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(Gizmodo)   10 of h sto y's most beaut ful typew ters *DING*   (gizmodo.com) divider line 45
    More: Cool, Ters, typewriters, QWERTY keyboard, beauty, history  
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3643 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Aug 2012 at 12:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-09 12:10:41 PM
I was always partial to my sky blue Olivetti. Great design, sleek, never had any mechanical problems and it was really really lightweight.

Also like the cast iron Royal that pops had. That thing weighed a ton but typed like a dream.

When we got an IBM Selectric we were really styling.

Christ I feel like a geezer.
 
2012-08-09 12:30:35 PM
I remember the sheet panic of reaching the end of a typed page for a report I had to do for school. One typo meant thirty more minutes of work. Ugh.
 
2012-08-09 12:33:13 PM
waiting for Naked Lunch typewriter

/yeah, it's not "history", but it sure is somethin'
 
2012-08-09 12:38:24 PM
I used to love the selectric because of the typeball instead of the levers. One of the reasons I practiced touch-typing as a kid was because it was so interesting watching the typeball move fast.
 
2012-08-09 12:46:45 PM
 
2012-08-09 12:51:31 PM
img.gawkerassets.com

Effing LOVED this thing!

And it's what we learned to "keyboard" on. Yes, the school's "Typing" class became the "Keyboarding" class in 1982, as they knew computer skills would be needed in the coming years. But there is no sound to compare with 21 IBM Selectrics simultaneously responding as the teacher calls out characters to the class... "B" THUMP! "A" THUMP! "Space" THUMP!

And, as an excellent example of mid-century style, it's a winner!

//officially old now.
 
2012-08-09 01:14:24 PM

Devolving_Spud: [img.gawkerassets.com image 300x225]

Effing LOVED this thing!


Had access to a few of those as well. Could change the ball for different typefaces which was interesting at the time.

And without the Selectric, there would be no Model M buckling spring keyboard, which I still use.
 
2012-08-09 01:21:05 PM
List fails without Blick.

/ok not really, 80% score
 
2012-08-09 02:06:14 PM
Some of those keyboards are nearly, but not quite, the same as the current QWERTY layout. Like the first popular one has the X and C switched, and the M moved. YOU INVENTED IT WRONG.
 
2012-08-09 02:14:29 PM

nytmare: Some of those keyboards are nearly, but not quite, the same as the current QWERTY layout. Like the first popular one has the X and C switched, and the M moved. YOU INVENTED IT WRONG.


One of them also has the W where the Z is now.
 
2012-08-09 02:31:00 PM
Shouldn't that be *D NG*?

Also, what's brown and sounds like a bell?
 
2012-08-09 02:32:59 PM

downstairs: nytmare: Some of those keyboards are nearly, but not quite, the same as the current QWERTY layout. Like the first popular one has the X and C switched, and the M moved. YOU INVENTED IT WRONG.

One of them also has the W where the Z is now.


Sounds like a french keyboard, which have always used the AZERTY layout.
 
2012-08-09 02:44:56 PM
I thought the Mignon was a beautiful cludge to simplify things. The mechanism appears to be something like a cross between a pantograph and a rack and pinion gear.

Why do we occasionally expect the left hand to be dexterous when inventing things? Guitars want you to be quick and delicate with the left hand and have just rhythm with the right. The Mignon typewriter does pretty much the same thing.

Imagine mousing with your non-dominant hand.
 
2012-08-09 02:58:36 PM

scalpod: Shouldn't that be *D NG*?

Also, what's brown and sounds like a bell?


*DUNG*
 
2012-08-09 03:13:27 PM

scalpod: Shouldn't that be *D NG*?

Also, what's brown and sounds like a bell?


One of my daughter's favorite jokes.
 
2012-08-09 03:15:14 PM

brap: I was always partial to my sky blue Olivetti. Great design, sleek, never had any mechanical problems and it was really really lightweight.


