Oh my goodness. For a word fetishist like me, this 1947 video from Encyclopedia Britannica is enough to bring tears of ... I'm not sure what: nostalgia? Not really--it was a pain in the neck to make a book this way. Maybe just wonder, at all the obsolete ingenuity of it, and at how physical the process was: lead, wax, copper, wood, and all those intricate machines and burly hands. And for some reason I find it equally affecting that all that labor and attention would go into printing ephemeral crap, just as it did for more immortal 1947 releases like Under the Volcano or The Diary of a Young Girl. (From Book Patrol, via Maud)
Update: Many thanks to Timothy Sandefur in the comments for tracking down what the type actually reads, in the most visible shot:
Another interesting sign of the times in which this was made: at 1:06, you can read a sentence that's being typeset. That sentence is from an article called "Lynching And The Status Quo" by Oliver Cromwell Cox, and it reads (in its entirety) "To Negroes it [i.e., lynching] involves a challenge and a setting at naught of all that they might have held as rights to integrity of person and property, while to whites it is a demonstration and reaffirmation of white dominance."
Further bibliographic digging reveals that the article is from the Journal of Negro Education from Autumn 1945. (See more on Cox.) Sign of the times indeed: that the abstract, schoolboy-sounding "story" that the author at the beginning of the clip "would like many people to read" is actually a scholarly analysis of one of the century's great horrors. (It makes a surprising footnote to Toni Morrison's argument in Playing in the Dark about the hidden "Africanist presence" in American literature...)
I'm not enough of a pixel sleuth to decipher any of the other pages shown in the printing process (are they all from the JNE?), but if anybody spots anything else, please shout. I love when the details of history erupt out of something like this.