Pelikan, Brief(ly)

I just received some new (old) carbon paper sheets by Pelikan.  Yes, I type. Yes, I use carbon paper for my own copies.

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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.

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The plastic protection cover inside the box shows the logo, and it is marked Germany.

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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~

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From Hot Metal to Cold Type

Making Book

This is one of the saddest movies I’ve seen.

(If you get this post via email and don’t see a video here, please click on the title of the post to view in your browser.)

It is a re-training film made in the mid-sixties by the International Typographical Union. It is amazing how quickly the process moved on from this early response to technological change. None of what you see here survives in today’s print industry (including the union itself. Founded in 1852, with a membership of about 100,000 at the time this film was made, the ITU finally withered away in 1986 and merged in 1987 with the Communications Workers of America.)

The tone of the film is optimistically up-beat, showing the way forward into the new world. In fact these guys were facing the elimination of most of their jobs. The union had an interest is portraying a labor-heavy process: see the…

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CANON For Feminists… NOT!

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.

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Here we have the CANON AP-810 III.  Looks just as sexy as it sounds, right?

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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.

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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).

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Be sure to read the copy.  Then take a shower.  Gah!

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!

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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…

Uh-oh.

~TH~

 

Just Because

Consider this a bookmark post.  I’m aware that I have a few noble subscribers, and ya know, I just don’t want you to think you’re being neglected.  Frankly, I’ve been spending the past two months communicating with people via snail mail (onion skin paper, carbon copies for my files, fancy stamps from the past).

I did recently post on the Facebook page Antique Typewriter Classifieds that I would be going to see a collection of 38 machines for sale.  Well, I went to see the collection, then left with disappointment in my wake.

Aside from a very nice Hammond and a nice Bing – everything else was in fairly poor condition.  NOTE: I did not test the Bing or the Hammond – they appeared to be in good condition cosmetically.  There were three upstrike machines and 3 Olivers. Very few portables, all in poor condition.

I will post some photos from the visit soon.  I didn’t even bother talking money with the owner because there were no machines I wanted.  The machines are located in northern Virginia, and I doubt the owner is willing to pack and ship.  If, after this glowing review, you’d like to see the machines for yourself, let me know and I’ll happily act as an intermediary.

If I were a betting man, I’d guess this guy is going to be hanging on to most of those machines for quite a while.  Photos coming soon.  ~TH~

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.

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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.

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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~

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Carbon paper machine by Pembroke