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  #1  
Old 4th February 2019, 21:31
appbob appbob is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Active: 1950 - 1960
 
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Plex Boards

One of the mysterious items in the Purser's office was an object called the plex board. Basicaly it was a shallow box maybe 3'x2'x2" filled with a white substance, probably china clay. This was the modern day equivalent of the duplicating machine. To bring it into working condition one had to anoint it with glycerine ?, work it into the surface until it was nearly dry. My memory is a bit dim regarding the preparation of the documents to be duplicated - Crew Lists , Stowage plans - perhaps they were typed with a special ribbon.This left an imprint of the document on the clay surface which was transfered to the surface of the paper laid on it. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. If the original paper was not put onto the boards surface properly the original or copies could be spoilt. All in all it was a tricky operation.
Does anyone remember these infernal objects???
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  #2  
Old 4th February 2019, 23:08
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Farmer John Farmer John is offline  
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And we thought Navigation was difficult!
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"The kitten and the snail got off the bus!"
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  #3  
Old 4th February 2019, 23:18
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kewl dude kewl dude is offline  
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Is this what you are looking for?


Apparently named a Hectograph duplicating system?

Greg Hayden
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  #4  
Old 7th February 2019, 20:02
clibb clibb is offline  
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I remember these things. There were two distinct problems. The first was that the ribbon on the typewriter had to be changed to a violent violet colour, and the ink got everywhere. If you were tasked with doing this when you were wearing whites you could never get them clean again. The second problem was that after use you had to clear the surface by scraping it before you could use it again. The only thing I recall that was as dirty a job was the production of the wireless press in the D deck office. That Roneo duplicator was a foul piece of equipment, and to a technological moron like me meant that the dhobi man was kept very busy.

Nick
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  #5  
Old 7th February 2019, 21:47
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Yes, I remember it and used it - not often, but I think we used it to make outlines of the hold plans so they could be duplicated/triplicated/quadruplicated etc anyway multi copies!
I think the purple ink pencils were like the duplicating pencils you used to have to lick to make them work.

Another bit of kit was the long carriage typewriter for manifests - it was a brute.

Oh then there was that bl**dy Epitome a summary of loaded cargo that had to be complete and sent home from the last port of call
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  #6  
Old 18th February 2019, 13:49
appbob appbob is offline  
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Thanks for your responses. Greg's short video shows the modern equivalent called I think a screen printer. All in all it was a tricky piece of kit to be treated with respect. Regards Bob
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  #7  
Old 18th February 2019, 16:11
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Graham the pipe Graham the pipe is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appbob View Post
One of the mysterious items in the Purser's office was an object called the plex board. Basicaly it was a shallow box maybe 3'x2'x2" filled with a white substance, probably china clay. This was the modern day equivalent of the duplicating machine. To bring it into working condition one had to anoint it with glycerine ?, work it into the surface until it was nearly dry. My memory is a bit dim regarding the preparation of the documents to be duplicated - Crew Lists , Stowage plans - perhaps they were typed with a special ribbon.This left an imprint of the document on the clay surface which was transfered to the surface of the paper laid on it. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. If the original paper was not put onto the boards surface properly the original or copies could be spoilt. All in all it was a tricky operation.
Does anyone remember these infernal objects???
The answer is no, I'm afraid, wrong department and for those thinking of Googling, don't bother, it just comes up with some hi tech game machine.
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  #8  
Old 18th February 2019, 20:11
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appbob View Post
Thanks for your responses. Greg's short video shows the modern equivalent called I think a screen printer. All in all it was a tricky piece of kit to be treated with respect. Regards Bob
OMG Bob, you`ve suddenly mentioned the magic words " Screen PrinTer" I finished my working career as a Screen Printer (amongst other things) and I was a hand screen printer too!
Would you adam an eve it to think I actually learned something while I was at sea. and unrealised was subsequently able to earn a crust out of it (won`t go so far as to say - make a living)

Last edited by Roger Turner; 18th February 2019 at 20:15..
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