karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
This came up in a post by [livejournal.com profile] belak_krin.

Before photocopying was affordable enough to be widespread, they used a different machine which involved typing the original on a special paper with a coated rear which was then used as template to make multiple copies on a machine. It was a special, smooth paper, the ink was purple and fresh copies smelled horribly of solvent. [livejournal.com profile] whiskeylover, I'm referring to Matritzen (matrices?).

What were they called here? I found an old one on the German ebay.

Update:
Thanks to the suggestions below and cross-Googling/Wikiing, I found this wikipedia page. The description of the process includes the fantastic line "Going outside to get away from the ka-chunk ka-chunk ka-chunk noise and to recover from the fumes". Heh.

It seems they were called "Banda machines" in the UK (not mentioned on that wiki page but here) and "ditto machines" in the US so full marks go to [livejournal.com profile] borusa and [livejournal.com profile] nina321. Honourable mention goes to [livejournal.com profile] lonewolfi for the mimeograph suggestion which was a similar process with more long-lived templates/stencils.

Many thanks!

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