I've got an Olivetti Lettera 32. Still works, but sometimes the carriage doesn't "stick" back in the proper place unless you hit the space bar.
 
2012-08-09 03:18:57 PM
I've also got a Lorenz high speed Morse tape perforator with a German keyboard. Funky looking. I don't know if it works yet.
 
2012-08-09 03:38:32 PM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net

Ding!
 
2012-08-09 03:55:24 PM
I liked these:

2.bp.blogspot.com

lh4.googleusercontent.com

/quite hot models
 
2012-08-09 03:56:01 PM
i291.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-09 04:17:14 PM

brap: I was always partial to my sky blue Olivetti. Great design, sleek, never had any mechanical problems and it was really really lightweight.

Also like the cast iron Royal that pops had. That thing weighed a ton but typed like a dream.

When we got an IBM Selectric we were really styling.

Christ I feel like a geezer.


Just think, at one time you actually said that to Christ.
 
2012-08-09 04:19:11 PM
I learned to type on a manual Olivetti in high school ('82).

I just recently recycled the Brother electric I bought in college. I switched to word processing and "near letter quality" printing before graduating. I couldn't remember the last time I used it. It was just gathering dust in the closet.



/ got nuttin' . . . not even sarcastic csb worthy
 
2012-08-09 04:38:08 PM
 
2012-08-09 05:35:45 PM

brap: Just think, at one time you actually said that to Christ.

Christ was in my typing class. 80 wpm AND he could heal lepers and make bread and wine out of used carbon copies.

All I could think was "what a show off."


heh!
 
2012-08-09 05:52:33 PM
DING!Fries are done!

/would you like an apple pie wid daa-aaaat

//too lazy to post pic.
 
2012-08-09 05:59:46 PM
brap
When we got an IBM Selectric we were really styling.

Christ I feel like a geezer.

As an IBM Selectic repairman AND an instructor/trainer how do you think I feel?

/II was the best
//the wizard of avis was the worst abomiination of a Selectric
///nothing was ever worse than a xerox diablo based system (you know what diablo means right?)
////Still have my tools and my BALLS
 
2012-08-09 06:13:29 PM

MarkMartinFan: brap
When we got an IBM Selectric we were really styling.

Christ I feel like a geezer.

As an IBM Selectic repairman AND an instructor/trainer how do you think I feel?

/II was the best
//the wizard of avis was the worst abomiination of a Selectric
///nothing was ever worse than a xerox diablo based system (you know what diablo means right?)
////Still have my tools and my BALLS


Then why can't you type for shiat?
 
2012-08-09 06:20:16 PM
This thing dosne't have a corrrecting ribbon.
 
2012-08-09 06:30:54 PM
My brother had one of the Olivetti Valentine's, exactly like the one in the article. The whole thing dropped into a briefcase housing and secured with two big rubber hooks IIRC.
He lost it a few years ago.
 
2012-08-09 08:11:45 PM

Devolving_Spud: [img.gawkerassets.com image 300x225]

Effing LOVED this thing!

And it's what we learned to "keyboard" on. Yes, the school's "Typing" class became the "Keyboarding" class in 1982, as they knew computer skills would be needed in the coming years. But there is no sound to compare with 21 IBM Selectrics simultaneously responding as the teacher calls out characters to the class... "B" THUMP! "A" THUMP! "Space" THUMP!

And, as an excellent example of mid-century style, it's a winner!

//officially old now.


Yes, this was the machine I learned to type on, and I fondly remember the noise of all of us following the teacher's commands.

I should see if I can get one second hand.
 
2012-08-09 09:02:08 PM
Typing on an IBM Selectric is one of the most awesome things, ever. Nothing feels similar.
 
2012-08-09 09:51:44 PM
i486.photobucket.com
The Underwood.

If you mess something up, that compartment opens up, and the Underwood's disproportionately muscular arm pops out and punches you in the gut.
 
