Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Typers

A couple more have been cleaned and made ready for school on August 8th.

This Remington Quiet-Riter (ran out of Ws) had a problem with shifted letters. The capitals were a little higher than the base of the lower case letters. It gave the impression that this typewriter was suffering a nervous breakdown. All I had to do was adjust this little screw and everything was solved!

The Area of Concern .
Detail of The Screw.

I also had time to clean up this Underwood Leader. The leader is definitely an economy typer. I'll have more to say on this one soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great Gray Lady

Sitting pretty.

During the cleaning process.

Left: clean. Right: dirty.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I  have been slowly going through all the newly donated machines cleaning, fixing, and getting them ready for classroom use. Most of them are portables, but there are three desktops. One, of which, is this Royal.

Obviously it sat for more than a few years. The segments were very dirty and filled with dust. I decided to use some PB blaster and a can of compressed air to try to get all the gunk out. The work is slow, but things are moving along and this machine is proving to be in pretty good shape.

While the PB Blaster was working its way into the nooks and crannies, I set to task working on the type slugs. Caked with ink they were nearly impossible to see, but as I cleaned with a toothbrush I was surprised to see an unusual typeface. Italics! You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so stunned. I snapped a picture and flipped it around so you could see.

None of the typewriters in my collection are italics, so this one is special. Additionally, it's a desktop model. I have no idea where italics would be used in regular office work. Maybe in a church? Devotionals and programs might look good in italics. Regardless of its origins, I am excited to get this typewriter in working order and get it into the classroom. It'll be nice to see a few haiku in italics.

Divergent Thinking

A question has been swimming around my head since my wife and I saw part two of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. What type of typewriter would a wizard use? While slightly out of the bounds of this blog, I am still on summer vacation and able to entertain flights of fancy before I have to return to the nitty-gritty of educating youths.

If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, it's best to just click on the link to Martin Howard's collection web site (look to the sidebar). Otherwise, you might find out more about HP than you care to know...

From all that I have read and seen HP wizards tend to use quills. I heartily support the use of quills, but would there ever be a situation where a HP wizard would need to use a typewriter. Official MoM documents probably are written with a typewriting machine. O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.S. were probably drafted with a typewriter before being sent to some sort of magical Linotype or offset printer. I believe there would be some situation where a typewriter would be used.

What type of typer would a wizard use? It would be easy enough to use a magical spell to make the machine work without direct manipulation from the user. In a situation where form need not follow any reasonable guidelines of usability, more eccentric and visually interesting typewriters would be the norm. The only visually interesting typewriter in my collection is a Blick 7. It has a magical pull on me, but there are some machines out there that would look perfect next to Dumbledore's Pensive.

The first would be the Norths. The Norths (as in Baron North) was British-made meaning it would be easy to have brought into the MoM without much problem. This typewriter looks like it would fit into a governmental office quite well.

Perfect for Ministry of Magic Offices, Hogwarts, Gringotts, etc.

The Columbia Bar-Lock would be a popular choice with those wizards who have a little more style. The Malfoys would need a Bar-Lock. The copper shield is very decorative and a little ominous. This typer is a visible writer, but you need to sit up very strait to see what you typed.

Great machine for Dark Wizards. Voldemort has two.

But the regular wizard who just needs to do a little typing might find this old Ford perfect. The touch is poor, but since a charm is going to be doing all the work it wouldn't matter. The grille on the front is friendly and fits into any home decor.

Great for authors, homeowners, enthusiastic amateurs. Molly Weasley uses one. Bathilda Bagshot used a Ford to write her book A History of Magic
All of these images are from the Martin Howard collection. Take a look at his very comprehensive collection. Impressive. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fun Hermes

Was playing around with that twin Hermes image and I made this:

Just for a lark, you know.

If you click on the CTP Merch link on the right sidebar you'll find this pic on some lovely notecards. I'm working on some ideas for a t-shirt.