Absolutely correct!

I remember the mimeograph machines being larger than the hectograph 
machines. We used to call the latter "hexograph" back in Brooklyn where 
I grew up. Our school seldom used the mimeos, but used the hectographs a 

Lord, that goes back 50 years!


On 8/15/10 11:03 AM, Michael Biel wrote:
> On 8/15/2010 10:32 AM, Randal Baier wrote:
>> Well, Mike, speaking for all the jerks out here, I'd like to know the
>> difference between the two. I certainly didn't catch that. Gee, I
>> thought it was a cut, but I guess it was a slice.
> They are two entirely different machines based on two entirely different
> principles. They are as different as an inkjet printer is from a dot
> matrix printer is from a laser printer. The program showed and described
> a mimeograph but the guy the showed at that point described a ditto,
> spirit duplicator, or hectograph.
> The mimeograph was initially invented by Edison in conjunction with his
> electric pen, and was developed into its main form by A.B . Dick. A wax
> paper stencil has the wax coating scraped or pressed away by a stylus or
> a typewriter, and the thick, goooey ink can seep thru the stencil to the
> paper where the wax was removed. There is a cotton cloth-covered drum or
> holder that is soaked with the ink from the back, and the stencil is
> placed over it. The ink STINKS with a HORRIBLE smell, not pleasant at
> all. If you use a typewriter the ribbon is removed or the machine is put
> into the "stencil" position so the ribbon does not pop up. You need to
> have the metal type hit and cut the stencil's wax coating. Thousands of
> copies can be made if you are careful not to wrinkle or tear the stencil
> because you can re-ink the cotton backing from behind. If you
> accidentally get ink on the front of the stencil by putting it on
> backwards you have ruined it. The ink comes thru the back.
> The ditto machine used a plain paper where a carbon ink paper is behind
> the paper. You write or type on the front of the paper without cutting
> thru it -- use the typewriter ribbon in normal position -- the carbon
> ink gets deposited on the rear of the paper. This stencil is then placed
> on a plain solid metal drum with the inked surface outwards. (If you put
> it on backwards--no harm. Just remove and put it on correctly.) There is
> a container where a clear spirit solvent is poured. This spirit fluid
> slightly dampens the printing paper which picks up the ink as it passes
> thru the machine. Because the PAPER is dampened with the spirit solvant,
> it has that sweet smell for a few hours. Only a hundred or so copies can
> be made before the carbon ink on the stencil gets used up. While most of
> the carbon ink sheets are purple, there were about five or ten different
> colors available, and you can switch these carbon sheets and make a
> multi-colored stencil. (You have to use different machines with
> different stencils if you want to have multi-colored mimeograph copies.
> A separate stencil for each color, and usually a different machine
> because it takes a half hour to completely clean a machine!)
> I hope this explains the differences. I was ten years old when I was
> trained on these machines at our summer camp "newspaper", so they were
> not hard to master and to learn the differences.
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>> But I remember the mimeograph (ditto?) as a kind of instrument of S&M
>> from high school -- being punished on a regular basic for various
>> infractions such as having my shirt tail out or writing indignities on
>> walls, I was often "detained" in the main office, assigned the task of
>> helping the office staff with copying. The mixture of mimeo/ditto
>> smells and overly-sweet perfumes was repulsive and attractive at the
>> same time. Asst. Principal Johnson in his horned rimmed glasses and 10
>> women filing their nails and talking about Yvette Mimieux's latest
>> conquest. Weird scenes inside the goldmine -- I was reading Henry
>> Miller and 1984 in those years.
>> So, yes, ditto that one .... it's all context, I suppose.
>> Randal Baier
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> Leah just spotted a program on History International channel which
>> will be repeated at 2 AM. It has a scene in a vinyl pressing plant, and
>> now is discussing the typewriter and the mimeograph machine--with some
>> jackass talking about blue fingers and the sweet smell. That's the
>> DITTO machine you stupid excuse for a jerk. WHY do I ever think these
>> programs are worthwhile. WHY?
>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]