1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Making a copy in the 1970s

    Discussion in 'Research' started by JosephMarch, Aug 18, 2015.

    Need some info on this:
    How would a person make a copy in the late 70s/early 80s? And where? If you wanted to copy a page from a book in a library, would that be available? Xerox?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/duplication-nation-3D-printing-rise-180954332/?no-ist

    I believe that by the seventies, coin-operated copying machines would be available in many libraries, but I'm not quite positive. I think that most people did their copying surreptitiously at work.

    Edited to add: Oh! Eighties? Yes, fairly wide availability of coin-operated copy machines.

    Edited again to add: You say "a" copy. I dimly remember that for some time after photocopiers were available, mimeograph machines were still used for, for example, classroom handouts at my school. To me, that means that mimeograph machines were probably cheaper than copiers.
     
  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe rob schneider would know....
     
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  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Say 1980...there were good quality photocopiers (plain paper - around 1965, they required special paper and chemical processing) and mimeographs had largely fallen out of favour.

    If you look up Xerox on Wiki, you'll see how early their machines were AVAILABLE - the above is based on my own experience in the (UK) workplace.
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    'Photostat.'
     
  6. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    I graduated undergrad in '73, and yes, we did have copiers on every floor of the university library. Some floors even had two :). Cost was one thin dime per copy and many undergrads also copied their nether regions by climbing on the machines late at night. Kinko's, now FedEx stores were starting to pop up by the late 70's (started in 1970) for copying longer pieces--and there were other stores that offered this also, usually around college settings.
     
  7. Michael Pless
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    Michael Pless Active Member

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    Since I actually lived through this era, in the 1970s we firstly made "photostat copies", and then we'd "xerox" a page, and colloquially, we'd ask a fellow student if they "had a xerox of" something. I think the distinction between photostat and xerox also came about when Nashua (and others, I guess) used a slightly different process to circumvent Xerox's patents.

    When I came to Australia in the mid-1960s, teachers at school would use a "duplicator" that made copies of a handwritten page and yielded faded purple text on white paper that reeked of methylated spirits. Sometimes referred-to as a "roneo" (probably for the brand).

    My favourite was a cop at the lab who one day asked if he could get "... a photostat copy on our xerox machine".
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    We certainly used mimeograph machines in the early 70s in small-town Michigan, where I lived at the time. Actually they were spirit copiers, but we called them mimeos and mimeograph machines.

    Mimeos consisted of a purple sheet of paper coated with a slick purple substance with a white sheet on top. You typed (or wrote) what you wanted mimeographed on the white side of the paper. Then you tore the white side off, and attached it (upside down) by the top or bottom to a slot in the mimeograph machine roller. Then you either turned the crank by hand or set it to automatically print. The stuff came out with purple letters on white, and were quite wet at first and smelled of spirits. (Quite a pleasant smell.)

    The problem with this method was that any mistake you made typing or writing was a bear to correct. I seem to remember you could scrape off the offending purple letter, then stick a wee bit of the purple paper in place and retype the letter. It was double-typed on the front of the paper, but the printing side should show only one letter, the corrected one. But got help you if you didn't notice the typo till you'd removed the sheet from the typewriter. Trying to get it aligned again to retype the mistake was a nightmare.

    There was a similar printing process ...name escapes me (call it stencil?) ...that was more expensive and more often used in offices. It involved a wax sheet underneath a tissue paper sheet. When you typed a letter, the letter was cut out of the wax. You fastened the whole kaboodle onto a similar cylinder, but this one contained ink, and the roller pushed the ink through the cut-out letters. Again, correcting mistakes was a nightmare. It involved painting over the mistake with a wax solution, waiting for it to dry, then retyping the letter again. I wish I could remember the name of the process, but I only used it a few times in the late 60s when I was working in an office, and was so happy to see the back of it.

    I was SUCH a slow typist in those days, because making a mistake was such a huge hassle. Nothing better has been invented in my lifetime than the wordprocessor and printer. It allowed me to write. I could never have done it with a typewriter.
     
  9. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know the organization I work for used mimeogaphs to distribute pamphlets at the US Capitol in the 1970s....I know because the guy who was in charge of the mimeograph is still here and now the longest-tenured employee of the entire organization. Hence we hear a lot about mimeographs.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimeograph
     
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  10. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can remember a lecturer like that...who insisted on teaching us (at the dawn of the computer age) about flat-bed typewriters...and then ripping into me when my homework about it was something of a p155take!
     

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