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Wedgwood, Ralph

Wedgwood's highly improved manifold writer : for copying letters, invoices, drawings, plans, &c.

Additional Title(s):

Highly improved manifold writer.

Wedgwood's manifold writer

London : Ralph Wedgwood, [approximately 1850]
Physical Description:
1 volume ; 27 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process Z48.W43 W43 1850+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
Title from printed description on inner rear cover.
Contains: Wedgwood's patent improved copy book; Wedgwood's everlasting carbonic-ink paper; metal tablet (to produce letter and its copy); and an agate-tipped stylus in central slot.
Wallet-style black goatskin binding; tri-fold interior with flaps and pockets.
With instructions printed on glazed green paper on the inner cover, and the large title label on similar paper on the inner rear cover.
A crude form of carbon paper was patented by Ralph Wedgwood in 1806. The Wedgwood Patent Manifold Writer was patented in 1806 and initially intended as a means of helping blind people to write. But it was very quickly adapted for business use, and similar systems that were sold from 1806 until around the end of the 19th century enabled users to retain a copy of outgoing letters made with this carbon paper. The original Wedgwood system used manifolds consisting of a sheet of transparent paper followed by a sheet of ordinary writing paper. To write a letter and make a carbon copy simultaneously, the user would insert a sheet of doublesided carbon paper between the transparent sheet and the writing paper. When the user wrote with an agate-tipped stylus on the transparent paper, he would produce an outgoing letter on the ordinary paper under the carbon. He would also produce a copy in reverse on the back of the transparent sheet, and because the sheet was transparent, the copy could be read from the front. Mark Twain wrote some of his stories on Manifold Writers in the early 1870s
Subject Terms:
Carbon paper.
Copying processes.

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