Before there were photocopiers, scanners and printers, there was the Ditto Machine (a.k.a. spirit duplicator), produced by the Illinois-based Ditto Corporation. Originally introduced in 1923, the Ditto Machine was a printing method that transferred ink onto a master copy made of smooth, waxy paper. An alcohol-based fluid (hence "spirit") was then applied to transfer the image to a copy. Primarily used by schools and churches, the Ditto became less and less commonplace as other copying technologies were brought to market. Its decline began in the 1970s, and by the mid 1990s, the Ditto was virtually extinct — although it can still be found on rare occasions, its appeal being that it does not require electrical power to run.
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