen printing press. In the process I learned that the term “Printer’s Devil” was a descriptive term applied to a helper who set type or did other work in the shop. It was also used as a derogatory appellation should that helper happen to drop a font case or similar mishap.
    I just Googled the term, and most of the hits reinforced that ancient learning with no references to Gargoyles – on the first page anyway.

  2. Patty Olsen says:

    Good answer Jim. My parents had a Logging publication and that was the definition we learned too.

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