Gestetner, David

SUBJECT AREA: Paper and printing
[br]
b. March 1854 Csorna, Hungary
d. 8 March 1939 Nice, France
[br]
Hungarian/British pioneer of stencil duplicating.
[br]
For the first twenty-five years of his life, Gestetner was a rolling stone and accordingly gathered no moss. Leaving school in 1867, he began working for an uncle in Sopron, making sausages. Four years later he apprenticed himself to another uncle, a stockbroker, in Vienna. The financial crisis of 1873 prompted a move to a restaurant, also in the family, but tiring of a menial existence, he emigrated to the USA, travelling steerage. He began to earn a living by selling Japanese kites: these were made of strong Japanese paper coated with lacquer, and he noted their long fibres and great strength, an observation that was later to prove useful when he was searching for a suitable medium for stencil duplicating. However, he did not prosper in the USA and he returned to Europe, first to Vienna and finally to London in 1879. He took a job with Fairholme \& Co., stationers in Shoe Lane, off Holborn; at last Gestetner found an outlet for his inventive genius and he began his life's work in developing stencil duplicating. His first patent was in 1879 for an application of the hectograph, an early method of duplicating documents. In 1881, he patented the toothed-wheel pen, or Cyclostyle, which made good ink-passing perforations in the stencil paper, with which he was able to pioneer the first practicable form of stencil duplicating. He then adopted a better stencil tissue of Japanese paper coated with wax, and later an improved form of pen. This assured the success of Gestetner's form of stencil duplicating and it became established practice in offices in the late 1880s. Gestetner began to manufacture the apparatus in premises in Sun Street, at first under the name of Fairholme, since they had defrayed the patent expenses and otherwise supported him financially, in return for which Gestetner assigned them his patent rights. In 1882 he patented the wheel pen in the USA and appointed an agent to sell the equipment there. In 1884 he moved to larger premises, and three years later to still larger premises. The introduction of the typewriter prompted modifications that enabled stencil duplicating to become both the standard means of printing short runs of copy and an essential piece of equipment in offices. Before the First World War, Gestetner's products were being sold around the world; in fact he created one of the first truly international distribution networks. He finally moved to a large factory to the north-east of London: when his company went public in 1929, it had a share capital of nearly £750,000. It was only with the development of electrostatic photocopying and small office offset litho machines that stencil duplicating began to decline in the 1960s. The firm David Gestetner had founded adapted to the new conditions and prospers still, under the direction of his grandson and namesake.
[br]
Further Reading
W.B.Proudfoot, 1972, The Origin of Stencil Duplicating London: Hutchinson (gives a good account of the method and the development of the Gestetner process, together with some details of his life).
H.V.Culpan, 1951, "The House of Gestetner", in Gestetner 70th Anniversary Celebration Brochure, London: Gestetner.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GESTETNER, DAVID — (1854–1939), British industrialist. Born in Csorna, Hungary, he was the inventor of the cyclostyle duplicating process and was credited with being the founder of modern stencil duplicating. At 17, chafing at the monotony of clerking on the Vienna …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • David Gestetner — (eng) Gestetner Dávid (hu) David Gestetner outside his home at 124 Highbury New P …   Wikipedia

  • David Gestetner — Der Automatic Cyclostyle der britischen Firma Gestetner (Werbeanzeige, um 1900) David Gestetner (ungarisch: Gestetner Dávid; * 20. März 1854 in Csorna, Ungarn; † 18. März 1939 London) war ein ungarischer Erfinder. David Gestetner arbeitete… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David Gestetner — David Gestetner, né à Csorna (Hongrie) le 20 mars 1854 et mort à Londres le 18 mars 1939, est l inventeur du polycopieur ou cyclostyle qui porte son nom. Il commence sa carrière professionnelle à la Bourse de Vienne, puis… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gestetner — The Gestetner, named for its inventor David Gestetner, is a duplicating machine.The Gestetner brand has been owned by Ricoh since 1995.In Europe, Gestetner Group became NRG Group which as of 1st April became Ricoh Europe.In the US, the Gestetner… …   Wikipedia

  • David Young, Baron Young of Graffham — For other people named Lord Young, see Lord Young (disambiguation). The Right Honourable The Lord Young of Graffham PC DL Secretary of State for Tr …   Wikipedia

  • Gestetner, Sigmund — (1897–1956)    British industrialist and Zionist. Sigmund’s father David had settled in England from Hungary, and manufactured a cyclo style duplicating process he had invented. Sigmund became chairman of the company at the age of twenty three,… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Paper and printing — See also: INDEX BY SUBJECT AREA [br] Applegath, Augustus Barclay, Robert Baxter, George Bell, Thomas Benton, Linn Boyd Bewick, Thomas Biro, Laszlo Joszef Bi Sheng Blickensderfer, George C …   Biographical history of technology

  • Mimeograph — Illustration of a typical mimeograph machine Ja …   Wikipedia

  • Stencil duplicator — The stencil duplicator, or mimeograph machine (commonly abbreviated to mimeo), along with spirit duplicators and hectographs were for many decades used to print short run office work, classroom materials, and church bulletins. These technologies… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.