Hot off the Progress-Bulletin linotype machine

The former Progress-Bulletin newspaper headquarters in downtown Pomona is still around, now dubbed the Progress Building and used for lofts, retail, a bar and an art gallery. The latter, the Prog Gallery, is in the basement. And in the basement, off in a corner, stands the Prog’s old linotype machine.

That’s the machine on which articles were typeset for decades. It looks like a beast, but at the time the linotype was an advancement over handsetting of type, i.e., a human picking out metal bits of type from boxes for each letter and form of punctuation.

The linotype would set, yes, entire lines of type all at once when an operator typed out the lines on a 90-character keyboard. The Prog’s machine was made by the leading manufacturer, the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. It was in use until about 1976, retired Prog/Daily Bulletin staffer Mike Brossart tells me. That’s when phototypesetting was introduced.

I was in the basement looking at art a few weeks ago and noticed the machine. I must have seen it before, but it caught my eye, so I snapped a couple of photos for posterity.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry for linotype if you want to delve more deeply.

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Column: Many readers still like the news that’s fit to print

I set out to crank out a column before vacation rounding up recent comments by readers, starting with ones on my recent effort about trying to find a print New York Times for sale after Starbucks quit carrying newspapers. And there were so many of those comments, that turned into my entire Sunday column. Well, I’ll get back to those comments on other topics another time, perhaps.

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Column: Latte edition: Starbucks quits selling newspapers

Perhaps the most well-trafficked place that sold newspapers has stopped doing so. Starting a week ago, all Starbucks outlets nationwide dropped newspapers. I write about that, along with my related quest to find a print copy of the New York Times in the absence of Starbucks selling them, in Sunday’s column.

Above, a Starbucks news rack in Ontario on Aug. 5; below, a Starbucks news rack in Ontario, different location, on Aug. 30. I took the earlier photo after finding the rack gone at a Claremont Starbucks, which gave me the sense (before looking it up and confirming it) that newspapers were on their way out at the chain.

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The Pomona Clarion

A friend recently showed me a stack of copies of a rare newspaper: the Pomona Clarion. Motto: “Serving Beautiful People.” It was published for the black community from 1969 to 1974 by Moody Law and his wife, Norma.

The paper was a sideline for both; he was a lab manager and she was in corrections. She died March 7 at age 81.

As Moody Law told the Daily Bulletin in 2008 about the Clarion: “I swept the floor, put together the ads, and delivered the paper with my kids and Norma.”

The Clarion apparently was not a moneymaker, as Law said he and his wife had to subsidize the operation. But he said: “We needed some way to get the story told from our point of view. It’s amazing. This stuff is now history.”

It’s even more a part of history a decade down the line. My friend is going to donate his Clarions, but he let me flip through them. There were success stories about black figures in the community, and stories, opinion pieces and satirical cartoons about local injustices, including a bar that refused to serve a black couple and a march against the Chino Valley Unified School District over a racial matter.

The ads were of interest too, often of long-gone stores and restaurants that catered to blacks. Here are a few. Note that the addresses of all three businesses is the 2400 block of North Towne, apparently the same center, or its predecessor, that now has a Walmart Neighborhood Market, Dino’s Burgers and more. Click on them, or the newspaper above, for a clearer view.

I wish I could try the soul food at Jennie’s Kitchen and check out the records at Dynamic Sound Center and Lord Esquire, while also surreptitiously ogling the latter’s “afro wigs” (in “8 colors”) and “oil on velvet” paintings.

Here’s the staff box from the same 1971 issue as pictured above. It must be said, it would be hard to invent a name with more gravitas than Moody Law.

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