Friday, June 25, 2021

Dead Keys now available

Here's the new volume in the series I edit with Fred Durbin and Andrew McFeaters.

Cold Hard Type IV
Dead Keys: Typewritten Tales of Terror

Can a writing machine become a weapon against evil—or a tool for it? Can it type exquisite tales of terror? Find out—if you dare—in this collection of fiction, poetry, and art. 

Contributors include Merinda Boekhoudt, Ryan Buchanan, Ken Coghlan III, Shelley K. Davenport, Séafra Duffy, Frederic S. Durbin, Gabe Dybing, David Freeman, Ian Gillespie, Sondra Holtzman, Joseph M. Jablonski, Kelye Kneeland, L. B. Kolmas, Cassandra Leoncini, Timothy Ley, Bryan Mahoney, Andrew V. McFeaters, Erich J. Noack, David W. Pedersen, Richard Polt, Kim e Revay, Heriberto Roselló, André Gene Samson, Marni Scofidio, David Tellet, Denise Terriah, Fred Von Drasek, Matthew Weaver, and Matt Wixey.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Cincinnati Type & Print Museum

The TrimOsaw is designed to help printers who need precisely cut wooden blocks. 

This Monitor machine inserts staples in the spines of printed booklets.

Thanks for showing me around, guys!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Typewriter buddies

After dropping off seven boxfuls at Half Price Books today, I peeked into a nearby stationery store. It was mostly greeting cards (never knew there was a "sorry for your infertility" card) and wedding stationery. I bought a variety of colorful envelopes, and then spotted these at the counter. Had to get them!

You can get some too if you like (from Ganz).

Monday, June 14, 2021


Long live SCFACMs! Visit on Instagram to see more variations and request a hi-res file. (And yes, Instagram/Facebook is a supreme example of surveillance capitalism, but we can work within the system to undermine it...)

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Smith-Corona Vantage typewriter

The ribbon is found under a cover that swings up and forward.

The top part of the plastic shell is a bit tricky to get off.

The way the mechanism works is less than obvious.

A couple of months ago I bought this Lexikon 82 on eBay and was frustrated to discover that several characters just wouldn't print. I have no idea what to do about that, except clean the mechanism (which did nothing). So this is now a parts machine. 

The Lexikon 82 is simpler than the Vantage in a few ways: the Vantage includes two plastic paper guides, a swinging cover for the ribbon (shown above), and a half-spacer.

When I was a kid, I got a book of Milton Glaser posters, and I was fascinated by his posters for this machine, which celebrate the sheer coolness of the interchangeable typing ball. 

And yes, I still think it's cool!

Let's take a look:

Too quick for you? OK, let's slow it down:

You've got to admit it's pretty neat.

PS: Love this ad for the Lexikon 82, featuring journalist and novelist Jimmy Breslin writing a letter to "Dear Norman [Mailer]." Thanks to The Philosophy Teacher for the tip on the video!