Typing to stop those leaks!

As the biennial Festival of the Photocopier hosted by the Sticky Institute shows, zinesters love photocopiers! Now you might think that they’re a fairly recent invention, but duplicating machines of various types have been around for well over a century.

Cyclostyle copy machine 1910 - from the Museum of London

Cyclostyle copy machine 1910 - from the Museum of London

Rather messy and awkward in the early days but also hailed as a labour saving device in this newspaper article from the Western Mail in 1911. However they also caused some controversy, and in fact a newspaper article from 1929 reports that the practice of using roneo machines in our Federal Parliament to run off copies of cabinet documents in preparation for meetings was banned because of a series of leaks! Parliament was ordered to use typists instead to manually type out the number of copies required. Presumably it was felt that a closer eye could be kept on the number of documents produced (or perhaps the typists were so exhausted with all that typing that they wouldn’t have the time to do any leaking!)

Typist at work

Typist at work