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Showing posts from April, 2011


Concrete Poetry is Hard

A student created this. The effort that went into this poem is impressive.



Free Selectric Ribbons

UPDATE: This offer is ultra-old.

The school librarian was cleaning out some cabinets and found these NIB selectric ribbons. There are three boxes. Let know if you want one for your Selectric ( I thought they might have been 0.5", but they are 0.65" so I cannot use them in another machine.

CAUTION: These are the high-yeild ribbons. They are the large cartridges, not the smaller ones.

Round-Up 2: Return of the Typewriter

If you would like a copy of this poster to hang up somewhere, email me your address and I'll send you one or two or three.

Other Happenings

The Blickenderfer has Arrived

It showed up in the mail on Friday. I was able to open it then, but there was so much going on Friday that I wasn't able to take pictures until this morning. So without further exposition...

It's in fair condition. The protective wooden case is rough and in desperate need of care. I pressed a few keytops and, unfortunately, all the keys stuck. I've been able to loosen then up thanks to a lot of penetrating oil and a little patience. Now, the typeball does rotate to the correct position when a key is pressed, but it returns very sluggishly. I've taken the mechanism apart (it is very easy to do) and I am fairly confident that a century of grease and dirt is making the return motion slow. Regardless of these faults, the machine is fascinating. The motion of the the two geared horns that move the wheel into place for striking on the paper is poetry. 

It does need some surface cleaning, but I am unsure of the crested badge. What did it look like to start? I cannot imagine tha…

A Canadian Treasure

Completely Justified


This sample only took me five minutes total. I did it between bells. I should check my r/t finger placement. Embarrassing.

Blickensderfer Electric

Sorry if I mislead you with this post title. I do not have a Blick Electric, but I did find this really fun pamphlet for an Electric Blick from the Duke University Archive. I read an old ETC detailing the restoration of a Blick Electric. They are immensely rare even though they were in the Blick line-up for more than 15 years. A lack of standardized electric service and apprehension over electrified appliances is surmised as why the Blick Electric never caught on.

Nearly 70 years before IBM came up with the Selectric with a typeball, Blickensderfer had an electric with a typewheel. With advertising like this, I would have run out and bought one immediately.

Blickensderfer Ballyhoo

The only exciting news that I have to share is that a Blickensderfer 7 is on its way to my house. This machine will not make it into the classroom rotation. Instead, it will be on display in the "private collection".
To sate your thirst, I found this Blick 8 instruction manual. While more advanced (and newer) than my Blick, it still make for interesting reading.

More Typewriters in the News

It may not be a New York Times article, but being from my alma mater makes it even more special.

If you are visiting for the fisrt time, you can find all the old posts archived in the right side-bar.We are nearly wrapping up the project for the 2010-2011 school year. I have learned a lot and I think the students have too. If you are looking for documents describing the foundations of this project please read these posts:

1. The original proposal sent to the nascent typosphere:

2. The Hypothesis:

3. The Process:

4. Some results:
and http://magicmargin.b…

The 2nd Phoenix Type-In

Classroom Happenings


As we get closer to graduation, you might be wondering what kind of gift a young high school grad might like. I have a suggestion...

Calling All Sun Devils

If you are an Arizona State University student, faculty, staff, or alumni who loves typewriters, Harmony from the State Press wants to talk to you. You can email her at She is working on an article about the increase in typewriter interest.

The Second Phoenix Type-In

Remington Noiseless 7

P.S. I found out from Richard's site that the plastic keytops are original, not after-market "updates".


Oh, Emerson. How far had your star fallen if you were having to resort to giving away pianos so that people would try your typewriters? Such a shame.

Digital Oubliette

 As much as the above typecast is critical of digital media, I must confess excitement over a new piece of technology that allows me to easily create digital media. Most of our classrooms have documents cameras. These pieces of 21st century technology allow a book, page, or document's contents to be displayed on an overhead projector. The document cameras we have use a regular video camera at a very low resolution. They are nice, but the low resolution makes using them difficult. Newer versions use digital cameras to increase the resolution and improve image captures in low-light situations. The new one I recieved is a digital one. The most useful part is that I can use it as a scanner. The above typecast was digitized using the HoverCam. It really is a neat piece of technology. It also has a futuristic look about it.



A Final-ish Draft

A Rough Draft

Have you ever been to Typewrunner? Go there after you look at this rough draft of a poster based on the photo from his site. Mike Clemens issued a challenge that I could not ignore.