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(Utne)   Man researches and collects the typewriters used to create classic novels. "The extra work makes me a more conscientious writer.... It's like firing a gun with every stroke." Typewriterfecta now in play   (utne.com) divider line 63
    More: Interesting, Utne Reader, Ernest Hemingway, research, Bill Me Later, novels, short story, Underwood Universal, mechanics  
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2768 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Dec 2009 at 2:18 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-12-01 02:22:36 PM  
. . . . and this one secretes one of three different intoxicants if it likes what you've written.

/obscure?
 
2009-12-01 02:23:20 PM  
"It's like firing a gun with every stroke."

That's what she said.
 
2009-12-01 02:24:40 PM  
I loved the "delete/backspace" button on typewriters. It would just smudge the ink.
 
2009-12-01 02:25:32 PM  
he's tracked down replicas of Flannery O'Connor's Royal Standard, William Faulkner's Underwood Universal, and Ernest Hemingway's Royal Arrow, to name a few.

Did you know that Tom Wolfe used an IBM Selectric 7800, just like this one over here, to write "Bonfire of the Vanities"?!? And speaking of vanities, it turns out that James Joyce crapped in a Royal Standard Flushmaster 3000 toilet, just like the one I have ibn my upstairs powder room!
 
2009-12-01 02:26:35 PM  
what's a typewriter?
 
2009-12-01 02:27:08 PM  
It's surprisingly nice to use after a long day at staring in front of a computer screen. The other thing I started using lately is cassettes to make myself listen to full albums so I can't be ADD and skip around. The main drawback is that I have to convince people that I'm not doing it just to be cool. I'll talk about it on here because nobody knows who I am, but you do look like a hipster douche when you pull out a typewriter or walkman. Some of those old technologies are actually nicer to use then you'd think, though.
 
2009-12-01 02:28:19 PM  
he's tracked down replicas of Flannery O'Connor's Royal Standard, William Faulkner's Underwood Universal, and Ernest Hemingway's Royal Arrow, to name a few.

Dude I have the pencils Steinbeck used when he was drafting Grapes of Wrath!

/of course by that I mean replicas of the pencils
 
2009-12-01 02:28:36 PM  
I used to be into using an old typewriter, but they really do suck as useful instruments.

//And the great writers could somehow use them drunk.
///Can you imagine?
 
2009-12-01 02:29:38 PM  
-1 subby for linking an article containing NSFW ads. Thanks a lot modmins. I'll forward my salary requirements. Oh wait...I work for beer so I guess I'll be needing lots of beer. Lots.
 
2009-12-01 02:30:34 PM  
Using a typewriter focred me to be a more careful typist, such that i hardly every make a typo now.
 
2009-12-01 02:31:30 PM  
D-Liver: he's tracked down replicas of Flannery O'Connor's Royal Standard, William Faulkner's Underwood Universal, and Ernest Hemingway's Royal Arrow, to name a few.

Dude I have the pencils Steinbeck used when he was drafting Grapes of Wrath!

/of course by that I mean replicas of the pencils


I have a pencil with Jon Voight's teeth indentations.
 
2009-12-01 02:31:55 PM  
Has the world suddenly gotten so boring that this story needs to be green?

/or has fark jumped the shark, due to lack of snark?
 
2009-12-01 02:32:03 PM  
I have a collection of twelve different typewriters in my apartment right now, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies...

/all manual, baby!
//looking for lucky number 13
 
2009-12-01 02:32:08 PM  
SnakeLee: It's surprisingly nice to use after a long day at staring in front of a computer screen. The other thing I started using lately is cassettes to make myself listen to full albums so I can't be ADD and skip around. The main drawback is that I have to convince people that I'm not doing it just to be cool. I'll talk about it on here because nobody knows who I am, but you do look like a hipster douche time traveler when you pull out a typewriter or walkman. Some of those old technologies are actually nicer to use then you'd think, though.

FTFY
 
2009-12-01 02:32:31 PM  
farm3.static.flickr.com

Unavailable for comment

/Srsly, I typed my entire 100+ page graduate thesis, footnotes
/and all, on a manual typewriter.
//Was glad to have it.
///We never dared to even dream about correction ribbons.
 
2009-12-01 02:33:36 PM  
Lt. Cheese Weasel: Using a typewriter focred me to be a more careful typist, such that i hardly every make a typo now.

This. The only problem is that my typewriter is a fully manual one from the 1950's, so I farking POUND on the computer keyboard.
 
