Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Typewriter Summer

The last days of school have passed. Grades are in and I am cleaning my room. I decided to take a break. As I sit at my desk with my trusty Royal HH (a portrait of which graces the header of this blog) and look over at the shelf of typewriters, I can honestly say that this year has really been an extraordinary year of typewriters. I tried to put together this timeline of events to show how much of the last school year was filled with typewriters. I’ll begin with last summer…

  • I am listed as AZ Teen’s Hot 100 for my groundbreaking work in educational retrotechnology. 

  • Interview for The Typewriter in the 21st Century 
  • The 2nd Phoenix Type-In and filming for The Typewriter. 

  • Maguire Donation. Kathy Maguire, a local real-estate agent and former world-ranked speed typist, donates 16 typewriters to the CTP. With her donation there are enough typewriters to keep a constant rotation of 30 in my classroom. 

  • Classroom film shoot for Nicholson’s film The Typewriter 

  • Not much, just a lot of typing. 

  • Eric Lawson donates 24 typewriters to the CTP. He is officially the largest donor ever. I am still working on getting them into rotation. 

  • TypeGrants were started, failed, resurrected, and turned into just nice gifts. Keep it simple, Adney! 
  • Magic Margin Etsy Shop founded. Successful to a point. I can never bring myself to sell typewriters in any great number. 

  • Small blurb in the Community section of the Arizona Republic 
  • Bill Geist from CBS News Sunday Morning comes to interview my students and me about our typewriter experiment. The segment airs two weeks later and it's great. 

  • Know 99, a local, cable education program does a segment on the CTP. 
  • Representative Debbie McCune Davis sends a very kind letter praising the innovation of using typewriters in a classroom. Innovation? I agree! 
  • Peter (AKA notagain) founds Strike Force; getting typewriters into the hands of students! Peter is declared to "rock" by the CTP. 

  • 3rd Phoenix Type-In is held. This was the largest and best-attended of the Phoenix Type-Ins. Many new faces were seen. 
  • Arizona Republic article on the type-in is published. 
  • Chanel 12 runs a short segment on the March Type-In and the typewriter renaissance. 
  • Ton donates a wonderful Sears Tower to the CTP. It is a popular little machine. 

  • Sill more typing. 

  • Bill M. arranges a donation of three machines. Bill is added to the pantheon of "cool." 
  • The first Mini Type-In is scheduled.

This is all I could recall from the school year, but I think you would agree that it has been pretty busy. Summer break is here and the typewriters have been covered. They will sit for three months waiting for the students to return. During the interstitial I will keep updating Magic Margin. I have loads of content that I have been waiting to share. So, check back often. It's going to be a very typewriter summer!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's Free!

I feel guilty that you might have clicked on the link to this post in hopes of getting some sort of typewriter for free. No. That's not the case. The only free thing is this Typewriter Insurgency graphic I've been working on. Free is free, so no complaining! Use it. Modify it. Move the movement forward!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I had the directions to Elevate Coffee Co. wrong. This is the corrected graphic:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Saga of the Mexican Oliver

I have been on the quest for a Mexican Oliver for some time. They are nearly impossible to find here in the US. What makes a Mexican Oliver special? Well, I have found some pictures from Mercado Libre to give you and idea:

A Mexican Oliver is nickle plated on the bottom while still retaining the green paper table and front piece. I can glean no information about why the two-tone Oliver was so popular, but it's all you find in Mexico.

For a long while I felt as if I would never get a lead. Mercado Libra frequently has them for sale, but my inexperience with the language and fear of buying something so expensive so far away makes it prohibitive. I can't take a vacation to go look for one because there 32 states and one federal district and they could be hidden anywhere. But now there is a slight hope.

Andres, one of my students, has an uncle who is a journalist with a newspaper in Mexico City. He's spotty on the details because they have never met, but this summer he is taking a vacation to visit him. It was kind of Andres to offer to ask if he knew the location of one and I am sure that a journalist would know just the right people to contact.

So, this little quest is taking on a new dimension, but it's still exciting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012