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July 13, 2008



I just knew that my beloved Rapidagraph was going to be there, but I forgot all about Skum-X! Takes me back to my high school mechanical drawing classes.

Most of the rest of items on that list are at the bottom of my drafting table drawer at work, "just in case" I might one day need them. Except now I don't even use my drafting table at work anymore.


I'd never heard the term "Haberule Type Gauge"--at the newspapers where I worked as a copy drudge, we called it a "pica pole." Six picas to an inch. You never forget that stuff.

Oh, and it's a Pantone *fan*, not a Pantone "thing." Harrumph.

Skum-X! Never heard of it, but man, what a great name!

Revisiting these art supplies reminds me of all the ancient consumer products we discovered while clearing out our parents' house: http://tinyurl.com/4ve474
(While digging out that post of mine, I discovered that it had been picked up by Typography Digest-- http://typography.shmuggi.com/?p=138 --which makes me very proud.


My husband has a Fine Arts/Illustration degree and works as a graphic designer, so I sent that link to him. He said that he recognized "way too much of that stuff."


Just a reminder that a designer worth his/her chops would never deign to use a proportion wheel or "scaleograph". (Would a shushi chef use a Cuisinart?) Victor taught you better than that.


You're right! And I realize now that my Scale-o-Graph was in fact a remnant of my high school yearbook editor gig.


Wow, I recognize most of those, too. I remember my mom talking about using Bestine to get adhesive off glass--even though we never actually did it at home, I knew what it was for. (She's been doing graphic art since the late '70s or so.)

Heather Haber

My great-grandfather, Max Haber, invented the Haberule. I have been collecting them, but know almost nothing about how they were used. Needless to say, although a friend used to call me "the Haberule heiress," no one in the family saw a dime from it.


A pica pole is a different animal than a Haberule. It's a stainless or brass ruler marked in various scales (inches, agate, points, picas, etc.) with rounded ends (so as not to wear a hole in your pocket) and a step on the zero end that you could hook on the end of a line or column of lead type for faster measurements. Most were 12", but there are 18" and 24" ones floating around. Used in type composing through the paste-up era, although the step on the end became pretty useless with cold type.

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