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Showing posts from 2013

Happy Holidays!

Paper Welder

Ton, Miguel, Nick, and Richard all shared their staplers and this is mine. Actually, it's a type of fastener.




This beauty crimps paper together with a fluted "weld." It is in the same vein as Richard's tab thingamajig, but with more mid-century chrome. The ever-interesting American Stationer blog has a very lengthy article about the different models of the Paper Welder
One benefit to a crimper like this is you can feed pages that have been crimped though a typewriter with ease. Staples do not always play nicely with a platen.

Typewriter Noir

Typewriter Crafting: Making Hermes 3000 Knobs

Count yourself lucky if you own a Hermes 3000 and your knobs are in good shape  I have two of these typewriters that are in fantastic shape and all knobs, levers, and buttons are extant and operable. However, I do have one Hermes that is missing both knobs.

It's a lovely mid-body Hermes. You know the ones; pale green and white key tops. They have all the feel of the original Hermes with the extra brittle knobs. Bonus! I haven't put it out into the rotation because of the knobs. As a typer it's completely useable, but the knoblesness makes loading paper too dependent on the line spacing mechanism. So, I set out to make a new knob.
Rob made some out of wood. Very nice. I support hand-crafted lovliness. Wood would be good, but plastic...well the future is in plastics. I, however, do not have a plastics factory. Or do I?

Enter Instamorph. You may have seen it as Shapelock or (as the boffins in labs know it) Polycaprolactone; PCL. This plastic is amazing. It melts in 60 degree…

Pineapple and Typewriters

Pineapple and typewriters don't mix. Specifically Dole pineapple cups and this typewriter.

Brian–typewriter lover and overall good student–was holding a cup of pineapple his teeth while carrying this typewriter back to his desk. A moment later I herd a yelp, a kerfuffle, and a blur. I turned to see small golden nuggets of pineapple falling into the segment of this typewriter, a stream of juice smacking the floor, and a horrified Brian looking at me like he was preparing to meet his maker.
I have had students bend type bars. I have had typewriters dropped. I have seen dubious choices made over how to treat someof these machines. Never have I encountered a typewriter filled with pineapple and pineapple juice.
As you can imagine, this typewriter is out of commission. The segments are completely frozen and the machine is non-functioning. Thankfully, I know what happened and I will be able to clean it very soon. In this instance a full water dunk will be the best option.

So my advice:…

The Dilemma: Should it Stay or Should it Go?

I had a college professor who like to point out that the real meaning of dilemma was a choice between two equally undesirable outcomes. Dilemma connotatively means any problem, but in this situation it is a true dilemma.

The problem centers around this typewriter.



A once proud and mighty grande dame of the office, this Super Speed is now a decaying wreck. I can only assume that it was stored in dampest, dankest, darkest basement ever dug by human hands. The corrosion is impressive.

Needless to say, to restore this typewriter to its original state would take countless hours and probably more than a few q-tips. This typewriter was a gift. It was free from a very kind person and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I would never get around to fixing it.

Other projects came and went.

Time passed.

And now what do I do with this albatross?


I like the Super Speed. It's attractive typewriter. The horizontal banding breaks up the strong vertical look of this machine. It's very …

Wednesday's Typewriter Lecture

Just a little update... The lecture was great! About 25 folks attended and some really good questions were asked. I gave the in-depth story of Magic Margin, the Typosphere, and my typewriter collection.

GCC North was incredibly kind in hosting me an my collection. If you are in the area the collection of typewriters is on display through the remainer of the semester.


The footnotes have been documented, the slides have been Power Pointed, and I have saved my voice for my big event tonight.

So, if you are in the North Phoenix area, stop by Glendale Community College North to hear me drone on about typewriters. It'll be lecture-tastic!



GCC North 5727 W Happy Valley Rd Phoenix, AZ 85310

Rob's Book

 Rob said we should post a picture, but I thought several pictures in quick succession would be better. I call them "seqmopho" (sequential motion photographs). They might catch on.

Powerful Tools

I thought that this would be a nice addition to the cause. Click on this link for a higher resolution.

Of Course You're Invited

As if you had to even ask.

We're Still Typin'

So, I looked at the date of my last post and it has been a while. Don't beat yourself up. We have both been busy. I have had to prepare for the typewriter exhibit at GCC North and my upcoming lecture.

Halloween decorations have kept me busy.


There is, of course, my "photography."


But, I wanted to show you a few pictures of my 5th period typing. They have been slow to adopt the way of the typewriter, but the revolution is not won in great leaps. It is a slow process that converts adherents with logical argument.





The Selectstar

The Rt. Rv. Munk on To Type, Shoot Strait, and Speak the Truth describes his recent purchase of a Selectric at a garage sale. $5 was the price and that seems about fair. Selectrics are everywhere and many in The Typosphere have at least one lying around somewhere. To my eyes the IBM Selectric type element always looks a little suspicious.



Desert Sunsets and Plexiglass Cubes

As the sun began to set in the desert and the golden rays of the sun light up the mountains and cacti I made a delivery of typewriters to the Glendale Community College North campus for the exhibit. I was able to snag a few pictures of the campus and the typewriters in the library.













The List

So here is the list of machines I came up with for the GCC North exhibition. I have had to make some tough editorial decisions, but I would love to hear  from you. How complete or incomplete is this list? I have tried to represent a century of typewriter evolution. Does this collection pull that off?

1909 Corona 3 1921 Underwood Standard Portable 1926 Remington 12 1935 Remington Model 7 1937 Corona Standard 1942 Royal Arrow Navy Radio Mill 1954 Royal HH 1959 Olympia SG-1 1959 Olympia SM3 1961 Brother Valiant 1961 IBM Selectric 1985 IBM Wheelwriter 5

Magic Margin Display at GCC North

A few weeks ago I got a call from one of the administrators at the local community college down the street. Glendale Community College's satellite campus in the North Valley has a beautiful library filled with display cases that are sitting empty. I was asked if I would be willing to put together 12 typewriters to display in the library for the rest of the semester. I jumped at the chance to get my collection out of my home Typetorium. 
We've got the ball rolling and it looks like there also might be a reception and lecture by a certain typewriter-collecting English teacher.
I've been going through my collection looking at what I might want to include in this broad collection. I think I have put together an interesting history of typewriters.
Things are in the planning stages and I'll make sure to keep everyone updated, but I am pleased as punch to be sharing our hobby with a whole new group of people.

Lively, Noisy Combat

Was Ernest an early member of the Typewriter Insurgency?

A Blickensderfer in the Pines of Prescott

This is a picture of Sharlot Hall sitting at what appears to be a Blickensderfer 7 at her family home at Orchard Ranch 20 miles south of Prescott. Who was Sharlot Hall?
Sharlot M. Hall (1870-1943), who became well known as a poet, activist, politician, and Arizona’s first territorial historian. Sharlot Hall was one of the West’s most remarkable women. As early as 1907, Ms. Hall saw the need to save Arizona's history and planned to develop a museum. She began to collect both Native American and pioneer material. In 1927, she began restoring the first Territorial Governor’s residence and offices and moved her extensive collection of artifacts and documents opening it as a museum in 1928. This great treasure of Arizona sits at a Blickensderfer 7 at Orchard Ranch 20 miles south of Prescott. Sharlot was very concerned with protecting Arizona's new history and filled an inhereted home (which was the territorial governor's mansion at one time) with artifacts and ob…