State Journal has undergone change during Martins tenure

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Ronnie Martin's entire full-time working career has been spent right here at The State Journal.

That fact in itself speaks volumes in a period when most people change jobs several times during their working years, statisticians tell us. And his 43 years here have virtually spanned the technological journey of this business ... from the days of "hot type" to state-of-the-art computer production.

Martin, who's 62, retires today from the job he's held since July 5, 1960. He came to work as a 19-year-old apprentice printer in a time when the skills required were far different than today. Across the years the Frankfort native has risen through the ranks, concluding his career as foreman of the composing room ... or "mechanical superintendent" as it says on the newspaper's masthead.

"When I came to work at The State Journal," Martin said, sitting in his office at the newspaper's Wilkinson Street location, "there were 14 or 15 printers in the composing room. When I leave, there'll be four."

As they have in most fields of endeavor, computers have replaced "person power." In the "composing room" - which is right across the aisle from the "newsroom" - the click of keys and of soft conversation have replaced the hot, noisy, dangerous equipment Martin encountered when he began working at the newspaper's 321 West Main St. location.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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