Saturday, October 26, 2019

Herman's 2019

Last weekend at Herman's was another wonderful getaway for those who appreciate typewriters.

As always, Herman Price's Chestnut Ridge Typewriter Museum offers a mind-blowing variety of fascinating writing machines.

This year there was a Halloween theme running through the house.

We gathered 'round the pool table for tall tales and factoids ...

Among the treasures in the pool room is this gorgeous custom-made chest for the Burlingame Telegraphing Typewriter, which was a stock fraud that never went into mass production. The chest once held a mechanism that would be attached to the underside of a typewriter. Herman doesn't own the mechanism itself—yet!

Meanwhile, many attendees bought and sold typewriters outdoors.

I ended up selling 22 machines, including these 1948-49 Remingtons (last of the old and first of the new).

I've done my best to update my collection list.

There were lots of typewriter t-shirts to be seen, and even socks ( I believe these are Ker Cleary's):

Bert Kerschbaumer, author of many fine articles on my website and in ETCetera, was honored with this year's QWERTY Award.

Here is the famed Peter Weil, looking fit and happy after his recent wedding and trip to Europe.

On the occasion of my retirement as editor of ETCetera, I was astounded to be presented with an engraved, golden Smith-Corona with a red turboplaten—a wonderful honor from the Early Typewriter Collectors' Association.

Another moving gift from the typosphere, presented to me by Dave Brechbiel, was this nice set of analog writing tools.

And I even got a cake with a touching sentiment.

Paul Harker speaks about 3D printing typewriter parts — he's even printed platens.

Other fine presentations included Ian Brumfield's talk. He's working on a book about Royals.

Street poet Joseph Jablonski relaxes:

The beauty contest offered many enticing entrants:

The blue Royal ended up as the winner, but I was also very impressed by #1, an Erika that was custom-painted by a motorcycle shop, and by a chromed Selectric that had belonged to the late Jack Knarr.

Then there was the speed-typing contest, on both modern and antique machines.

I'm leaving out 99% of the event, including delicious food, great conversations, hearty laughs, and an endless flow of typewriter knowledge. 

Thanks, Herman, for another fantastic meeting!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Typewriter handbags

In The Typewriter Revolution I discuss typewriters in 21st-century fashion, including some handbags. This vinyl "Underwood" bag was designed by Rod Rojas.

Better-known is the Kate Spade "All Typed Up" bag. (Spade herself, sadly, committed suicide last year.) These sell for around $500 on eBay.

But $500 is nothing. Meet the Dolce & Gabbana "Portatile" (portable) typewriter handbag:

The price of this fashion accessory? $8,195 at Saks Fifth Avenue. For that price, you could build a fabulous real typewriter! Or several of them.

Does the existence of this bag prove anything? Is it in good taste? Your opinions are invited.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Goodbye, Columbus

Last night I was in Columbus, Ohio to give a talk for the Aldus Society, a lovely group of folks who share a love of books and printing. We discussed the history of typewriters, their uses today, and the experience of different kinds of writing. The audience was very engaged, and their hospitality was excellent.

I also picked up half a dozen typewriters that I'll be refurbishing for my friend Joan Schnee, who runs the Columbus stationery shop On Paper. Joan has hosted some type-ins, and sells typewriters in her shop.

Outside the shop, there's a public typing station!

Goodbye, Columbus — see you again soon, I hope.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

How to make typewriter ribbon ink

A friend sent me these pages from The Standard Formulary, by Albert Ethelbert Ebert and A. Emil Hiss (Chicago: G. P. Engelhard & Co., 1897). You might want to print them so they'll be handy when digital civilization collapses. Then all you need is a few everyday items such as purified animal charcoal or mucilage of acacia.

Personally, being a poor cook, I hope that the professional typewriter ribbon makers will stick around for the rest of my life.