Hectograph

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Synonyms: Hectograph, Gelatine Duplicator, Jellygraph
See also: Zine Production, Gestetner, Corflu, Stencil, Mimeo
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The Hectograph is possibly the simplest duplicating method that has been used for fanzine production.

It requires little more than a pan of gelatin, paper, alcohol, and aniline dye pens, carbon paper, or typewriter ribbons. Text or drawings are created on paper using the aniline ink, then it is pressed onto a pan of gelatin. Alcohol is rubbed on to transfer the dye to the gelatine, and the paper is carefully peeled off again. Copies are made by pressing fresh sheets of paper to the gelatine and peeling them off again, with a maximum run of around 60-80 pages before the process must be repeated. The gelatine can be cleaned off with alcohol and reused.

Because the gelatine is used as an intermediate medium between the original page and its copies, there is no need to produce the original page as a mirror image (as with Spirit Duplication) which makes drawing and lettering much simpler.

This process was common for Samizdat publications in Eastern Europe, since most of the equipment could be explained as cooking utensils etc. and the gelatine could be melted in boiling water and poured away or, as a last resort, eaten to destroy the evidence.

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