Showing posts with label typewriter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label typewriter. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Woodstock "Rare No. 4 Model in Untouched Form"

This appeared on ebay a day too early for April Fool's Day. It is still pretty funny! Behold an "untouched" machine!
Stunning! See it on ebay! Item number
Here is a part of the description:

You are bidding on a Woodstock Number 4 Antique typewriter. This piece has been sitting covered , indoors for over 70 years. If you're looking at this then you know what it is - THE REAL DEAL.

We have lightly cleaned it but will allow the winner to polish , clean, buff , oil and make any adjustments.

Everything seems to work just fine and we dont see any missing parts at all. It is a true antique that has been untouched or fooled with. 

 Thank goodness this machine hasn't been touched or fooled with! Happy April Fool's Day, everyone!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Remington Typewriters Practically Assemble Themselves

This great video shows some of the manufacturing steps in building a 1935 Remington 16. The self-assembly steps occur at around the four minute mark.  Enjoy and happy International Typewriter Appreciation Month!

Monday, February 4, 2013

ITAM 2013 - A Teaser

Greetings Typosphere bloggers and honored guests!  It is time for me to make amends for not playing with the machines as much as I should.  International Typewriter Appreciation Month is upon us and it is time for a teaser.  It is riddled with typos and an extra 'm' in amends, but such is life.  Real, analog life, that is. Computer keyboards and iPad similes have ruined me.
 I'm enjoying as many ITAM blog entries as I can.  Great work, everyone!  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rhinos Love Torpedo 18 Typewriters!

Rhinos also love rare shafts of winter morning sunlight.  But, they practically swoon over Torpedo 18 typewriters.  What isn't too love?  The action is light and snappy.  The generic European cursive typeface is very attractive.  And besides, Torpedos often come in colors that help the mighty rhino hide from potential predators.

This is a curious feature of most of my cursive/script typewriters:  they come in really odd and/or boring color combinations.  The Royal Futura has an amazing typeface and is two shades of Borg grey.  Almost all Facits are Viking gray, but it is a most boring color for a script machine.  The Olympia SM-9 comes in off-white with the dark grey keys.

Could it be that script machine users were trying to keep a low profile?  Who knows.

I actually considered repainting the top of this machine.  The color scheme, however, is growing on me.  It reminds me of a mid-fifties car.  Note the missing tab keys that would come with the 18B model.

This is a great correspondence typing machine.  It came by way of ebay last year.  The special paper is from a test series Claire ran on her Christmas Sharpies.  She has a routine for testing new pens and pencils.  The photos were taken with my new Sony NEX-6.  Yes, I am in love with this camera!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Typogram Received! Election Avoidance on the Blog of the Beast

It's election night.  I am a serious political junkie and need a temporary distraction.  I have interrupted my MSN, CNN, Politico, Wonkette and Twitter feeds to bring forth a wondrous Typogram received from Ryan Adney of Magic Margin!

Behold, the envelope!  Yes, Ryan used his Royal Navy "radio mill" for the envelope.  As a typeface junkie, I very much appreciate this kind gesture.

The hand drawn desert landscape reminds me of warm, sunny places.  I love the actinic  glare of the Valley of the Sun.

This great greeting card was inserted in the envelope.  What a great graphic!

The real prize was tucked inside.  This postcard is pretty much awesome. Repeat after me... we must worship the Sholes.  It is mightier than mountains and cranks out words more potent than edged weapons.  Besides, according to Robert Messenger, Mark Twain got pretty ornery about the Sholes' offspring.

Ryan, thanks for the spiffy Typogram.  Thanks also to  Anna of A Machine for the End of the World for creating The International Correspondence Initiative. 

Here is the back of the postcard, also by way of the Royal Navy mill.  Sweet.

As for my oblique reference to the "Blog of the Beast", I was referring to the page count as it appeared when I opened my Blogger dashboard:  24,666.  Given that it is election night, there is a certain irony in the fact that my pageviews are equal to the last digits of a zip code in Topeka, Kansas.  This nearby hamlet is home to our state capitol and the infamous Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church.

So, from election avoidance central, I wish you all a pleasant evening.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Robot in Red - Olympia SM-9 Redecorated!

This partially redecorated Olympia SM-9 features the Senatorial typeface, more commonly known as the Robot font.  The workbench is a serious mess.  I just noticed the eraser that came with a newly arrived compact typewriter in the background.  That and the shroud from a partly torn down Barr that needs attention.  I need a time turner.
Can you tell it has been over a week since I typed anything?  My regrets for subjecting you to many typos.

As the SM-9 so lovingly stated in robot (Senatorial) font, Claire is the artist of the family.  I can't draw, so I take photos.  Here is her latest repurposed work in progress.  For scale, look in the background of the first photo.  Yes, in certain ways, she is very much my child.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Found in the Wild: Olympia SM-7 with Congress Typeface

The serial number is just over 2,005,000 which should date this as a 1962 model.  Other than a hard platen, this typewriter performs flawlessly after application of PB Blaster.  Not bad for a 50-year-old machine!

