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I read this in the 1980's in the UK but the story was set in USA. (Think it was a hardback)

IIRC the protagonist worked at a printers in the 19th century but got on the wrong side of some "hidden city" gangsters and somehow ended up in modern times.

The hunters chased him to the year but then had to find him.

He has taken a job at his old works and is now the expert on the big old steam powered printing machine, he knew it when it was brand new.

The printing machine is now ran by a failing newspaper and their main competitor is the one who has the time chasing hoodlums working for him. He runs a sleazy tabloid press.

I think he gets asked about a brass bell that occasionally pops out the side and he informs them this is the "perfection indicator" that shows the machine is at optimum performance.

I also recall there being something about a bridge. Not sure if it was in the title or maybe only mentioned in the book cover/blurb, possibly how the time jumps happened.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Gallifreyan, Jenayah, Community Aug 25 '18 at 21:32

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As mentioned in my comment and now confirmed by me getting and searching through the ebook... this is "Winters Tale" by Mark Helprin. 1983.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12967.Winter_s_Tale

My memory from the early eighties said "perfection indicators" for the steam printer, but this extract from the ebook shows they had a similar name...

"This," Peter Lake said, patting the much abused bell-like piece of metal, "is a perfection tattle." Their mouths hung open. What in hell was a perfection tattle?

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