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Hi Wendy,
I’m the guy who commented on the International Duplicators Guild’s youtube video. Thanks for pointing me to your site, and glad you added an option to contact you 🙂

I have a personal website where I write down my findings about mimeos as well. The mimeo section didn’t get that much update, as I didn’t do much research/experimenting recently:

Currently I am experimenting with trying to print using wax paper. Not much progress yet, but I soon plan to get some more supplies (I was kinda winging it before) and do more tests.

I know you have plenty to do before, but I am eagerly awaiting to see progress on your mimeos. Once(or IF) I make some useful discoveries I will be happy to contribute to the website – it would be awesome to have a good resource for mimeographs!

Feel free to reach out any time (I kinda stopped using social media outside of some niche things, but I am always available via email).


Fred! I’m really glad you swung back around to check if there was a contact option (comments were enabled for blog posts, but, well, yep, it’s a work in progress 😀 ). It looks like I’m treading in your footsteps – the more the merrier, right? I’ll drop you an email. I’m so glad to make this connection.

Hi, Wendy, I just came across Mimeograph Revival and then realized we’d already been chatting on my Mimeograph Users Group page on Facebook.

I haven’t posted this anywhere yet (though Erwin Blok has brought it up in the recent postings) but on Monday this week, Rich Dana and 2 of his pals drove up here to Minneapolis, rented a good-sized truck, and hauled-off my assortment of Gestetners and all the ink and stencils people had donated to me over the last 40 years.

I finally have half my garage back, and the collection is now safely residing in Iowa at the Iowa City Print Co-op. It was hard to let go of this gear, I’d kept it safe from the scrap heap for so long. I may still be in a bit of shock.

I kept one Gestetner 360 and one Gestafax 456 stencil scanner – one from the early 1950s that uses vacuum tubes instead of transistors. I kept some ink, paper, and stencils, and will print from time to time on small projects (or handbills to put on telephone polls warning of the coming riots – good to have a working printing press that needs no electricty these days.)

Hi Jeff! Somehow I thought I’d mentioned this little pet project in the course of our early conversation, but I’m trying not to be bombastic about what I’m working on (since, as you know, I’m totally untested in the mimeo-deep-end), so I might have neglected to toot the Mimeograph Revival horn!

You’d mentioned that your collection was moving – that’s gotta be bittersweet. I’m glad it’s going to a place where it’ll be well tended and used, though. Rich just mentioned in an email that he’d been on a mimeo excursion, so that must be what he referred to. I feel a tremendous gratitude for all the folks who’ve saved and stored (and sometimes used) the old machines and their ephemera. It’s a good cause.

I’m totally with you on the effort to figure out non-electric options and am looking forward to doing what I can to collaborate with the wider community and encourage the tinkering and creativity needed to bridge the old and new. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Hi, Wendy. I’m a little surprised to see you have only a brief mention of Thomas Edison, who invented stencil duplicating with his electric pen in 1875. (Patented as “Autographic Printing” in 1876). This led directly to AB Dick licensing Edison’s patents, coining the work “mimeograph”, and using Edison’s name to promote his system.
I have an extensive research website on the electric pen, with much original information:
Perhaps you could include this link in your Resources section, and I could also provide scans of some original electric pen documents if you would like to add them to your Library.
(And hello to my good friend Jeff Schalles!)

Hi Bill, please don’t be too surprised – this site is new and it’s early days yet and there’s a LOT that’s not here simply because I’ve not had the time or opportunity to look for everything!

That said, though, holy-smokes, have you got a great site! I will definitely add a link to it on the Resources page and I’d be delighted to make available any scans of documentation that you’re willing to share. You can email me (using my username here or if you’ve got a better way to connect me with things, let me know (edited to add: I can just “lift” things from your site, with attribution, perhaps?). I know some files can be larger than email systems prefer.

Thank you so much for reaching out, I’m so excited to be able to add the Edison info to MR (which is very much an incomplete collection still), and it’s always nice to meet other enthusiasts.

You made my day!

Wendy – you are welcome to re-publish my comment from another chat room here in mimeoland, with a small revision. I would like to have Allen Ginsberg’s name edited out of the text. Just leave it as… poets, writers, and musicians, or something like that. Lee did know Dave Van Ronk, though, that much is true. I got to meet him as well, he did a house concert in my girlfriend, Geri Sullivan’s, living room back in the mid-1990s. That was awesome!

