Sunday, May 31, 2015

Typewriters in Madrid

I'm back for a few days in Madrid, the city of my birth and one of my favorite places in the world. Aside from a short stop in the airport 3 years ago, I haven't been here since 1984.

Since it's a Sunday, I went to the Rastro, the street market that sprawls through a good chunk of old Madrid. Hoping to see typewriters, I was not disappointed. 

This street poet on a Lettera 22 (or maybe a Pluma 22) asked if I knew California street poet Jacqueline Suskin. Yes! She's in my book. 

Some vendors had you know whats for sale. 

This Regia was tempting until I figured out that it had been spray painted, and poorly at that. 

This French-keyboard Groma had a folding return lever I've never seen before. I suspect it was a later addition. 

I almost bought an early Hermes 2000 with Spanish keyboard, offered for €65, but managed to control myself. 

Finally I ran into this wonderful little shop that specializes in office antiques. 

The owner was very friendly and knows many of the same collectors I do. The shop is at Arganzuela, 29. I recommend it!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Podcast interview on the allure of typewriters

Eson Kim recently interviewed Tom Furrier, The Boston Typewriter Orchestra, and me for her podcast Sound Skeins. She is a pleasure to listen to in this nicely crafted five-minute story. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A mystery commission

I just picked up two Royals for service at The Urban Legend Institute.

My curiosity was really provoked by these instructions (the same for each typewriter):

Four letters were listed.

I called the customer and was enlightened. 
I wonder, can any of my readers guess the purpose of this mystery commission?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Typewriter Revolution in The New York Times

I was quoted, with mention of my forthcoming book, in Friday's New York Times
Thanks to Steve Soboroff, who's also featured in this story, for sending me these shots of the printed edition. The online story is here.

Some facts that you wouldn't know from the story:

1. The typewriter pictured, which I recently added to my collection, is a mystery. It's a prototype portable whose inventor is unknown to me. I'll be writing about it for the fall issue of ETCetera.

2. I was slightly misquoted: instead of saying “ultimately writing about them,” I said “ultimately writing on them.” Let’s not forget they are writing machines!

Thursday, May 21, 2015