Monday, December 31, 2018

WRDSMTH's typewriter installation in L.A.

"Where You Found Joy," an installation by street artist WRDSMTH, recently brought a set of uplifting, typewriter-themed messages to The Bloc in downtown L.A. These pieces share some appropriate thoughts as we embark on a new year.

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Friday, December 28, 2018

A thank-you from a typewriter-loving kid

We all know that kids love typewriters, and many of them surely asked Santa for one.

With permission from her grandpa, who shared it with me, I'm reproducing a letter from a certain eight-year-old whose wish was fulfilled.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Kids typing letters to Santa

Continuing the theme from my previous post, here's a delightful report from a Georgia typist, reproduced with his permission:

Good evening Richard,

I became a member of the insurgency a few months ago after reading your book and seeing the obligatory “California Typewriter” film. A couple of weeks ago I took the initiative to call a friend who owns a local Mexican restaurant that has a kids' night every Monday and asked her if she would like me to bring a few typewriters for kids to write letters to Santa. She said yes and my wife Michele and I took six nice manual typewriters and a copy of “Click Clack Moo” to the restaurant for them to use this past Monday. To our surprise, there were 32 kids from 4 to 10 years old who used a typewriter for the first time to send Santa a letter that night.

At the end of the night, we also had a drawing among the kids and gave away a nice 1960 Smith Corona Galaxie that I picked up for $20, cleaned it up following your tips and installed a new ribbon.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Jason Upshaw
Tifton Ga.

Thanks to you for spreading the typewriter joy!

Friday, December 14, 2018

What kids love

A couple of years ago, I set up an Olympia SG3 in Xavier's faculty lounge.

People started using it for random bits of poetry, comments, and such. But recently, it's seen little use.

I suggested to a librarian that it might go well in the little makerspace that is located on the ground floor of our library. I checked in recently and saw that, in fact, some people had typed long sheets of stories and nonsense on the machine. And my librarian friend sent me a photo that reinforces a widely recognized truth:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A shiny label for Urban Legend Typewriters

After seeing so many wonderful old dealer labels and decals recently ...

... I decided I really wanted something like this for my own little business, Urban Legend Typewriters. But decals are hard to apply, and I soon found out that aluminum plaques require an initial investment of $300 or so for about 100 plaques. I chose a more affordable alternative: 604 thin "brushed alloy" 1x2-inch labels for $125 from Stickers That Stick.

I think they look great!

Why no contact information? Because we may be moving next year. And of course, these days all you need is the name of a business; you can find out how to contact them online.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Manifiesto Mexicano

Here's the new manifesto from Armando Warner of Californication Typewriter in Mexico. (English translation follows.)


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Open house at Urban Legend Typewriters

We had an open house today at Urban Legend Typewriters.

Our shop is beautiful and enticing ... but would anyone come by?

The "new" typewriters I brought in today include this bright red Correcting Selectric II. I don't repair them, but this one is in excellent working condition (Brian Brumfield had previously worked his magic on it.)

I also brought in this Tower Citation with fantastic circa-1960 styling ...

This '63 Royal Safari ...

... and this Remington Letter-Riter DeLuxe from the late '50s. We don't currently have serial number records for this model. It uses manually-set tab stops (unlike the similar Quiet-Riter, which has a tab set and clear lever to the left of the keyboard). To get access to the tab stops and margin stops, you push down the paper table (marked "Tabulator") and it pops up; then you push it down again to shut it.

And I can't forget this new addition to the shop, a 1954 Imperial 66 with removable keyboard and carriage. Common in the UK, very rare in the US.

To amuse ourselves while waiting for customers, we gave ourselves writing prompts.

Here was my response to the prompt "secret Santa," typed on the Imperial:

Someone came through the door! — but only to drop off this poster for a neighborhood event.

And finally ... yes! We had customers come in to browse, to chat, to buy (the Citation, the Safari, a flat-top Corona, and an unrestored Quiet De Luxe just donated by Dave Brechbiel all found new owners), to pick up serviced typewriters, and to drop off 7 more for work.

It's great to meet fellow typewriter lovers. As a rule, they are creative, thoughtful, full of stories, and friendly.

I leave you with a poem that one of our customers has composed and attached to the case of his sparkling Remington no. 3 portable.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A car driven by a typewriter

Self-driving cars? Nonsense. The car of the future will be controlled by typewriting!

(For the real story behind this image, visit Robert Messenger's blog, and take note of the country where he lives.)