Friday, March 17, 2006

The smell of the ditto, the roar of the crowd

The photocopy has displaced the mimeograph and with good reason: it's a superior technology.

But when I was in grammar school every handout was a mimeograph.

The mimeo has it all over the photocopy in one area: smell. I used to love that mimeograph smell when I was a kid and my teacher passed out our homework assignment.

Did you know that Thomas Edison invented the mimeograph, along with the electric light, the phonograph, the all-concrete house, and 1,089 other "modern conveniences?"

Here is the complete patent application for the mimeograph, which he called "automatic printing." No where does it mention that wonderful smell.

Rutgers University has posted all of Edison's patents on the Internet. That's 1,093 in all. Read them at your leisure here.


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