2009-12-01 02:34:52 PM  
I started writing using a manual typewriter, then an electric typewriter, then an electronic typewriter that could erase a whole line at a time. Know what? There's a reason you don't see typewriters around anymore. Because they sucked.
 
2009-12-01 02:36:27 PM  
www.movieposter.com
 
2009-12-01 02:36:43 PM  
kittyhas1000legs: Lt. Cheese Weasel: Using a typewriter focred me to be a more careful typist, such that i hardly every make a typo now.

This. The only problem is that my typewriter is a fully manual one from the 1950's, so I farking POUND on the computer keyboard.


Using a typewriter actually helps with finger strength, with has cross-usefulness when playing the guitar.

/The more you know.
//My typewriter has a hand-sewn cozy.
 
2009-12-01 02:37:30 PM  
I use a Remington Noiseless Portable from 1935 every day. It does make you a more conscientious writer. Plus, vintage typewriters are beautiful, which is more than I can say for most computers...
 
2009-12-01 02:37:54 PM  
D-Liver: he's tracked down replicas of Flannery O'Connor's Royal Standard, William Faulkner's Underwood Universal, and Ernest Hemingway's Royal Arrow, to name a few.

Dude I have the pencils Steinbeck used when he was drafting Grapes of Wrath!

/of course by that I mean replicas of the pencils


Amateur. I found a crow feather in my back yard almost identical to a feather William Shakespeare once used as a quill pen.

Also a chalk fragment eerily similar to those Cro-Magnons used to use on cave walls.
 
2009-12-01 02:38:55 PM  
SnakeLee: It's surprisingly nice to use after a long day at staring in front of a computer screen. The other thing I started using lately is cassettes to make myself listen to full albums so I can't be ADD and skip around. The main drawback is that I have to convince people that I'm not doing it just to be cool. I'll talk about it on here because nobody knows who I am, but you do look like a hipster douche when you pull out a typewriter or walkman. Some of those old technologies are actually nicer to use then you'd think, though.

I have a 1973 Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator that I used pretty much exclusively until just a few years ago, mostly because several of my Navy schools didn't allow programmable calculators, and there just aren't any modern non-programmable RPN calculators out there. Also, the keys have a nice tactile "click" action, and each key only has one function associated to it, rather than the 3+ functions per key (plus soft menus) that the modern HPs have. This means that I can "touch-type" an entire calcuation without looking at the calculator at all until it's time to read the final result.

/Red LED display FTMFW
 
2009-12-01 02:39:21 PM  
Written on a replica of the Macintosh used by Charles Dikkens:

Organic chemistry, ghosts, high explosives. What could possibly go wrong?
Cadaverine (new window)
 
2009-12-01 02:40:23 PM  
From photos, he's tracked down replicas of Flannery O'Connor's Royal Standard, William Faulkner's Underwood Universal, and Ernest Hemingway's Royal Arrow, to name a few.

OMG I've used the same type of Bic pen Nixon used when he was editing his resignation speech!
 
2009-12-01 02:43:42 PM  
ScottRiqui: SnakeLee: It's surprisingly nice to use after a long day at staring in front of a computer screen. The other thing I started using lately is cassettes to make myself listen to full albums so I can't be ADD and skip around. The main drawback is that I have to convince people that I'm not doing it just to be cool. I'll talk about it on here because nobody knows who I am, but you do look like a hipster douche when you pull out a typewriter or walkman. Some of those old technologies are actually nicer to use then you'd think, though.

I have a 1973 Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator that I used pretty much exclusively until just a few years ago, mostly because several of my Navy schools didn't allow programmable calculators, and there just aren't any modern non-programmable RPN calculators out there. Also, the keys have a nice tactile "click" action, and each key only has one function associated to it, rather than the 3+ functions per key (plus soft menus) that the modern HPs have. This means that I can "touch-type" an entire calcuation without looking at the calculator at all until it's time to read the final result.

/Red LED display FTMFW


My TI-82 greatly helped me pass math class. Ya know, create a "program" and just write a freaking novel in there with all the formulas and practice problems. Or you could play the bowling game if you were just bored.
 
2009-12-01 02:45:55 PM  
I would be lost without spelcheck^H^H^H^H^Hlcheck.
 
2009-12-01 02:47:52 PM  
sboyle1020: I loved the "delete/backspace" button on typewriters. It would just smudge the ink.

