First appearing on a newsstand near you all the way back in 1851, The New York Times — aka “The Grey Lady” — brings you “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” But how does it do it?
In September 1942, the answer to that question was provided by photographer Marjorie Collins. Collins, shooting on behalf of the Office of War Information, took a camera to the Times and recorded the process.
Still then located at One Times Square, the creation process that Collins captured at the Times was constructed from a vast array of human and mechanical interlocking elements. In other words, apparent chaos — but chaos that operated 24 hours to create each day’s daily.
Almost all the humans involved were men. The production system itself was physically messy, and took place against, of course, an ever-diminishing deadline. For these pictures, that deadline was midnight on September 10th, a Thursday.
And what was the news on that Thursday deemed fit to print? We could sum it up in just one word: War. The War dominated everything and the Times was no exception. Reports were made of the fighting taking place in both the European and Pacific combat theaters. On the home front, cutbacks continued unabated, and rationing bit hard.
Marjorie Collins summed herself up this way: “A rebel looking for a cause.” Beginning her career in the 1930s, she was unusual as a female full-time magazine photographer. During the war, she captured American home life in more than 3,000 stills, now in the Library of Congress.