2012-08-09 10:34:52 PM

Devolving_Spud: [img.gawkerassets.com image 300x225]

Effing LOVED this thing!

And it's what we learned to "keyboard" on. Yes, the school's "Typing" class became the "Keyboarding" class in 1982, as they knew computer skills would be needed in the coming years. But there is no sound to compare with 21 IBM Selectrics simultaneously responding as the teacher calls out characters to the class... "B" THUMP! "A" THUMP! "Space" THUMP!

And, as an excellent example of mid-century style, it's a winner!

//officially old now.


I'm with you. I loved the IBM Selectric - that, too, is on what I learned to type. I also remember "the box," the fitted cover that allowed your hands to operate the keyboard, but didn't allow you to see your hands, to reinforce muscle memory and stop the annoying habit of looking at your hands while you type.

For the first couple of years after I graduated, I made my living in part by typing. Try being a 19-year-old straight male admin assistant, typing away at 90+ wpm, in an office full of older women - at more than one gig, I would end up on occasion with a bemused group of biddies around my desk.
 
2012-08-09 10:47:17 PM

TheMysticS: scalpod: Shouldn't that be *D NG*?

Also, what's brown and sounds like a bell?

One of my daughter's favorite jokes.


You should be proud of her.
 
2012-08-09 11:02:20 PM
Currently in my arsenal (all portable manual, unless otherwise stated):
- SCM Classic 12
- SCM Sterling
- SCM Super Sterling
- SCM Galaxie
- Underwood Leader (Korean War era)
- Olivetti Studio 44
- Olympia DeLuxe
- Olympia DeLuxe Cursive
- Smith-Corona Silent
- Royal 440 (desktop)
- Royal KHM (desktop)
- Brother SX-4000 (electronic)
- a couple others I forget right off (in storage)

Seeking:
- Rooy portable
- SCM Super G
- Tom Thumb 1641
- Royal 10 (glass-sider)
- Royal Fleetwood (mostly for the novelty)
- Hermes 3000 (Old-timers tell me it's one of the best typers ever, so I must find out for myself.)
- Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32 (My old one died, and it's probably the best typer I've ever used.)
 
2012-08-09 11:25:51 PM
Still looking for a Selectric II. I could pay a fair amount for one, but I know somewhere there's a closet full of them. For writing first drafts of stories, there's nothing that is as gratifying as seeing your real hard copy book rolling out with every slam of the return key.

The Remington 5 is a really sexy older typewriter, too.
 
2012-08-10 12:09:13 AM
Learned on a Smith-Corona portable (don't know the model#). Taught in school on a Selectric and Selectric II. Bought and used in high school a Brother and Panasonic Daisy-Wheel. Broke down and bought an Apple Mac something or other in 1996. Dayum, I miss my typewriters!
 
2012-08-10 02:06:10 AM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Currently in my arsenal (all portable manual, unless otherwise stated):
- SCM Classic 12
- SCM Sterling
- SCM Super Sterling
- SCM Galaxie
- Underwood Leader (Korean War era)
- Olivetti Studio 44
- Olympia DeLuxe
- Olympia DeLuxe Cursive
- Smith-Corona Silent
- Royal 440 (desktop)
- Royal KHM (desktop)
- Brother SX-4000 (electronic)
- a couple others I forget right off (in storage)


How you doin'?
 
2012-08-10 06:14:53 AM

scalpod: TheMysticS: scalpod: Shouldn't that be *D NG*?

Also, what's brown and sounds like a bell?

One of my daughter's favorite jokes.

You should be proud of her.


Ha! Thanks. I am.
She's 11. Yes, I'm a typical parent. Brag all day long.
But, yes, in a selfish way, I'm glad my kids share my sense of humor.

Doofuses shall live on!
 
2012-08-10 09:08:27 AM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: - Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32 (My old one died, and it's probably the best typer I've ever used.)


Aren't they awesome?
 
