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Mimeoscope Shows early 20th-century Technology

By Neal McChristy

It's used as a table for tracing, something that was used in the days when tracing was the major method to secure a copy.

The mimeoscope acquired by Gerald Hammontree, Lenexa, Kan., was rescued by his mother from a company clean-up in the mid-'70s in Grain Valley, Mo.

"They were going to throw out a lot of good stuff," he said, "and it was probably in the corner collecting dust."

He said he has used it as a lamp stand for years. The name plate on the opposite side from that shown in the photo is still readable. Note: you may click here to see text on plate. (The other side is shown in the photo).

Mimeo1.gif "I liked it because it was an antique - very unusual and in very good condition," said Hammontree. "Draftsmen sometimes use light tables (tracing tables) in their work - or used to - and I have used this machine for just that purpose in the past."

Background in Navy
Hammontree is a draftsman for a Lenexa firm. He has a Navy background, at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Jacksonville, Florida as an aviation electrician. From 1969 to 1972 he was squadron personnel with a group out of Cecil Field, Florida, working on A4 Skyhawks and A7 Corsairs. He made several cruises to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Forestall and the USS Independence aircraft carriers.

After the Navy, he attended Central Missouri State University and graduated in 1975 with a degree in Industrial Design Drafting.

While Hammontree does not have an extensive collection, he says there will always be an interest in collectibles: "As long as people are interested in history there will be an interest in how we used to live and work."

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Photo from OSU Archives showing a Mimeoscope in use:

To contact Gerald Hammontree, e-mail him at

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