Saturday, February 23, 2019

Typewriter repair at the museum

It was exciting to get a request to make a "house call" for typewriter repair this morning at the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati—a dramatic building designed by Zaha Hadid.

Upstairs, an installation by artist Calcagno "Cal" Cullen includes four Smith-Coronas.

Two of them invite visitors to type on an endless loop of paper:

I showed Cal that we could remove the paper from the typewriters without breaking the loop by pulling out the platens.

The other Smith-Corona invites visitors to write letters to random people in New York.

Finally, a Courier that has typed "OK OK OK OK OK ..." is mounted on the wall:

The three typewriters in use all needed some cleaning, but the biggest problem was that one of the brown machines was skipping badly. A couple of adjustments to the escapement fixed the trouble. It looked like some visitors had really been pounding on the keys.

Here are a few more views of the exhibition:

You never know where typewriters will bring you!


  1. Of course you know that the workman who repairs the art becomes a part of the art. :D

  2. Extraordinary! What a display! (And, yes, I agree with Ted, the workman has now become part of the art!)

  3. Great post! Cincinnati is lucky to have you!

  4. Very nice display. Working too, since the repairman made a museum call.

  5. I bet you knew which little tab to push to fix that skipping!

  6. Richard, you need a YouTube channel!

    1. That is quite a compliment coming from you, Joe! Thank you. But I am at the limit of what I can do in typewriter world (not to mention in the rest of my life).

  7. The craftsman aiding the artist. How wonderful!