Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Typing Paper Musings


Post-Script: I'm certain that most every contemporary user of manual typewriters has some favored kind of paper, and can brag about its specific qualities. But until you've found, as I have, a pack of legacy-era "genuine" typing paper, in some thrift store perhaps, you don't know that most other kinds of paper pale in comparison. Know too that I'm not referring to "erasable bond" typing paper.

The typing papers I've found receive ribbon ink remarkably well; so well that they can transform an otherwise faint-printing machine into a bold typer - which thus serves to further reinforce my contention that the quality of paper is important to the typing experience.

These papers, while receiving ink so well, do so without being excessively thick or ragged. They appear thin and crisp, and thus roll through a typewriter's platen and rollers with ease.

I'm really surprised that quality typing paper has not received more attention from manufacturers looking for new niche markets to exploit. Imagine if film photographers enjoyed fondling their mechanical cameras but could care less what kind of film they used (read some posting on Rangefinder Forum, for example, and you'll see that photographers are a picky bunch). Most typists seem a bit more laid back, as if "whatever paper I find is okay with me" were the mantra.

Perhaps this serves as proof that typewriters are not as much a hipster affectation as we might expect, for if they were, we'd see a plethora of artisan-crafted typing papers to choose from. And that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

In the second photo, I've scanned the new Mead multipurpose paper, while below it is the lower half of the legacy Mead typing paper. Note the UPC code for both products differ only by one digit. If you search online for the new paper, most websites list results whose photos are actually of the older paper's label, which indicates to me that the product has only recently been re-branded.

The first page of the piece was typed using the newer Mead paper, while the second page was typed using the Strathmore Newsprint art paper. It's a bit more gray than the scan might indicate, but seems to take ribbon ink rather well; and its toothiness seems to actually keep the type slugs clean, so it has that going for it. The downsides are the cost, the gray color which makes it difficult to hide any corrections, and the size.

Typecast via Hermes 3000 Nekkid-Riter. The storage box is essentially complete, so I'll post an article next week about it.

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Blogger Richard P said...

This is a good topic. Printer paper doesn't bother me, but I really like thicker, resume-quality paper, which allows our "manual 3D printers" to create a deeper impression.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I often try many kinds of paper, but in most cases I'm using vintage paper anyway, often leftover stock binned by print shops in the 80's (absorbent and intended for offset printing) or packets of actual thrift-found typing paper of various sorts (loves me some 9lb airmail paper, btw). Modern copier paper does have a rather hard finish for what is supposedly "bond".

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. This reminds me I really do need to look for a more imaginative alternative to photocopier paper.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Did you give up on the Sugar Cane paper?

For typing important letters I like 25% rag content 28 or 32 lb. paper. I noticed neither wrapper you showed indicates the actual weight of the paper. Like Richard P, I often use resume paper although it is sometimes somewhat expensive.

In my college days I always used Eaton's Corrasible Bond paper. In fact, I have an unopened ream of Eaton's Corrasible "Onionskin" 9 lb. paper.

When I am at a big box office supply store and some eager young "sales associate" comes up and asks if he can help me, I always say "Yes, where is the onionskin paper?" It always produces a blank stare. The same thing happens when you ask for carbon paper.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Joe V said...

Phil, the ream of sugar cane paper just didn't feel the same as the sugar cane - based lined notepad paper. And now I think I know why: it was intended as copy paper!

5:10 AM  
Blogger Tom Hitt said...

Fun read. I received a gift about 6 months ago of some very nice margined typing paper. I was very excited! I think the gifter was a little surprised at how thrilled I was to accept this paper that might as well have been put in a recycle bin as far as she was concerned. I too am surprised that more folks don't consider the tactile quality of paper that they use.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

My favorite paper (so far) is a thrift store box of tractor paper, micro-perf tear-down to letter size. It' made of recycled paper and is a lovely soft off-white.
It was $5 for 2500 sheets.

Mike T.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Christopher Sobieniak said...

"When I am at a big box office supply store and some eager young "sales associate" comes up and asks if he can help me, I always say "Yes, where is the onionskin paper?" It always produces a blank stare. The same thing happens when you ask for carbon paper."

Nobody cares for what we want anymore. :-(

3:01 AM  

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