Thursday, January 24, 2008

Making books is fun - to watch - in 1947

As I was doing my rounds of the blogs, I came across an old video about Book Production. From Philiobiblos comes this comment. From 1947, a very interesting (and unintentionally amusing) short documentary (10 minutes) on the long, very involved process of creating a printed book.

The original video submitter wrote this - Back before inkjets, printing was a time-comsuming laborious process, that took teams of people working together to produce just one book. Nowadays, any crabby person can sit at home and crank out stuff on a blog or even make internet video. This movie will make you happy as you watch others toil for 'The Man' under primitive conditions.

As I was watching all these people doing the non-interesting tasks - like moving pages, covers and books from machine to machine, I was thinking - "This is make work for the people. The machines do the real work. This is communism". If I had been employed there, I think I would have been bored. I'm also thinking thats why communism failed. Because machines do all the work now - not the people.

Now of course you are going to tell me that America was never communist. Of course not, but that particlar publisher factory in 1947 sure looked like it. Now of course this is also after the War and at the end of the Great Depression. The economy needed to be ramped up. The way to ramp up an economy is to produce (consumer) goods that the people will buy. And people will buy books. So the more books you make, the more they will buy.

1 comment:

Carrie K said...

And they might have needed the people to do some of the work while they figured out how to put them out of work with a machine.

Surely you're not suggesting that our work nowadays isn't boring?