Heya everyone, I wanted to write a quick little post about something strange I noticed regarding the some of the archived papers at the library. They've kept pretty consistent records of every paper printed - at least I assumed. But I noticed that on the 14th April this year, there was a lack of a paper. Did the machine malfunction that day? Did someone forget to replace the ink? It's odd, because I'd expect them to at least make sure it's stocked up enough to keep printing. I've looked back through the archives to see if this has happened before, and I've noticed that there are gaps from:
23rd - 31st March 2021
7th April 2021
15th April 2021
18th May 2021
30th June 2021
28th July 2021
7th August 2021
23rd September 2021
15th December 2021
2nd - 10th January 2022
3rd - 15th February 2022
18th March 2022
I only looked back as far as March last year, but this is odd right? Maybe I'm just overthinking, but it seems weird, and so random at that. If it was problems with lack of paper and ink, why would did it go on for so long, like in jan and feb of this year? I have no conclusion and nothing further to add, but I thought I'd share this with everyone just because, well, it seems like it could be important. Anyways, I'll see you all again soon.
12 June 2022
An Intro to ‘The Paper Machine’
Hello everyone reading! Welcome to this... uh... thing. Recently, due to a few odd circumstances, I have become aware of a little mystery that seems to have evaded the public eye. So, I thought, why not write about it? I've been fixated on this for a while, and I wanted to share some of my discoveries and thoughts on a dedicated page. So, without further ado, here is The Paper Machine:
Intro to the Mystery of ‘The Paper Machine’
(Apologies in advance for the 'writerish' style, I'm an english student, what do ya expect? Love adding a bit of spice, but I can promise that none of this information is sensationalised.)
In London, in the back of a museum (that will remain unnamed), sits the paper machine. Every day, at 12 A.M., the paper machine prints a sheet of paper filled with a series of seemingly random numbers. The machine is the size of an office printer, coming up to about the height of the average adult's abdomen. It is built out of wood and possibly brass, with some odd metal plating appearing occasionally around the sides. The inside of the paper machine has never been examined - partly due to the probable fact that the machine is delicate - and that no one would know how to put it back together again. Most of the machine is its legs. 4 ornately designed wooden appendages that ground it to the carpeted floor of the private room it is kept in. The rest of it, about 1/3, is the solid machine itself, a box covered in odd designs and patterns, none of which are remotely comprehensible. One side of the machine contains a letterbox-like slot, out of which, comes every day's paper, dispensed in the way a normal printer would do. At the back of the box is a removable tray, that every 6 months gets stocked up with a stack of blank paper by any random intern or worker who has some spare time. As for the ink, that is inserted into the top via three vertical trays. Small engravings inside the trays ask politely for red, green, and black. This is curious, because as far as anyone is aware, the paper machine has never printed in the colour green. There is currently no explanation for this, or the odd lack of any request for blue.
Now I’ve gone over what the machine is, let’s talk about all the more interesting stuff surrounding it. The first question I had when I learnt about this, was ‘Where did it come from?’. Well, to answer that question, I did a bit of research – and as far as I am aware… No one knows. There is very little documentation on the paper machine full stop, but precious little talks about where it came from. The museum that currently owns the machine rarely comment on it, and as far as I am aware it has only been exhibited to the public twice, once in Cairo, Egypt, during the 90s, and once in New York, at the turn of the century. Intriguingly, it has never been exhibited at the museum it is kept at. This could be for all kinds of reasons – I assume that the machine is very delicate, and perhaps the curators are worried it may be damaged.
Even though the machine is very rarely shown to the public, the papers that it prints out are freely available to find. The museum website publishes each paper online, and at the end of every month, that month’s pages are sent to be archived in the British Library. I (with the help of some friends, and the internet) have discovered some possible and plausible meanings behind SOME of the numbers the pages contain:
1. The first number on the page seems to denote the year. Almost everyone I have asked about this seems to agree, and in general I think it's a pretty uncontroversial opinion.
2. The next set of numbers seems to this time, denote the month. This means that from the very little we know about its origin, this machine must have been made in a time when the modern calendar was in use, as it accurately tracks all 12 months. Most everyone I know is in agreement on this too.
3. The next two numbers, if you notice a pattern here, denote the day.
4. The numbers after this are more cryptic. It seems to be a sequence that is counting up, and is currently at 51745, as of the 3rd of September 2021. I've got multiple theories as to what this number denotes, but probably the most likely is that it is counting the number of pages it has printed. If we follow that logic, then we would find that the first page was printed on the 1st of January 1880, which - as printing such as this wasn't invented yet - seems unlikely. So, not really sure about this one.
5. This is where most of my theories end, and where we get into the real meat of each paper. A proffessor I talked to about the papers told me, ‘There’s nothing here that would make me believe that this isn’t random nonsense.’, and that’s exactly what a lot of people think. The number sequences follow no seeming conventions or patterns, and they mimic no form of encoded or encrypted information I've ever seen. Obviously I'm no 'cryptography encyclopedia', but out of all the research I've done, and all the people I've asked, nothing seems to fit. There aren't any consistent letter or word patterns found in simple encoded messages, so if this is encrytped in some way, it's bloody complex.
So, you may be wondering, 'What's the point in all this?', and to that I'd say - don't ask me! This is where the real mystery comes in, as this machine is just so... cryptic. I've been obsessed with it for a couple of months now, and I was astounded when I could find barely ANY information regarding it online. I've done a lot of research and have my own theories as to the purpose of all this, but that’s all for another time. I want to keep this introduction short, and I will probably end it here for today. Thankyou for reading, and if you enjoyed this little article, please let me know! Depending on the reaction, I may devote more time to this weird topic. Other than that, have a good day, and I’ll see you soon. :) Oh, and here's an example sheet I photocopied from the library! Various sections have been censored (this happens occasionally in the archived versions, god knows why) and the bottom section is in red, which is odd. Will leave it as an example, but I will try to get higher quality photos and copies of the papers in the future! Anyways, thanks for reading :)
11 June 2022