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2002/27/1 Mimeograph, with paper trays (2) and parts, metal / wood / rubber, designed by Thomas A Edison, United States of America, made by A B Dick Company, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, possibly made 1900. Click to enlarge.

Mimeograph with paper trays made by A B Dick Company

Designed
Office copying was revolutionised by the invention of machines such as this.

This machine is one of the first modern duplicating machines and the name "Mimeograph" in America came to be used as a generic term for this type of reproduction. Stencil duplicators were the work horses of the small office until desktop offset machines became available in the 1970s. This machine is also noteworthy for its lack of safeguards against injury.

Parts of this object

Summary

Object No.

2002/27/1

Object Statement

Mimeograph, with paper trays (2) and parts, metal / wood / rubber, designed by Thomas A Edison, United States of America, made by A B Dick Company, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, possibly made 1900

Physical Description

Mimeograph and paper trays (2), metal / wood / rubber, made by A B Dick Company, Chicago, USA, [1900].

To a wooden base is attached a metal frame with a revolving metal drum which holds the prepared stencil. Ink is applied to a screen under the stencil, a handle turned and the image printed. Near the handle is a silver coloured bell. Below the handle two turning knobs protrude. One allows for the print to be lowered and raised, the other sets pointers in a series of graduations in an anti-clockwise direction. A brush is inside the drum and an ink roller sits underneath the drum. The mimeograph is labelled with its model and series numbers and a set of instructions. A paper tray attaches to either side of the mimeograph.

Production

Possibly made

  • 1900

Notes

Thomas Edison first invented the mimeograph pen in 1877, a device to draw images on a special type of paper. The next step was to invent a machine capable of reproducing these images. This machine, which employed the rotary principle for more speed, was the result. The machine has little safeguards to prevent injury.

The AB Dick Company in the USA manufactured the mimeograph machine under licence to Edison.

History

Notes

The Mimeograph was the American equivalent of the British Roneo and Gestetner machines though it printed using spirits and its images tended to fade over time unlike the others which used pigmented inks. Nevertheless it was used in schools and small office situations where cheap multiple copying was required. It was replaced by the plain paper photocopier in the 1960s.

Source

Credit Line

Source unknown

Acquisition Date

19 March 2002

Cite this Object

Harvard

Mimeograph with paper trays made by A B Dick Company 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 June 2023, <https://ma.as/11319>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/11319 |title=Mimeograph with paper trays made by A B Dick Company |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=1 June 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}