THROWBACK THURSDAY: Move the presses! In 1954, new digs for the Daily News

September 6, 2018
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A Linotype machine is hoisted out of the old Winona Daily News office on Second Street bound for its new home at 601 Franklin St. in 1954.

Editor’s note: This is a combination of coverage in the Winona Daily News on July 3 and 6, 1954, when the newspaper moved from its offices on Second Street to a state-of-the-art facility on Franklin Street. It remained at that facility until 2009, when it moved to the Winona Knitting Mills building on 902 E. Second St. Last month, the newspaper started the transition to its new downtown office at 279 E. Third St. One of the largest single industrial moving operations in the recent history of Winona — the transfer to a new plant of the more than 100 tons of machinery and equipment used in the daily publication of The Winona Daily News — was proceeding on schedule here this afternoon.

Conceived during more than a year of detailed planning, the moving project is being executed on a schedule that will insure the maintenance of the nearly century-old tradition of this newspaper’s never missing a day of publication.

While professional moving crews early Friday began the shifting of some equipment to the new plant at 601 Franklin St., operations continued without interruption downtown at 67-69 West Second St. for the printing of Friday and today’s newspapers. When the last of the more than 21,000 copies of today’s edition had left the presses, the dismantling and removal of all of the remaining equipment was launched and present plans call for the completion of the reinstallation at the new building by Sunday night

While each department of the newspaper has been working for several months on preliminary preparations for evacuating the old building the more spectacular aspects of the long-planned operation began Thursday morning when the large window at the front of the press room on Second Street and a portion of the wall on the second floor at the rear of the building was removed to provide openings through which the largest and heaviest pieces of equipment might be removed.

Thursday, also, was devoted to the partial disassembly of press units and linotype machines scheduled for removal from the old building the following day.

The subsequent moving activities have been carried out in several coordinated phases.

A seven-man trained crew of machinery moving and erection specialists from Minneapolis, for instance, are moving all of the heavy, units, such as the 43-ton presses and the 3,500-pound linotype machines. Still other groups of experienced movers are directing the transfer of smaller items of equipment to the new building while another special crew of erectors is getting up the machinery.

To afford additional time for the dismantling, moving and reassembly of the production equipment press schedules have been drastically revised during these final days of occupancy of the West Second Street plant.

The crowds of spectators who have thronged the area in the vicinity of The Daily News for the last two days witnessed the removal of the first of the press units from the old building at 9:47 a.m. Friday.

Two specially designed trucks, each equipped with power winches, were brought to Winona by the Quickway Transfer Co., Minneapolis, which was retained for all of the heavy moving operations.

Assisted by Daily News pressmen, transfer company owner Joe Zwak and his crew of six eased each of the units out of the installation in the press room and moved them on special rollers up the ramp to the bed of the truck. A field engineer of the Goss Printing Press Co., Chicago, E. C. Larke, supervised the dismantling and reinstallation of each of the presses.

During the early stages of the moving of the presses rain began to fall, necessitating the covering of each unit as it emerged from the building but weather thus far has caused only negligible delays in the overall operation.

The first of nine linotype machines located in the composing room on the second floor of the old building was lifted out at 11:05 a.m. Friday. A portion of the brick wall at the rear; of the composing room was removed and a large power crane of the Kramer Contracting & Excavating Co., was moved into position in the parking area below this opening.

Loosened previously from its mooring, each of the linotype machines was moved by a system of pulleys to the opening where steel cables were fastened and attached to the hook of the crane.

The powerful crane lifted each of the machines out of the second floor and lowered it to the bed of a lowboy trailer parked beneath.

When the units reached the new building each was placed on a specially designed rubber-tired coaster on which it was pushed into place at a previously designated location.

The special moving carts were designed for the Daily News moving project to protect tile floors in the composing room — one of the few newspaper composing rooms to be covered with the recently developed tile.

Four of the linotypes were moved out of the old building Friday morning and early afternoon and within several hours each was in operating order at the new plant

Plumbers stood by at the Franklin street building to connect each of the typesetting machines to the heating gas outlets in the composing room. The other five machines were moved in a similar manner after the printing of today’s paper was completed.

Members of the Quickway crew expressed confidence that the move would be completed by Sunday night so that adequate testing of the new installation might be undertaken before Tuesday’s regular work schedule begins.

Zero hour for the beginning of the final phases of the moving project was 7 a.m. today at the completion of the Saturday press run.

Three hours later The Associated Press teletype machines, on which The Daily News receives its regional, national and worldwide news dispatches, were dismantled and removed to the new plant under the supervision of William Edwards, wire chief of tbe Minneapolis bureau of the AP. Simultaneously, the transfer of the United Press Telephoto equipment also was begun.

Under construction for the past year, the building was designed and planned by Harley H. Johnson, a Minneapolis architect who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nels Johnson, Winona.

Pieces of the past: 50 photos of Winona businesses, dating back to the 1860s


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