I remember having a stack of these little rectangles of paper that had a layer of what I assume was essentially "white-out" on one side. If you made a typo, you would back up one character, stick one of these between the typed-document and the ink ribbon, at the point of impact, and you would retype the typo, thus typing a matching white letter over the offending typo, "erasing it" and allowing you to back up again and retype over it.

I still remember the heavy feel of the 'backspace' key of the manual, which needed to force the entire top of the typewriter to move backwards, against the normal spring motion pushing it forwards with each normal character.

And the lowercase L doubled as the number 1 (the numeric keys started with 2)

And then we got an electric typewriter that actually had its own "white-out" ribbon that would be used automatically if you hit delete/backspace. How fantastic that was!

/It's all ball bearings now.
 
2009-12-01 02:48:26 PM  
Lt. Cheese Weasel: Using a typewriter focred me to be a more careful typist, such that i hardly every make a typo now.

I see what you did there.
 
2009-12-01 02:50:35 PM  
Does a Chicago Typewriter count?

netgoblinzinx.com
 
2009-12-01 02:54:09 PM  
I also collect old fax machines. The way they send documents is so much more real than emailing. The sound, the feel, the way it takes five minutes per page, its just so much more exciting than using a computer.
 
2009-12-01 02:55:14 PM  
I have the chisel that Jesus used to write the Bible.
 
2009-12-01 02:58:08 PM  
When WPs first came out, I found discarded typewriters all over the place.

Scavenged half a dozen, I wear them out quickly.
 
2009-12-01 03:01:36 PM  
I still use a dot-matrix printer
 
2009-12-01 03:03:09 PM  
SpaceBiscuit: I still use a dot-matrix printer

I have one, but I find that I seldom have to print dot matrices.
 
2009-12-01 03:11:09 PM  
I'm seeing that the "Naked Lunch" and Hunter S. Thompson references are taken care of.

I actually do collect Underwoods That and Singer Sewing machines are pretty much the epitome of Victorian era technology.

Errm.. Well... If three is a collection.
 
2009-12-01 03:15:31 PM  
We still have one of these:
www.cnofficeproducts.com

Used it as a kid and still think it is cool.
\and hot.
 
2009-12-01 03:20:37 PM  
Now that we have a thread where typewriter geeks might show up...

Ribbons! Any good sources?
 
2009-12-01 03:29:24 PM  
maxheck: Now that we have a thread where typewriter geeks might show up...

Ribbons! Any good sources?


If the typewriter uses 1/2" ribbon on the standard spools (with the four little holes around the center hub) you can still get those at Office Max. Just bought one for my '48 Smith-Corona, it works fine. If you have something weird like an older Royal you can do one of two things - if you still have your old spools then cut the ribbon off, buy a regular ribbon at OfficeMax and rewind it onto your old spools. Or check the phone book for the oldest office supply store in town, and look there. Otherwise check eBay, or any of the typewriter-collectibles-sales sites on the Web like mytypewriter.com etc.
 
2009-12-01 03:29:36 PM  
FTGodWin: Has the world suddenly gotten so boring that this story needs to be green?

/or has fark jumped the shark, due to lack of snark?


Uh, seen the "diagonal sanwiches" thread yet?

/reachin'
//really reachin'

Factoid o' the day: manual typewriters like the Olympia and Hermes are still being manufactured, and sell quite well. (I'd also emphasize that there are places without electricity, but I don't want to scare a lot of Farkers that the lights might go out in their basement.)
 
2009-12-01 03:41:46 PM  
SeenItAll: "It's like firing a gun with every stroke."

That's what she said.



I was cleaning it and it went off!
 
2009-12-01 03:44:12 PM  
pdieten: maxheck: Now that we have a thread where typewriter geeks might show up...

Ribbons! Any good sources?

If the typewriter uses 1/2" ribbon on the standard spools (with the four little holes around the center hub) you can still get those at Office Max. Just bought one for my '48 Smith-Corona, it works fine. If you have something weird like an older Royal you can do one of two things - if you still have your old spools then cut the ribbon off, buy a regular ribbon at OfficeMax and rewind it onto your old spools. Or check the phone book for the oldest office supply store in town, and look there. Otherwise check eBay, or any of the typewriter-collectibles-sales sites on the Web like mytypewriter.com etc.


If you still have the original spools for your machine, then cash register ribbon works too...you just have to unwind it from the plastic spool and rewind it onto your originals. I advise wearing gloves, it's a messy affair.
 
