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Old 02-19-2011, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anybody remember the SCENT of Mimeograph Ink???

Who Remembers the SCENT of the ink from grade school tests printed on a Mimeograph Machine?
The fountain pen thread got me thinking of grade school, way back in the 60’s (…man am I Old). As I was thinking about writing with the old cartridge style fountain pens, I thought about grade school, which led to thinking about tests printed out on the school Mimeograph Machine.
For those of you who went to school after the advent of the copy machine, the mimeograph machine was a stencil duplicator used as a low-cost printing press that works by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper. The process used a carbon paper master copy that got attached to a rotary drum printer.

With the thought of those tests, came the remembrance of the scent of the tests, especially the ones that were freshly printed. I vividly remember when the teacher would pass out tests by walking across the front of the classroom and would hand a stack of tests to the person at the front of each row of desks. The student at the front would take one and pass the rest over their shoulder to the person behind them. It was almost a reflex reaction to; before you even read a single word, you would bring the paper up to your face and get a big whiff of that fresh mimeograph paper ink.

It is amazing how scents and smells are so indelible in our memory. I wish I could find some of that ink, which just by smelling it would take me back to my 3rd grade class Carroll Catholic School.
So, does anybody else remember the scent of Mimeograph paper??????????????
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I certainly remember that there was a distinctive smell, and if I smelled it again, I'm sure I'd recognize it instantly. But I can't quite get a "picture" of it in my head at the moment.

And nice try with the blue text! Wasn't it more of a purple?

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Old 02-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Lol the grade school i went to which was in the early 90s had a really old printer like that, i remember seeing the drum and the carbon copy thing and the kinda blotchy purple text. And im with randy, i remember lovign the smell but i cant quite remember what it did smell like, but if i could smell it im sure i'd remember. for some reason i keep thinking it smelt like cucumbers to me, i have no clue why i keep getting that thought lol.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It smelled just a tiny bit more purple than cucumber but cucumber is close. I can't picture somebody even typing that many words without a mistake so that the stencil would be good enough to use. No fixing a screwed up carbon paper.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I vaguely remember tests like that, but I thought that I, being a child of the nineties, would never have run into one of these. That said, I certainly do have that vague smell floating through my head now
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember that smell, also remember the scene in Fast times at Ridgemont
High? Mr. Hand passed out a test to the front and pass it back, and everyone smelled the paper.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to love it when they came out still a little wet and you could sniff them for a minute. I thought I was the only one. Great thread for us "old timers"....
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Never knew it was called a mimeograph. Everyone at the school called it a xerox machine. Looking it up now, we were using the term wrong. At the school, Xerox meant the mimeograph and photocopy ment the copy machine, but Zerox only made photocopiers.

Anyways, I still smell the paper that comes out of my laser printer. Maybe its just habit.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by skx762 View Post
It smelled just a tiny bit more purple than cucumber but cucumber is close. I can't picture somebody even typing that many words without a mistake so that the stencil would be good enough to use. No fixing a screwed up carbon paper.

What does purple smell like?

Yeah I remember all of the above. Man that was a long time ago...
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ditto machine is what they called it back in the 60's and 70's when I was in school.

And yeah, *just* like in Fast Times everyone did that sniff- I think it was some kind of alcohol. Fast Times was pretty accurate, for those of you that weren't there (or born yet, for that matter). My "Spicoli" was a guy named Gene.
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