Friday, February 8, 2019

Ace Gummed Reinforcements

[“No 2. Size.” 2¼″ × 1½″. Click for a larger view.]

We took some items to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. And there I found these reinforcements — mysterious, shadowy. What were they doing there? And what did they want from me? They wanted me to ask how much they cost: 75¢, but I paid a dollar.

I have vague memories of retro packaging from my youth, so my guess was that the box dates from the 1970s, with a design to make a dowdy school supply seem cool. (I thought too of a Tot Stapler ad featuring Stevie Staple-Freak.) The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies has a similar box, dated to the 1930s. Turn the box over and it does look like we’re further back in time.

Several eBay sellers offer Ace reinforcements made by Dennison. Did Dennison buy Ace? Was Ace always a Dennison name? The mystery deepens.

This post is the twenty-first in a very occasional series, “From the Museum of Supplies.” Supplies is my word, and has become my family’s word, for all manner of stationery items. The museum is imaginary. The supplies are real. The vignette effect in the photographs is by the Mac app Acorn.

Other Museum of Supplies exhibits
C. & E.I. pencil : Dennison’s Gummed Labels No. 27 : Dr. Scat : Eagle Turquoise display case : Eagle Verithin display case : Esterbrook erasers : Faber-Castell Type Cleaner : Fineline erasers : Harvest Refill Leads : Illinois Central Railroad Pencil : A Mad Men sort of man, sort of : Mongol No. 2 3/8 : Moore Metalhed Tacks : A mystery supply : National’s “Fuse-Tex” Skytint : Pedigree Pencil : Pentel Quicker Clicker : Real Thin Leads : Rite-Rite Long Leads : Stanley carpenter’s rule

comments: 6

Anonymous said...

I remember buying boxes of loose reinforcements for grade school papers and how you licked them to put them on the paper. The trick was to put them on both sides of the paper and having them on top of each other. I found some boxes a few years ago but they are self-adhesive.

Have always loved supplies and keep an eye out for them at estate sales, etc.


Daughter Number Three said...

Very nice! Does it slide like a box of matches?

Michael Leddy said...

Self-adhesive reinforcements were a boon. These are not only “gummed” — they feel like they’re made of something like fabric. (Not mere paper.)

And yes, the box slides.

Diane Schirf said...

That "Reinforcements" fonts looks 1920s/30s.

I prefer the cloth ones, that in theory could outlast the paper they reinforce. :)

I'm still upset that PaperMate stopped making refills for Epic pens. Grrrrr.

Michael Leddy said...

I remember the little hills that old-school reinforcements made in the pages.

I’d never heard of the Epic but just saw several on eBay. Not cheap!

Diane Schirf said...

Epics were relatively cheap at Walgreens in the mid-1990s — maybe $5? I've collected quite a few, including promotional ones (Blockbuster). I still use them but the refill thing is annoying. Like I'm ever going to run out of ink. :)