Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas with Royal

With Christmas fast approaching I thought it would be fun to see how Royal advertisements throughout the years reflected this time of family tradition.

We start with some stately pre-war grace. This kind of image makes me think of Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street.

Now on to something that really puts the cheer in the holiday...

...as if you were hoping to make your children juvenile delinquents for Christmas.

Here little Jane and Billy are admiring the fine Christmas gift that will last for years. And they are not even remotely juvenile delinquents. their parents heeded the warning from Life magazine last Christmas.


As we move out of the 1940s into the 1950s the obligatory weird cute/ugly elf makes an appearance. This time, he is shilling a tombstone keyed Royal portable. I can't entirely tell, but is this a new version of Royal's portable?


Now, an advert from September:


I know Santa is magical. That has been made very clear. If Santa is so magical, why is he carrying a typewriter around and sweating? Wiggle your nose and be done with it! Also, that belt Ms. Claus bought Santa is too small. Is she telling him something? 


Santa hat and a typewriter. Genius! Don't over-think it!


Does this look like an angel is loitering and an elf-woman is being mugged? Merry Christmas!


 Look at these hip, young people communicating. Now I want some eggnog.


Does it seem like those four fake Santas and one real Santa are judging Royal's manufacturing? I mean, Litton-era typewriters are nothing exciting. Even the copywriter couldn't  muster an overtly positive thing to say about a Litton Royal. "The people who make a variety of good portables." Good portables. Not: great, fantastic, rugged, precision, or quality. Good. Maybe Litton outsourced the copy writing to Portugul along with Sabres.

That was fun. Now, I hope that there is a typewriter under your tree this Christmas.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghost Blog Writer


I can hardly believe that it has been nearly two months since my last post. I bet you thought I was a ghost or as my title indicates--a ghost blog writer. My metamorphosis has been greatly exaggerated. I thought I would drop a little Halloween hello to the Typosphere. Here's hoping you have a spooky and safe Halloween.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Very Odd Visual Aids

When you integrate typewriters into a class lesson it makes for some very anachronistic PowerPoint slides.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Fingers Fly

A new school year has started. Actually, it's already three weeks old. The honeymoon has worn off and the kids are deep in the study of Beowulf, Hrothgar, and the terrible events at Herot.

This last Tuesday I started the kids on the typewriters. Here are a few pictures.








In order to get the typewriters ready for classroom use I had to dust them all off and do something about the ribbons. I didn't have time to place an order from Baco so I used Ted's WD-40 ribbon rejuvenation method. I used several light coats and didn't bother with dabbing the ribbon. They weren't wet enough to warrant it. In the end the ribbons were noticeably darker and made it easier for the kids to type.

The best part, however, was giving the lecture on how to use them. I had a whole presentation and it was very odd telling a whole generation of phone freaks how to turn a knob to feed a sheet paper into a platen. Very odd.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Type-In Thank You


No doubt you have seen some of the posts about the type in. I think it was a fantastic success and I'll share more tomorrow, but I want to take some time and thank all the people who made this the type-in possible.


First, I would like to thank Cindy, Mira, and everyone who works at the Phoenix Changing Hands. They were encouraging and exceptionally accommodating. We basically took over a large section of their common room and they were ready with a smile, a step ladder, and enthusiastic support. I would also like to offer a special thanks to Amanda and the First Draft crew. They were really digging the typewriter vibe.


Ted Munk, a type-in original, was there with paper and forms in triplicate. He has done so much to help spread the word in the East Valley and do some creative heavy-lifting. Thanks Ted. Eric Jaros, the retro tech titan, brought out cameras, typewriters, and a great spirit. It was wonderful to meet him and he did more than his fair share to make this type-in happen.

Bill Wahl of Mesa Typewriter Exchange provided his free diagnosis of typewriter ailments. He does this out of the kindness of his heart. Thank you Bill for being a type-in supporter.

I also want to thank the old guard: Robert, Brian, Marshall, Alex, and others for coming out and bringing a typewriter. It was also very nice to meet Billie a letter-writing artist. Thanks for coming out.

But I think that a final thanks is due to the incredibly vibrant typewriter community here in Phoenix. I was talking to Eric about it and it amazes me that we have cobbled together such an interesting and diverse group of people who love typewriters. What's even more amazing is that they all live in the Phoenix metro area. You would expect something like that in Portland or Ann Arbor, but not in Phoenix. It makes me smile that Phoenix is a major center for typewriter collecting.

As I wrote, I will share more tomorrow. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who hosted, planned, and attended the type-in.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Type-In Update


Don't forget that this weekend the Arizona typewriter community will be holding the 5th Phoenix Type-In at First Draft. This is a great change to meet fellow typewriter enthusiasts. Come on by, grab a drink, see a few typewriters, have a chat. It's great fun for a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The 5th Phoenix Type-In


It's been a while since we planned a type-in, but the next one will be on the 26th of July from 1 to 4pm at First Draft Book Bar at Changing Hands. That's 300 W. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix. Look forward to some new faces and there is a rumor of a Fay-Sholes. It should be an exciting afternoon.

Also, I would like to thank Changing Hands and First Draft for letting us have the next type-in at their fantastic new store. Changing Hands is an institution and having their support is wonderful.

So, if you can make it we would love to see you for the next type-in. Bring a machine or two! Keep your eyes peeled for more information.

If you have any questions, please email me at: ryan@magicmargin.net

If you have time check out First Draft's website: http://www.changinghands.com/firstdraftbar
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