Sunday, February 18, 2018

Typospherian miscellanea

The typewriter world is endless. Here are just a few bloggable items from the last few days ...

First, it's good to know that several of my readers got "new" Hermes Ambassadors thanks to my post on the miraculous stash in Idaho. (Only broken ones are left now.) Brian Z., for instance, writes:



I also received the following thoughtful note from a reader:



Meanwhile, Klaus M. is perfecting the art of ribbon re-inking — something I still haven't tried myself.




In other news, I became aware of a gifted British artist, Becky Haley, who incorporates typewriting in some of her work. This piece represents Alzheimer's disease.



A very different, more conceptual art project, I Am Jack by Sébastien Laading, offers typists the chance to recreate the legendary BAROP* on which Jack Kerouac typed On the Road, with some help from digital technology.



If there's ever a second edition of my book, Haley and Laading should be in it.


*Big-Ass Roll of Paper

Friday, February 16, 2018

Typewritten twitterature at Cincinnati's Mercantile Library

Last night, Cincinnati's beautiful Mercantile Library opened its doors to curious, fun-loving, and book-loving people who were invited to explore the stacks and participate in literary activities.







Here are a couple of books I spotted in the stacks:



There's our typewriter-loving friend David McCullough.



This 1614 book on Egypt is the oldest in the library's collection.



Librarian Cedric Rose happily uses an Olivetti Studio 44 at his desk.



Outside the stacks, activities included trying out a small 19th-century letterpress:



WordPlay Cincy was on the scene with typewriters:



The challenge was to compose "twitterature" at a typewriter. Here are my three efforts:













Some people found the experience quite challenging ...



... but the challenge was fun!









Try typewritten twitterature at your next party!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The end of the road

Last time on Heroic Efforts to Revive Obsolete Office Technology, I had found a crack in my intended replacement carriage, and had patched it with J-B Weld.



The glue held.

Now I could simply transplant the donor carriage onto the recipient machine!



But no ... it felt weird and rough. When it spaced, it spaced in big jolts. Could it be that a carriage from one Underwood S wouldn't fit another?

I racked my brains and fiddled with the thing for an hour until the answer leapt out at me.



I was trying to put an elite carriage (12 characters per inch) onto a pica typewriter (10 cpi).

This job had just become harder. Maybe impossible.

The toothed rack had to be swapped from the recipient carriage to the donor carriage.



So did the tabulator stops.



Here's a neat little detail on one of the tab stop racks.



Finally, the elite carriage had been turned into a pica one — I hoped.

I wiggled it onto the typewriter. It seemed to mesh better. But would this operation really be a success?



The end of the road for this repair job is, I hope, just the beginning of a new set of typing adventures for this  Underwood that has been brought back from a broken heart.