Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2012

Positive Spur: Henry James, Theodora Bosanquet, and a Remington Typewriter

Having seen its heyday, the torch of the typewriter is only carried by a few true believers. We see these Promethians lighting pockets of darkness all over the world. The impetus is drawn from a vast mythology of typewriters; Mark Twain with his love/hate relationship to the Sholes & Glidden, Ernest Hemingway standing at a bookshelf in Cuba, Cormac McCarthy's $50 beat-up Lettera from a pawn shop in Texas. Stories are ambrosia that feed our love of these wonderful iron companions, but there is one great story of a man and a woman and a typewriter that shows how a simple machine intended to complete a task can become integral to a life.
Henry James is known for his meandering prose. Jamesian sentences can stretch on for lines. It's his style, and he is a master. What Hemingway did for the terse, short sentence, James did for long, complex syntax. I thought this was a by-product of writing during the Gilded Age, but James was a realist author. He wasn't a victim of Roma…

Wall Post

When we moved to our new home about a year ago, Mrs. Magic Margin was very generous in allowing me space to display my personal typewriter collection. Everything about the "typewriter room" has been a work in progress. The biggest problem for any collector is storage space. To display a typewriter is a large investment in shelf real-estate. 
I've mentioned my love of the Expedit shelf from the mega furniture retailer, IKEA. Each cube is 12" square so any typewriter you display needs to be smaller than that. I have been able to display a large collection using this storage system, but there are machines that I don't use (because they need to be repaired or restored. I don't want to get rid of them, but I would like to have them out and appreciated. So, this was the solution:

I know that there are some in the Typosphere that might be a little hesitant to hang some typewriters on the wall, but I like it. 

Each machine is custom-hung and the mount is attached t…

19 Typewriters

Through my many (three) years of scientific (barely) study of youths and typewriters I have arrived at an optimum number of typewriters for use in an opt-in classroom. 19. Also, the shelves I have hold 19 nicely with room for journal forms. The number is arrived at by a combination of prudence and actual use. So, here are the 19.

With bad photography and all, here are the 19:




















What about all the other typewriters? Well, I keep them in-reserve should anything happen to the ones I have out in rotation. With as much use as these typewriters get, I have been able to come to some conclusions about certain brands and their ruggedness. 
As you can see, there are few Smith-Corona typewriters. They seem to just wilt under pressure. The typebar linkages are openable so those typewriters tend to fail in that one area. All the Smith-Corona Galaxie-like machines currently have a problem with their linkages as a result of this tendency and awa…

Labor of a Mind

I asked a few of the typing regulars to respond to a question about typewriters. "Do you think that using old technology (like a typewriter) could help young people be more aware of the world?"
As soon as I asked the question, I thought of a thousand ways to better phrase what I was asking, but Vanessa (all of 17 years old) decided to go with her first instinct. 

The thing that makes me furious is that I didn't come up with "...hearing the labor of your mind and fingers ring out in the air..."

Very Nearly Perfekt

Sunday I had the opportunity to visit a few antique stores while Toddler Magic Margin was taking a nap. I usually don't find much and what I do find is rather expensive or junky. Such was the case Sunday when I saw the regular assembly of Underwoods, Smith-Coronae, and Royals. Everything was really beat-up and invariable in the $70 price-range. 
This antique store is more of a mall (why they would purposely call an antique store a mall is beyond me) where individuals can rent stalls. Most of what you find in just junk; junk with a patina. In Ohio or Pennsylvaia it would only be worthy of dusty junk shops, but here they are antiques worthy of the Hermitage. 
I was browsing through getting ready to leave when I thought to go into one of these little stalls. There wasn't much, but my eye did catch a little fawn colored typewriter poking out from a shelf. 
It was this Triumph Perfekt 


and it was 

The price was high, but in the years I have been hunting down machines I have yet to…

Sneak Peak and an Odd Translation

I have much more about this typewriter, but in the meantime please enjoy the fractured translation. To get the full effect, click on the cover and be taken to a PDF.





Typogram 2

October 5th? I cannot believe that more than a month has past since this Typogram 2 was written. I am a terribly negligent Tyopgrammer. To my eternal shame Dwayne sent me several letters and I have yet to respond. Anyway, please enjoy...



Handy Little Thing

The carriage for my HH was feeling a little sluggish so I called Bill at MTE to see if he could help me do some on-the-fly diagnosis. The problem is that the carriage grabs and feels heavy in the same place. Letters pile up and some spacing between letters can be dodgy.

I was able to walk through a few diagnistic things when Bill said, "You can take the tension by removing the drawband."

That was a good idea, but I only had two hands to do this and there is a good chance I would have lost control of the the drawband causing damage to my fingers and havoc to my typewriter.

Royal's engineers thought of that and provided a handy screw for temorarily affixing the drawband to the body.


I could see that this feature might also be helpful if you were trying to fit a new drawband.

My KMG, FP, and HH all have this little knobly screw. I would have to check the other Royal desktops when I get home, but this was new to me and I could see it being a handy little thing.