Further developements

In addition to Edison’s electric pen the papyrograph existed, a device developed and patented by Eugenio de Zuccato in 1874 for the rapid copying of drawings and documents. The original to be reproduced was written with a sharp pen and a special chemical ink on the unprepared side of a paper whose other side was made waterproof; the ink destroyed the waterproof layer and thereby formed a type of stencil which could be used to make 200-300 impressions by means of a special apparatus in a copying press.1

After Zuccato commercialized this process, he registered in 1885 a patent for stencils that could be created with the typewriter2. In 1877 he also worked on a machine which he called the Trypograph, which used an alternative method to make stencils where a stencil covered in wax was attached to a roughened metal plate, which had thousands of small dots and thus becomes a perforation that was written on with a metal pen.3

On the other hand, Thomas Edison’s existing electric pencil was further developed by S. F. O’Reilly and patented on December 8, 1891, as the first true electric tattoo machine4, a development that initially did not seem to be important to the subject of stencil reproduction. The needle, which became finer and faster as a result, was used for the preparation of reproducing an original on a light table. The perforation apparatus, which had been highly technological for the time. By the turn of the century, A. B. Dick had invented and sold many other devices, including typewriters (the Edison Typewriter # 3, 1895) or portable advancement of the system (such as the Edison Mimeograph No. 51 “New Automatic”).

  1. David Owen, Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg–Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine, 2008, p. 42; https://books.google.de/books?id=QbFobeCexgsC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=Papyrograph+zuccato&source=bl&ots=QTyQZJ-zH4&sig=Q_tDWWycyJP1OeQcOaxYiYPM7ys&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjnysywgsPZAhUJK1AKHeSiBukQ6AEIUjAH#v=onepage&q=Papyrograph%20zuccato&f=false, last access on February 8, 2017
  2. Mimeograph from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimeograph, last access on April 22, 2017
  3. Early Office Museum, Antique Copying Machines, https://www.officemuseum.com/copy_machines.htm, abgerufen am 22. April 2017
  4. S. F. O’Reilly, “US Patent No. 464,801 A“, https://www.google.com/patents/US464801, abgerufen am 11. Februar 2017