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The Organization of a Lithographing Plant

( Originally Published 1930 )

The Departments.—A lithographed product must go through a number of departments and operations before it can be sent to the customer as a completely finished article. The following departments are found in the lithographing plant:

a. Designing
b. Engraving
c. Art
d. Proofing
e. Transferring
f. Pressroom
g. Cutting, sorting, and packing
h. Plate preparing

The departments have been named in the order in which they receive the work, except the plate-preparing department which sends plates to the art department and also to the transfer department. From the designing department, the article may be sent either to be engraved or to be worked on in the art department, depending upon the kind of a job the customer desires. Then, starting in the proofing department, the route is the same for all lithographed products.

The Workers in a Lithographing Plant.—Specialization of jobs and duties is as evident in this industry as it is in any other modern industry. In the designing department, we find that there are commercial designers as well as art designers. Engravers on the specially prepared limestone do the work in the engraving department. In the art department, the men employed are called plate artists. The workers in the proofing department are called the proofers; in the transfer-ring department they are called the transferrers; and in the pressroom they are known as pressmen and pressfeeders. A variety of operations is performed in the cutting, sorting, and packing department by girls and women, as a rule. In all the other departments men only are employed. Apprentices, or learners, are also found in every department of the lithographing plant where skilled work is required. These apprentices are usually young men who are planning on staying permanently in this industry. The operations performed by the various workers in the different departments will be discussed in the succeeding paragraphs.

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