The presidential election in 1892 featured the Republican ticket of incumbent President Benjamin Harrison and his vice presidential running mate Whitelaw Reid. They lost out to the Democrats and Grover Cleveland became the president. But Reid was the owner of the New York Tribune and he was instrumental in developing the Linotype and was the prime financial backer for the Blower machine developed by Ottmar Merganthaler. Reid later became the U.S. ambassador to France and England. Of interest to me was that he was on the board of trustees of Stanford University, far removed from New York.
Reid’s grandson, by the same name, worked for the family newspaper, the New York Herald Tribune, and after attending the printing school at Rochester Institute of Technology, started in the mechanical department of the Herald Tribune operating a Linotype. He had a long career in journalism and died fairly recently, in 2009.
As was typical in the letterpress era, the type foundries made available electrotypes of the presidential candidates. This is a scan from the October 1892 Inland Printer showing the Republican running mates for the election:
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I was in Colorado in the spring and snapped this pick of the ballot in the 1896 presidential election. They sure did seem to have alot more parties in the running back in the day.
What kind of press do you think this was printed on?
There were several commercial printers in Colorado that did city/county/election work: C.F. Hoechel and Out West Stationery and Blank Book to name the 2 most prominent ones. And they would have used flat bed cylinders for ballots. Somewhere on the ballot shown is the imprint of the printer.
I worked for the largest election printer in California in the 1960s and most of the paper ballots were printed letterpress on flat bed Miehles and Heidelberg cylinders. The same type form was used for many different counties with just name changes for each local variation. It was intense work, but hugely profitable.