Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free Selectric Ribbons

UPDATE: This offer is ultra-old.

The school librarian was cleaning out some cabinets and found these NIB selectric ribbons. There are three boxes. Let know if you want one for your Selectric (tryanpa@cox.net). I thought they might have been 0.5", but they are 0.65" so I cannot use them in another machine.

CAUTION: These are the high-yeild ribbons. They are the large cartridges, not the smaller ones.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Blickenderfer has Arrived

It showed up in the mail on Friday. I was able to open it then, but there was so much going on Friday that I wasn't able to take pictures until this morning. So without further exposition...

It's in fair condition. The protective wooden case is rough and in desperate need of care. I pressed a few keytops and, unfortunately, all the keys stuck. I've been able to loosen then up thanks to a lot of penetrating oil and a little patience. Now, the typeball does rotate to the correct position when a key is pressed, but it returns very sluggishly. I've taken the mechanism apart (it is very easy to do) and I am fairly confident that a century of grease and dirt is making the return motion slow. Regardless of these faults, the machine is fascinating. The motion of the the two geared horns that move the wheel into place for striking on the paper is poetry. 

It does need some surface cleaning, but I am unsure of the crested badge. What did it look like to start? I cannot imagine that it came from the factory looking sooty and dirty. However, I am afraid to clean it to a point where it looks completely different from other Blicks. These types of machines vary wildly in condition. Some are pristine and others are junky. The only common denominator is that there is no consensus I can deduce on the original look of this badge. Part of me wants to just shine the heck out of it and get it glowing with a silver luster. I'll ask for suggestions from the TYPEWRITER email list. 

I was able to get some typing done on it, but the combination of the dirty movement and the different key layout makes it nearly incomprehensible. 

In the next couple of weeks I would like to get this machine into running shape. I don't think it will take too much effort. Regardless, I am excited to have my first 100-year-old machine in my collection.

P.S. Where do you find the serial number on this typewriter?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Completely Justified

This is harder than it looks.

Like sausage, nobody really wants to know how it's made.

This sample only took me five minutes total. I did it between bells. I should check my r/t finger placement. Embarrassing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blickensderfer Electric

Sorry if I mislead you with this post title. I do not have a Blick Electric, but I did find this really fun pamphlet for an Electric Blick from the Duke University Archive. I read an old ETC detailing the restoration of a Blick Electric. They are immensely rare even though they were in the Blick line-up for more than 15 years. A lack of standardized electric service and apprehension over electrified appliances is surmised as why the Blick Electric never caught on.

Well, if I thought electricity came from some disembodied hand, I might
have been hesitant to buy an Electric Blickensderfer.

Well, it just looks dangerous.

Maybe it's the corset that is making you tired. Ever think of that?

Nearly 70 years before IBM came up with the Selectric with a typeball, Blickensderfer had an electric with a typewheel. With advertising like this, I would have run out and bought one immediately.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blickensderfer Ballyhoo

The only exciting news that I have to share is that a Blickensderfer 7 is on its way to my house. This machine will not make it into the classroom rotation. Instead, it will be on display in the "private collection".

To sate your thirst, I found this Blick 8 instruction manual. While more advanced (and newer) than my Blick, it still make for interesting reading.

Click Image to Read.

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Typewriters in the News

It may not be a New York Times article, but being from my alma mater makes it even more special.


If you are visiting for the fisrt time, you can find all the old posts archived in the right side-bar.We are nearly wrapping up the project for the 2010-2011 school year. I have learned a lot and I think the students have too. If you are looking for documents describing the foundations of this project please read these posts:

1. The original proposal sent to the nascent typosphere: http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/08/classroom-typewriter-project.html

2. The Hypothesis: http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/08/hypothesis.html

3. The Process: http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/08/process.html

4. Some results: http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/09/results-of-weekly-typewriter-inventory.html
and http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/09/weekly-typewriter-inventory-analysis.html
and http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/10/analysis-and-monks.html
and http://magicmargin.blogspot.com/2010/12/young-truth.html

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


As we get closer to graduation, you might be wondering what kind of gift a young high school grad might like. I have a suggestion...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Calling All Sun Devils

If you are an Arizona State University student, faculty, staff, or alumni who loves typewriters, Harmony from the State Press wants to talk to you. You can email her at hhuskins@asu.edu She is working on an article about the increase in typewriter interest.

The Second Phoenix Type-In

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Remington Noiseless 7

P.S. I found out from Richard's site that the plastic keytops are original, not after-market "updates".

Friday, April 8, 2011


Oh, Emerson. How far had your star fallen if you were having to resort to giving away pianos so that people would try your typewriters? Such a shame.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Digital Oubliette

The Camera
As much as the above typecast is critical of digital media, I must confess excitement over a new piece of technology that allows me to easily create digital media. Most of our classrooms have documents cameras. These pieces of 21st century technology allow a book, page, or document's contents to be displayed on an overhead projector. The document cameras we have use a regular video camera at a very low resolution. They are nice, but the low resolution makes using them difficult. Newer versions use digital cameras to increase the resolution and improve image captures in low-light situations. The new one I recieved is a digital one. The most useful part is that I can use it as a scanner. The above typecast was digitized using the HoverCam. It really is a neat piece of technology. It also has a futuristic look about it.


Friday, April 1, 2011

A Final-ish Draft

A Rough Draft

Have you ever been to Typewrunner? Go there after you look at this rough draft of a poster based on the photo from his site. Mike Clemens issued a challenge that I could not ignore.

Rough draft.