Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/196

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our Alcalde school, says this means 'nothing hurts nobody.' But I am sure that there is more in it than that; besides, whatever it is we can prove it by inversion: Nihil nocet nemini; nihil nemini nocet—one is true like the other, and its symbolic significance is proved by its three N's, for N is the symbol of eternity. At least, this is what the president told me. But now that I am back in Alcalde, the whole thing seems like a dream, while all the things I had learned to call dreams seem more real than ever. Maybe I am still on the Material Plane after all, in spite of all I have done and all the rest of us in Alcalde are doing to try to rise above it."




At the beginning of the present century the newspapers published in the United States numbered 200—one for each 26,450 of population—while at the present time the total of regular publications slightly exceeds 20,000—one for each 350 inhabitants of the country; and in that growth and development of the business is represented more of science and art, more of physical ingenuity and mental activity, than in any other line of human endeavor. One hundred years ago the publication of a newspaper did not rank as a business, and the preparation of its contents was regarded as a pastime or the indulgence of a whim, rather than a profession. At the end of the century, journalism is the history of the world written day by day, the chief medium of enlightenment for the masses, the universal forum of scholar, sage, and scientist. As a business enterprise, the newspaper of to-day commands unlimited capital, and as a profession it ranks second to none.

For three centuries and a half following Gutenberg's invention of type little progress was made in the art of printing, and the production of a newspaper in this country in 1800 was accomplished with crude machinery and involved much slow and difficult hand labor. The printing was done on wooden presses of primitive pattern, the type was large and ill formed, the paper used was in many cases inferior to the lowest grade made at the present time, and the production of a large number of copies of any issue was out of the question. No attempt was made in this country to publish a daily paper until 1784, and in 1800 daily editions were issued only in four or five of the larger cities.