On any given evening at The Baltimore Sun’s printing plant in Port Covington, tens of thousands of papers hum through the four-story tall press that dates to 1992.
The Saguache Crescent is the last newspaper in the United States still produced with a Linotype hot metal typesetting machine.
Most newspapers stopped using Linotypes more than 40 years ago and replaced the technology with offset lithography printing and computer typesetting.
You don’t become the most decorated Olympian of all time without ubiquitous worldwide press coverage — hardware equals headlines — but we can safely say the ink chronicling hometown hero Michael Phelps in the pages of The Baltimore Sun could fill entire swimming pools. A record 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds, will do that. Search “Michael Phelps” in The Sun’s print archives and you’ll find more than 1,500 articles mentioning him, a total which isn’t comprehensive for the newspaper and doesn’t include any website or mobile content. Ninety-nine front-page (1A) stories* have at least mentioned Phelps, though he’s obviously been the main subject of many of those. Not bad for a 27-year-old, huh?
As Phelps begins life after competitive swimming, we take a look back at The Sun’s coverage of his Olympic medal-winning races in Athens, Beijing and London, highlighting the print covers and stories.