If you were looking to gather with some like-minded typewriter lovers this weekend, you are in luck because the 6th Phoenix Type-In is happening this weekend at First Draft in Changing Hands. From 1-4 you can get a chance to meet typewriter collectors from across the valley, have a refreshing drink from First Draft, possibly win a typewriter, and see some great machines.
The 6th Phoenix Type-In will include: A typewriter clinic with Bill Wahl from the Mesa Typewriter Exchange. Bill will be on-hand to give his professional opinion about your typewriter. Jake Fischer, the typewriter wunderkind, will be holding a speed typing competition which may include fabulous prizes. A special exhibit of The Typewriters of Mad Men. You can see, in person IBM Selectrics and a small collection of typewriters featured on the show. A chance to win a typewriter. Just put your First Draft receipt in the box and you can win one of three fantastic, beautiful, mid-century typewriters.
Please come out! You'…
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.
It happened almost by accident; three IBM (Ee-bee-ems as Toddler Magic Margin calls them) Selectrics. The strangest thing is that they are all the same color. One, two, and three. The Right Reverent Munk has also seen a surfeit of Selectrics come his way, although his come with natty keys. Mine are more...serious?...somber?...Blue Chip! All typewriters are welcome during ITAM!
On March 25, 1985 Dan Rather reported that the Soviet Union had successfully penetrated the United States Embassy in Moscow. The Soviets had placed bugs inside IBM Selectric IIs located in sensitive areas. These bugs were able to easily read what was being typed on these typewriters. Until this incident occurred, US Security agencies believed that the ISSR had only been bugging audio, but the typewriter bugs were the first plain-text threat they ever encountered. Moreover, the bug itself was uniquely created to take advantage of the electro-mechanical nature of the IBM Selectric II. All-told 16 bugs were found hidden inside IBM Selectrics (both IIs and IIIs) and the story of their discovery and operation is a fascinating part of typewriter lore.
The relationship between the United States and Soviet Union during the late 70s and 80s was strained and both sides were actively using covert methods to infiltrate each other’s embassies. While the extent of the United States’ eavesdropping …
This summer, so far, has been filled with teacher-y stuff. I have been revising the Junior English curriculum to ensure that it aligns properly with the new Common Core nation-wide standards. It has been an onerous task and pretty dry. I can say that Junior English now looks a lot like Junior English of yesteryear. Blessedly, not much has changed. Most of our work was done on the computer and that was a challenge.
I am not used to sitting in front of a computer for extended periods of time. The on-your-feet nature of teaching is much more my style. After hours of staring at a monitor I started to feel tired and my eyes started twitching. How do people in offices cope? Computers...pah!
In my time working in the purely digital realm, I found some time to tap out notes on an IBM Selectric still lurking in the school library. It was a joy to unplug form the digital even if I was still plugged into an outlet.
My interest in them has been piqued. That brings me to the picture above.
As you can tell from the picture that heads this post, I have come into a fair few IBM Selectric type elements. I echo the title of this post and wonder what collective noun should be applied to such a gathering? Would they be a grip, group, cache, herd, mob, clutch, murder, dole, plump, balding, team, bed, ward, convocation, stalk, leash, skulk, leap, or an exultation? Comment with your ideas.
With this new infusion of stuff I have become more and more interested in the IBM Selectric. Heretofore I have described them as "nice" and "not my thing," but as I spend more time with it I can see why so many people enjoy the company of this particular electric giant.
The hum is hypnotic.
I can remember a red one in the office where my Grandmother worked. I was allowed to use it whenever we visited. I–as many people–remember the sound of the motor gently humming while the element spun and bobbed across the surface of the paper.
I have more ideas beginning to take shape ar…