The Kingsport Press strike, one of the nation’s longest strikes, began on March 11, 1963 when over 1650 production and maintenance employees went on strike. Contract negotiations had been on hold since December 1962 and by March all negotiations had broken down. The main issues in the labor dispute were wage increases, vacation practices, reduction of the work week, seniority, and manning of equipment. The strike ended in April 1967.
I recently found this brochure in the archives entitled “Regulations Governing Visitors Touring Kingsport Press, Inc.”
The regulations were pretty firm on not speaking to employees nor distracting them in any way. One reason for this was avoid injury. According to the brochure, “We feel positive that no visitor wishes to carry forever on his conscience the realization that he was responsible for maiming an employee of any manufacturing establishment.”
As Kingsport Press was one of the largest book manufacturers in the nation, there was a lot of interest from all over the country in visiting the plant.The archives has a guest register from the Kingsport Press that ranges from 1924 to 1940.
The archives has a guest register from the Kingsport Press that ranges from 1924 to 1940. It would be interesting to see if there are any notable names in it.
A reunion for employees of the Kingsport Press, Arcata Graphics and Quebecor will be held October 24.The event is open to anyone who worked for the company and their guests, not just retirees.
The event will be between 10:oo am and 5:00 pm at the Farm and Home Building at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray. Pratt’s Catering will serve lunch from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Total cost is $15.00 per person which includes the meal and all other related expenses.
The reunion will be a casual affair, no speeches or programs are planned. People are welcome to come and visit with friends and former colleagues, tell stories and have a good time remembering the past.
If you are interested in attending the reunion you can make reservations by mailing a check or money order to:
Kingsport Press Reunion
Crockett’s Bookkeeping and Tax Service
1120 Bloomingdale Pike
Kingsport, TN 37660
Please include the employee’s full name and the name of your guest.
If you have any questions about the reunion please call 245-8334.
The Archives of the City of Kingsport has a collection of miniature presidential books produced by the Kingsport Press. Donated by Mrs. W.W. Palmer in November 1994, the books were once touted as “America’s Smallest Book.”
Miniature books are generally no larger than 3 inches in height, width, or thickness. The miniature books in this collection were created by the Kingsport Press training division as student exercises in 1929, 1930 and again in 1932.
The books are titled Addresses of Abraham Lincoln (1929), The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge (1930), and Washington’s Farewell Address (1932). Although the books have a print that is very small, the print is still legible to the naked eye, though it may not be a bad idea to break out the magnifying glass!
The Addresses of Abraham Lincoln, contains four complete speeches in 139 pages, with approximately fifty words per page in ten lines of two-point type. The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge is in even smaller typeface and about sixty words per page in twelve lines in 129 pages. Washington’s Farewell Address is 142 pages and was a tribute to the bicentennial of Washington’s birth.