Dear Wendy,

I was glad to hear about your site and find it great to open ressources regarding duplicators. I am posting these links here:
The sections of our (new and still under construction) website where we will gather the Gestetner documents we have. Feel free to use them if they are of any interests. So far there is only manuals and ads in french, but I hope to upload more soon.

All the best
Julien from Obsolet studio

Julien, thank you so much for your message. Sorry for my delayed response, I’ve been busy with family visiting and then catching up with work and I didn’t get an email notification. How exciting that you’ve got a mimeo project of your own going on (the more the merrier and doubly happy that other languages are being represented). I’ll add your links to my resources page right away!

I just found two gallons of mimeograph duplicating fluid in the basement. Would anyone have any interest in this?
Thanks, Carson

Are there any inks that can be used as substitutes for this type of duplicating fluid? I was born in ’85, looking for ways to copy print without electricity.

Hi there, are talking about the duplicating fluid for “ditto” machines (aka spirit duplicators)? If so, yes, there is still something available. You’ll want to look for the actual term “duplicating fluid” – as far as I know, it won’t have the characteristic smell that previous generations love so much, but it still works. I’ve not bought any as I don’t have a spirit duplicator. My quick search turned up this potential lead:

You can use isopropyl alcohol (70%) and thermal tattoo transfer paper. This gives a really nice print. I think you can run off up to 30 copies but I’d need to check. I am going to experiment with some higher quality paper and 90% isopropyl alcohol later this week.

This is great (both that you’re making a tray and getting your machine to print)! If you post your duplicator project anywhere online, let me know and I’ll link to it. I’m considering creating a forum section here so that folks can share exactly this kind of information with others in one (more convenient) spot. Your tray-improvising experience would probably be of great interest to many.

Quick update. 90% isopropyl dries out to fast here in the high desert. 70% isopropyl with tattoo thermal transfer sheets will yield 30 copies consistently on a hand cranked machine.

Working on trying to get color this week.

I am writing this all up in a printed zine 🙂 but will also scan those pages in so they will be available on the web.

Hi ara, definitely keep me posted. I’ll link to anything you put up about your project (probably on the Resources page). Thanks for the progress reports!

I stumbled across your site looking for information on spirit duplicators and mimeographs. I recently rescued a 1937 Standard Mailing Machines Spirit duplicator. I have it up and running!

It’s in really great shape. The folks that found it cleaned it up. Sadly it’s missing the paper intake tray. Trying to source that part is a bit of a pain. I stripped it down, oiled up ever thing and made a new wick based on the old one. It prints nicely!

What a great find! Unfortunately, missing paper trays seem to be common (both feed trays and receiving trays). I think they get separated from their machines too easily and then people don’t know what they’re for. Pity. Can you improvise something?

I am hoping to build an intake tray over the next week or so. I found the patents for the machine but the tray isn’t described or drawn in great detail. Sadly a search for photos of this machine has turned up nothing so far. Likely a lot of trial and error 🙂

Thank you for this site, Fred!

This morning I thought of the mimeograph machine as something that could be worthy of a comeback. (I remembered that my elementary school had one and made a decent newsletter at lest each year.) I’d like to know if there is a source for purchasing these machines or the like.

Hi Chef,

there’s no centralized location for all things mimeograph – you’ll be able to find machines on ebay, facebook marketplace, or sometimes at garage or estate sales and antique stores, etc. Good luck stalking the wild mimeo and happy hunting!

Thank you for the collected resources you’ve made available. I have just published a write-up of my printmaking process using Risograph stencils at home. It includes some information about experiments to find the ideal ink consistency as well as troubleshooting print quality to get crisp, high-resolution images.
Please feel free to include a link to it on your resources page if you like.

Fantastic, Rachel! What a great write-up and even if you did reinvent the wheel, it’s a very helpful reinvention! I’m happy to add link to your post. Thanks for sharing.


I’m currently experimenting with electroetching stencil paper (google Monode marking products if you want to see) and, so long as one puts a buffer sheet between stencil and backing, it works just fine on a typewriter! (I’m experimenting, I think one could do without a buffer sheet if one had a better typewriter platen, but mine is very hard so I always punch through my o’s, g’s, etc if I don’t have one.)