The ribbon is old and will need replacement at some point as the red is really dry.  The platen is as hard as a rock.

This is the first time I have seen the "Made in Western Germany" statement so prominently displayed.
Isn't this machine pretty?  I have seen plenty of photos of the Olympia SM-7 online and honestly had not been impressed.  The in-person experience is much different.  As it turns out, the semi-random looking textured panel above the keyboard is well pressed metal and its look is mirrored in the bottom wedge paint - hammertone in a nice metallic grey.  The paint texture is similar to the 1959 Olympia SF and the Socialite that live with my girls.

The SM-7 shape is similar to the SM-9, but has more personality.  It does lack the basket shift and super-light touch that defines the SM-9.  The keys appear to have the shape of the SM-3's keys with the matte texture of the SM-9's variety.  These have a pleasant feel.

As nice as this machine looks, I would have left it behind had I not looked at the type bars.  I love the look of Modern Congress Pica.  My oldest daughter, Hannah, loves it as well and has started typing to catch up with a summer worth of activities on her blog.  As for performance, it feels the same as our SM-3 machines, also with special typefaces (Italic and Professional Elite).  The main difference is that those came from ebay and this looker was found in the wild.  That is a satisfying experience.

More typewriter porn.  I hope this helps some wayward SM-7s find good homes.  It is a machine deserving of our affection.
 Once again, thanks to Ted Munk for posting the NOMDA Blue Book Olympia Type Styles guide.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maker Faire KC Part 1: Printing Technology

Is this IBM Selectric II cool, or what?  The maker grew bored with it and created a printer with the judicious use of programming, solenoids and cables.  This maker collective, the Cowtown Computer Congress, had a bunch of projects on display and this was a big attention getter. 

I assumed wrongly that the interface between the laptop and the typewriter was probably something Arduino.  Nope.  This guy etched his own circuit board!

Typewriter art, anyone?  I could watch something like this for hours. Did you notice how much the ribbon cartridge and ball head look like a robot?  Claire and I see robots everywhere.

To see this beast in action and a comprehensive build diary, visit  The Cowtown Computer Congress is one of many hacker spaces that has emerged over the last few years.  Makers share a space and major equipment with regular build nights and special events.  A hacker space is a big playground for adults.  Check around, there may be one in your town!

The Print Factory

My favorite entry in the traditional print department is the traveling crew from The Print Factory.  They are printmaking evangelists and show up at regional events with great lino and woodcuts ready to ink and press.  From experience, I can tell you this is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids.

Such pretty ink.  To see more about The Print Factory, visit

Maker Bot

Maker Faire would be pretty awesome without 3-D printers, but it wouldn't be the same.  The Maker Bot crew was out in full force introducing people to the joys of home printing.  The Maker Bot Replicator now has a dual extrusion print head... and a bunch of new competition.  Their goal was to democratize the act of making and they spawned a new industry using true open source hardware and software.  The competition is coming for around $600 as a home printer, but they may not be as dedicated to open source.

Other than the metal bits and servos, these remote control Minions came off a Maker Bot.  The drawings, like everything else in Maker Bot world, are available on the Thingiverse.

Kids love watching Maker Bots in action as much as I do.  It used to be that only elite schools and businesses had access to 3-D printing for prototyping and small run items.  Not so long ago, the technology would have set you back over $10,000.  The previous version of the Maker Bot ran around $1,400 and the new Replicator runs around $1,800. 

One of the best things about 3-D printing:  makers use them to build parts to make larger and more elaborate home brew printers.  There were at least a dozen custom machines spread out around the Faire.

On the subject of democratizing 3-D printing, a number of libraries have installed Maker Bots.  Imagine a future in which you could print any widget available on the Thingiverse or something you throw together on Google Sketchup with a library card and a few cents for materials.  Do you need a replacement knob for a Hermes?  Print on demand is cool.

Check out this set of wings produced by another member of the Cowtown Computer Congress.  The gears were custom printed on a first generation machine.

Last year, the Kansas City Maker Faire filled this hall with some outside overflow.  This year, they shut down a street in front of Union Station for the Arc Attack tent, Power Wheels, vendors, exhibitors and custom cars.  That was in addition to three extra rooms inside the station. Sweet.

Thanks for reading!  Part II will feature "Fun with Electricity".

A friendly reminder about the archaic concept of copyright:  all photos are copyright Dwayne F. at vintagetechobsessions.  Please cite the source if you liberate my images.  They are not to be used for commercial purposes with or without citation.  You could wake up with an Oliver 99 hovering over your bed.  You have been warned.