Media – Paper

Paper: a simple word for a complex entity. There is a nearly endless variety of papers differing by weight and texture.

All paper is made from drying a simple slurry.  But just as in any recipe, the ingredients make a difference. Some paper is made from fresh pulp, some from recycled paper, some have rag or linen added. The list goes on.

One of our suppliers has a You-tube video of the process.

Weight is a basic way of identifying paper. What we in the olden days called “onionskin” is now known as 16# (sixteen-pound). It is very thin and was used mostly when people needed to make multiple carbon copies of a document.


The best example of those multiple copies that I can think of is the train order as it was used up through the end of WWII and beyond. Some of that history is available at this link.

I often watched as my mother, a clerk-telegrapher-agent for the Missouri Pacific Railway, wrote train orders in quadruplicate. Four layers of onion-skin paper with three layers of carbon paper sandwiched between.

For similar applications today, we use what is commonly called NCR or carbonless paper. The duplicating coat is already applied to one side of the paper.

The most frequent use of this kind of paper is for multi-part forms for businesses or other larger entities.
  • Telephone message pads
  • Order forms
  • Requisitions
  • Invoices
  • Weight tickets
  • Leave requests
  • and the list goes on

Any time more that one department in an organization needs the same information, NCR forms make a useful contribution.

Stay tuned for more about paper here next Thursday.


214 West Commercial
Lyons, KS 67554



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