Archy, Mehitabel, and Me

Our beautiful Blasco Library in Erie PA (featured in this months The Atlantic magazine) will be hosting an event tomorrow night, a one-man show by Gale McNeeley presenting poems, songs and essays of Don Marquis, the creator of the characters Archy & Mehitabel.


Don Marquis wrote for the The Evening Sun newspaper and created the character of Archy in 1916.  Archy is a cockroach who types by jumping from one key to the next.









This era fascinates me because so many new technologies were being introduced to more and more homes and businesses.  Automobiles, telephones, phonographs, electricity, and of course – the typewriter.  These ideas seem quaint to us now, but one hundred years ago these were awe inspiring technologies.


If you live in (or near) Erie PA, I hope you’ll plan to attend this free event.  I know I’ll be there!  ~TH~

Orbs Have Taken To The Skies

A truncated, self replicating poem that I created, based on a cocktail napkin that inspired a little bit of art.  You yourself should try a little bit of art.

orbs have taken to the skies

… orbs have taken to the skies and time has predicted itself to fly and …

Typography, Accidentally

I just picked this book up from a local used book shop – Type And Typography by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam.  Now that I collect typewriters, I’ve accidentally gained an interest in the kooky world of typography/written language.


The information and photos are great, though I doubt I’ll be setting my own type anytime soon.

2015-12-10 14.12.30_resized

A monotype machine.  And you thought typing was tricky!


Ah, a small bit on typing, with a nice Olivetti Lettera 22 postcard.


1954 Skyriter

Here I have a Smith-Corona Skyriter from 1954.1954 S-C Skyriter main pic

It’s not the sexiest typewriter from that era, but it functions well.  I have another that needs some draw band repair, happily this one is fully functional.

1954 S-C Skyriter typed page

1954 S-C Skyriter S-C badgeI’ll probably get around to replacing the ribbon when I organize my first type-in later this year.  Folks in Erie deserve to experience the wonder of typewriters too, they just may not know it yet.  ~TH~

1954 S-C Skyriter strikes 1954 S-C Skyriter paper table

Karen Anderson Is …

I recently purchased a typewriter, and stamped clearly on the platen were the words;

Karen Anderson is

Karen Anderson is

This inspired the following poem.  What a wonderful writing prompt!  Who was Karen?  Did she herself type this?  Perhaps a friend?  More questions than answers.  Still, I couldn’t shake her from my mind.


Karen Anderson Is


Karen Anderson is…
stamped upon my platen, forever to be seen.
I wonder what she thought, and where she's been?

Perhaps she typed her own name,
thinking only later on,
that no one might quite find her,
with no paper drawn upon.

Yet here she is, sweet Karen,
and I wonder just what she is.
Is she drawn and quartered, married?
Is she paralyzed with fear?

That some may come one day,
and recognize her fear?
Might every breath be chaos now,
with death close, ever near'r?

Yes! Karen Anderson is,
and shall be to the end.
Will you and I be here or gone
when Karen on this platen fades?

So here we contemplate sweet Karen,
sweet Karen on this roller plate.
A typed omission of her past,
a stamped reminder of her fate.

~TH~    ---   March 11, 2015

Smith-Corona Electra SN-3LMA 136359

An interesting machine, I’m still trying to get an accurate date on it’s manufacture.  According to wikipedia, The SCM company opened it’s Singapore factory in 1973, so that’s the best I can do for the moment.  You can see more details at my typewriter database entry.  ~TH~

Smith-Corona Electra SN136359 main

full page descriptionSmith-Corona Electra -overheadSmith-Corona Electra -model plate