Friday, September 2, 2011

A Labor Day Gift – from my Dad - a Printer's Hat

During the 1930's my Dad and Mom met while working at a print shop.  They printed “tickets,” which were some sort of quasi-legal lottery or numbers scheme.  I never understood this.  When I was 6-8 years old when my Dad worked for a large bakery, my Mom still worked “tickets” at home.  She would open the card table, sit, and “fold tickets” for a few hours a day.  A furtive man in a fedora would come by and pick them up.  Were they “break opens” or “pull tabs”?  I don’t know.  Why did they need to be folded?  I don’t know.  When I asked about them my Mother would imply that we shouldn’t talk about them.  After I was 8 or so they disappeared.  My Dad did buy “break opens” at a bar on the way home from work sometimes.

Anyway, my Dad taught me how to make a “printer’s hat” from newspaper pages.  I forgot how, but with the miracle of YouTube, here it is:
Newsprint isn’t what it used to be.  The size of newsprint page used to be as much as 15" but now they are closer to 11".  So it may not be possible to make the large adult size hat that we used to make.  The man in the video places a small hat on his head at the end.

My Dad also made stalks of corn from newpaper.  He would roll it, cut it, and pull the center out so that it was about 5' tall.  That one isn’t on YouTube.  Lots of people used to work for newspapers and in smaller printshops.  Those jobs are mostly gone.  We don't read papers like we used to and everyone has a printer/scanner/ copier connected to their computer.  Actually, mine is wireless.  And I haven’t scanned family pics into my computer, so I can’t post a picture of Dad.

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