CHAPTER X. THE PRESS.

The press of New York is a subject which requires more time and space in its treatment than can be given to it in this volume, and we must therefore confine ourselves to a brief glance at it. It is divided into two branches, the secular and religious, and in the former we include all the political and literary journals of the City.

                     THE MORNING PAPERS.

The daily journals of New York are the ablest and best conducted in America, and among the most brilliant in the world. Their power is immense, and they generally shape and direct the tone of the provincial journals. They are conducted upon a most excellent system as far as their internal arrangements are concerned, and the persons employed upon them are men of ability and experience. As pecuniary investments, they pay handsomely. The stock is very valuable, and it is impossible to purchase it at any price, the present owners being unwilling to sell. Nearly all the principal journals have handsome printing houses of their own. The new Herald office is one of the most magnificent edifices in the City, and in its internal arrangement is the most convenient in the world.

The morning papers are the Herald, Tribune, Times, World, Sun, Democrat, Journal of Commerce, Staats Zeitung, and Commercial Advertiser.

                     THE HERALD

The Herald is regarded as the model newspaper of the United States. Its office is located at the corner of Broadway and Ann Streets, and is built of white marble, in the modern French style. Below the sidewalk are two immense cellars, or vaults, one below the other, in which are two steam engines of thirty-five horse power each. Three immense Hoe presses are kept running constantly from midnight until seven in the morning, printing the daily edition. The rooms and machinery are kept in the most perfect order. Nothing is allowed to be out of place, and the slightest speck of dirt visible in any part, calls forth a sharp rebuke from Mr. Bennett, who makes frequent visits to every department of the paper.

On the street floor, the main room is the public office of the journal. Its entrances are on Broadway and Ann street. It is paved with marble tiles, and the desks, counters, racks, etc., are of solid black walnut, ornamented with plate glass. Every thing is scrupulously clean, and the room presents the appearance of some wealthy banking office.

On the third floor are the editorial rooms. The principal apartment is the "Council Room," which overlooks Broadway. Every other branch of the editorial department has its separate room, and all are furnished with every convenience necessary for doing their work with the utmost precision and dispatch.

Each day, at noon, the editors of the Herald, twelve in number, assemble in the "Council Room." Mr. Bennett, if he is in the City, takes his seat at the head of the table, and the others assume the places assigned. If Mr. Bennett is not present, his son, James Gordon Bennett, Jr., presides at the council, and, in the absence of both father and son, the managing editor takes the head of the table.

The council is opened by Mr. Bennett, or his representative, who presents a list of subjects. These are taken up, seriatim, and discussed by all present. The topics to be presented, in the editorial columns of the Herald the next day, are determined upon, and each editor is assigned the subject he is to "write up." All this is determined in a short while. Then Mr. Bennett asks the gentlemen present for suggestions. He listens attentively to each one, and decides quickly whether they shall be presented in the Herald, and at what time; and if he desires any subject to be written upon, he states his wish, and "sketches," in his peculiar and decisive manner, the various headings and the style of treatment.

There are twelve editors and thirty-five reporters employed on the Herald. They are liberally paid for their services. Any one bringing in news is well rewarded for his trouble.

The composing rooms are located on the top floor, and are spacious, airy, and excellently lighted. A "dumb waiter," or vertical railway, communicates with the press room; and speaking tubes, and a smaller "railway," afford the means of conversation and transmitting small parcels between this room and the various parts of the building. Five hundred men are employed in the various departments of the paper.

                     THE OTHER JOURNALS.

The World, Tribune, Times, and other journals, have fine establishments of their own, that of the Times ranking next to the one just described. The advantages of the Herald system are so manifest that the other City dailies are adopting it as rapidly as possible.

                     THE EVENING PAPERS.

The evening papers are a noticeable feature of the great city. They are the Evening Post, the Evening Mail, the Express, the Telegram, the News, and the Star. These issue their first editions at one o'clock in the afternoon, and their latest at five or six o'clock. On occasions of more than usual interest, extras are issued hourly as late into the night as eleven or twelve o'clock. The evening papers contain the latest news, gossip, and a variety of light and entertaining matter, and are bought chiefly by persons who wish to read them at home, after the cares and fatigues of the day are over.

                     THE WEEKLIES.

The weeklies are too numerous to mention. The principal are the Round Table, the Nation, the Ledger, the Mercury, the New York Weekly, the Sunday Mercury, the News, the Dispatch, the Leader, theExaminer and Chronicle, the Courier, the Clipper, Wilkes' Spirit, the Turf, Field and Farm, Harper's Weekly, Frank Leslie's Newspaper, the Bazaar, the Albion, the Citizen, the Irish Citizen, Irish American, etc., etc. All of these journals display more or less ability, and each one has its specialty. Some are devoted to politics, some to literature alone, some to sporting matters, some to police items, and some to general news.

                     THE RELIGIOUS PAPERS.

The principal religious papers are, the Observer, the Independent, the Protestant Churchman, the Church Journal, the Methodist, etc., etc. They are devoted principally to denominational and sectarian matters, but too frequently dabble in politics to an extent that renders them more partisan than laymen care to see religious sheets.

                     PRINTING HOUSE SQUARE.

Opposite the City Hall, at the junction of Nassau and Spruce streets and Park Row, is a large open space, known as "Printing House Square," so called because the offices of the leading journals of the city are either immediately on this square, or within a couple of blocks of it. Standing in the Park at this point, one may count the signs of at least thirty first-class journals of various kinds.

                     A PRESS CURIOSITY.

One of the curiosities of Printing-House Square is the huge engine which runs so many presses. This is owned by a firm in Spruce street between William and Nassau, and occupies the basement of their building. There is a large one hundred and fifty horse-power engine which runs during the day, and a seventy-five horse-power which relieves it at night. From this shafting and belting distribute the power in every direction. One shaft runs to and across Frankfort street, supplying THE MAIL and other offices, another crosses William street and runs the six cylinder presses which pile the three hundred thousand copies of the Ledger in its beautiful press-room. Another shaft crosses Spruce street, runs through and across Beekman, and even supplies presses in Ann street.

Altogether these engines supply over one hundred and twenty-five presses - each being estimated and charged so much per horse-power according to this estimate. It runs three quarters of a mile of main shafting, beside a mile or more connecting shafts and as much belting. One of these belts, an india-rubber one, one hundred and twenty feet long, connects a fifth-story press on Nassau street with the main shafting on Spruce, across the intervening yards, and another leather one on Beekman street, one hundred and forty feet long, perfectly perpendicular, connects the sub-cellar and attic.

"This engine prints all McLaughlin's toy books, runs the immense establishments of Bradstreet and J. W. Oliver, besides many other job printers, a hoop-skirt manufactory and several binderies, and prints nearly fifty papers, besides magazines and books innumerable; among them, the 'Mail,' the 'Independent,' 'Dispatch,' ' Leader,' 'Star,' 'Examiner and Chronicle,' ' Observer,' 'Courier,' 'Clipper,' 'Wilkes' Spirit,' 'Turf, Field and Farm,' 'Police Gazette,' 'La Crosse Democrat,' 'Ledger,' 'New York Weekly,' 'Literary Album,' 'Sunday Times,' 'New Yorker Democrat,' ' Commonwealth,' 'Scottish American,' 'Freeman's Journal,' 'Tablet,' 'Emerald,' 'Irish American,' 'Irish People,' etc., etc. Truly a power in the world."