Sunday, April 26, 2015

A closer look at the Continental typewriter

The device at the top rear of the machine is the tabulator ...

... which is set, cleared, and activated using this three-function lever:

Pure mechanical poetry ... by the way, the carriage runs and returns silently and smoothly.

The control above the dealer's nameplate is mysterious. If you press the left side down, both sides go down, and you activate the margin release. (By the way, the right margin will stop typing but can still be bypassed by the spacebar or carriage release, on which point you can start typing again.) If you press the right side down, only that side is activated — to do what? I haven't figured it out.

The front plate comes down to give access to the typebars, and
a decal in English provides the inch width of the necessary ribbon.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Quite Continental

I bought this Dutch-keyboard Continental A from Alan Seaver in Milwaukee. Now I'm getting ready to use it to grade some papers. Unfortunately, it's so pretty that it's distracting me from my work!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Calling all insurgents!

Can you help me answer this question from my press's publicist? If you have suggestions for media outlets, please mention them in comments.

"This week I will be sending out samplers with pages from the book to about 75-100 media outlets, concentrating on print and long-lead outlets. If there are any magazines, websites, etc., that you think are popular with the various demographics and audiences for the book, I’d love to hear what they are! Specifically, we are looking at the following audiences:

·         traditional collectors
·         hipsters/young urban-living types
·         Baby Boomers/nostalgia
·         People interested in the writer life
·         Those with a political interest in privacy

Let me know if there are any core groups I am missing here! I welcome and value your input as the expert in your particular field, so I would love to hear from you about the kind of people you have noticed with a strong interest in typewriters."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lifeforms of the Papyrozoic

Wonderful stuff, isn't it?

But there are signs of things to come. First, there's the problem of "large accumulations of paper, cardboard, etc." Here's a device for baling the paper so it's available for recycling:

And then there are these tabulating machines using punched cards: 
the ancestors of the computer on which you are reading this post.

But what about typewriters?

You can download all the pages about typewriters 
from the 1924 American Digest of Business Machines right here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Letter from a 21st-century mom

I received this heartwarming letter in the mail a couple of days ago. I think all readers will appreciate it.