Re: Ah, the "good old days" ...
Speaking of the good old days... I don't know elsewhere in the world, but in the early 90's, printer ribbon was expensive, here, in Thailand, the original ribbon cartridges with the name of the printer manufacturer (they invented nothing with the astronomical price of the ink cartridges).
So we would buy ribbon refill, pry open the plastic cartridge, trash the old and dry ribbon and install the new ribbon that was delivered in a plastic tube like wrapping. It was a dirty job, fresh ribbon, fresh ink that would stick to the fingers, and to arrange the ribbon in the feed rollers of the cartridge, it was almost impossible to use gloves, you would have not enough feeling.
I think we even experimented with re-inking an old ribbon, but it was not really a usable solution.