Saturday, January 26, 2019

Olivetti Lettera 22 Repaint

Here are the "before" pictures:

Here is the work in progress:

Here us the final result:

A classy typewriter like this deserves a nice carrying case. I found this totebag on a site called Society6. They do all kinds of designs on totebags and other things and they have dozens of typewriter-themed bags.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Time Travel with Tom

A few weeks ago at the urging of my typing pal Tom I checked out the 1939 World's Fair. I sent him a note and a little packet of pictures.

Today I got this nice note in reply.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Miss Tibbett's Typewriter

This brief little book was first published in 1966 by Weekly Reader Books. I happened to find this copy on which is a great online compendium of independent bookstores.

The story and illustrations are wonderful, telling the story of Miss Tibbett and her not quite perfect typewriter. I am certain that I am at least five decades older than the intended audience for this book, but I found the book to be thoroughly charming.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

CLICK, CLACK, MOO - Cows That Type

While out walking today I found this children's book in one of our local Little Free Libraries. While the text glosses over the problem of how the cows manage to hit the correct tiny keys with their big hooves, it does manage to tell an amusing and well illustrated tale. If, along the way, the young reader is exposed to concepts such as conflicts between workers and the ruling class, the power of collective bargaining, and the importance of powerful communication tools, so much the better. And it may give kids notions of perhaps getting a typewriter of their own.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Franz Kafka Blues

I read some of Franz Kafka's stories and novels forty years ago when I was in college. A few weeks ago I picked up a biography of him at one of our local thrift stores. This kicked off what has now been a several week binge of reading and rereading books by and about Kafka.

I had forgotten how funny much of Kafka's work is. I'm pretty sure my lovely and patient wife has gotten sick of my Kafka anecdotes now, but I'm still having a blast. I woke up this morning & I wasn't a giant bug, so I figured it was going to be a pretty good day. To celebrate, I wrote this blues song.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

TYPEWRITER - A Celebration of the Ultimate Writing Machine

One of my Christmas gifts from Christine was this book. It is a beautiful volume with wonderful pictures and text that illuminates the early history of typewriter development. The main focus of the book is the 19th & early 20th century. I think anyone who appreciates classic technology would love this book.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Jack Kerouac's New Typewriter

OK, here's a good little bit. It's from DOOR WIDE OPEN which is a collection of letters between Jack Kerouac & Joyce (Glassman) Johnson. Joyce was Kerouac's girlfriend in 1957-1958, the time ON THE ROAD was finally published and he became famous overnight after the rave review in the New York Times.

This is about 1 month after publication, ON THE ROAD is still on the best seller list. Kerouac is hiding out in Florida.

[Orlando, Florida]
Nov 1, 1957

Dear Joycey,

Dig my new typewriter! A Royal standard, I'm renting it for $7.73 a month (ugh) but if I do buy it they will deduct that from the $89.50 price...and I think I will buy it cause it's a bitch, with a good firm fast touch, nice small keys, nice quiet sound, direct keys (unlike my lost typewriter that had indirect jointed keys for the silencer equipment and they tend to jam)...on this machine I can swing and swing and swing and swing. I think I can go 95 words a minute on this one after a week of practice, as now... The movers owe me a chick a check for $100 for the lost I'll buy it...and this is such a good typewriter that all I do is yak and yak about nothing interesting.

Now I'll type up all my poems and prose, which has been lying around in my boxes in hand script --



Jack's publisher had various manuscripts of his that they didn't feel were right for publication (Eventually, of course, all those books were published) and they were after him for something new, something to follow up ON THE ROAD. On November 26th Jack sat down with his notes and started typing. Twelve days later he finished his new book, THE DHARMA BUMS.