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DUPLICATORS

DUPLICATORS
Conventional printing involves spreading a thin layer of ink on the metal type and pressing this on paper.

Duplicators normally worked by cutting the letters into a stencil (by hand or with a typewriter) and then squeezing ink through the holes onto paper. Some were manual; others were mechanised. They were often very messy and smelly to use.

SCREEN DUPLICATOR
This used typewritten and handwritten stencils. To make copies, the stencil would be placed beneath a framed piece of silk onto which ink was applied using a roller. A clean sheet of paper was placed below the stencil and the roller was applied to the silk squeezing ink through the perforations in the stencil onto the paper.
Ellams' duplicator, 1960s

ROTARY DUPLICATORS
David Gestetner (1854 - 1939), born in Hungary, was the inventor of the Gestetner stencil duplicator. He moved to London, and in 1881 established the Gestetner Cyclograph Company to produce stencils, styli and ink rollers.

Duplicators normally worked by cutting the letters into a stencil (by hand or with a typewriter) and then squeezing ink through the holes onto paper.
Some were manual; others were mechanised. They were often very messy and smelly to use.

The stencil was attached to the drum on the machine and rotated while sheets of paper were fed in by hand.
There were three layers on the stencil – the stencil itself into which the letters were cut; a sheet of carbon paper which produced a copy of what was to be printed onto the back sheet.

These machines allowed cheap short runs of documents, posters and newsletters to be produced quickly and inexpensively. Unlike handwritten copies, it ensured that all copies were the same, and it enabled people to reproduce controversial material (such as political pamphlets) which some printers may have refused to print.