I am usually pretty good at keeping a secret. Especially if it's someone else's secret. If you're reading this, and you've recently told me something that you didn't want anyone else on the planet to know about, rest assured that your secret is safe with me. Probably.
But one secret that I've been having a very hard time with lately is the design for our wedding invitation. I am so excited about all of my good ideas and my man's good ideas and his hard work and the beautiful paper and ink. I can barely keep my mouth shut. I keep wanting to show it to someone--almost anyone--and say, "Look what we're doing!"
But I haven't. And I won't. Because I love surprises. And every surprise starts out as a secret.
There's a recent development on the invitation front, and I think I can tell you about it without giving away anything too crucial. One component of the invite relies heavily on our access to a perforator.
The perforator is designed to punch a line of tiny holes to make a piece of paper easy to tear in a straight line. (Remember when postage stamps were perforated? I miss that.)
It just so happens that we knew where to borrow such a device. The one we used was patented in 1888 by Mr. F.P. Rosback. (The Rosback Company is still in operation today, although it's safe to say that their product line is a little different.) The 1888 version is foot-powered, with a treadle that brings down a line of tiny needles that punch holes in the paper.
There are other ways to perforate paper, of course. You can buy a special blade for a rotary paper cutter. They sell them at hobby and craft stores, and maybe I'll buy one someday. We really didn't want to use one for the invitations, though. With all the work my man's been doing on the antique presses at Pratt, we thought that using Mr. Rosback's perforator would provide some symmetry.
So tonight, we decided to get down to business.
First, though, there was a little bit of prep work to do. I'm not sure when someone last used this piece of machinery, but there was some serious dust to contend with. There was rust. Some pieces didn't want to move. Fortunately, I spend a lot of time surrounded by clever people. I did my best to stay out of the way and quietly drink my beer while they worked out the kinks.
I didn't do much of the actual work. I watched. I said supportive things. When it came to actually perforating something, though, my partner-in-crime was definitely in charge. He went through the whole stack in no time, looking like a real pro while he did it.
I got to do the last one, though. And it was awesome. The perforator is awesome. I love the way that a well-built machine can go through the world for over a hundred years and still do the job it was designed for. It's a rarer thing than it ought to be, I think.
Of course, I want to show you the end result of this evening's work. And of course, I can't. For now, I'm just going to revel in the fact that the invitations are done. Really done, this time. Unless we decide to do something else to them before they hit the mail...