Monday, December 17, 2007

Look Sharp

Cutting Edge Technology From Yesteryear

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Quite by chance, I caught sight of this contraption recently. I'm not sure what it's called, but it obviously goes back a few decades. I guess you'd call it a paper dispenser-cum-cutter. When I saw it, it had a thick reel of brown wrapping paper on its spool. And I guess the heavy chrome-plated blade is utilised to neatly tear off as much paper as you need. It took me a few seconds to figure out how to present one frame showing the businesslike blade, the contoured arm and the thickness of the paper reel. I figure this sort of contraption would have been fairly common in old stores where products were wrapped after being purchased. Any clues, anyone?

Weekend wandering
  • If you got the chance to go back to your childhood, whom would you like to say thank you to?

  • When did you last write or receive a love letter?



21 comments:

Seamus said...

Those paper dispensers were very common in retail stores and butcher shops. This one looks like it was cared for very well.

Sandy Kessler said...

write them everyday - just that old fashioned. I'd like to thank myself really for surviving a very rough childhood, of course God..

Patty said...

Believe it or not, the Deli where I use to work part time have one of those paper cutting devices. They use to use it when they wrapped meat, by pulling off a piece of paper to wrap the meat in. Now they use it with white paper of course, and it's to cover over the containers left in the case over night. But that roll of paper is pretty heavy to refill the device, when working alone, pretty hard to get onto the contraption so it will work. Only had to do it alone, once while I worked there.

I would thank my special Grandmother that died in 1953. Last time I got a love letter was from Abe, after our last child was born.

BondBloke said...

Well, I have to say it is an impressive object, and I for one would not like to get my fingers caught in it!

M@ said...

Funny, I just threw out a bunch of old love letters from college. As crazy as that bitch was, at least she cared enough to WRITE.

TheBirdman33 said...

My high school runs a charity "Gift Wrap Booth" at the mall for the holidays and when we were seniors we did it a few times and we got to use one of those cool things. It is very precise and it's fun to give a tug and have it slice right off.

TheBirdman33 said...

I couldn't tell you the last time I wrote or recieved a love letter. It's been quite some time.

Merisi said...

These roll paper cutters are still in everyday use in stores here in Vienna (even Ikea has a giant one at the customer wrapping station). Maybe this was the reason why Rumsfeld talked about "Old Europe"??? (My answer to this is "Thank heavens!").
Not so long ago, I bought some frames in Venice. The shop owner wrapped them carefully with brown craft paper, torn in neat sheets from the roll with the help of the roll paper cutter. He then took a piece of string, wrapped it around the package and tied it in such a manner I could carry it comfortably. Next time I visit him, I shall photograph him in the act. :-)

Merisi said...

These roll paper cutters are still in everyday use in stores here in Vienna (even Ikea has a giant one at the customer wrapping station). Maybe this was the reason why Rumsfeld talked about "Old Europe"??? (My answer to this is "Thank heavens!").
Not so long ago, I bought some frames in Venice. The shop owner wrapped them carefully with brown craft paper, torn in neat sheets from the roll with the help of the roll paper cutter. He then took a piece of string, wrapped it around the package and tied it in such a manner I could carry it comfortably. Next time I visit him, I shall photograph him in the act. :-)

San said...

Used to work in a gallery in the 80s where we used one of these babies for dispensing paper to wrap art. They're very handy for such things.

Nice photo.

Driving With the Brakes On said...

All of the elementary schools in our local district have these - usually six set-up on a rack with a different color spool of butcher paper on each one. Very practical for young children who need endless expanses to capture their imaginations!

Love, love, love love letters, but sadly cannot remember the last time I received one. Wrote one about 9 years back - and to this day (despite husband and children) would kill for a response!

Mushy said...

I've used one of the "high-tech" devices twice in my life, once in my uncle's general store to wrap meat, and again in a hardware store I once worked. Quite handy actually!

One would come in handy these days for wrapping Christmas gifts...of course you'd need to use solid paper so you could change up the themes with ribbons and bows!

Haven't written a love letter since 'Nam...but I've written lots of "love poems" over the years.

Catmoves said...

I guess I'm much older than you David. I can even remember these in the fish 'n' chips shops in Queensland.
Meat markets always had them with strong shiny, leakproof paper to wrap your order.
P.S. There are some strange posts on this page. I think you're being used as a message center?

imac said...

When I left school ***** years ago
I worked in a Army n Navy Store, we had one of those.



you be missing Urban Jungle.

Janice Thomson said...

Here in Canada the butcher uses an item like this with thick brown waxed paper to wrap meat.

Epijunky said...

Very nice shots there...

Can I ask what lens you shot it with? I'm lens shopping.

Last time I sent a love letter... Two months ago, for our 9th anniversary.

If I could go back to my childhood... I would thank my my Mother. She's alive today, and I thank her almost daily for all that she did for us, but I was a little spoiled brat back then. I don't know how she managed to not throttle me.

Last time I received a love letter... It's been a few years, but it came from my husband in the form of a poem.

Ornery's Wife said...

Is it really fair to ask two questions in one post? I'll work on that question. Looking forward to our party on the 27th!
TM

Anonymous said...

hmmm - I don't seem to write love letters anymore! though I do get wonderful words, verses etc. for each birthday, Mother's Day, and wedding anniversary. I write love letters to my kids frequently, the mushy mother! And they write me back, awww!

I made a point of writing my mother (and father) frequently when they were alive, to thank them for all they did for me, and every job and success I've had is because of them.

Carol McFarlane

Akelamalu said...

My answers are up now David x

Chertiozhnik said...

Down memory lane again.

Epijunky said...

Hey David!

Welcome back!

Thanks for the comment on my post, I was looking at that same Sigma lens. It's 3.5-5.6, isn't it?