About Tom Hitt

Retired teacher, now writing and creating paper crafts. Oh yeah, collecting typewriters as well.

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_Pembroke

Carbon paper machine by Pembroke

Fontana

Making Book

I didn’t realize there was a typeface called Fontana; I just thought it was a paperback imprint of Collins’.

However here it is, and HarperCollins historical website celebrating their 200th anniversary tells us about it in these terms :

“In 1936, Collins became the first major publishing house to create its own font. The publisher hired printer and typographer Dr. Hans Mardersteig to prepare a report on the business in which he included suggestions on design. As a result, Collins had him design a typeface that would create a unique visual identity for the company.

Building on the classic fonts of eighteenth-century Glasgow publishers Robert and Andrew Foulis, Mardersteig developed Collins’s iconic typeface: Fontana. It was used by Collins for three decades before the company released rights to the font.

After Collins developed the Fontana font, more company-specific fonts followed, including Lexicon, Fedra, Nexus (designed by Martin Majoor), Fresco, and Sansa…

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Smith Corona SL480-Eureka!

My recent acquisition of a 1992 Smith-Corona SL480, and a EUREKA moment. I pulled the ribbon cart out and closed the lid- noticed that the critter would still type. Hmmm… If my ribbon cart runs out while I’m in the field (with electricity), I can simply load two sheets with a carbon in the middle. True, it then becomes an invisible, but hey! I can still type! Carry those carbons folks! ~TH~

 

Free books? Sure!

Local school libraries in my area have been purging their stacks recently, asking folks to give the books a new home.  I have acquired quite a few delightful hardbound books recently.

First up is the OXFORD BOOK OF ESSAYS.

essay-book-cover

I almost passed on this, but the “Oxford” sealed the deal; when a book is tagged as such, it has been meticulously edited for content.  Remarkably, this book is brand new, having never been checked out of the library.

essay-book-cards

I often purchase used books through Amazon, and the vendors will let you know if a book has been circulated out of a library- I love those!  They are invariably in fine condition, often have the rugged plastic cover protectors, and the stamps and card pockets make them unique.

I recently had some friends over to the house, and one of them picked this gem up for me from a library culling:

type-book-cover

I have never known of this book’s existence out in the real world.  Some remarkable information in here.  I was 13 years old when this was published (1974).  It appears that this title was checked out a grand total of two times.

book-cards-typewriter

type-book-pages

Turning real pages, flipping through a book and skimming physical pages – these are things you simply can not do with a kindle or an iPad.    ~TH~