WHO IS ALICE LOUISE?
Alice-Louise Press is named after my grandmother Alice Louise Strick. She has inspired me to be a strong and hardworking person and has shown me a love for printing that has become very inspiring.
- Amy Lesniewicz
by Alice Louise Strick
Eighty-three years ago on October 16, 1924, I was born the fourth daugter of Charles B. Hanna and Violet E. (Caryer) Hanna. My father was a dairy farmer on a farm near Brunersburg, Ohio in Defiance County. My sisters and I attended a one room school, Kelly school, where they taught all eight grades. We walked two miles a day to school in the summer. Fortunately in the winter my father would take us to school in a horse and buggy. Those were the good old days, when you learned early in life that nothing comes easy. At the age of twelve, I knew what most adults have trouble comprehending today. Attending Defiance High School for four years, I graduated in June of 1942
The depression was in the last stages, forcing my father to give up farming. We moved in to the town of Defiance, Ohio. In August of 1942, I left home and moved to Toledo, where I resided with my sister and her family. Her husband was called into the navy, as World War II was ongoing. Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. As we had no television then, we watched the news reels on movie screens (b&w). The horrible scenes of the bombing, the destruction, and loss of life will forever be etched into my memory.
In my effort to aid in the war, I joined the WOW's (Women Ordinance Workers). I was one of the first hundred women to be hired at the Rossford Ordinance Depot in December of 1942. Working my way up from clerk-typist to a printing press operator.
The hours were long and gruesome, sometimes sixteen hours a day. The Depot housed German and Italian prisoners. Working with the prisoners in the warehouse was very frightening. At one time, if you could imagine, the prisoners went on strike. To return them to work, they were first put in a field, surrounded by machine guns, until they surrendered. I remained working at the Depot for approximately ten years. The Depot closed and moved to Joplin, Missouri.
Now wanting to leave Toledo, I left their employment.
My fascination for printing carried through many years. Working my way up from small print shops to larger shops. There wasn't a press I wouldn't challenge, in a profession dominated by men.
At Rossford I ran a 1250 Model press Munier Printing 22x48 two color Heidelberg, Newfax Printing a 360 11x17 2 color Multilith press, Toledo Eleven News shop a 1250 Multilith model. At larger companies I ran a 1250 Multilith for Paramount Printing, Industrial Printing a 1250 Multilith Press, Bradley Printing a 360 A.B. Dick Press plus a model Envelope press. For many other companies, working part time collating machines, tipping machines, Blue print machines and 1250 models Davidson presses.
My husband passed away in 1978, leaving me a family and household to support. Being retired didn't satisfy my ambition. So I started a print shop in my basement, printing labels, catalogs, letterheads, invoices and envelopes for a few companies. Determined not to end up in a rocking chair at age 72, I went to work for Bartz Viviano Florist, 3 days a week. Ending in unfortunate circumstances after seven years of service.
The moral of this story is never give up your ambition to be counted in the workplace. Old age is a figure of speech, not a reality.
" There wasn't a press
I wouldn't challenge, in a profession dominated by men"