Closed For Business! The Howard Quinn Company’s Story

Wrong Number

 

Photographer Sean Dana is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.   From his project ‘Howard Quinn Closing‘. To see Sean’s gallery of projects click on any image.

 

Shrouded Work Line

Shrouded Work Line

 

Thank-you letters from loyal clients

Thank-you letters from loyal clients

 

Indar and the crew on one of the last lunch break

Indar and the crew on one of the last lunch break

 

Howard Quinn has been printing in the same location since 1961. When I began shooting photographs and video at Howard Quinn in January, it was like stepping into a time capsule of printing technology and San Francisco history. The building which houses the printing company was built in 1920’s and tinplate tiles from the era adorn ceilings on the lower level. The smell of printers ink and oil saturate the air, and around every turn is evidence of a half century of hard work, deadlines met, and the pride of customer satisfaction. They know every idiosyncrasy of their presses and every nuance of pre-press. Howard Quinn’s output has shaped the community and stands as a tribute to the power of the printed word.

 

The last moments of the Goss Folder

The last moments of the Goss Folder

 

Tagged for auction

Tagged for auction

 

Break Room

Break Room

 

My work on this project is often focused on the societal effects of newspaper presses, but for printing companies that is rarely a concern. Printing is after all a business, and that business is focused around meeting deadlines and customer satisfaction. In my conversations with the management at Howard Quinn, one thing was abundantly clear: the thing they were most proud of was treating their employees with fairness and respect and allowing them to earn a good living. Many of the employees have spent their entire working lives at this company and never once were they subject to the pay cuts which have plagued the rest of the newspaper industry. There is an overwhelming feeling of family and loyalty, which every employee recognizes is a rarity in today’s work environment. Howard Quinn was one of the remnants of the robust print industry that once thrived in San Francisco.

 

The last Union press shop in San Francisco closes it’s doors.

The last Union press shop in San Francisco closes it’s doors.

 

Lot #106A

Lot #106A

 

HQ_Closing-11

Shrouded lot

 

Where pride once stood

Where pride once stood

 

Press line control unit

Press line control unit

 

Final Removal of the presses

Final Removal of the presses

 

Removal of the press line

Removal of the press line

 

The final days

The final days

 

See also:

Howard Quinn Co.

By Sean Dana

 


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