December 18, 2013

Do you know what this is?

The Oskaloosa Herald


This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm is a mimeograph duplicator machine.

This was a very popular artifact and many people emailed or sent Facebook messages about their guesses as to its identity. Thirteen people sent Facebook responses. Here is just a few of the people's comments.

Alwyn Hall, of University Park, replied via email: “Th machine pictured on p. 3 of the Dec. 11, 2013 Oskaloosa Herald Shopper I think is hand cranked mimeograph machine used in schools and churches in the late 50's & early 60's, before the advent of electronic copy machines.  As I remember it, someone would painstakingly try to accurately type a "stencil" which was then attached to the rotating drum, and then a fragrant ink would be applied to paper that was feed through by the roller, each round making one mimeographed "copy".  Fresh copies always had a distinctive smell.  That's my guess.”

Heather Groenenboom also wrote via email: “My guess is that it looks like some sort of a printing press... I would like to guess that it is a Mimeograph.”

Joyce Hoyt also wrote via email: “I would like to make a guess on  the artifact pictured in the Dec 11th  Shopper . I believe it is a mimeograph machine used for duplication. You would prepare a master carbon copy  and put it on  the drum of the machine. From that it would make copies.”

Jim Sutton, of Eddyville, wrote via email: “I believe this is a mimeograph machine.  I remember using one of these while working on the "Twinkler", the Eddyville High School paper back in the late 50's.”

Kayla Scholtus wrote via Facebook: “Looks like a newspaper printer to me!

Ron Barrett wrote on Facebook: “Wet tape dispenser for taping boxes closed ?”

David Lloyd Corbett also wrote on Facebook: “makes copies. has a name just can't remember it.”

Eileen Van Weelden wrote on Facebook: “mimeograph.”

Clint Jenkins wrote via Facebook: “Puple ink on worksheets. Marge McFall used to run one at Lincoln elementary.”

The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.

The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.

The Herald will take a picture of an artifact and publish it in the Herald section of the Oskaloosa Shopper, The Oskaloosa Herald an the Herald's Web site, www.oskaloosa.com. People can make a guess on what they think the object could be.

People can either email their guess to oskynews@oskyherald.com or mail their guess to The Oskaloosa Herald, P.O. Box 530, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can vote from Wednesday through Saturday.

The identity of the artifact and the vote breakdown will be announced in each Wednesday's Herald Shopper along with the week's new artifact.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com