Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Hound and the Fox

Here is my fourth post to Joe Van Cleave's typewriting project.  His prompt was to write about that old pangram: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.  Having two hound dogs myself, this was pretty fun!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Joe Van Cleave Writing Assignment #3: The Hangout

Joe Van Cleave's typewritten assignments continue to have great responses.  Here is my assignment number three describing my childhood hangout.  It was typed on my Olympia SM8. I think I am turning into an Olympia man!

As a technical aside, I am playing around with photographing my typed page.  I get excellent results when I scan my page with the photocopier at school but I have no scanner at home.  I have trouble with getting shadows in my image when I lay it down on a table to take a photo.  Today I taped my page to the wall so I could photograph it straight on.  Still not perfect but I like the results  a little more.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 5th Typewriter Safari: Burlington, VT

I found myself with a little extra time in Burlington, one of my favorite Vermont cities so I set off for some typewriter hunting.  I came home empty handed but it was fun to check out my typewriter hunting ground. 

My first stop was at the Champlain Valley Antique Center which is actually down the road in Shelburne. I found a Smith-Corona Secretarial in excellent shape for $45.

I also found the book that would have taught anyone to be an excellent secretary.

Next it was down to Pine Street in the artistic South End of Burlington.  I found this Underwood (Remington) Noiseless in need of a full restoration for $45.

I also found this "last gasp" Smith-Corona electric for $59.

I rounded up my trip at Anjou, an upscale antique shop on Burlington's Main Street.  This was the first ABC 2000s I had ever seen. A little internet research tells me that it was probably made in the early 1070's in Portugal.  I think it is the same machine as the Sears Malibu. With an all plastic body and no cover, it was certainly not worth the $79 they were asking for it.  Just another example of how fickle typewriter prices can be.  This is the same shop where I purchased a gloss black Smith-Corona Speedliner a while back for $40.  It pays to know your machines and know where to hunt for them!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Typewriter Safari: Worcester, MA

I've made many trips to Worcester, MA to visit my recent college graduate daughter. We like to go to Birchtree Bread Company for lunch and visit the Crompton Collective vintage shops in the basement of an old mill building on Green Street.  I walked away with a brownie from the bakery but no typewriters that day.  Which one might you have taken home?
A fun little shop in Worcester.

Nice Galaxie Deluxe for $40

It didn't travel too far to get to Worcester.

Post-War Royal QDL without a case and loose felt under the type slugs for $45.

Brother aka Webster from the mid 1960's for $92
Pre-War Royal KMM for $110.
Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 22 for $75.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Think With a Typewriter - Joe Van Cleave Writing Post #2

Joe Van Cleave's second writing prompt asks us in the typosphere a familiar question. Why use a typewriter?Since I spoke about editing with a typewriter, I included a clip of my first draft below my "final copy."

First Draft

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Typewriter Assignment #1 The Typewriter Speaks

Joe Van Cleave's Blog is a creative source of typewriter information and whimsy.  He is currently running a writing project for typewriter enthusiasts. Here is my first assignment from this project:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Typewriter Day Interview

I celebrated World Typewriter Day  being interviewed by Todd Moe at North Country Public Radio.  It was a lot of fun and he put together a nice little interview.  You can listen to the interview at THIS LINK.
That's me in my office at school with some of my collection.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Hunt


I did fix those key tops.  Turns out that the 30's and 40's Smith-Coronas did not have celluloid or glass on the key tops.  Instead, the letter for each key is printed on some sort of vinyl-like plastic.  Fortunately, the keys from the Speedline were a perfect match for the Standard.

Also, please excuse the typos in my typecast.  I guess that's what comes from excitedly typing on a park bench.  In any event, the image has been scanned and there's no going back.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Olympia SF: Schreibmaschine "Fixable"

The description of this Olympia on the auction site was honest. It said that the keys would not depress and the carriage kept moving all the way to the left. What I didn't know is that it had taken a very hard knock to the rear and the sheet metal was quite bent. Here is what it looked like when I first took a look at it.


I was pleasantly surprised that the sheet metal comes off a SF very easily, exposing its well built aluminum frame.  As I said in my typecast, simply moving a spring on the lever that engaged the escapement ratchet did the trick for the carriage and keys.  I heated up the sheet metal a bit and was able to form it enough to make the typewriter function and look presentable.  

I really like the way this littlest Olympia types and I'm quite pleased that my under $50 gamble on a "broken" machine turned out so well.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Guest Typewriter: Imperial Good Companion

The young typewriter collector at my school brought one of his latest acquisitions to my office today.  It was a machine I had not seen in person before, an Imperial Good Companion. With a serial number starting with a B, this model is from 1932.  I didn't get to type with it, but it is quite a looker.

In fact, it looks a lot like my Remington model 1 (or 2) but clearly the lineage is different as this article on the Portable Typewriters blog points out.  

The one thing this typewriter needs is a carriage return lever.  Please let me know if anyone in the typosphere has one to spare and I will let this young man's family know.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Brother from the Same Mother

I can definitely see the appeal of these early Brother typewriters. They are full featured and type really well. Growing up in the 70's myself, this little typewriter and its cardboard/vinyl case reminded me of the toys and transistor radios that also came from Japan at that time.  Though this typer is far from a toy, I'm still holding out for a Valiant or Deluxe!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I See Dead Keys

I didn't really think I was in the movie Sixth Sense, but I did see some strange dead keys the other day.  Someone from town had been given this nice L.C. Smith Super Speed as a gift. It had come straight from the antique store with its crispy ribbon and coating of dust. I cleaned it up and installed a new ribbon after replacing the incorrect ribbon spools with two from a donor machine. Things were going along well except the period and comma keys were sort of dead. They would come about 3/4 of the way toward the platen and then stop. I was thinking the mechanism for these keys was jammed or their strikers were bent.  Looking at the underside of the machine again I saw that two brass stops were attached to the comb (or guide) underneath. This dampened the period and comma keys.  They key action returned to normal once I removed these stops. What I wonder is why anyone would put stops on the period or comma keys in the first place.  Come to think of it, why put stops on any of the keys?  

I put a call out to the typosphere for any enlightenment on what I found on this Super Speed.  Thanks!