Sunday, July 25, 2021

Shirley Jackson and Stanley Hyman's typewriters

Shirley Jackson is best known for her story "The Lottery." She also wrote many other stories and several novels before her untimely death. Recently her work has been more widely appreciated. Her husband, Stanley Hyman, was a literary critic, New Yorker staff writer, and professor at Bennington College.

This photo is blurry, but Jackson's typewriter may be a Royal portable.

Drawing by Jackson (the letter to the editor of The New Yorker is meant to be from Stanley Hyman, but it's possible that Jackson drew herself typing the letter, trying to get a raise for her husband).

The interview:


My interview with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett:

Congratulations to Barbara on this new anthology!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Revolution in the mailbox: typewriters and border collies

A gratifying volume of letters, cards, and longer typescripts have been reaching me recently. Among them is a letter from a recent recruit to the insurgency. 

He includes an extensive meditation on typewriting and typewriters.

I was especially surprised and delighted to read this passage on the agency of typewriters:

The simile struck me because there's a new addition to my household: Della, a 10-week-old border collie. She's sweet, inquisitive, and playful. Border collies grow up to be so smart that I fully expect her to beat my words per minute—if only I can find a typewriter whose keyboard is adapted to a dog's paws.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dead Keys around the world

Pinamar, Argentina:


Missouri, USA:

Ontario, Canada:

Los Angeles:


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A fake Lego fake typewriter?

Everyone knows about the Lego typewriter by now. Only one typebar moves, but the keys go down and the carriage advances. It's a cute tribute to an increasingly popular device, but in a sense, it is a fake: it can't actually type.

Today I spotted a fake of this fake typewriter! Well, that's not quite fair. The makers of this Chinese knockoff have taken care to make it different from the original Lego in several ways. It has four rows of keys, for one.

I won't be getting either of these toys, but they do have their charm and I'm sure they will be fun to build for those who enjoy Lego-style construction.

Both of these things have a ways to go in catching up with Herman Price—check out his homemade Lego versions of historic typewriters.

PS: Here are some more, as found on AliExpress!