Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The initial patent posted by Gestetner in 1880 was an improvement of rough surface, on which the stencil was placed so that while writing above with a stylet, paper would be perforated by the lower part. This process "file-punt" of preparation of the stencils had been developed by Eugenio Zuccato , a young student in Padua, patented in England in 1877. Analyzing the method, Gestetner realized that a better perforation of the stencil was obtained if the paper was pierced by the stylet rather than by the asperities of the rough surface.
In 1881, he obtained a patent for one of its two decisive innovations: a feather which ended not in a nozzle but in a small toothed wheel placed perpendicular to the axis of the feather. This "cyclostyle " was used on the smooth surface of a sheet of galvanized iron or zinc assembled on a block of wood contained in the Gestetner's machine. However, the success of the process was ensured by the second major innovation (patented in the United States in 1885), with the use of a bamboo filament easily perforable, of which one of the faces was coated with paraffin.
The cyclostyle was already an success when, in 1888, Gestetner made a new innovation consisting in placing the toothed wheel of the feather obliquely rather than perpendicular to the axis. This seemingly minor modification made it possible to use the feather in a normally tilted position to write rather than being forced to vertically hold it on paper. The profit in convenience and comfort immediately improved the
The "Neo-cyclostyle", as Gestetner named this sophisticated version of his machine, could reproduce up to six copies per minute with a stencil which could produce up to two thousand copies.
Like its rival, the Mimeograph of Thomas Edison, it was the standard for cheap and easy duplication employed for most of the century. It however was quickly modified to be used initially by a machine automatically functioning, which was produced by Gestetner in 1891, then by a rotary machine with one or two cylinders, created at the end of the years 1890.
As for the company it was incorporated 1881, and became a subsidiary of the Savin Corporation , in 1998.
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