I just received some new (old) carbon paper sheets by Pelikan. Yes, I type. Yes, I use carbon paper for my own copies.
I like the photo on the box- so hip! Did not realize that the Pelikan company was still around. It began in Germany- now located in Switzerland. More renowned for their fountain pens, though they do still make carbon paper. Just not printed in this style.
Here is a cool page on their website about the history of the company, with graphics.
The plastic protection cover inside the box shows the logo, and it is marked Germany.
Here’s the backing for a sheet. I like the diamond pattern, and the small typewriter logo that is intermittently shown on the sheets.
Only one more mystery; can anyone identify the typewriter model that the young woman is posing with? Hmmmm…. ~TH~
Well, here we go down a rabbit hole I never thought I would enter; large business machines/typewriters. Due to a foolish glance through area craigslist-ings, I stumbled upon a business machine at a very fair price. The seller was about an hours drive away, and the weather was perfect for a Sunday drive.
Here we have the CANON AP-810 III. Looks just as sexy as it sounds, right?
I had a couple of days to research this animal before meeting up with the seller. To my surprise, there seems to be very little information about Canon business machines on the interwebs. That is to say, Canon typewriters from the 80s.
Lots of printers. Lots of copiers. Why so little on the AP series? These were built (I assume) to compete with the IBM Selectrics.
Like all great things from the dawn of the computer age, this thing is over-engineered, with more features than you can shake a stick at. And all clearly explained in the manuals (assuming you’re one of the engineers who designed the thing).
I can just hear the girlish giggling as the boss-man presented this new machine for his dainty workforce to figure out. I know he wasn’t going to train them on it. He had an important three martini meeting to get to!
This beast was presented to the business world in 1984 by my estimation. Gloria Steinem first published Ms. Magazine in 1972. Twelve years later? Um… uh…
Me, tilting at windmills on behalf of the misunderstood Wedge.
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.
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.
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~
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~