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Showing posts from May, 2013

November 1957

More Royal News. I shared the edition from November 1956 a couple of weeks ago and now here's  another one from a year later. Please enjoy the typewriter-y goodness.

USB Typewriter: The Final Chapter

After what seems like weeks of false starts and broken deadlines I can say:


Can't you feel the full promise of the digital revolution?

It has been difficult reconciling my excitement over working on this project and the vague shadow of apprehension that haunted me at various points along the line. The apprehension did not come from a fear of knowledge. I knew what I was doing and I had confidence in my ability as a maker. I was worried for something else. Perhaps I was worried about the typewriter's soul. Perhaps I was worried for my own. Regardless I decided that converting this typewriter wasn't a good thing to do.

The promises I made earlier did not come to pass. I said that this USB typewriter would be in the beautiful Underwood that I have been showing off for weeks. No Underwood. The plan that I made for my version of the USB typewriter was far too complex and diverged from Jack's well thought out plan too much. I didn't heed the advice of minds more experien…

A Welcome and A Remington

So, I imagine that some of you visiting today are new to my blog. Welcome. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you are here. The first part of this post is for the newcomers. It introduces the idea behind this blog and what I do with typewriters in school. The second part is about a new typewriter in my collection.
The CTP in a Nutshell
The original concept behind The Classroom Typewriter Project was to have students write without distraction. Computers have become distracting devices the divert our attention from quiet inspiration and real reflection. The typewriter is still the perfect machine for getting ideas neatly presented on paper. Moreover, the typewriter requires the author to be aware of GUMS (grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling) because a typewriter has a way of making your literary missteps very public.
To bring you up to speed on what has happened I have aggregated some of the older posts from this blog. These will be helpful in understanding the goals and what I wa…

It Doesn't Feel Like the End

...of the semester. It's the end of the semester. I didn't mean to alarm you. Magic Margin is going to be around for a while.
The typewriters have been silent for the past week. The last official journal was last Friday and since then the machines have been "cooling down."

Most of these typers are rugged little beasts. The constant use is starting to show in some of them and I have already started with the reconditioning of a few. This work will continue the work over the summer. By fall we should have a fully-working arsenal again.
The other great thing is that my annus horriblis is nearly over. Yearbook is done. Prom is done. The final edition of the newspaper is done. It's all done!

I have been going 80 MPH all semester and now it's almost 0 MPH. It feels good to breathe. Now, on to the next round of projects!

Feeling a Little Blue with Scheidegger

As hard as I am on Adler machines from the 1970s, I seem to have an awful lot of them. They pop up everywhere, especially in the form of this stained beast.

OK, I know that it's really a Triumph Gabrielle/Adler in Scheidegger's clothes. Certainly, Mr. Scheidegger had interesting taste. The blue is certainly blue. The yellowed and aged keys really set off the stains. What about the Brand Schiedegger?
 Robert Messenger asked the question "Who is Willy Scheidegger?" and was unable to get anything beyond some basic information. All I know is that Willy Scheidegger ran a number of typing schools that had the dubious honor of requiring pupils to purchase their private-label machines to complete the course.

Maybe I'll give Willy the benefit of the doubt. The machines that were comissioned were quality typewriters. A Triumph Gabrielle (of any vintage) or Princess 300 aren't exactly a Rover 5000, but requiring students to buy your machines...well I think it's do…

Wild Hearts Can Be Tamed

Just take a thoroughbred name, like Mustang, have Litton's contract-man Nakajima slap together something that is almost a typewriter and you have this:

Green. Avocado green. Why would a Mustang be green? If you ever see a green wild horse, run away quickly because the zombie apocalypse is upon us.

While I have my reservations about these mass-produced-same-as-all-the-rest-why-even-call-it-a-Mustang typewriters, my students have a different opinion. It has been so popular that I have had to recondition it a little bit. Nothing major, mind you, but the rubber grommets that hold the ribbon cover on have disintegrated. Every tap of the keys is followed by the clank of the ribbon cover.


Instead of a hinged ribbon cover, this machine uses a compression fit that requires grommets. I turned to a grommet selection sold by Harbor Freight.

$5.99 for a varied selection. I used the 5/16" ones for this machine. The Brother Valiant in my private collection also needed the grommets repla…

Typewriter Story on NBC Tonight...Probably

Michelle Melnick form NBC called me today with some good news. If NBC Nightly News isn't shortened because of a hockey game, then her story about typewriters should air tonight. I know she filmed my class, but she was also at MTE (Mesa Typewriter Exchange) and spent some time with Bill. If you happen to be near a TV check it out.

Tough break. When it's typewriters vs. bomb-sniffing dogs the bomb-sniffing dogs will always get the airtime. 

A Taste of the Typosphere's Future

As I go along I have been sipping from the Future of the Typosphere essays as one would drink a fine cordial. Every new thing I read makes me feel that the Typosphere is one of the most learned and thoughtful groups on the internet.