With that in mind I got a print-o-matic A-2 postcard stencil duplicator. The electrochemical etching stencils aren’t paper-size, they’re a bit smaller (6″ wide rolls) so 4×6 in is perfect.

My question is two-fold.
A) what inks are you all using to keep a flannel pad saturated but not dripping?
B) what are you using for your ink pad covers?
C) Does anyone know how to get the rubber rolly-part off without breaking the arm? I want to put new rubber on. (This is the arm that feeds paper into the machine).

Lots to say, sorry, but I’m new to this whole thing. Love your site!

Hi Sherrinford, thanks so much for stopping by!

What an interesting experiment! I’d never heard of electroetching stencil paper. I found the one you’re likely using, here: I love that so many folks are coming up with novel supplies!

A)The ink most frequently being used these days is either Risograph ink (old or new) or vintage mimeograph ink, which can still periodically be found. The benefit of using the Riso ink is that it’s not a petrochemical sludge (new inks use rice bran oil, the older ones are soybean), but frequent commenter Kevin recommended I use old A. B. Dick ink on my Heyer 1770 (when I get it running) because it requires a thinner ink. The Riso is paste ink, which is the consistency you’ll want for the print-o-matic, and some of the vintage inks are paste as well.

B) Ink pads are flannel, sometimes with a felt pad under the flannel. I did a write-up on them here: (and you thought you were wordy?!). If your flannel has a fluffier side, that’s the side that should face up for paste ink.

C) Rubber-rolly-part… hmmm. I’m not sure I know which part you’re talking about. Here are some ideas: take it to a bike shop and ask them to use the air compressor to “shoot” it off of whatever it’s on, like they do for bike handle-bar handles? Or use a lubricating machine oil? This might very well be a question to put to the Mimeomania facebook group folks, with a picture if you’ve got one.

Glad you’re bringing an old machine back to life!

Hi again!

That is exactly the stencil paper. It works really well with a regular inkpad press, so I’m hoping it also works for the mimeograph!

I made a pad with a similar technique to your instructions. The pad on the machine was very thin, one layer of flannel. When tested with cards, it had a little trouble pulling them through, so I’m hoping the new pad helps. I’m going to scrub and oil the machine before I try anything with ink.

I did get the risograph ink! Two cartridges. My question now is, um. How do you open them without making a giant mess?

The rubber- rolly part is hard to describe, it’s on the feeding arm of the machine. For future note, though, it turns out cracked rubber, so long as it is still somewhat soft, can have the cracks filled with silicone rubber sealant, which seems to work well for now!

I hope the instructions were helpful (I know, I’m wordy).

The trick to using the Riso ink is take the cap off one end, then push the other end with a hammer-handle or a piece of wood. It’s essentially a plunger, and as you push the ink’ll come out. I put my ink in a jar (didn’t empty the whole container in one go, just a little bit). Mimeograph Revival regular Kevin suggests drilling a hole in the lid of your jar of the same size and into which you insert the brush you’ll use (ideally round-handled), then drill a small screw into the paintbrush handle to secure it. This way you’ll just unscrew the lid, the brush is already loaded with ink, and the lid can catch any drips as you apply ink to the drum.

For my experiment with the Heyer 60, I found and used a plastic oil-paint palette/knife thingy. Seemed to work ok and was easily wiped off. I’m not sure if it contributed to over- or under-inking because to be honest, I’m not sure how much is the right amount!

Glad you found a workaround for the feed-arm piece!

Hi Wendy,
thank you so much for gathering all this information! I have been looking at mobile printing setups that I might move around on a cargo bike without electricity and thus discovered mimeographs. Your website really galvanised me and a few impulsive ebay purchases later I am left with a number of old machines to experiment with. unfortunately, due to work I won’t be able to spend much time on them before autumn, but I just unboxed my purchases this weekend and this is what I have:
– a Pelikan Rotafix 35 which seems in great nick
– another, lighter and less robust mimeograph (E.D( might be Edison-Dick?) Standard) that needs a bit of TLC
– and a Trommler postcard printer much like the one you detailed in one of your projects – your research into ink pads will be extremely helpful! It even came with instructions, a single sheet of paper threatening to disintegrate, which I’ll scan and perhaps translate and send over in due course.
Charmingly, all of the machines still have the last stencil applied. One was a canteen menu, the other a product list from a wine merchant.