2012-08-10 09:36:11 AM

semiotix: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Currently in my arsenal (all portable manual, unless otherwise stated):
- SCM Classic 12
- SCM Sterling
- SCM Super Sterling
- SCM Galaxie
- Underwood Leader (Korean War era)
- Olivetti Studio 44
- Olympia DeLuxe
- Olympia DeLuxe Cursive
- Smith-Corona Silent
- Royal 440 (desktop)
- Royal KHM (desktop)
- Brother SX-4000 (electronic)
- a couple others I forget right off (in storage)

How you doin'?


It's hard to explain, I guess. I don't even remember clearly how it started, or why it started when it did, which was more than a few years ago. In truth, it started when I was much younger, and had a Royal KMM that went missing many years ago. I'd used a profusion of typewriters through the years, but it's only much more recently that I've gone back to my roots with manuals, and I never owned portables before -- but the vast majority of my collection is manual portables.

At some point, I realised that manual typewriters were disappearing, and there are only a few ways to preserve them. Besides being cleaned up, fixed up, and safely stored, they also have to be used in order to stay in working condition, or they start to bind up. So in order to preserve them, I have to exactly that: use them. Using this many typewriters is not easy. I have to rotate them, and because some are in storage, I have to rotate them in and out of there, too. I use them to write letters to people and address envelopes, and try to keep them in rotation. Some are better for some uses than others. The Cursive is great for addressing Christmas cards, but not a whole lot else. But the Olympia DeLuxe gives a serious look to official correspondence. (I'm pretty sure the font was chosen for actuarial use, but I'm not sure. It looks serious and German.) Most of the ones on my list are scholastic-grade typewriters, favoured by college students and homemakers for general use. The '12' designation on some of them refers to a 12"-wide carriage, which allows standard letter-size paper to go in sideways (popular last century for some kinds of work, such as accounting or other matrices). The Royal 440 was a training typewriter, used to teach typing classes. The Underwood Leader is the kind of machine someone like Radar O'Reilly likely used. (I think he actually uses an upright in the show, but I suspect that may not be accurate for a 'mobile' unit like the one he served in.) It's short on features, but very rugged and reliable, with great action, and usable in its own rugged, easily-closeable box. Perfect for the busy company clerk on the move.

The Rooy portable is the world's smallest portable manual typewriter, self-boxing in a metal case with a self-concealing handle -- the laptop of the '50s. Only a small number were made in the 1950s, in France, and they are very hard to find. I can't even estimate what it's worth, or what I should be ready to pay for one if I ever get the chance. But it's among the few typewriters I'd pay to have new parts fabricated for if it was necessary.

The Super G was designed by Kharman Ghia, and has a sexy 'flight shell' case with a kind of racing stripe. It was sold only in a bright European aquamarine, and I believe even includes an extensible luggage handle. Designed for late '60s jet-setters. Yeah, baby!

The Tom Thumb was sold as a kid's toy typewriter, but over-engineered to the extent that it's actually superior to many 'grown-up' typewriters. This one appeals to me mainly for the novelty, I admit.

The Royal 10 is one of the more attractive early desktops, with large glass plates on the sides. Many had fine decorative tooling, too (a trait of some early typewriters).

The Fleetwood is just weird, and I love weird things like this. The carriage top is boxy, shaped like a Kleenex dispenser, completely covered in faux woodgrain, and has a transistor radio hidden inside.

There's another reason I do this, too. A typewritten letter is only short of a handwritten letter, in the intimacy it brings to correspondence. You know when you hold it in your hand that each letter was personally put there by hand of the writer, rather than by a computer, that the typesetting is exactly as it was done on the first and only draft. Like handwriting, typewriting forces you to compose in your head, because it's hard to go back, and the greater the change the harder it is to do. Want to insert a new paragraph between two others? Too bad. This kind of writing engages the writer much more directly than word processing. A typewritten letter is therefore a lot more personal and immediate than a word-processed one. Finally, my handwriting is crap. It was ruined over a the years by lots of manual labour, because strength and dexterity typically trade off with each other. Typewriting lets me write a personal letter that's actually readable.
 
