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Showing posts from February, 2011

Please Pardon the Indulgence

ITAM has been wonderful. I've had the chance to write a few letters, get a few letters, and just enjoy typewriters. Others have posted their collections and, as my last ITAM post, I am going to share my personal collection of typewriters.

Of course, you know that the classroom has quite a few typewriters. The classroom machines are (incompletely) recorded on the "Our Typewriters" page, but I wanted to write about my personal collection. These are the typewriters that I have displayed at home. They are too special to me to risk bringing in the classroom. There are only four because I promised my wife that I wouldn't clutter the house up with typewriters.

1. Royal Arrow 1941 This is the newest to my personal collection. As I mentioned in earlier posts, this particular machine was incredibly dirty. The Arrow was the first typewriter which I dunked into a basin of warmish water. I had tried just penetrating oil, but there was so much grime and dust it wouldn't clean up…

Making History

Did you know that March 5th will mark the single largest gathering of typewriter enthusiasts in the storied 99-year history of Arizona?  It's true. Come and be a part of history. Bring a typewriter. Bring a story.

Clean Arrow

Last night, while watching Dowton Abbey (a miniseries about a noble Edwardian family), I reassembled a 1942 Royal Arrow. Shined and polished, here are the results:

The Invasion of The Big Roll of Paper

I was able to find a little inspiration and start working on a short story featuring a library, a 40s Royal Quiet De Luxe, and some near-future speculative fiction.


Apart from the very low quality typecast (sentence fluency and conventions) I am happy I found the badge. I had looked into fabbing one through Ponko. I started tracing a photo of the ghostly glue residue. That's not necessary now. All is right.

Heavy Is the Head that Wears the Crown

When you are gone from your classroom you come back to this kind of cruelty. It was a defenseless typewriter. The trouble-maker and badge location are unknown.

Arrow Unsheathed

The baby was ill, so I stayed home with him today. During a long nap, I took the dog outside and decided to start cleaning the Arrow. The weather is warm and working outside was nice. I really don't want to remove the platen to clean the machine. It is dirty, but the platen and carriage is significantly cleaner than the body. The plan it to have it clean before the Phoenix Typewriter Round-Up which is happening on March 5th. If I can't get it done before that, I have plenty of other typewriters that I can bring.

Happy Olivetti Valentine Day

Arrow of Royal*

This weekend the whole family was ill, but there was an typewriter arrival to take my mind off the mayhem. This machine, as I understand it, represents the middle of Royal's portable line. The Quiet De Luxe had the most features. The Companion was the most inexpensive. This typewriter was a popular combination of features and price. It is the Royal:

The Arrow was a QDL minus the tabulator and chrome trim around the ribbon cover. It was a popular machine and is fairly easy to find today. This one came from eBay and was very inexpensive. It cost more to ship it that I paid for it. Take a look at that "Arrow" logo. It just screams post-war speed.

This Arrow is in an absolutely filthy state, but it was only a few dollars. Under the dirt, grime, and niter there is a very nice machine. Regardless, It's going to take some time to clean up and I am going to love every minute. 

It must have been kept in a very damp environment, but there seems to be very little water damage to a…

Comical Paper

Emily Post Post

As I gather addresses to start writing my own letters, my thoughts have turned to the stationery that I want to use. The problem is that I have no stationery, at least none that is fine enough for ITAM. You always see nice stationery folded in half in old movies. I like that look. For this particular social grace I needed some expert advice. Emily to the rescue:

Whew! Thank goodness Emily was there. I was considering some comically large paper, or something decidedly liberal, but she has talked me down off that ledge. The Age of Innocence plays over and over in my mind as I look at all these rules. (Good movie from a greater book.) Without the internet, I suppose that people had more time for social rules and propriety. I particularly love that these paper sizes are nothing like American Letter sized paper. 8 1/2 x 11 is too cold and impersonal a size for a letter. I don't want to be reminded of a bill or my City of Phoenix water statement; I want a letter from a friend.

From my r…

An Odd Little Duck

The Son of Crass Commercialism

If you give a man a typewriter, you can use the space to display another. Teach a man to type and he'll probably start some sort of blog.

The CTP needs to keep students in the ink-- ribbons, that is. If you purchase a 10 pack of carbons from the CTP, each dollar will go to fund the purchase of ribbons for my student's classroom typewriters. Consider helping. Postage included.Each pack is $7.00

Rare Archival Photo

Written on the back: Gabrielle, Royal, and Mom Feb. 1953

It's a Typewriter Month Miracle!

The Maroon Olympia is fixed! The problem was in the carriage release which was not releasing properly when the escapement advanced. It was as simple as removing an errant piece of metal that had jammed up the machinery. I am much happier now it is working properly.
I promised a blow-by-blow account of the process, but I forgot my camera was there. I did catch a few informative images that might help others in their own restorations.
I know that I promised wanted to use a water bath and dry the machine in the oven. I was a little apprehensive about the process, so I used penetrating oil instead. It was still a very dunk-like job.
It was a nice, warm, and sunny day. It made the machine warm to the touch and aided in making the penetrating oil run nicely. I wanted to have a way for the oil to drip off the frame freely. I had an old metal screen and placed it over a trashcan. In the bottom of the can I had a pan collecting the oil that dripped off. The larger can was tall enough that I didn&…

Typewriter Month Blessing

I remember, as a child, gathering around the Typewriter tree with our cups of hot 3-in-1 oil. We would sing traditional Typewriter carols; "What Typewriter is This?", "We Three Repairmen", and "Margin Bells." Those were the days before the Typewriter season became so commercial. Even so, there is nothing like the smell of typewriters just out of the drying oven.

I wanted to share a Typewriter Month blessing that has stayed with me to this day:

May the ribbon you use be inky. May your typebars be clash free. May your strikethroughs be few. May your correspondence be often And remember, that you are saving the written word.
In all seriousness, I think that Feb. is a great month for ITAM. Let's thank Deek (Look for his blog Type Clack in the sidebar) for his suggestion. With all the Type-Ins, events, and blog postings, you can see how alive and vibrant this community is.