Typewriter Paper and Carbons-PART 1

Some of the often overlooked ephemera relating to typewriters are the onionskin sheets and carbon sheets that were manufactured.  I have found that these often have some very cool copy and branding logos.

Here’s an envelope for carbon paper sold by the Ulbrich’s stationery store.

Ulbrichs carbon envelope fr

Envelope for carbon paper, store branded

Ulbrich’s was still a growing concern in the 1950s.   It appears that Ulbrich’s filed for bankruptcy in 1990.

Below is the cover for a box of carbon sheets from the Kee Lox company.  Branded as Panama, with a very popular icon of the day, a passenger jet plane.

panama box fr

Panama carbon paper box

Here are some companion promotional items, branded tape measures.

As might be expected, it can be tricky to find detailed information on companies that were established in the 19th  and early 20th century.  After a small amount of digging for information I ran across this website which provided this little tidbit:

To get a grasp on the scope of ribbon tin manufacture, it’s helpful to note the major national ribbon makers. They were Kee-Lox (Rochester, NY); Carter’s (Boston); Mittag & Volger (Park Ridge, NJ); Miller-Bryant-Pierce (Aurora, IL); Webster (Boston) and Underwood (various locations) and Manifold Supplies (Brooklyn, NY), known for its famous Panama tins.

Kee Lox held several trademarks for carbon paper including Panama-Beaver, Thin-Thin, Dri Kleen, Kee Lectric, Klarograph, and Grip-N-Pull.

While attempting to find out more about the Kee Lox manufacturing company, I stumbled upon this gem of a post by a favorite typewriter enthusiast.  The page has a nice biography regarding the president of the Kee Lox Manufacturing Company, Winfield Perry Pembroke.

The blog post itself involves a ribbon tester made by Kee Lox.  I didn’t even know I needed one!

I’ll be posting more on the subjects of paper and carbons soon.  ~TH~


Carbon paper machine by Pembroke

4 thoughts on “Typewriter Paper and Carbons-PART 1

    • Yeah, I saw that too. By the way, I have noticed that carbon sheets designed for pencil do not work well with typewriters. I’m guessing the carbon paper for pencil sheets is designed for strokes and a harder pressure. I would guess that holds true for tattoo carbon as well. Thanks for reading! ~TH~

  1. That is a very attractive package. I have yet to get interesting packages or ribbon tins in my collection, I still have quite a nice stock of different grades of onionskin paper and I have quite a bit of carbon. I remember Robert Messenger’s detailed post on the ribbon tester. I’m still using a few old Kee Lox blue silk ribbons.

    • What I would like to find (which may be tricky) are packs of carbons in colors other than black. I did begin to buy ribbon tins, but I don’t have a proper way to display them yet, so I stopped that habit cold. The paper and carbons I use on a daily basis. As long as I have lamp oil (which I do), I should be able to type into the mid 20s of the 21st century. Not sure how to buy a horse though…

      Thanks for reading! ~Tom~

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