Can You Help Me Figure Out What This Roneo Vickers Thing Is?

My mom just gave me something that used to belong to her dad, an engineer who worked at PACCAR for many years before retiring.  Grandpa passed away years ago and the family doesn’t know what this set of tools is, so I made a short video to ask the world what this thing is!

It’s a zippered pouch labeled “RONEO VICKERS – RONEO LIMITED” on the front.  Inside is a tool with several different tips that perforate or seem to have no real use from what I can gather.  I’ve used Google to search online for it and have come up with nothing!  That tells me this item is either really old, really useless to the general public, or it really is limited – hah!

Please check out my video and let me know if you have ever seen this Roneo Vickers set.  I could probably use the perforating tools if I wanted to make a few tear-off ticket stubs or if I wanted to add a straight edge of perforated dots… but I want to hear what your ideas you have for it.

What is the original use for this set of tools?  Is it for embossing leather??  Thanks for your help!!


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Bellemare
    Jul 11, 2010 @ 13:32:38

    I am pretty sure this is used for copying drawings…you said he was an engineer, yes? I think you use the different tips in your handle (we used those to hold lead back in the SCCC design class days, remember?) and then run it along different parts of a blueprint or other drawing so you can use lead or ink to copy it through to the paper below. Dotted and dashed lines mean different ways of cutting or folding things, so I’m most familiar with those types of dielines created for packaging.


    • Stephanie Dawson
      Jul 11, 2010 @ 14:38:30

      Thank you, Jenn! Yes, he was an engineer and I do think it must have been used at work or at home as he planned projects at home like the pool house. I still have my grippy pencil lead holder and this did remind me of that. It makes sense that this set would be used to impress copies through the pages of plans, like you’re saying. I thought of a map legend and how the dashed, dotted and solid lines mean different things. This is all starting to make sense now! I think I can still use a few nibs for my cards. Maybe I’ll do a “Roneo Vickers Cards” blog post sometime. 🙂


  2. Lori Haeseler
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 21:35:26

    I think your friend, Jennifer is correct. As a sign painter, I used a similar tool, without different tips, to perforate patterns for designs and lettering we were going to be putting on semi-trucks. We would draw the designs on butcher paper, perforate the lines with a similar tool, flip the butcher paper over, lightly sand the back, which would open the perforated holes more. Then we would tape the butcher paper on the truck. Using a cloth bag filled with charcoal powder, we would lightly tap the bag against the butcher paper, then rub it with the bag, pushing the powder through the perforated holes, onto the truck. We then removed the butcher paper to reveal the pattern on the truck so we could letter it. I hope this helps you understand how that tool is used. As far as the other shapes, I’m sure they were all related to the same process. I’m going to show this video to Ken…he may be able to tell you what the other tips were for.


  3. Lori Haeseler
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 21:44:14


    Jack Eisamen or Bob Howell might be able to help you with identifying this tool. Ken agrees with Jennifer also. He thinks the pointed pieces might be used with ink. He thinks a lot of the other pieces were used with carbon paper to copy drawings or blueprints.


  4. ms.helga
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 11:41:05

    Dear Ms. Dawson – What you are showing is what was called a “Stylii Set”. It was used with the old fashion “stencil”. Thomas Edison invented the “mimeograph machine” which was used from the turn of the last century right up to the present(Risograph). The stencil was a wax coated sheet of tissue paper and when you typed or drew with a stylus you peferorated the wax leaving the tissue intact. When ink was pressed threw by means of a hand roller you would get an image. Through the years it was done by a rotary process(cylinder). In fact the word Roneo came from this devevelopment. Roneo was the combination of Rotary Neostyle and manufactured in Romford, UK. In the 1960’s Vickers, Ltd, world famous(Infamous) for manufacturing steel, ships, guns, airplanes(The Spitfire), WW1 and WW2. How do I know all this – I was the Roneo dealer in Washington, D.C. for 38 years and loved every minute of it. Google and Wikipedia will reveal it all.
    Thank you for your interest.
    Bill Powdrell
    PS – The American counterpart was A.B. Dick Company.


