What We’ve Been Doing at the Clinch Valley Times

IMG_0228The cardboard box you see here contains the CVT’s 35mm photographic negatives from the year 1985 – approximately 3,100 of ’em.  It is just one of about 30 such boxes that make up part of our picture collection. 

It takes time.  The task of scanning the 1985 negatives began in August and was completed today.  The labeling and cross-referencing will come next.  Then it’s on to the next box!

Below is the handy-dandy gizmo we use to process our negatives.  This simple, inexpensive model replaced a complicated and expensive model that went kaput after the 2,000 negatives from 1969 through 1972 had been scanned.

IMG_0232When converting photographic negatives to positives, we never know exactly what will appear on the computer screen.  Inevitably, a great old photo of family, friends, or long-gone places will pop up.

Another work in progress is the CVT’s vintage Chandler & Price platen press.  Last week we purchased a reprint of a 1950’s operators guide covering this model (a partial page is shown below).  When Eugene and Gladys Stewart owned the CVT back in the 1960’s, their daughters sometimes operated this press.  Hopefully, we can do so as well.

Letterpress and Offset Press

In the picture above, the platen press is shown on the left.  Nearby is its technological successor, an A. B. Dick offset press from the 1960’s.  Though this particular offset press is no longer operational, the much-older platen press was built to LAST and is still going strong.

IMG_0229We recently purchased the projector shown here.  It will be used for community presentations of vintage pictures from our collection, so watch for announcements.

One of our principal projects has been a general cleanup of the Clinch Valley Times office.  You can see our results in the header image of this article.  To date, many loads of material deemed unnecessary for future operation have gone out the door.  More will follow.  Eventually, we will dust off and spruce up our vintage printing equipment to create a living history exhibit.  It will illustrate what was required to print a small-town newspaer in years gone by.

In the 1980’s photo below, Ann Gregory is using the Clinch Valley Times’ first Apple computer to compose a newspaper article.  Computers like this one were the forerunner of electronic newspaper publication methods used today.  This computer and its successors will be part of our planned display.  We think Ann would approve.

Ann using CVTs first Apple computer

Pictured below is the battered Sears camera purchased by Allen Gregory for use at the Clinch Valley Times in 1974.  For years, this camera captured scenes of everyday life in Southwest Virginia.  It is resting upon is a box of type used with the Chandler & Price platen press.  It is one of 27 such boxes of type in the Clinch Valley Times office.  Yes, the vintage type is wearing a coat of vintage dust.

Letterpress Type & Sears Camera

If you’ve been told the Clinch Valley Times is going to the dogs…WE ARE!  This beautiful pit bull Josiestopped by last week to visit us.  Notice the expression on her face – she’s patiently waiting for us to remove our lunch from the oven so she can have a share.

In addition to dogs, we also welcome human visitors, so stop by for a chat the next time you make a trip to the bank or post office.  The CVT office is usually open Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (or later).  We’ll be happy to share our lunch with you, too!


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