2012-08-10 09:49:25 AM
I saw a pink Royal Futura in a thrift store last year. Original case, relatively mint condition, with original receipt and other goodies tucked inside. No price on it that day, and I meant to go back the next day and offer them ten bucks, but it was gone...
 
2012-08-10 10:04:32 AM
I have an Underwood #3 that I used in high school to type my notes for my major class. My notes were superior to the text books. Upon graduation, I pitched them in the garbage. (adjusts belt onion)
 
2012-08-10 07:58:34 PM
My notes are mixed in for easy reading.

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Currently in my arsenal (all portable manual, unless otherwise stated):
- SCM Classic 12
- SCM Sterling
- SCM Super Sterling
- SCM Galaxie
- Underwood Leader (Korean War era)
- Olivetti Studio 44
- Olympia DeLuxe
- Olympia DeLuxe Cursive
- Smith-Corona Silent
- Royal 440 (desktop)
- Royal KHM (desktop)
- Brother SX-4000 (electronic)
- a couple others I forget right off (in storage)

I have (or had - gave away the 440) all of those except the KHM and no electronics
A lot of them are "portable" only in the sense that they have a case with a handle.

Seeking:
- Rooy portable - good luck - I got to type on one in Geneva
- SCM Super G - watch shopgoodwill.com, they come up regularly
- Tom Thumb 1641 - these too on rare occasions
- Royal 10 (glass-sider) - got one
- Royal Fleetwood (mostly for the novelty) - keep looking
- Hermes 3000 (Old-timers tell me it's one of the best typers ever, so I must find out for myself.) - Yep It's still my favorite
- Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32 (My old one died, and it's probably the best typer I've ever used.) - agreed, top five for sure




check out typosphere.net if you haven't already!
 
2012-08-10 09:04:36 PM

eriphila: My notes are mixed in for easy reading.

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Currently in my arsenal (all portable manual, unless otherwise stated):
- SCM Classic 12
- SCM Sterling
- SCM Super Sterling
- SCM Galaxie
- Underwood Leader (Korean War era)
- Olivetti Studio 44
- Olympia DeLuxe
- Olympia DeLuxe Cursive
- Smith-Corona Silent
- Royal 440 (desktop)
- Royal KHM (desktop)
- Brother SX-4000 (electronic)
- a couple others I forget right off (in storage)

I have (or had - gave away the 440) all of those except the KHM and no electronics
A lot of them are "portable" only in the sense that they have a case with a handle.

Seeking:
- Rooy portable - good luck - I got to type on one in Geneva
- SCM Super G - watch shopgoodwill.com, they come up regularly
- Tom Thumb 1641 - these too on rare occasions
- Royal 10 (glass-sider) - got one
- Royal Fleetwood (mostly for the novelty) - keep looking
- Hermes 3000 (Old-timers tell me it's one of the best typers ever, so I must find out for myself.) - Yep It's still my favorite
- Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32 (My old one died, and it's probably the best typer I've ever used.) - agreed, top five for sure



check out typosphere.net if you haven't already!


Thanks for the tips! O, shopgoodwill.com is going to bust me, ugh! SO many neat things. I'm definitely gunning for a Super G, though, so thanks! And maybe I'll spot a Tom Thumb, if I'm lucky. (There's one toy typewriter on there right now, but it looks like junk. Junk in a box, but still.)

There's one typewriter I saw in an office supply store years ago, in the early '80s, I think. It would have been one of the last new ones on the market. I remember it was very small and lightweight, though mostly metal, made to drop into a briefcase. I'm not sure of the brandname, but it might have been Brother. Brother did make some portable manuals, but I never found one like that, so I'm not sure. It could have also been Sears. (Rebranded from something else, obviously, but what?) I've been looking for it ever since.
 
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