Friday, September 23, 2011

A Selectric Gift and Typewriter Movie Shoot

The 22nd was a big day. My classroom played host to a cameraman taking some video for The Typewriter (In the 21st Century) documentary, I fixed a Selectric given to me as a gift, and it was my birthday. The important stuff first:

The really old table under the Selectric is probably in keeping with the time-frame.
The white board, however, gives it away. 

The two angle and rotation bands fell off their respective wheels. So, the element wasn't moving to the correct position and the angle was all messed up. After getting them set properly the machine was as good as new. The motor must have been replaced recently as it purrs with only the gentlest of hums. I am not an electric typewriter fan, but considering the historical importance of this machine (and the fact that I already have a ready supply of type elements) I am apt to let it stay in the classroom. The size is much better than that Vader-like machine that I gave to Bill Wahl.  It comfortably fits on a desk or typewriter table. These machines are the easiest things to open up even if-- once on the inside-- you find that they are more akin to Brazil-like devices designed to baffle all but the most experienced typewriter repairman. Looking at those 2800 possible mechanical adjustments would drive you mad. It's clear to me that the engineering team were geniuses (and Noyes was an artist). But with every silver bauble there is a little tarnish; there is something missing. The paper scale at the top seems to have vanished. It didn't have one when it was given to me, so I can assume that it was taken off long ago. Perhaps the old owner didn't quite "measure up." 

If you haven't been to the Kickstarter page for The Typewriter (In the 21st Century) you should go there now. Here.

Oh, I'm 31 now. Still younger than most of my typewriters. 

4 comments:

  1. If you can fix anything on a Selectric, I'm in awe. I agree that the Selectric I is a good-looking classic. Great typewriter. Heavy as #@^%, though.

    Happy birthday!

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  2. My Selectric I doesn't have a paper scale at the top, either. But there are marks on the clear part of the knob on the right that tell you how much paper you'll have left, if you feed it in properly.

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  3. Happy Birthday Ryan! I was at college when you were born. And I'm still younger than all my typewriters. Maybe there's a correlation between era born in and our collecting criteria?

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