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08 May 2014


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Keith, Richard: The pedant in me obliges me to refresh your memories. The Gestetner and Roneo were not spirit duplicators: they used ink, forced through a stencil 'cut through' by a typewriter - the prototype of which was invented by Thomas Edison.

Spirit duplicators, as the name implies, used an alcohol-based spirit (not ink) and a wax-coated stencil which was not 'cut' through by the typewriter.

One fundamental difference, then, between the two types of duplicators was that one could imbibe the spirit for the spirit duplicator - which is why we were required to keep it under lock and key so that our teacher colleagues (and others) were obliged to use more conventional means of getting high.

Indeed, as I remember it, the spirit supplied by Gov Stores was dyed purple to dissuade us those among us from imbibing it - although I did hear that someone discovered that the dye could be removed by filtering it through bread.

Hi Keith & Murray - re the Stork Notice about the birth of Brendan Heagney. Has anyone written anything about the legendary Brian Heagney.

I never met him but in the 1950s/60s Madang was the supply port for the Highlands & a dozen or so DC3 aircraft were kept flat out supplying goods.

Once a month Captain Lawrie Thomas (The Screaming Skull) would bring the MV Sorengana of North Western Trading Co from Madang to us at Aitape.

We were warned that we had to make sure we put our orders in before Heagney came to town as he would go from one wholesale outlet to another & buy out the whole town!

Doing a hurried mathematical check, Sir Keithee, I estimate you would have been all of 20 years of age when this four-pager came out. Surely not still 19!

Presumably using the 'back in the day' roneo machine, or similar to produce the aforesaid 4-pager.

Wrong on one, right on one, Rycharrrrde. I was a mere babe at 19 years of age. The machine used was indeed a spirit duplicator - which we called either a Roneo or a Gestetner, they being the two most popular brands). Good for about 50 copies - KJ

I had a good laugh on the train with this article Keith. I am glad you saved it.

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