Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2012

Typogram From Richard

Richard's Typogram to me. It is filled with typey goodness!

The Super Mega Capacitor of Death

 You can see the extent of the electrical complexity of this typewriter. The massive motor is on the other side. The vertical piece of  plastic to the right is the power switch which is actuated by a lever assembly at the front of the machine. Three parts make this typewriter electric; a switch, a capacitor, and a motor.
Fully charged, I assume that it would hold a nice little jolt. Who needs coffee when you have this?

Promising Typewriter Book

Uppercase Magazine (completely new to me) is working on a new book about the graphic history of the typewriter. This project promises to be very interesting. Janine Vangool, the architect of this project has put together a small video detailing the hows and whys.

The interesting thing about this book is that it is a completely graphic look at the world of the typewriter. Based on what the video describes a significant part of the book is dedicated to ephemera and advertising. For people who are at the intersection of the typewriter-graphic arts Venn diagram, this promises to be an interesting book.
The project is being funded by Kickstarter and it looks like there are miles to go before the printer, but it is over half-funded. It will be interesting to see how this book turns out. Click on this sentence to be taken to Uppercase's page about the book.
On a final note, Janine is looking for interesting examples of typewriter ephemera. From what I can understand she would like to wo…

Peeling Back the Layers

An Olivetti Lexicon 80E gives up its secrets slowly.
When I bought it I knew the draw band had been disconnected. The band did not look broken or frayed and I assumed that it had just come loose from the pulley. Tracing the path of the band past a few rollers and guides I was able to find where it connected, but was thwarted by the case. From what I could see there were two screws holding on the whole of the body.

 I loosened the screws but the body was pinned by the carriage. I took a gamble and figures that the carriage on this machine was removable. It seemed a likely possibility. What repairman would want to disassemble and entire carriage and sub-assembly just to get to a ribbon vibrator? I looked around and settled on two screws. After removing them, the carriage, escapement, and other components lifted out easily. The whole operation is very reminiscent of what you would see on the Olympia SG-1.

After that I was able to remove the body panel (there were two additional screws) …

La Macchina da Scrivere Pesante*

I plan on doing a much larger post about this typewriter, but I did want to post a quick picture of my newest acquisition. It needs some work and a good wash. I haven't even plugged it in to see what state the motor is in. Regardless, I am fairly certain that these heavy (as in 65 lb.) typewriters are unusual.



* The quality of this translation rests solely in the hands of the very clever boffins at Google. If you know better, please let me know.

It's Not the Worst Typewriter Ever

The typewriter is a tool. Much like every tool, the product that is created with its aid is shaped by the tool itself. The Typosphere would agree with this statement. It's one of the tenants that keeps us writing with typewriters; the tool transforms the work. For most of the denizens of the Typosphere, this mean manual typewriters.
Manual typewriters have more going for them than electric typewriters. You can use a manual typewriter anywhere. All you need is a sturdy desk. That's it. A desk and an idea. Nothing more. If a desk isn't to your liking you can use a bookcase. You can sit on a park bench. By the seaside.
These qualities are hard to come by with an electric typewriter. Instead of freedom, you are attached by an umbilical. The power that impels the imprint of your ideas comes from electrons sent to your wall by a smoke-belching or radiation-hot generator. But even in this grim view there are some really exceptional electric typewriters.

The IBM Selectric is an e…

Ribbons and Back To School

Monday is the first day of school. Over the past week I have been getting my classroom ready for the new crop of Juniors to pass through my door. The biggest project I had to do was move about 40 typewriter cases to a storage space on campus. Kindly, our Plant Manager has allowed me to more-or-less commandeer a disused storage closet as the typewriter "warehouse." This closet is also home to surplus computers and furniture. It's a bit of a jumble, but nowhere nearly as messy as Robert's storage unit.
Friday I called Baco to place my yearly order for ribbons. It's always nice to get a chance to chat with Charlene. Actually, she was here a few months ago visiting her sister. She made it out to the Mesa Typewriter Exchange and wanted to stop by my classroom, but her schedule didn't allow it. Regardless, it was very nice to chat on the phone.
Baco is one of those wonderful quirks of capitalism. It's a small business that survived dominance by big business on…