Wednesday, October 28, 2020

1943 Triumph NORM 6: The Cleaning

I received a slightly grubby and fully functional Triumph NORM 6 and decided to try spiffing it up with an automotive cleaning product. It had the usual dust, some pencil shavings, and that general scuzzy film that accumulates in the high touch areas. Being a totally scientific type, I went to Target and looked at what auto detailers were available.

The tricky thing about Triumph typewriters from this era is that the body is painted steel and the top section is molded Bakelite. I figured that a detailer made for modern paint and plastic should be okay on this machine. I'm very pleased with the results, and it only took ten minutes and one ArmorAll Ultra Shine Wash Wipe. I stayed away from the decals, and the rest was easy.

Here is a before image to give you an idea of what the ArmorAll product can do.

I wasn't planning on getting a second NORM 6, but my maroon machine is too rare for me to feel comfortable taking things apart to get the platen recovered. This one popped up on ebay and sold cheap. I've also been working on an Erika M. It's a beautiful machine, but I like the snappy feel of the Triumphs just a bit more.

According to the Typewriter Database, this machine was manufactured during WW-II in 1943.  As with many wartime machines, it was likely brought back to the U.S. and a mechanic switched the Z and Y. The base still has the original seller's plaque, shown here as is and with the not very good Google Lens translation. 

The address comes up in search as currently housing a beauty supply store. Here's an image from the era before streets were taken over by cars.

In case you are interested, here is a link to my other Triumph NORM 6. It has some additional backstory and links to other Typospherian writing. 1938 Triumph NORM 6  I'll take better photos of the 1943 machine later. I wanted to get past perfectionist's blogger block and get something published. Besides, I really needed a break from pre-election noise. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Glorious Aluminum Christmas Tree Overdose

Over the holidays, we made a pilgrimage to the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park, Kansas to see dozens of aluminum Christmas trees on display.

Seriously, I have a new reference point for what constitutes an adequate number of artificial trees belong in one house.

In this case, the house was originally built as a demonstration project for the Kansas City Power and Light Company (KCPL) in the 1950s. The museum was originally a bowling alley and skating complex that I spent time in while growing up in the 1970s. A house where the skating rink was takes some getting used to.

Yeah, the aluminum trees are kinda cheesy, but I love them. These were on loan from collectors and many had their original color wheels. Why color wheels? Well, stringing a conductor with electric lights might have led to accidental death - definitely not in the holiday spirit.

Some of the trees also had their original rotating stands. They spun majestically with the color wheels aglow. There was also one unfortunate tree that we thought was rippling in a heat vent breeze. Nope, it had a vibrating device attached to its trunk.

Yes, it's a house. Pretty cool.

If you want to learn more about the biggest brand name in the business, check out this story about Evergleam Wisconsin Evergleams are Making a Comeback

 What could possibly be better than aluminum trees with color wheels? How about adding a snow attachment with an angel tree topper helping to direct the blown styrofoam pellets?

I want one these so badly.

Once upon a time, these were kitsch. Now they are highly collectible. This model in the display case has never been removed from its box.

In case you are curious, the photos in this entry were captured with a Google Pixel 4 and a Fujifilm X-H1 equipped with a 1950s Cooke Ivotol cinema lens.

Thanks for coming along on this little stroll down holiday lane. The Internet is vast and Blogger is an increasingly smaller corner. I'm glad you're here.