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January 30, 2019
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From my one semester class in the print shop at Olive Vista Junior High School 58 years ago, I remember that "pie the type" meant to spill the printers case containing type organized into small boxes onto the floor so that all of the type was mixed up. It would take weeks to unpie the type. Mr. Stormont would punish unruly students by having them reorganize pied, or spilled type. Thus, when Joseph Smith commanded his followers to destroy the printing press and pie the type of the Nauvoo Expositor that was printing the truth about the practice of polygamy in Nauvoo (three of my great aunts from the Johnson clan were involved in the practice and were supposedly plural wives of Joseph Smith), those followers threw the organized type onto the street in front of the newspaper office, making it virtually worthless. Usually, if type is spilled, new bundles of type are ordered and placed in their proper locations in the printers case.
From my print shop days in 8th grade junior high school fifty-seven years ago, pie the type means to dump the entire printers case of organized movable type onto the ground in a heap. It would take weeks to return the type to their proper boxes in the printers case. Thus, when Joseph Smith ordered his men to pie the type of the Nauvoo Expositor, he meant dump the cases of type on the street in an unorganized mess. They also destroyed the newspaper's printing press.
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