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I Have recently become interested in using a Mimeograph for my zine...Can anyone help me per-sue this? I am open to suggestions, (Finding one in a public space, buying a cheap used one, a DIY mimeograph)

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I know James N. Dawson has written about them several times in the past. He's even printed off several issues of his different zines on them. He's a member here, so you might want to drop him a line and see what he can tell you.
Do you mean mimeograph or ditto?
I made a mimeograph zine a few years ago. I'm in Portland and the IPRC has one and we have classes from time to time. I also I know just the guy to talk to who is also in Portland.
Joshua,

Thanks for getting in contact with me. I have been doing zines now and then for the past 10 or 15 years on a DITTO MACHINE, not a mimeograph. A ditto machine is also called a SPIRIT DUPLICATOR, and it usually makes copies of blue ink, which, if you're old enough, you used to see in school.

As anyone who's actually seen some of my dittoed zines & other printed matter, some of them are AWFUL. Some, by my standards, are okay. (Light ditto can be read with reading glasses). Supplies for this method of duplication are gradually running out, but I doggedly try to hunt them down. Problem is, old spirit fluid can degrade and masters dry out, yielding poor, light copies. But I'm such an obsessed, die-hard, duplicator geek, I refuse to give up, possibly much to the amusement or chagrin of everybody who've gotten my dittos. If you give me a physical address, I can show you some of my work and maybe send you a master to show you what it looks like. I bought the ditto machine I now use for $10. I often compose on an old mid-nineties wordprocessor. Sadly, modern computer printers won't work on either ditto masters or mimeo stencils.

I bought an old Rex Rotary mimeograph for $5 at a yard sale about 15 years ago, but I've never tried it. Now that I have more time, I hope to start tinkering and experimenting with it, and hope I can get some decent copies out of it.

I recently saw a ditto machine on CraigsList in Spokane for $40, so they, and I suppose mimeographs, show up now and then. But I personally wouldn't pay much for than $20 for them, because with dwindling parts and supplies, they're just not worth much, except as curiosities. By the way, I've calculated that even with the inflated prices masters are going for, and even for runs as low as 60 copies, it's about 1.5 cents a side. So they're still cheaper than xerox, and a GOOD machine that turns out higher print runs, are less than a penny a side.

Anyway, if you want to give me your address I'll show some of my work.

James

P.S.---Thanks Alan for the plug.
My reasons have nothing to do with convenience or cost..I am covering a few different topics in my zine, one of which is a guy who did a book that was very zine like in 1929...He used a mimeograph...I like the sense of continuity doing my zine on him and using a mimeograph...I also just enjoy out of date technology
http://www.fell.demon.co.uk/steve/jelly.html unless you're a vegetarian. Or unless you need more than a few copies. Or unless you decide to use a photocopier instead for some reason.
Thanks...This is all great info!!!
I'm old enough, we still used it something like ten years ago... in france.
I was replying to James.N about the ditto machine, but the name we used was "polycopy".

Smells like almonds.

someone know how to find this machine ?
I know several people around the US and Canada who are hoarding old stencil duplicators, generally Gestetner silk screen units, in addition to myself. That's actually kinda why I just joined this group, I have a dozen mimeos in my basement along with lots of stencils and ink and spare parts and stuff. We used this equipment to make science fiction fanzines, starting in the late 1920s. (I got sucked into this in the 10th grade, in 1968.) Somehow, as people lost interest, we ended up with all their remaining stuff.

I sometimes see these on eBay. They usually look like junk. Mine pretty much all work, though they haven't been used in 10 years or more.

I've moved on to other artforms and I want to pass my gear and knowledge along to a younger generation. I'm in Minneapolis. My friends in Toronto, L.A., and Chicago are also looking for new homes for their mimeos. Keep in mind, these things weigh about 75 lbs and we're not inclined to ship them anywhere. (Also keep in mind, when you print with this stuff, you get really, really dirty and covered with ink and grease and shit, and you bang your knuckles a lot.)

Hi, hope it's okay to drop a line here. I've been looking for a mimeograph &/or ditto on & off for over a decade now. If anyone knows where to buy one in California, please let me know. (My aunt, a former French teacher thinks I'm mad for wanting one. "They're big, smelly, & heavy!" But I'm simply fascinated by them. & letterpress printers, for that matter.)

 

Yes, certainly, that's why I posted this thread in the first place, to see if anyone was interested in this stuff.

Heavy is an understatement. Mimeos weigh around 100 lbs. Sometimes they show up on ebay, but not usually in working condition, and the shipping is ridiculous. I've never seen one on craigslist.

You do not want a ditto, you want a mimeo. (Unless you know something I don't know... )

I have just sent an email to a friend in L.A. to see if anyone in the local science fiction club (L.A.S.F.S.) might have some mimeo gear they'd be willing to part with. I'll let you know if I learn anything.

StrayCat said:

Hi, hope it's okay to drop a line here. I've been looking for a mimeograph &/or ditto on & off for over a decade now. If anyone knows where to buy one in California, please let me know. (My aunt, a former French teacher thinks I'm mad for wanting one. "They're big, smelly, & heavy!" But I'm simply fascinated by them. & letterpress printers, for that matter.)

My mimeo is very light, lighter than my ditto machine.  I picked it up and carried it easily.   Some mimeo and dittos are big "floor models", but many are lighter and more portable.  Like manual typewriters, they come in all sizes.  Some are electric, some hand-crank.

 

I talk a little about them in my some of my zines, most recently my DIY Printer Wannabe, nos. 1 & 2.

 

If you're interested, send a couple dollars or trade to:

 

James N. Dawson

P.O. Box 292

Malden, WA  99149

 

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