When I type at night, I often wish I had a cigarette dangling from my lips, smoke curling upward as I ride the carriage to the right. Alas, it does not agree with me. Bourbon will have to do. Obviously, I would be shades of gray.
This is the condition my condition is in.
Crap off the top of my pointed little head. JPEG below.
House sales, garage sales, flea markets. The life blood of summer. I was lamenting just two weeks ago that none of my friends had spotted any typewriters recently. Then today, one nice beauty came my way from a neighbor. Then, two more very nice machines came my way while I was at a writing workshop, thanks to my wife and son who went out to the local house sales. All delivered right to my doorstop. And strangely, all three are (W)Riters.
Starting with the MarxWriter –
Marx Toys began manufacturing in Girard Pennsylvania in 1934, a small town that neighbors my own small town. This little toy is in very good condition. As you can see, I even have the box. This toy actually has quite a few functions found on portable typewriters. It really will type, though it wouldn’t be my first choice for typing up a business letter. How about those key tops! Does that shape remind you of another collectable typewriter? The Marx toy museum closed recently, but you can still find some great information about the history at the museum website.
Next up from today is the Smith-Corona Skyriter.
This lady blue is in very good+ condition. Hardly used, there are not the usual scratches in the plastic body, and no fading either. Types like a champ. SN – 6Y908851
Finally, the critter that my neighbor thoughtfully brought to my attention (and my doorstep); the Remington-Rand Quiet-Riter from 1956.
Types well, rugged, and everything functions as it should. SN – QR 2954202
So there you have it. The MarxWriter, the Skyriter and the Quiet-Riter. Seems I was destined to punch up my Riter collection today. $50 total for these 3 critters. Boom baby.
Received this cool postal cover from an ink pal of mine. Holiday Inn ephemera, he even tossed in a postcard. Again… cool.
I slipped up and missed this years World Typewriter Day (June 23). Here’s a short interview outlining why you should own a typewriter. Enjoy!
I just received some new (old) carbon paper sheets by Pelikan. Yes, I type. Yes, I use carbon paper for my own copies.
I like the photo on the box- so hip! Did not realize that the Pelikan company was still around. It began in Germany- now located in Switzerland. More renowned for their fountain pens, though they do still make carbon paper. Just not printed in this style.
Here is a cool page on their website about the history of the company, with graphics.
The plastic protection cover inside the box shows the logo, and it is marked Germany.
Here’s the backing for a sheet. I like the diamond pattern, and the small typewriter logo that is intermittently shown on the sheets.
Only one more mystery; can anyone identify the typewriter model that the young woman is posing with? Hmmmm…. ~TH~
Some of the often overlooked ephemera relating to typewriters are the onionskin sheets and carbon sheets that were manufactured. I have found that these often have some very cool copy and branding logos.
Here’s an envelope for carbon paper sold by the Ulbrich’s stationery store.
Below is the cover for a box of carbon sheets from the Kee Lox company. Branded as Panama, with a very popular icon of the day, a passenger jet plane.
Here are some companion promotional items, branded tape measures.
As might be expected, it can be tricky to find detailed information on companies that were established in the 19th and early 20th century. After a small amount of digging for information I ran across this website which provided this little tidbit:
To get a grasp on the scope of ribbon tin manufacture, it’s helpful to note the major national ribbon makers. They were Kee-Lox (Rochester, NY); Carter’s (Boston); Mittag & Volger (Park Ridge, NJ); Miller-Bryant-Pierce (Aurora, IL); Webster (Boston) and Underwood (various locations) and Manifold Supplies (Brooklyn, NY), known for its famous Panama tins.
Kee Lox held several trademarks for carbon paper including Panama-Beaver, Thin-Thin, Dri Kleen, Kee Lectric, Klarograph, and Grip-N-Pull.
While attempting to find out more about the Kee Lox manufacturing company, I stumbled upon this gem of a post by a favorite typewriter enthusiast. The page has a nice biography regarding the president of the Kee Lox Manufacturing Company, Winfield Perry Pembroke.
The blog post itself involves a ribbon tester made by Kee Lox. I didn’t even know I needed one!
I’ll be posting more on the subjects of paper and carbons soon. ~TH~
If you type, you’ll understand. Here I present another quirk of typewriters in poetic form. ~TH~