2009-12-01 03:52:21 PM  
img260.imageshack.us

/I approve.
//Selectric II - no correction ability
///Also have a really old 1930's manual Royal with flat round keys, but don't use it much
 
2009-12-01 03:53:30 PM  
Yahoo messenger used to have a thing you could do (yeah, technical terms, I know) and you would have the sound of an old manual typewriter when you typed in the chat box. I have no idea what happened to that, but haven't seen that option in a couple of years now.

I miss it.
 
2009-12-01 03:54:41 PM  
maxheck: Ribbons! Any good sources?

If you have old or weird typrwriters, there are a few devices out there that let you ink your own ribbons
 
2009-12-01 04:01:17 PM  
Ugly Baby Judges You: I have a collection of twelve different typewriters in my apartment right now, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies...

/all manual, baby!
//looking for lucky number 13


Yes but... do you have a Fornit?

/Fornit Some Fornis
 
2009-12-01 04:02:16 PM  
Was he an area man?
 
2009-12-01 04:03:10 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
hunt and peck style
 
2009-12-01 04:04:45 PM  
maxheck: Now that we have a thread where typewriter geeks might show up...

Ribbons! Any good sources?


mytypewriter.com and typewritersupply.com have some ribbons. You may need to research what size your typewriter uses.
 
2009-12-01 04:05:27 PM  
Brainsick: Yes but... do you have a Fornit?

I wish I could have a Fornit.
 
2009-12-01 04:10:18 PM  
A Singular Kinda Guy
By David Ives
From the play "All in the Timing"



I know what you're thinking. You're looking at me and you're saying to yourself, Average guy. Normal human being. Nothing out of the ordinary. Well, thats what I thought too for lots of years, and boy, was I wrong. Now I look back, I think I always really knew the truth about myself, underneath. It's like sometimes I'd look in the mirror in the morning and I'd get this weird feeling like what I was looking at was not really what I was looking at. Or else I'd be standing in a crowd of people at a party, and suddenly I'd get this idea that I was standing in a huge empty space and there wasn't anybody around me for miles. Episodes of vastation, if you know that beautiful word. And then one day I had a ... I don't know what you'd call it. A mystical experience?

I was walking down Lex over in the Thirties when I go by this office supply shop. Just a crummy little place. But I turn and I look and I see... an Olivetti Model 250 portable electric typewriter. Are you familiar with that particular model? Have you ever seen the old Olivetti 250? Well let me tell you it is sublime. The lines. The shape. The slant of the keyboard. It's all there! It's a thing of beauty!

Anyway, I'm standing there looking at this thing, and it's like I recognize it from someplace. It's like I'm looking at family somehow, like I'm seeing some long-lost older brother for the first time, and suddenly I realize That's me, right there. That thing in the window is exactly what I feel like, on the inside. Same lines, same shape, same aesthetic. And what I realized was I am a typewriter. No really! A typewriter! All those years I thought I was a human being, on the inside I was really a portable Olivetti 250 with automatic correctability. And you know what? I can't even type!

Needless to say, this revelation came as a shock. But all of a sudden, it's clear to me how come I always got off on big words like vastation. Or phenomenological. Or subcutaneous. Words are what a typewriter's all about, right?

Problem is, it can be a lonely thing, being a typewriter in a world of human beings. And now here I am being replaced every day by word processors. Who needs a typewriter anymore? Here I finally figure out what I really am, and I'm an antique already.

Plus, there's my love life, which is problematical to say the least. The difficulties involved in a typewriter suitable partner in this town are fairly prodigious, as you can imagine. At least now I know how come I always loved not just sex, sex is anywhere but... touch. Being touched, and touching. Being touched is part of the nature of typewriters, thats how we express ourselves and the human person along with us. Hands on the keyboard and the right touch fire away. Yeah, women's hands. They're practically the first thing I notice. Nice set of shapely fingers. Good manicure. No hangnails. Soft skin. I'm not a finger fetishist or anything, you understand, its just...

You've got a pretty nice pair of hands yourself, there. That's what I noticed, and thats how come I stepped over here to talk to you. I know this all sounds pretty loony, but you know I've never told anybody this before? Somehow I just felt I could trust you, and...

What? I beg your pardon?

I don't understand.

You're not really a girl? Sure you're a girl, you're a beautiful girl, so...

You're what? You're actually a sheet of paper? Ten-pound bond? Ivory tinted? Pure cotton fiber? (holds out hand) Glad to meet you.
 
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