Legacy of Washington Post's Printing Presses Featured in 'The Post' Alive in Hamilton

By Szklarski, Cassandra | The Canadian Press, February 27, 2018 | Go to article overview

Legacy of Washington Post's Printing Presses Featured in 'The Post' Alive in Hamilton


Szklarski, Cassandra, The Canadian Press


Oscar nominee 'The Post''s connection to Hamilton

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TORONTO - Retired Hamilton Spectator operations boss Bill Repath watched the Oscar-nominated film "The Post" with keen interest, knowing more than a thing or two about the roaring newspaper printing presses featured in the film's climactic sequence.

Parts of the printing presses used by the Washington Post decades ago are now pumping out editions of the Spectator and several Ontario dailies, including the Waterloo Region Record, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and London Free Press.

Repath says the Post got rid of its aging presses some 30 years after famously publishing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, as depicted in the Steven Spielberg film that's up for the best picture Oscar on Sunday.

Some pieces of those presses ended up being purchased in 2002 and 2004 for upgrades to two of the Spectator's three presses, says Repath, adding that the massive machinery is awesome to behold in person.

"It sounds like a plane taking off when you start them up," says Repath, who now uses a hearing aid after 40 years in various roles that included machine operator, supervisor, manager, and ultimately, director of operations.

"The Post" delves into the Washington Post's decision to publish top-secret information about the Vietnam War. Meryl Streep plays publisher Katharine Graham while Tom Hanks portrays executive editor Ben Bradlee, both hard-nosed newshounds whose extraordinary efforts unfolded in an era when clacking typewriters, corded telephones and Rolodexes still cluttered office desks.

The New York Post's printing presses were used to film the pivotal scenes in "The Post," and Streep said it was "thrilling" to see them at work. …

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