This morning’s Gazette is the first printed on our new Goss Community offset press. It’s also the first to be printed on the Island in the familiar South Summer street shop since January 31, when we abandoned the hot metal-letterpress printing process in use at the Gazette for half a century. Since then the paper has been printed for us by commercial printers in Arlington.

The past three months have been hectic and confusing. Plumbers, electricians, masons, wreckers, carpenters and press mechanics have filled every available inch of space in the shop daily. The weather has not been as cooperative as it might have been either. There were foggy windy Thursdays when the airplanes did not fly — the prepared pages of the Gazette had to be taken to Arlington each Thursday evening, and the printed paper was returned by steamer next morning — and when rumor had it the boat wasn’t going to run either.

But that’s past.

We hope you’ll find some improvements in the paper as we become familiar with the new photographic composition equipment and with the new press. It should be able to offer you high quality photographs, bolder and clearer than has been possible before. The paper should be easier to read, and for those of you who were dismayed, you’ll find the newsprint we are now using doesn’t crinkle as much as it has in the past three months. It’s softer, just for you.

We hope too you’ll bear with us for a bit. Just as the new equipment requires some breaking in, so do we.

The Gazette shop was always a regular stop for visitors interested in newspapers and how they’re made, and we hope it will continue to be. You’re welcome to stop in most anytime to watch us battle with modern technology — please telephone to tell us you’re coming if you’re a group.

On this morning of firsts, one more: this morning’s press run — printed at a rate of 14,000 papers per hour, compared to the 2,500 the old Duplex letterpress could manage — is 9,500, more Gazettes than have ever been printed at this time of year in the past.