Skip to main content

Typewriter Crafting: Dirt is an Enemy


If you were to read any instruction manual from the golden age of the typewriter you would find many references to the importance of covering your typewriter. This started me thinking. I have some typewriters that sit out and are completely unprotected. Sure, I want people to see them, but I also want to be able to use them without having to dust them off first.

Covers were once ubiquitous typewriter accessories. Now, they are nearly impossible to find in good condition and made of a material of which my wife would approve. That's why my wife and I made this:

What could be under this cover?

A blue Olympia SM-3!

When I say I helped, I measured machines and cut out the fabric. The actual sewing was done by the missus., but it looked easy enough to do.  I am currently working on a pattern that you can download and make your own. We also have been toying with the idea of selling them, but look for the pattern in the next few days.

In case there were any doubts in your mind as to the importance of covering your machine read this excerpt from the 1950 Federal Work Improvement Program Equipment Maintenance booklet (You can find the booklet in its entirety at this link):


Comments

  1. Great. I've been looking for covers myself and have not been successful. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm torn on this. After a while, the accumulation of dust and cat hair and the like is not only unsightly but hard to remove, and does interfere with the machine. But how nice it is to be able to see all the typewriters!

    A collector I know keeps his typewriters in vacuum-sealed bags. Very safe. Very difficult to enjoy. It's almost as if you didn't own them then.

    Anyway, congratulations to you and the missus on a nice cover.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Richard, agree completely. But perhaps if I cover my 6 typewriters while I sleep at night or while I'm away, that might be of some help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, I'm torn on this as well. I have a couple original dust covers and used to use them religiously, but then I wanted to see my typewriters.

    I did put a couple orders for new dust covers back in February. I gave my mother-in-law some measurements so she could quilt me ones for my SG1 and Selectric.

    I like your fabric selection!

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the booklet of a Hermes Media (1970's) I tried it said in typical 20th-century-manner: "Machen Sie es sich zur Gewohnheit, die Maschine jeden Abend in ihr Kästchen zu setzen." But I don't know how to translate this fair into english :(.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just bought 2 crystal-clear typewriter dust covers from:
    mytypewriter.com Because we could not bear to hide our typewriters, we were letting them get dusty, after just having them cleaned and adjusted by Paul at Bremerton Office Machine: typspec.com

    We gave him 52 typewriters that we had collected when everyone was getting rid of them, in return for having him clean up the 6 we wanted to keep. They are such wonderful mechanical marvels, and have such a good sound and feel when we use them. We fill out all forms with them, as well as typing letters and shopping lists and labels for things around the house. Paul has purple typewriter ribbons, according to his blog. Can't wait to get over there and get one. ~Pamela

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How To: Cleaning Wrinkle Paint

You either love wrinkle paint or you put up with it hoping that a machine in shiny black comes your way. I happen to love the finish. It's very rugged, hides a myriad of metalwork sins, and can come in some very sober and serious colors. As great as I think this paint is, it is a magnet for dirt, grime, and crud. Dirt invariably make its way into the wrinkles and makes your typewriter look tired and grungy. However, the innate ruggedness of the paint makes it easy to clean. This is the process I use. Your mileage may vary. 
To start with you need some simple supplies. A couple of soft cloths, a small Tupperware container, a household laundry detergent without dyes or perfume, an old toothbrush, a utility spray bottle, and a blue Olympia SM3 (or whatever you happen to have). As with the other How-To, I recommend you dust/wet-dust your typewriter first. It takes a minute and "Water is the best solvent."


This process assumes that your typewriter is clean on the inside. There …

The Most Beautiful Typewriter

When the Olympia arrived in the mail, I immediately wanted one for myself. I began the process of looking for a light blue SM3. Surprisingly, I was able to to find one here in Phoenix in an identical color. It really is a very attractive typewriter. I thought this was, perhaps one of the most beautiful typewriters in the world. The color is blue like a summer sky. The chrome shines even on the grayest of days. The gentle lines are at once playful and very serious. It is a joy to look at.

But as lovely as the Olympia is, there's only one typewriter that I think truly deserves the moniker of "The Most Beautiful Typewriter" and that is the Olivetti Studio 42 designed in 1935. I know many will disagree with me. I would love to hear the disagreements.

I  do not have an Olivetti Studio 42, but I dream of owning one. If I found this machine (in good condition) I would stop collecting. It's that special.

To assist in proving that the Olivetti Studio 42 is "The Most Beaut…

Pinhole MG Filter Adapter

A few months ago a friend gave me an old set of Ilford multigrade filters he used in college. He thought I would get some use out of them in my home darkroom. It's nice to have this set. They are good for a couple of really cool contrast techniques in darkroom printing on multigrade paper. It can really save your bacon with a difficult print.

I wanted to also use these filters with my pinhole camera and multigrade paper. The contrast with the paper negatives can be a little extreme and these filters can tame contrast. However, my filters can't easily be taped to the front of the camera. I had to devise a method to hold them.

The 3 inch filters are designed to go under the lens on a darkroom enlarger. Each filter is mounted in a plastic holder that slides into a corresponding mount attached to the enlarger. I pulled out my calipers, did a little measuaring, and crafted a design in Tinkercad. A hours later and I had this design:


I decided to print it in two pieces on my Monopric…