Today in Legal History: Carbon Paper Patented in London

Carbon paper was patented in London on Oct. 7, 1806. While it may be difficult to visualize in this age of electronic copies and photocopy machines, at one time if you wanted a copy of something, you hand printed it yourself.  With the creation of carbon paper, used in conjunction with a typewriter, multiple copies could be made at one time.  Although carbon paper (and its progeny, carbonless paper) has lost much of its market due to photocopiers and the ease of printing multiple copies, it is still used for manual credit card receipts, tickets, and duplicate checks.  It is also memorialized in “cc” for emails (cc is short for carbon copy).

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Printing Overload

When doing online research, it is easy to inadvertently print more material than you intend.  Remember that all of the law school student printers are shared.  That means there are hundreds of students using the same printers.  Next time you print, consider whether you really need everything you are sending to the printer.  Annotations along with statutory text?  Entire chapters of treatises?  After all, while your job prints, everyone else has to wait.  And, of course, lovely forests are being clear-cut.  If you are not sure how large your print job is, ask a reference librarian or your Lexis or Westlaw representative.

Printing

PrintingRemember that while printing from Westlaw and Lexis does not come out of your print account, it is not without environmental cost. Please print only what you need. Mistakes often happen when printing statutory code provisions; including the annotations in your print job can lead to hundreds of unnecessary pages printed.

Printing in the Law Library

The DDC is experiencing an extremely high volume of print activity. Be patient with the student assistants working behind the counter. They must carefully sort through every print job to ensure accuracy. The process can be time consuming. Often a small, single page job will be interposed between large printouts.

Remember that the DDC is a public area with little expectation of privacy. Send confidential print jobs to the printers on the 3rd or 4th floor of the library and retrieve them immediately. Resume paper cannot be added to the printers in the DDC as printouts are randomly queued between two large printers with six paper trays between them. The 3rd and 4th floor printers have a single removable tray that can accommodate special bond paper.