Bangor print shop holds on to 1800s technology

Bangor print shop holds on to 1800s technology

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In a world of innovation, technology, and robots, one Bangor printing company has survived holding on to the past. 

Walking into Burr Printing Company on Central Street in Bangor will take you back in time. The methods and machinery being used haven't changed since Thomas Burr opened the shop in 1879. It's now owned by Dennis Watson who got his first job at the shop in 1972 when he was 16-years-old. Holding on to the history of the business has been important to him ever since his first day clocking in.

"You use your talents. You're a craftsman when you get in here and start working on things because you don't have anything to tell you how to do the job," said Watson. "You have to have knowledge and depend on your machine to work properly and you have to maintain it properly."

The antique technology requires a hands on approach. He feeds paper into a Chandler Price printing press built in 1879. His paper cutter was in the original Burr Printing shop and managed to survive the Bangor fire of 1911. It's the same machines his father, Tom Watson Sr., became familiar with during his time working there. 

"My father taught me that if I take care of the machine, it's going to last me a long time and its going to take care of me," said Watson.

Dennis plans on working at Burr Printing until 2027. That way he can say he worked 55 years, breaking the previous employee record set at the company by his father.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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