ended on April 10, 2013.
I can see where you are coming from! But I can tell you, ribbon vibrators (at least on all the machines I own) tend to be the least well engineered parts. One machine I can't repair is 2-colour but I just leave a black ribbon in because I can't fix it to work properly. I HAVE tried the upside-down method and it works OK up to a point BUT more effort is involved on each keystroke - and more strain on the ribbon vibrator's connecting levers) making it a poor long-term solution. Also, that long and jerky trip all the way up the ribbon vibrator's slider can sometimes cause the ribbon itself to either derail or come loose from the ribbon holder. That's my take on why the red sits below the black - mechanical efficiency.
Good question. I never saw a ribbon where the black ran onto the red, but the red can get black on the type slug side when the black ink on the slug hits the red ribbon.
I have never experienced the gravity problem, and I do find that typing on the lower half of the ribbon is more irritating visually than typing on the top half. Also, it seems mechanically correct -- more efficient -- to use less motion when possible, thus to put the more commonly used color on top.
There's a physical phenomena called capilarity that might explain why the ink doesn't tend to run to the bottom of the ribbon, unless the ribbon was literally soaked wet. As for the reason why it was decided that red was going to be on the lower position, I'd offer another possible advantage, based on experience: the higher the vibrator moves to position the ribbon in front of the type slugs, the more it will obscure the text you've just typed.
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