Post by Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines
|Headstones of members of the National Typographical Union|
photo property of the author
In 1892 the International/Nationa Typographical Union built a facility in Colorado Springs for the care of its ill members. Part of the reason for the choice was the reputation Colorado and Colorado Springs had for curing diseases of the lungs.
|Image from Pinterest|
It was during the founding of the town in the Pikes Peak region during the early 1870s that those suffering from lung problems found that the clean air helped alleviate the symptoms. Dr. Samuel Edwin Solly and his wife arrived in the region hoping the cure the tuberculous they both were suffering from. Dr. Solly survived. His wife did not. Still, Dr. Solly remained and did much to promote the region as a cure. He published papers and articles on the subject.
At the time the typographical union decided to build its facility in Colorado Springs, a number of its members were suffering lung problems as a result of the carbon-based ink used in their profession. Due to this problem, the average life expectancy of a printer was about forty-one years. The facility and its grounds grew over the years to encompass more than 260 acres and included a dairy farm, gardens, and a power plant.
|Image from the Historic Preservation Alliance, |
The Printers Home also had/has a large area in the local cemetery for their deceased members. Although the home is now closed, its presence and history continue to fascinate. And for those who might be interested, it is located close to where Nikola Tesla had his laboratory in 1899.
One such resident was Ezekial H Brady. Born in 1852 and he worked as a book-binder and printer in Des Moines, Iowa. The census shows he was still in Iowa in 1925 with his wife Mary, who he married in 1872, and still working as a printer. Sometime between 1925 and 1937, he moved into the home to live out his remaining years. He died in 1937 and is buried in the Printers Home section of the cemetery.
|Image property of the author|
My short story in the Western Fictioneers anthology "Under Western Stars" is about a newspaperman. Although the work of reporters, printers, and others involved in the dissemination of the news is what we know, there was so much that we don't think about. Histories of places like the Union Printers Home help us to understand.
Colorado and Women's History
Thanks for sharing. Insightful history, much of which I did not know. And I'm looking forward to reading your short story.ReplyDelete
Thank you, David. Sometimes these pieces of history get overlooked by the more 'explosive' stories. Being near the place, and I've even done a show in their theater, gives a different perspective.Delete
I hope you enjoy the story. There are some wonderful ones included in this anthology. Doris
Thank you for this post. I had no idea about the Union Printers Home. As it happens, in recent months I have just begun some research into printers in the late 19th & early 20th century & your post fits nicely with that & gives me some more things to investigate. I just downloaded the anthology at Amazon & look forward to reading yours & the other authors' stories.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I go by the grounds many times and its history has always fasciated me. Best to you on the research.Delete
Also, thanks for downloading the book. I do hope you enjoy the variety of stories. Doris
Doris, I knew about this in a vague sort of way. Thank you for writing more about it. I'm even more interested in knowing more now.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kaye. I know the Historic Preservation Alliance is trying to get historic status for this place. So much history that we don't want to lose it. When it closed down it looked/looks like it could be sold and then who knows what might happen to it. Like you, I hope to learn even more about the place. DorisDelete
Doris, thank you for the interesting post. I had no idea that printing caused lung problems, or that there was a Typographical Union. I hope they do get it historically preserved. That's a beautiful building.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Livia. I hope it is preserved.ReplyDelete
I confess, I've learned so much living here. So many people came here to get well and either they or the people helping them left a big mark on this area. Doris
Doris, this is fascinating. I had no idea this was here. And I didn't know that printing caused lung issues, either. That is just amazing. Thanks for such an informative, interesting post!ReplyDelete
It really is a fascinating place. I'm glad you liked the information. It has a pretty interesting history. One of our volunteers at the visitor center worked there for a bit. Oh, the stories she would tell about some of the residents.Delete
I loved this fascinating post. I'd never heard of this place, or the risks of the printing profession. I love that they worked to help those people.ReplyDelete
I hadn't heard of the risks of printing until moving here. I'm not sure, but I believe the union payed most of the cost for their stay. I've yet to delve into that.Delete
So glad you all appreciated the post. Doris