DIW (Do-It-Weird) Tuesday: Hectographic Resources

Many American households this week after Thanksgiving are burdened with a surplus of unused ingredients. What are you gonna do with that leftover sugar and unflavored gelatin powder? And how will you ever use 715 grams of glycerin?

Hmmm. I suppose you could whip up a nice pan of hectographic duplicator. If you misplaced your granny’s recipe for jellygraph, you can download instructions from Better Times Almanac of Useful Information’s Emergency Notes:

A hectographic duplicator is a firm bed of gelatin made with a special recipe. A master copy made with hectographic ink or pencils is placed face down on the bed and the ink transfers to the gelatin. The master is taken off and blank sheets of paper are laid on the gelatin, producing from 30 to 50 or so copies. Hectographic copying has a long history of utilization in extreme situations such as prisoner of war camps, the Soviet gulag, and in civilian societies under tyrannical governments or foreign occupation. It does not need electricity and the materials are commonly available.

There are also useful instructional videos on YouTube:

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Before you get into this, please note that it’s not safe to eat your pan of hectographic gelatin, no matter how good it tastes. And you’re advised to check out Tom Trusky’s hecto experiments at Boise State. You might end up with a bit of a mess in the kitchen:


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Categories: DIY, Print-related, Resources, Technology

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