Typewriter Ribbon

Unless you have a typewriter ribbon your typer is only good for typing stencils. Many a faned has despaired of faintly typed locs from thrifty letterhacks trying to squeeze the last vestiges of ink from a ribbon.

The inked strips of fabric on reels that had to be threaded through the typewriter could be reversed and used over and over again. In later models of typewriters, they were replaced by easier to install cartridges, some of which held single-use carbon film, which created crisper type.

Ribbons were usually inked with black but came in different colors. Most common were ribbons with black on the bottom and red on top. Typewriters could be set to use the top or bottom (or disengaged for stencil cutting). The red side was intended for accounting and financial reports but some fans liked to type letters in red or to use red for emphasis. Specialty ribbons came in other colors. Teenaged letterhack Leah Zeldes drew attention, not always favorable, for typing her correspondence in Ghuish purple.