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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Digging through the print museum

    August 15th, 2006 by Russell Viers

    I finally found Jesus.
    That’s right, I found Jesus. I was getting ready for my move to Austria, going through every box and drawer in my old house and there he was…the baby Jesus for our Nativity that we’ve been without for a couple of Christmases.
    In addition to Jesus, I found my old waxer. It was the Lectro Stix Waxer with an extra box of wax. The box boasts the waxer is “skid proof” and “cuts paste-up time in half.” Good stuff.

    Lectro Stix Waxer

    The box of wax promotes the advantages of Lectro Stix Wax over the competition: “Micro-crystalline wax! Provides a dry-to-the-touch, easy-to-handle adhesive coat that slides easily into position…in contrast to tackier waxes that need synthetic additives to make them stick.” And don’t forget, Lectro Stix Wax’s “bond is positionable—yet lasting.”

    Proportion Wheel
    What else did I run across? Oh, there were the rainbow colored Apple stickers for my car, E charts (some people would call them Type Guages), proportion wheels and burnishers…along with some X-Acto knives and blades.

    E Chart

    I found my old Logitech Scanman Plus hand held scanner. Boy did I put a lot of miles on that fine piece of hardware.

    Logitech Scanman Plus

    My 56K modem was in a box…why did I still have a 56K modem?
    On the software front, I found Adobe Gallery Effects…I think it worked with Photoshop four. I also discovered my Connectix RAM Doubler disks. Not that they’d work with OSX, but wouldn’t they be handy now. Doubling the capacity of my two gigs of RAM into four gigs…I need that.
    And for the really old-timers, I found a few CompuGraphic CG101 Diskettes…unfortunately they were FULL, as noted on them with flair pen. I also had some font strips and width cards for the CompuGraphic EditWriter 7500. I threw the training manuals and cassettes long ago.

    CompuGraphic Disk

    Why I had the premier issue of Publish magazine, I’ll never know, since the technology was outdated about a decade ago. In the stack of old mags I also had an old Desktop Publishers Journal and PostScript Journal. It was fun to flip through and look at what you could do with simple PostScript code if you had the time and desire to sit and write it. I was too lazy for that…I used Aldus PageMaker 1.0, with Microsoft Runtime Windows…on a PC 286 AT. Those, by the way, were thrown out long ago.
    I’m sure many of us have things that we just can’t throw away. Perhaps we think this old stuff will someday end up in a museum, but maybe just want to have the cherished memories of line tape and hot wax.
    What’s in your boxes? Share with us, without shame, what you’ve got tucked away for not explicable reason.
    We really want to hear.

    3 Responses to “Digging through the print museum”

    1. Jamie Bradley Says:

      I had to laugh when I saw the waxer – I think they came out right after the stone and chisel went out of fashion. I, too still have a compugraphic type gauge like the one shown, and keep it with my old x-acto knifes, proportion wheel and a 1995 Pantone book. You might enjoy reading this post

      Thanks for giving me a laugh.

      Jamie Bradley

    2. Sherryl Says:

      OMG!! When I came across this page I almost died from laughter. I remember all of the above. I also have my old line gauge. I also have some of my father’s old, old typesetting tools that he used with “hot metal” way back when. I served an apprenticeship in 1971-1974. Became a “typesetter” and worked until 1994 as one. Then I became obsolete.

    3. Anne Scott Says:

      I really need a proportion wheel – would you sell it to me?

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