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Showing posts from April, 2013

10 or X or What?

I have a Royal desktop standard machine with single glass sides from 1927. It's a beautiful machine and I am really proud to own it, but I have a problem.

I don't know what to call this model. Is it a Royal 10? Should we designate that it's a single beveled window rather than the dual window? Royal 10 Single Window?


Should I follow the convention and use the letter prefix from the serial number? In this case it is X-1089085, so this would be a Royal X.

Or maybe 1927 Royal Standard? What do you, the Typosphere, think?

Angering the Typewriters

So after lofty promises and Greek-drama-sized hubris, the USB typewriter project has come to a halt. The mounting point I imagined just won't work and I am starting to question the wisdom of using my Underwood. Mostly because the rear feet are too squished and are providing almost no clearance for the sensor bar. 
While the mount point I picked was beautiful and it made some sense, I was unprepared for how much it would affect the feel of the movement. Stopping the intermediate linkage even a few millimeters made the whole machine unresponsive. I am beginning to see why the ribbon vibrator bar was a wise choice on Jack's part. The vibrator bar is a piece that interacts with every key bar, yet has movement so as to prevent any major alteration to the feel of the typewriter.
You win some and then you loose some.

I guess that the Ancient Ones of the Typosphere looked unfavorable on my enterprise. Yet, like Herbert West I shall reanimate this idea.

For Nick and All Typospherians

Nick emailed me and asked if I would be willing to scan the instruction sheet for a Royal Portable Model O. Happy to help the Typosphere. I scanned it and made two versions. The first version is for printing on 11x17" paper and folding to your heart's desire. The second is for on-line viewing.



I've also run off a few copies and folded them for you. They are for sale (via this blog) for $1 including postage.

Typewriter Hacks

When I think of typewriter hacks I think of:


or:

But folks of the digital world that are hooking up typewriters to computers. I haven't decided whether it's a silly idea, as expressed by Strikethru, or something fun as Robert has described. That vacillation hasn't stopped me from giving the USB typewriter kit by Jack Zylkin a go. A few days ago I posted the main board assembled, soldered, and tested. I have a few other pieces to assemble, but my big hang-up was the location of the sensor bar.
As Jack shows on his Instructables page, the sensor bar is attached to the ribbon vibrator cross-member. The reason why he chose this location makes sense. Each key top linkage arm touches this bar and there is a significant amount of play in the trip point. In other words, this is a pretty good place to put a part like this. However, I did not like this location.


The fact I would be mounting something to a moving part made me nervous. I know that most of these typewriter USB conversi…

Deadline Ahead

The deadline for the Magic Margin 100,000 Page View Contest is days away. If you want to be one of the lucky few to receive a coveted limited-run Magic Margin poster, respond to the prompt in the post lined below.
http://www.magicmargin.net/2013/04/magic-margin-at-100000.html

It Came in the Post

Soldered by yours truly. This is the first step in a larger project. This project has derailed the Underwood Universal restoration, but I think what's coming will more than make up for it.

November 1956

I found this interesting document and thought I would share it with the Typosphere. Royal's human resources department published this monthly magazine for the benefit of its workforce. While typewriters are present, this magazine primarily lets us have a glimpse inside the everyday life at a major typewriter manufacturer during the 1950s. 
The people who worked at Royal were not typewriter users like us. They worked for Royal and were probably loyal to their employer, but typewriters were not the cultural artifacts they are today.  No doubt, they would thing that owning more than one typewriter was just plain unusual.

Typewriters were devices intended to do a job. So, within these pages you'll see no mention of the power of unplugging from the digital hegemony or any of the usual tropes of the Typosphere. Instead you'll find celebrations of birthdays, information on major medical plans, and pictures of employee barbecues. You might even see the odd typewriter here-and-the…

Handy for Mistakes

I was able to find a small stash of these around the house and I would love to make them available to anyone who would want one.  New old stock ready and able to fix whatever typing problems you have. 


Ko-Rec-Typew/ magnet backing $9.00 USDvintage blister $7.00 USD

Magic Margin at 100,000

It's with some pride that I to announce that Magic Margin's 100,000th page views. It's an occasion for me to pause and reflect on what has happened over the past few years. This site–and to a greater extent the Typosphere –has blossomed and become something far more rich, interesting, and vibrant than I could ever have imagined.
In the Typosphere there are people making new parts for their typewriter by using 3D printing technologies. There are people writing novels and poems and essays using a typewriters. There are people creating typewriter art, starting typewriter businesses, and spreading the typewriter good word to all points on the globe. There are movies and books and blogs all about typewriters .


To share in the joy of the 100,000th page view and the vibrancy of the Typosphere, I have created a Magic Margin poster based on my logo by Nicole Ray. These 11"x17" posters are a very limited run; only 5 have been made and I want to give them away to the Typo…

Clean as a Whistle

The Underwood Universal in my collection had some pretty sluggish type bar segments. I hadn't been able to get them as clean as they needed to be. As such, I had no idea how nice a feel this typewriter had until I was actually able to use it. 
What gummed up the segments was a mystery, but I got to talking to a gun fan about some of the products sportsmen use to keep their firearms clean. We talked back and forth about what factors would gum up a type bar segment. I argued that metal grit, old oil, and fouling from dust would be the main factors determining whether a type bar segment was sluggish.  With barely a moments hesitation he recommended:

Hoppe's No. 9 is a solvent used for cleaning gun bores. Lead, old powder, and other flotsam falls prey to the power of this kerosene-based cleaner which–to my eye–leaves very little residue. Using a skewer, I placed a few drops of this cleaner in the offending segment. I let it do its work and then came back to clean up what was left…