Antique Typewriters

The Martin Howard Collection

Edisons Rotary Mimeograph

Edisons Rotary Mimeograph

A. B. Dick Company, Chicago, 1897
Serial #25923

This copier was efficient and quite easy to use. It was one of the most popular copiers of the day.

To make copies, an inked cloth was wrapped around the drum. A typed, stenciled (characters cut out) paper page was then laid over the inked cloth. By turning the wooden handled crank, the paper to be printed was fed between a rubber roller and the underside of the drum. The ink was forced through the stenciled sheet onto the page. A counter kept tract of the copies made, at one copy per rotation of the drum.

I was able to make a weak imprint of the last letter to have been copied on this machine. It is dated Christmas 1954 and is written by a Mr. Buckholder, a minister.

It begins…

"Dear friends across the miles and years, cards, letters and gifts are already helping to make Christmas real to the four Buckholders. The highest highlight of our year is that we are now in our own home town, the dream of every minister’s family – and with a power saw are finally getting -?-, book cases, dressers and so forth made."

The letter fills one page and finishes with "and may the blessing of the Christ-Child come your way."

I cannot read the full address, but it is someplace in Ontario, Canada.

Here are some sales quotes from the manual.

"Don't wait for printed matter. Do it now with a Mimeograph circular."

"You dictate it to the stenographer. She writes it out like an ordinary letter on a specially prepared paper. This is put into the Mimeograph and copies run off at a rate of 50 to 60 per minute."

"We have a booklet about Mimeographs which may help you to increase the efficiency of your office without adding to the pay roll."