I’ve also picked up a thermal fax machine and an opened box of Riso master on the cheap. However, as I was looking at everything this weekend, I was frustrated to find that the riso master is 227 mm wide and thus does not fit in the fax machine, which is A4. The stencils on both mimeographs appear to be exactly 227 mm too, which makes sense when printing A4 I guess, so as to not end up with smudges on the edge of the paper.
So now I have to either find a larger fax machine or cut my master down to a4 size…
looking forward to sharing my progress here as the year goes on!

I’m excited to hear that you picked up a few machines and are giving mimeograph a try! I’ve been swamped with work and haven’t had a chance to really get back to my poor machines.

It’s great to hear about some machines that are a little less common where I am (though I suppose ebay makes that a ridiculous statement as, if you can afford it, you can pretty much ship anything anywhere for the time being).

My Heyer 60 was accompanied by a fragile stencil that was a postcard sent out to conference-goers in… maybe Kansas (I don’t have it with me, so going by memory here). Fun to have the glimpse back into regular life at a different time.

Like you, my Riso master is a different size than my thermal printer – so I just cut it. I hit so many snags with the various fax/thermal printers that I doubt I’ll look for another. I haven’t figured out yet if my expectations are too great regarding the resolution of the stencils and subsequent mimeo-print, or if I’m doing something not quite right.

Well, here we all are, experimenting away! And yes, please share your progress, I’m very excited to hear about others projects and discoveries!

I have access to mimeograph supplies, spirit masters, some ink, and etc. Looking for a place to sell it.

Hi Tom, I recommend you sell them on ebay as it provides protection for both buyer and seller. Private transactions among internet strangers sometimes work and sometimes don’t, and I’d hate for someone to be sorry in the end. A fair amount of mimeograph-related supplies seem to be bought and sold on ebay, so folks are looking there (including myself now and then, so I know it works).

Thanks so much for saying so! I like to hope it’s useful (and important), though honestly, there are current and future technological bottlenecks that do look worrisome! The solace is that lots of people have to try lots of things to find the things that will work in any particular situation – and this is my little contribution to one option.

By the way, I clicked through to your blog and, oddly enough, recognized the header. Turns out, I’d visited it at some point in the past already! I’m pretty sure it was to browse your list of many writing prompts, but maybe could’ve been your typosphere section that pulled me there. Nice to make your actual acquaintance this time around. 🙂

Hello, I’m interested in working with someone in the Brooklyn/nyc area for a mimeo project with a class I’m teaching in the spring. Anybody near here with a working machine? Please email me at desertislandbrooklyn at gmail dot com

Hello, I’m looking for someone to print several pages via a mimeograph machine. Are there people out there that offer this service? Thank you for any help!

Hi Mark, I’ll let the mimeograph user I know of who might be able to help you know about your request – meanwhile, anyone else who reads this who can help Mark is free to respond.

I was pleased to see this site, though am not likely to get a mimeograph machine myself. I am based in the UK.
I recently bought an old typewriter and hope to produce a typewritten round robin type newsletter to go with xmas cards this year. Rather than photocopy it, I wondered if I would be able get it printed on a roneo/mimeograph type printer in the uk ( I’d have to make a stencil) – I only need about 30-40 copies and would credit the printer. Does anyone know anyone in the UK that could do this? My initial search on Google hasn’t found anything.. I don’t us social media ( it’s too much of a time sink!)

Hi Retroman, thanks for stopping by and inquiring into UK mimeo folks. I’ll gladly forward your question to the fb group as I don’t know anybody personally (though you might look up Robert Marjoribanks (attached to the username/website name “stampalofi” perhaps) and see if anything turns up. I know he’s in the UK and holds workshops sometimes). Thanks for looking to support a local-to-you mimeo enthusiast!

I’d be happy to help – I have stencils you can use. And nice paper. I’m London based. Jim at aloesbooks dot co dot uk [email address edited by Wendy to prevent spider/spambot stupidity]

Hi, thanks for posting the downloads for The Fellowship of the Hermetic Rose. I would certainly be interested in a mimeograph print when the time comes. Thanks.

