Skip to main content
Victoria Genealogical Society
HomeEventsPrinter's Devils - Pioneer Newspaper in Trail BC - Ron Verzuh

Events - Event View

This is the "Event Detail" view, showing all available information for this event. If the event has passed, click the "Event Report" button to read a report and view photos that were uploaded.

Printer's Devils - Pioneer Newspaper in Trail BC - Ron Verzuh

Speaker: Ron Verzuh

Printer’s Devils is a 30-year social history of the smelter city of Trail, B.C. My talk will feature several major events that shaped the attitudes of Trailites through the influence of the weekly Trail Creek News renamed the Trail News.

I will provide brief biographical sketches of the six editors that guided the weekly from 1895 to 1925 when it became a daily. Like many pioneer journalists, these men (and one woman) often began their newspaper careers as printer’s devils, the term used to describe a press assistant. Printing lore suggests that he, and it was almost always a he, was sometimes said to create mischief for the chief printer. Famous ones included a former prime minister of Canada.

Trail’s editors also often generated mischief with sassy editorials, racy news items and coverage of local confrontations and calamities. The book encompasses snapshots of the home front during the First World War, the 1917 smelter strike, the 1918 flu pandemic, and the grisly murder of a local nurse. 

Ron Verzuh is a writer, historian, and documentary filmmaker. He was born in Trail and worked at the smelter in his youth. He holds a PhD in history from Simon Fraser University and is on the board of the BC Historical Federation.

Ron is an accomplished author.  In addition to his book Printer's Devils - The Feisty Pioneer Newspaper That Shaped the History of British Columbia’s Smelter City 1895–1925, published by Caitlin Press, he is the author of Smelter Wars: A Rebellious Red Trade Union Fights for Its Life in Wartime Western Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022). His other books include Radical Rag: The Pioneer Labour Press in Canada, and Underground Times: Canada’s Flower-Child Revolutionaries.

He is the producer of the award-winning short film Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout and Codename Project 9, the story of Trail’s participation in the making of the atomic bomb during the Second World War. His work has appeared in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and on web sites.
Thursday, September 14, 2023, 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM
Videoconference information will be provided in an email once registration is complete.
Additional Info:
Event Coordinator(s):
Mark D Thompson
Event Coordinator
Speaker Events
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Please sign in 10 to 15 minutes before the event.
Available Slots:
No Fee
No Fee