Saturday, May 27, 2023

Enjoying writing machines at the Type & Print Museum

The previously announced Typewriter Day at the delightful Cincinnati Type and Print Museum was a very pleasant reunion for typewriter lovers from the local area and beyond.

The attendees included an art student who used to be part of the multi-kid "typing pool" in the early days of WordPlay Cincy and a couple who drove all the way from the Washington, DC area, bringing a selection of colorful Remington and Royal portables of the 1920s and '30s. All told, 22 people of all ages took part in this day's event—not too many, not too few, just right. 

Curator Jacob Simpson prints a bookmark. I want a business card like his!

The bookmark features a 1940s Woodstock just like mine.

I brought my 1956 Gossen Tippa Pilot.

The museum keeps this Royal HH around for young visitors to use.

A Marx Dial toy and an Oliver no. 5 are on display.

Mitch Hamm of Trinity Typewriter gives the Tippa a try.

Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer reporter and author of the recent story about me, brought a rare battery-powered Smith-Corona Poweriter. Not only is it easy to use a modern battery with this device, but Cameron demonstrated how you can hook up a small solar panel and make it run—providing easy, smooth, free electric typewriting in the wild!

A guest tries out a cursive Facit TP1:

Here's a Hungarian Hermes Baby S:

There were many occasions for thoughtfulness.

We hope this will become a yearly event!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Andina Especial Modelo 90 typewriter

I last used this machine about a decade ago to invoke a certain entity known as purgebot kortny. It's time to release it from my basement. I plan to send it to a fellow typospherian and gonzo Zen master who will make good use of it. But before shipping it, I wanted to fine-tune it and share its details with my readers.

The history of Talleres Alonso can be found in ETCetera no. 86 (pages 10-12) and no. 88 (pages 3-7). As I wrote in the first story, the company's "sturdy products are an example of quality industrial production on a small scale." The Andina Especial was the culmination of about 25 years of portable typewriter design and production. These machines were, to my knowledge, sold exclusively within Spain. They aren't too hard to find there, but they are virtually unknown outside the country.

To my eye, the Especial is attractive from any angle.

Dials on left and right control key tension and ribbon color.

Does the Andina logo look familiar?

It's a shameless ripoff of the logo for another "mountainous" typewriter, the Alpina:
At least the lettering for the model number seems original:

The carriage easily comes off when you remove two screws, and then the shell comes off the main body with another four screws.

Here's a good view of the big, robust starwheel, the strong frame with parts made of a copper-colored metal, and the perspex plastic paper holders (which are hinged and can be pulled forward).

The Andina works with Olivetti ribbon spools. The ribbon shaft and base are plastic, an uncharacteristic weak point on this generally well-built typewriter.

Hasta la vista, Andina. Write bold words!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Brimfield safari

I'm in Boston for a conference. So of course, my old friend and I played hooky for a day and went to the Brimfield outdoor antique show in central Massachusetts. I spotted the following typewriters. Can you guess which one came back to the hotel with me? (Hint: 1937.)


Sunday, May 7, 2023

Bruce McCall's diesel typewriter

Canadian-born satirist Bruce McCall (1935-2023) reliably delighted me with his New Yorker covers that explored fantastic scenarios: What if New York City were nice, easy, and happy? What if there'd been a golden age of New York where everyone loved highbrow culture? How big and aggressive can a tour bus get? McCall always illlustrated his ideas with precise detail and a great sense of scale and perspective.

I was sad to read of his death in this New York Times obituary, but also intrigued by a reference to his "4,000-horsepower diesel typewriter." 

After some hunting, I was able to track it down. It appears in McCall's extensive parody of Popular Mechanics in the July 1973 issue of National Lampoon.

 Rest in hilarious piece, Mr. McCall.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Cincinnati Type & Print Museum type-in May 27

I'm looking forward to this event at the Cincinnati Type & Print Museum
(You can read here about my visit to the museum a couple of years ago.)
Mitch Hamm of Trinity Typewriter will also be there. Will you??


Thursday, May 4, 2023

Interview on “Philosophy After Hours"

I was recently interviewed on the podcast Philosophy After Hours. We discussed weighty things like the current crisis of democracy. Then we took half an hour to talk typewriters! 

The conversation began in a silly vein, but by the end of it I'd promised to send a typewriter to some new recruits to the Insurgency.

And I did.

Do you like the way these smart people make words? Consider supporting their podcast on Patreon.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

QWERTYFEST! Milwaukee, June 23-25

QWERTYFEST, a celebration of the 150th birthday of the typewriter,
will be taking place June 23-25 in C. Latham Sholes' hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.