You’re very welcome! I thought it would be a long shot that someone checking out my website would also be interested, but I’m glad to find that I was wrong! If you’d like to be sure to receive an update when I get there (it’ll be a while, but…), feel free to subscribe to my very infrequent mailing-list updates (up in the menu above) if you haven’t already.

Hi Wendy great site Thank You for collecting all of this info in one place!

Question about the tattoo stencil printer for burning mimeo stencils with risograph master paper – how does the mirror function work on those tattoo stencil printers? If one were to mimeo print a book, one would want to burn the mimeo stencil so that it was in a landscape orientation, with 2 pages of the book side by side, being fed into whatever thermal printing device in portrait orientation. Could you use the mirror function on the tattoo stencil printer to burn the stencil so the pages get flipped, and thus print correctly, or would the mirror function flip the pages upsidedown, making it print incorrectly? Just trying to understand how the mirror function works; I burn mimeo stencils using a fax machine, having to manually flip my images before burning. My fax now has a dead pixel, leaving a blank line running along all stencils, so looking into buying another fax or getting one of these tattoo stencil printers. Hope this makes sense. Thanks!!!!

Hi Corey,

Your question makes perfect sense. I recently went through this in my switch from using the tattoo printer to using the fax machine. I first mirrored each individual page of the booklet I’m trying to make and was presented with the reality that you have to adjust the layout of each page relative to the other too! So, yes, this is one of the great features of the tattoo stencil machines. I wish it were possible to do this on the fax machine too because it makes the whole process a lot easier. Have you seen my recent fax machine posts? I had the same line problem on one fax machine that you’ve been presented with, but I also had issues with the thermal tattoo printer that were a bit of a dealbreaker (though I wonder if winter’s cold weather in that less-heated part of the house would solve the problem…). I have seen fax parts on ebay and have wondered about getting a new thermal printer unit for it.

Let me know how the tattoo printer functions for you if you go that route!

I have read all the messages with great interest. I live in Adelaide in South Australia. I used to be a school teacher and concert promoter. I am now very elderly and packing up a very full house and several sheds. I
have a hand operated wax stencil
Gestetner and some wax sheets and
several packs of quarto and foolscap
paper. Also a portable manual typewriter in a case and an electric
typewriter. I need to search for and
locate some of these items in my shed
in order to give exact details. The Gestetner worked really well when I
printed 2000 song sheets – about 15 years ago ! I don’t want to throw them out. I thought of schools in poverty areas somewhere or perhaps collectors. Please contacr me if you are interested. Ruth

Hi Ruth,

Thanks so much for taking a look at the site – I’m happy you found it interesting.

If you’d like, I can post the details about what you have on the Mimeomania facebook page and in one or two other places where I might be able to find someone local to you who’s interested. Perhaps readers here will be interested as well (I’ve got visitors from all over), so I’m glad you thought to inquire.

What a great collection – I really hope someone can adopt/buy it from you. Thank you for trying to ensure it doesn’t all just get scrapped.


Hi! I was wondering if y’all knew anyone interested in an electronic mimeograph machine close to the Austin Texas area. We’d love to give it a new home, hate to throw it away, but we do need to get rid off it.

Hi, if you’d like (like I mention to Ruth who posted just before you), I can mention your inquiry over on the mimeomania facebook page (it’s a bit more interactive/busy than this site). I hope it can be saved. At the least, if I can’t directly drum up someone to take it, please consider donating it to a thrift store instead of dumping it.


Hi Wendy,
I have a Heyer (stencil duplicator) Conqueror Model 1770 that appears to be in very good condition. A friend of mine purchased it about six years ago left it in my studio and then left for Europe. I have not used it but have plenty of photographs to share. I’m wondering if anyone would like to purchase it. It needs a new home where it will be loved and used!

Hi NYM, many thanks for your message – I’ll post your inquiry on the Mimeomania fb-group page. I saw from your other message that you’re in Cleveland, OH, so I’ll be sure to mention that so we can find someone local to you. Thanks for helping save this machine; hopefully we’ll find a good home for it. That’s a good one!

That’s really the best place I can think of. Maybe check with Rich Dana when you’re there – that’s not far from where he is and he may be having a workshop there this year (with his own machine giveaways in tow, but maybe there’ll be folks lined up).

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Mimeograph Revival