1,000 Points of Light

The perforator had sort of punched holes in the idea that if you bring something pretty into the printshop, it will automatically stand out and be noticed. It was about time it had its day in the sun.

We’d driven all the way to Richmond, Va., to get the thing, after all — the Route 95 corridor being its usual bundle of giggles — and it was serving no purpose in the corner of the studio aside from a spot to hold the tea kettle.

And dust bunnies.

A proud old machine like this can’t go out like that. Still, Shop Boy had to convince Mary to try the contraption — black cast iron body and gorgeous wooden tabletop with a row of what seems like a thousand needle teeth and a treadle that brings them down and through the paper — out where it could be better seen.

See, the machine was covering up a wall blemish. But it was doing such a great job of camouflage that it had become all but invisible itself. Nobody ever asked about it when we were giving tours. And let Shop Boy tell you, you cannot normally walk by this thing and not wonder, in these modern times, “what in the world is that?”

That is a perforator, a device designed to poke a line of holes in something. You know, to create a tear-off coupon or whatever. We’d been told by a wise old printing type that the FBI once kept track of who owned these machines, as they were essential to the creation of counterfeit stamps. Ooh! Shop Boy on a poster in the Post Office! Believe it or not, that’d be a first.

Nowadays (actually for many, many years), a perforating rule does the same trick, but much less awesomely. OK, because each of the pin holes on this antique sucker was drilled by hand, the line poked into the paper can get kinda crooked. Fine. But come by and try it and you’ll be hooked.

Shop Boy’s counting on it.

I mean, I hope I didn’t carry it all this way just because it’s cool …

Oh, wait. That’s my job.

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One Response to “1,000 Points of Light”

  1. Buffy Says:

    That is truly a BRILLIANT title for the post. Love it…gives me a warm glow.

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