    • Stephanie Dawson
      Mar 07, 2011 @ 10:21:49

      This is fascinating! Thank you for taking the time to share a detailed reply. I love knowing that you were the WA, D.C. dealer for so many years. I appreciate your comment and I love knowing the history behind this special product.


    • Ned Haubein
      Mar 07, 2012 @ 09:57:56

      Please ask Bill Powdrell to get in touch with me.. We are friends that go back a long time ago.

      Ned Haubein


    • Ned Haubein
      Mar 13, 2012 @ 18:43:07

      Helga, this is Ned Haubein…..a friend of Bill’s fro the Roneo days when you were in the rockville office. I’m trying to a updated on “Mr. Roneo” Let me know wht’s happening…




  5. ms.helga
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 10:10:46

    Stephanie – Thank you for your site. An old friend found me by googling up “Bill Powdrell” + “Roneo Vickers” – leaving in the quotation marks. In 1967 Vickers celebrated it’s Centennary and I was given a movie called “Vickers Centennary”. I think I have the only copy that exists. I have put it on a disc and if you gave me a post office box address I would be happy to send you a copy. It won the Cannes Film Festival for Industrial Division and was narrated by Sir Anthony Quayle.

    Bill Powdrell


  6. Mr. Bill(ms. helga)
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 12:18:28

    I finally got the Vickers Centenary posted to youtube. I hope you enjoy it. This covered the history from 1867 -1967.

    Bill Powdrell


  7. Ned Haubein
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 09:52:55

    I used to work for a company named Roneo Vickers, that was located in Little Ferry, NJ. “Roneo Vickers” was an English based office equipment company. “Vickers” was well known for airplanes and ships. “Roneo Vickers” developed a mimeograpjh machine. In order to print from a stencil , you have to impact the material. These tools you have were used to free hand-draw items on the stenicl so it could be reproduced.


  8. Ned Haubein
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 11:53:21

    Bill, please send me an e-mail…..I would like to see hear what’s going on!!!


  9. Dave
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:25:08

    This is definately a stencil cutting kit, I worked for Roneo during the early 70s as a service engineer on duplicators and associated office equipment.
    The stencil was normally typed but the kit enabled one to create quite elaborate drawings and designs. The stencil was then wrapped around the ink filled drum of the duplicator and one could produce as many copies as one wished. There were different coloured inks but full colour reproduction could only be carried out if an electronic stencil cutter was used to seperate the colours of the original, 4 or so stencils were cut then printed through with each colour to produce very good results for the time. The early photocopiers particularly Rank Xerox put an end to the photocopiers and their accesories unfortunately but there again there is nothing as easy as modern technology. Hope this is of help, I have fond memories of Roneo, possibly the best job I have ever had.


  10. Enrique
    May 17, 2012 @ 08:45:33



  11. Dave
    May 21, 2012 @ 02:52:39

    Roneo Vicketrs were one of the larger employers in Romford Essex, most of my family worked there at some point, including my Mother, Aunt and Uncle he worked in the design office, Nan and Grandad and extended family


  12. Elias
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:48:26

    Greets everyone!
    My grandfather has an old electric copier with a sign Roneo Vickers and also I’ve been looking for some information about this person but there’s no so much. Google doesn’t help…..


  13. kurt langmnann
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 20:40:57

    I worked for Roneo Vickers in 1973 at their shipping centre in London. This is a stencil cutter tool, I used one and still have the boxed set but of what use? The web has made it irrelevant.


    • Danielle
      Jan 30, 2013 @ 17:22:18

      Kurt, this set will be very useful to me in the miniatures I create. I’ll gladly buy it off of you. -Danielle


  14. Danielle
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 17:24:37

    Or anyone who has one I’ll buy it. Just email me at Thank you all.


  15. A. Smith
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 22:24:13

    I am very interested in these tools if you want to sell them.
    Looking forward to hearing from you, Andrea


    • Stephanie
      Jan 31, 2013 @ 20:42:51

      Thanks for asking, Andrea. I have never thought about selling it before, so I’m curious what you’d pay for it. You may contact me through Facebook by sending a message to me at ~ thanks!


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