Titans of the Typosphere

Typewriter Review

When I first got into typewriters, my initial reaction was how could anybody write on such a kooky machine? Though I must admit, my first experience was on a late 1960s Smith-Corona Galaxie 12, a modern yet somewhat under-achieving typewriter. Despite its shortcomings, there was still that special spark in the Galaxie I’m sure we’ve all felt in our own first encounters. It only spurred me to seek something better. Something smoother, more confident, better built and easier to type on. It’s a journey many of us still trod. It took a few errant side quests before discovering my 1947 Smith-Corona Sterling.

It’s not you who find the typewriter, but the typewriter who finds you. You’ll know it. Believe me. You might have a few in the constellation, but there’s the pole star that guides all your travels.

I suppose that’s what separates writers who use typewriters from those who…

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From Hot Metal to Cold Type

Making Book

This is one of the saddest movies I’ve seen.

(If you get this post via email and don’t see a video here, please click on the title of the post to view in your browser.)

It is a re-training film made in the mid-sixties by the International Typographical Union. It is amazing how quickly the process moved on from this early response to technological change. None of what you see here survives in today’s print industry (including the union itself. Founded in 1852, with a membership of about 100,000 at the time this film was made, the ITU finally withered away in 1986 and merged in 1987 with the Communications Workers of America.)

The tone of the film is optimistically up-beat, showing the way forward into the new world. In fact these guys were facing the elimination of most of their jobs. The union had an interest is portraying a labor-heavy process: see the…

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An Early Gift – 1965 Brother DeLuxe

I don’t get out to the Salvation Army store very often, even though it’s only 20 minutes away.  Today I went in with low expectations for any typewriter sightings.  Shows what I know – I came away with two “new” typewriters.  Better yet, this one is a critter I’ve been wishing for, a Brother DeLuxe.  Serial number L5887827   ~TH~

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