Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Look and Skyriter

The old themes from Blogger were getting a bit old, so this is the update.

The Skyriter arrived and I am amazed at the size of this typewriter. It is tiny. It really is the smallest typewriter in our classroom collection. I got it and decided to spruce it up a little. I replaced all the felt on the inside just in case we have some kids allergic to that old typewriter smell. The margin stops are acting up. I think that something worked loose in transit. I have a feeling that the spring that holds the margin stop bar (not the official term I feel) is a little weak. I'm going to go ahead and replace it with something a little stiffer. This may be a job for the wife's unused hair rubber bands.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The Classroom Typewriter Project needs more than just typewriters! We need ribbons, Ko-Rec-Type tabs, erasers, and small type brushes. If you can't donate a machine please conciser donating some supplies. You will be listed with our other donors and we could definitely use the supplies.

Please send any ribbons, correction tabs, brushes, or erasers to:

Alhambra High School
Attn: Mr. Adney #34
3839 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019

Did You Know

We have had 3 wonderful gentlemen donate machines to the Classroom Typewriter Project? Click on the link on the left side-bar. There you will see who donated what. It is a testament to the kindness of the typewriter community that we have so many wonderful machines to use in class.

Coming Soon

There is a nice SC Skyriter zooming its way on over. A few weeks age I got a pleasant email message from a pleasant fellow named George Petersen of Eugene who saw the bog and decided to send a typewriter. I mentioned that we are on October break until next Monday, but he said that he'll ship it to my home address. According to the tracking number, it should be here tomorrow. As soon as it gets here I'll take some pictures. From all that I gather it is a 4Y Skyriter. It was made during the early 60s in Britain. I am not familiar with these machines in detail, but from what I can see they look very compact. I am waiting with baited breath.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Typewriter Rules

1.    No paper, no type.
2.    Carry with both hands.
3.    On the desk!
4.    Press, don’t punch.
5.    Ask for help.
6.    Remember, this typewriter is 3 times older than you are.

As more kids get jazzed about the typewriters (three weeks and going strong) I felt that there needed to be some more clear ground rules on the typewriters. This is what I came up with. They're funny and true!

The Wheel of Fortune

As soon as the J5 had given out I got an email message from a gentleman called George Petersen saying that he would send me a Smith-Corona Skyriter that he recently bought. So, I assume that it is on its way and (as I gather) it is in good shape. It's going to take the place of the Adler and the SC-Silent with public speaker type that is duing duty as a temp.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Letting Go

The Adler J5 is the first victim of heavy use. The ribbon advancement mechanism is broken and no matter how much I jiggle, poke, and prod the ribbon won't more. I am sure that there is a reason why, but I am not gifted enough to fix it.

This leads me to my title "Letting Go." I am not lamenting the Adler J5. It wasn't my favorite or the favorite of the kids, but I have to get used to the idea that these are not meant to be museum pieces. They are to be used by people. Students will use them rougher than I would and all I can do is remind them to be gentle because they're old. When these machines were new, did people treat them gingerly or did they use them as tools? I imagine most were used as tools.

As a collector I see the value beyond their use as a tool. To me they are beautiful objects that sit on shelves and are to be admired. Yes, I like to use typewriters, but I use them gently with a great deal of respect. These typewriters are intended to be used by students and they might get broken. Things happen. I need to be at peace with that and be willing to let go.

P.S. I don't want anyone to think that my students are ham-fisted cretins who grunt like a neanderthal. They are, to a large extent, taking good care of the typewriters. These machines were designed to last. And lasting they are.