Monday, 10 September 2012

Gestetner and Typewriter - machines in perfect harmony.

On reflection, perhaps I should have left the ribbon engaged for the above post - it might have made it more readable!

I hope you can manage to understand it - especially if you are the fellow blogger mentioned.

The Gestetner is a wonderful invention, allowing typists to produce multiple copies of their work by the simple addition of a stencil to type on and (what feels like) a ton of carefully engineered gears, levers, cogs and rollers.

I don't know if you can make it out, but there is a crack in the framework just to the left of the gold Gestetner logo.  Perhaps it got dropped at sometime in its long life... but it still soldiers on, working perfectly and never missing a beat.

Needless to say I have several boxes of stencils and half-a-dozen tubes of ink, so it could go on working for many years to come.

I also have the younger brother, made in the 1970s, which is essentially the same but in a lovely beige colour and more enclosed.  That one was made on the cusp of the manual/electric office world, and so can be wound with a handle or electricity (I actually have two of the 1970 ones - I just realised... I might collect Gestetners).

The one we use now in the office was made about 10 years ago, and is disguised as a photocopier... but I know that underneath it is the same jumble of gears, levers, cogs and rollers.

I'll let you know what Anthony (from the company who looks after it for us) thinks about it.

A shiny shilling says that he is impressed.  Or, at the very least, nonplussed.

Pip pip.


  1. What a beautiful machine! Very nice....

  2. Thank you Scott - I might have to bring it back into use. At the moment it is just sitting on a cabinet in my office looking attractive.

    I was in the Cabinet War Rooms in London a few weeks ago with my friend Simon - it is a display in the underground headquarters from where Churchill directed the Second World War - and they have an identical Gestetner on display there. We were looking at it, and I think I took the wind out of the sails of the guide when he said, "I bet you don't know what that is!", and I told him I had one and then went on to explain it to him.