Stamping Ground

Yet another strip of old negatives enters the scanning machine and immediately comes up with a long-dormant memory. It dates from fifty years ago when it was quite common to find these strange looking cast-iron machines on station platforms. This one, if my memory serves me right, was on the platform of Halifax Station, and for those lucky enough to have a full colour memory rather than a monochrome one, it would have been bright red in appearance. It was a metal nameplate stamping machine which would allow you to create little metal plates on which you could stamp out your name. This could be achieved by rotating the lever to pick the required letters and then depressing the lever on the right of the machine to stamp out that letter on the tinplate. What you did with the name plates once they had been created, I cannot recall, but there is probably one or two of my own in the back of a drawer somewhere in my overcrowded office. Looking at it now, it appears almost Victorian, and as far removed from the digital age we live in now as it was at the time, from an age when dinosaurs grazed on the slopes of Beacon Hill.

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