Publishing a newspaper wasn’t easy! 1868.


Have you not thought about, O People who frequently read this newspaper, with amazement at the beauty of your monthly paper, while asking yourself, “Who publishes this paper? and who puts in effort into writing down the ideas, and into the printing, and into the distributing?” Maybe you just thought they just appear; no, consider the amount of work and expense it takes to prepare this thing which gives you enjoyment, and be educated. Just grabbing it and quickly looking at the illustrations, reading quickly through the short ideas, and then discarding it in a corner, or perhaps tearing it apart at once as a wrapper for some fish, or to wrap something else. Maybe you have complaints about not receiving it more frequently, every week; and you call it a slow paper—one publication per month.

There is much work done by the friends of the youngsters in order for them to receive this paper. The first thing is making white paper. It is made in Boston; it is wide like pieces of white cloth. Many reams are gathered together until the box is filled, and it is sent on a ship to Honolulu.

The writers of the ideas first thinks and sends them in to the Editor, and if the ideas of the contributors are not enough, then it is the Editor who thinks and composes ideas that he wants to guide the thoughts of the young brains. And when the ideas are done being written down, then the typesetter will set each letter, an a, e, k, or so forth. and when the type has been set, then the type plate is set on the press, as seen above; one or two people turn the large wheel, and one person places paper on top. That is how the work goes and the printed paper comes out quickly; then the paper is turned around and printed on the other side; and when this is done, they are cut and folded and taken to the Kuokoa [newspaper] office where it is bundled and sent  to the agents living on the plains, the mountains, and the valleys from Hawaii to Kauai, and it is they who place the papers before you, the readers.

Some might say then, but you haven’t told us about the illustrations. Yes, making the illustrations is a separate job. First the images are drawn onto a hard wood, and then another person cuts out the marks on the wood, and what is left is the illustration as it was drawn. Then this is copied once more onto copper, and it is this copper illustration which we buy from New York. The copper images are sent to us, and the copper illustrations selected by the Publisher are set down and the ideas dealing with the illustration are composed, and the type is set down under the copper illustration. When the paper is printed, the illustration is placed above and the words below. It is not through partial work that there is this benefit of the illustrated newspaper for the youth of the Hawaiian people. Therefore, here is some encouragement. Study the words of instruction of this beloved messenger which appears frequently before you, O Youngsters. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

[The image that goes with this article is appropriately an image used in the first blog post by Bishop Museum’s He Aupuni Palapala. If you have not yet checked it out, click here to see it!]

(Alaula, 7/1868, p. 14)

Ke Alaula, Buke III, Helu 4, Aoao 14. Iulai 1868.

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