Cyclostyle (copier)

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French advertisement for the Gestetner Cyclostyle, circa 1900

The Cyclostyle duplicating process is a form of stencil copying invented by David Gestetner in London in 1890. A stencil is cut with the help of small toothed wheels on a special paper underlaid with carbon paper which serves as a printing form. Gestetner named the Cyclostyle after a drawing tool he used. In 1875 Thomas Edison received a patent for the "electric pen", which a decade later became the basis for the mimeograph machine. Gestetner's cyclostyle was similar and provided more automated, faster reproductions. See stencil duplicator.

In 1893 Francis Galton described a system for sending line drawings through the then widely established telegraph system, using simple numeric codes, and printing out the line drawings at the other end from the codes. He referred to this printer as the Cyclostyle. It contained elements of Gestetner's system, and also elements in common with modern-day computer graphics printing of line drawings. Galton's description of the cyclostyle is available in Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (vol XIV) (fileformat DJVU; book pages 13–26; file pages 25–38).