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Re: [BKARTS] Onion Skin?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
> Ingrid Wolsk
> You put it so well, I thought I was the only one
> left on the planet who used it as a second sheet when typing.
OK - I'll weigh in. Early in my writing career (typewriter, folks) I used
onion skin for "second sheets" - it was often used when making multiple
carbon copies so that the impressing could get through all of the layers.
And carbon paper!!! Maddening if you inserted one of the sheets backwards,
so your typing wound up in reverse on the back of a previous page.
When I was around eight years old ... ahem, circa 1951....my mother took me
to an auction. There was a HUGE box of old office paper on offer...paper of
various kinds, carbon paper, receipt books, etc. As a child who loved to
write and draw and who often was given brown paper bags for these projects
instead of "real" paper, I was eager to bid on the box. I had the huge sum
of 25 cents. I made such a commotion about it, asking as each item was
auctioned off when the box of paper would come up, and did my mother think I
would get it for my quarter, that everyone in the room knew how passionate I
was about bidding on it. So the auctioneer finally brought it up with a
grin, started the bidding at 25 cents, and everyone in the room grinned and
sat on his/her hands.
So I won my prize....and long after I was an adult I was still using paper
from that box. (In fact, as a person who has never been able to throw away
paper, I checked my "old paper" stash to see if any onion skin was left that
I could share - but alas. Gone. Anyone need old carbon paper though?) I do
have old manuscript copies on onion skin, but those are stored away
somewhere. And yes - it was thin, crinkly, crisp, and obviously it lasted
Times do change....as a writer, I moved from a standard typewriter to an
electric to a top-of-the-line IBM Selectric (remember the little spinning
balls you could exchange out for different typefaces?) that was the top of
professionalism in its day. Then came the computer - making life ten times
easier when you had to type "clean" copy. Of course, the printers were
something else - pin printers, and unless you had an expensive one that made
"good as typewriter" reproductions, editors wouldn't read your manuscript
(too hard on the eyes). And laser printers were very, very expensive. In
fact, my first computer - 20K hard drive - with Word Imperfect software and
a pin printer - cost around $3500. BUT no more erasing!! Editors were fussy
about erasures and corrections, too, and more than three errors per page
meant a do-over. And no more carbon paper. Hooray!
About 20 years ago I worked in a bookstore whose owner was too cheap to
provide even a typewriter for our use....and when I wrote "quotes" to
customers I had to do so by hand - so in order to keep a copy I brought in
some carbon paper. Our young clerks were all agog at it...they had never
seen the stuff before and thought it was somewhat magical.
So times DO change and not always for the worse...although onion skin paper
should stick around.
As for mailing letters overseas, there were special "aerograms" that were
very thin and that you wrote on internally, then folded up with the printed
airmail/address stuff on the outside to avoid using an envelope. And there
was also super thin stationery that was lovely to write on, used for the
same purpose when writing at greater length. Most of that stuff was pale
blue - or at least, that's what I selected.
Older than dirt,
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