Before the copier was the ditto! I remember running to the office for teachers and making copies on the ditto machine on occasion.
In elementary school, the teachers did not use copiers. They used mimeograph machines which made these distinctive duplicates in a low-res purple ink that had a very unique smell.
If you attended school between the and the you must remember those moments when the teacher distributed copies of tests or work sheets. Churned out by a mimeograph, fresh dittos were damp and limp with a heady gluelike aroma and distinct purplish ink.
mimeograph machine This was how the teacher made copies. In school, everyone called it the ditto machine. If the paper was still a bit wet when you got it, the ink would rub off on your fingers. :)
Green Shield Stamps dating to about the 1970s. TWCMS : 2011.1365