Monday, November 25, 2013

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.

from Dole.com

So my advice: Don't dump pineapple into a typewriter.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

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 Moderne. The new design came at a time when Smith-Corona was looking to update the look of their office machine. I agree with Alan Seaver when he says, "In my mind, this version of the Super-Speed belongs more to the '30s than the '40s..."

As much as this typewriter looked new, under the ribbon cover everything was very much the same. To the end of the product line Smith-Corona Super Speed used the same ball-bearing design to hang the type bars that had been designed and used on all L.C. Smith machines for the previous 50 years. By the 40s no company was using that technology. Slotted type segments were the norm, but Smith-Corona still hung on to the tradition.


Even with such a great past and good looking design, the realities of the modern day still linger. I can't keep the machine (I need space for new ones) and restoring this machine is not going to happen. What does that leave? I think parting it out and recycling the frame is my only option.

I don't like the idea, but I am in the middle of a dilemma. So much of the typewriter collecting field focuses on salvaging typewriters, but should we be so squeamish about getting rid of common and broken typewriters? Is every machine worth saving? 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

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.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Powerful Tools


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