(Teacher @ May 13 2005,13:55)
Originally Posted by Horace,May 12 2005,23:12
Originally Posted by Teacher,May 12 2005,22:29
Based on the font, tag styles, and the fact that it's obviously not printed on dot-matrix, I don't think these go back to the 70's. I'd guess mid-1980's to early 1990's.
Why would dot-matrix be relevant here? Â would the labels necessarily be printed on a printer? Â Why not a small press or other means?
It's too expensive to do them on a press because of speed. Stores began using lable printers that were dot-matrix some time in the 1970's (early, I think...could have even been late 1960's but I don't think so). Later, some started moving to ink and then laser. However, now that I look at the pics again, I notice there's no UPC. That probably rules out 1990's. Not all stores began using UPC's right away, of course, so it could still be any time before that. Just a thought.
I'm still a bit respectfully skeptical of these claims because a) I'm not sure that printing in the old sense was more expensive at this point then dot-matrix if you're doing any sort of volume. b) why would the natural progression be from dot-matrix to ink to laser. Â I'd think that ink (strictly speaking in the sense used above) would come before dot-matrix. Having said that, when were the first dot-matrix printers? Â I remember I had a telex in the 70's having a telex that I think was dot-matrix.
Oh, I should have been clearer. Thanks for pointing that out, Horace. I meant "ink" as in "ink jet," not as in "press." It would be silly, of course, to go from a dot matrix printer to a press system. Dot matrix came out in the 1960's; individual stores may have had them at that time, or may have waited until the 1970's. The reason ink presses would be impractical for clothing tags is that each store would have had only one to five of each tag (with a few exceptions). This is because of not only the different model/price codes but also the different sizes for inventory purposes. Therefore, the press would have had to be reset every one to five tags. That's very different from, say, a newspaper, where the press is reset only every 1,000 to 10,000,000 copies. Such a high reset rate would be extremely expensive for something that should cost the customer less than a cent. Before stores had their own label printers, they used pricing guns to create price stickers or price code tags.