Typewriter Ephemera – Ink & Ribbons

A reader from Montreal commented on an old post here regarding the former Carter’s Ink building in that city. He is an archeologist and was searching for information on that building when he came across my site. He referred me to an old photograph from 1928 of the Carter’s Inx (sic) building, and also to the present building – which has somehow shrunk! You can read the comments on the old post. He also brought to my attention a very interesting site – The Ribbon Tin Virtual Museum. This particular page has a variety of Carter’s erasing shields, the very item that inspired the original post. Big thank you to fellow McGill alumnus Nicolas Cadieux!  

Montreal 1928

 

Former Carter’s Ink Building 2019

Once again, the Carter’s erasing shield that I found in an old typewriter:

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Filed under History, Typewriters, Uncategorized, Vintage advertising

Why I Type Stuff

This is my desk and my reliable Olympia Traveller typewriter. When I am typing a novel I turn the computer screen off, but I thought it should have a pretty picture rather than the usual garbage. That’s Switzerland by the way. Where they make Lindt chocolate, and where my Hermes 3000 typewriter was made. Two things I am grateful for. I used the H3K today for a while, then an Olivetti 22, and also a Royal Caravan/Contessa/Tippa. The last is a machine with many pseudonyms! But a Hermes 3000 is always just that. Sublime, like the Swiss Alps.

This year’s Nanowrimo project, the 9th I’ve done, will be a sequel to the first three books I wrote, which formed a trilogy called Mates and Men. It’s been a few years since I abandoned the characters, so rather than rack my brain for an entirely new set of characters, I decided it was time to revisit the old familiar ones and see what they were up to. So far I’m on track, but nothing much has happened. That’s the easy part. The hard part will be when it’s time to get on with the action, which is still but a vague notion.

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Poetry

Hats for Typists

Back in the olden days, when my mother was a typist, my father and his generation of men all wore fedora’s. So to me, the idea of a fedora and typing just naturally go together. I must not be alone however, when it comes to nostalgia, the proof of which I recently blundered upon after buying a slightly used fedora at a thrift store. The hat in question cost me $3.50, and for that price I couldn’t pass it up. I have a large head, and so it’s hard to find hats that fit, since most old fedoras seem to be size 7 or so, and I need more like 7 1/2. This one fit, barely, and a peek under the leather band revealed the size as 7 3/8, which meant it fit but not loosely. Good enough however, and so far I can report that it seems to be molding to my head with wearing. The name of the hat maker was new to me, so I checked on the net and discovered that it was not an old vintage hat after all, but a modern one, made in Austin, Texas. Price $450! Made to order. “The Future is Nostalgic” exclaims the banner on the home page! To further prove my point about fedoras and typewriters, I present a photo from the website in question – note the Corona 3 folder. I’m still looking for one of these, and if I live long enough I may get one for a good price, but probably more than $3.50.

Bykowski hat with Corona 3 Typewriter

the label of my new-old “vintage” hat

Here is my version of “hat with typewriter”:

my Bykowski hat (the Ritz) with my Remington Portable

I have not tested the hat with a typewriter yet, but I will put it to use soon. There are numerous other fedoras in my stable, however, so I have a choice for every occasion and era.

a sample of my fedora collection

Back row: Dorfman Pacific of California, Brixton of China

Front row: Bykowski of Austin Tex, Baileys of Hollywood, Christy’s of London

If you shudder at spending $450 for a hat, then I suggest the Brixton line, which are dirt cheap by comparison and made with decent wool felt, but not beaver like the Bykowski and the Christy’s. Best value for the quality is probably the Christy’s,  made with the finest beaver felt and  available for $153 as of the latest sale price. Mine is the Knightsbridge as far as I can tell. I got it for $7 at Sally Ann.

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Filed under Clothing, Hats, Typewriters

Further Adventures of Sluggo the Slug

The World Tour, and Worms and Ants, the 2nd and 3rd in the series of picture books for toddlers have been published. Thus ends the saga that began with a tale about a slug and a snail, inspired by carvings made from tree trunks in a forest in Switzerland. Click a book cover to go to the site.

The World Tour – book 2 of the series.

Worms and Ants – book 3 of the series.

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Remington Repair for Dunces* tm reg’d!

1929 Remington Portable #3

platen advance lever

missing stud replaced with a nail

I recently acquired a 1929 Remington portable 3. I now have a 1, 2  & 3 of these, and it’s interesting to see the slight differences as the design was changed. The model 3 I found was missing a small stud from the carriage advance lever. I knocked out the embedded bit and hammered in a small nail in its place. That fixed the problem, and the typewriter is now working well – amazing for a 90 year old machine! The model 3 has a slightly wider platen than the #2, which was slightly wider than #1. The #1 had a simple advance mechanism that was much improved with the addition of the lever on model 2, which carried over to model 3. Model 2 had the original lifting typebars, which are gone in model 3, in favour of a low panel on the top front that conceal the slightly raised typebars. I assume this saved money in manufacturing, by eliminating the lifting mechanism. Something was lost however, in the way of a very interesting and unique feature. Model 3 also introduced a margin release key and fixed tabs, marked with a red keytop, as Olivetti became well known for later on with the Lettera 22. But Remington was first!

1922 Remington Portable #1

1926 Remington Portable #2 (note German keyboard)

model 1 side view with lifting typebars

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Filed under History, Repairs, Technology, Thrift shop finds, Typecasting, Typewriters

A Walk Around Mont Blanc

Exactly one year after I started the walk, the book is published. We began September 1st 2018, and on September 2nd we hung around in the lovely village of Les Contamines, since we goofed up and started a day early. I did not plan that, but it was amusing to write about. I had planned to write about the trip before I went, so I took 2 notebooks and filled them with my observations and thoughts along the way, as well as filling an entire sketchbook journal before I left. There are lots of guidebooks about the Tour de Mont Blanc, and blogs of course, but few paperbacks. My research only came up with one book about hiking the TMB that was not a guidebook. Now there are at least two books on the subject (in English that is). The price is $19.95 (USD). Black and white would have been much cheaper, but in looking at a draft I realized that much of the enjoyment would be lost without the colour photos. So, if you don’t want to spend that much, the E-book is only $2.99!

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Filed under Books, Great Hikes

Sluggo the Smug Slug

I am pleased to announce that Sluggo the Smug Slug is now available. Click the picture to see the listing. I was originally going to append this story to my upcoming book A Walk Around Mont Blanc, but I decided to keep those books separate entities after all. I am publishing both books in colour, in order to fully appreciate the illustrations and photographs, which black and white printing could not do justice to.

Exactly one year ago today I flew to Germany to hike the Tour de Mont Blanc with my son, Terry. While on the trail in Switzerland, we passed a series of carvings made from tree trunks. This excerpt from A Walk Around Mont Blanc explains where the whole Sluggo thing started:

All day long we walked through woods along easy trails not far above the valley. Sometimes the trail went down to the road or followed a dirt track. We met several guided tours, both British. Usually we stopped and allowed groups to pass us, but this day we actually had to pass them, a rare event. We encountered several interesting physical features where the trail followed a narrow ridge in a straight line, with steep banks on each side that dropped far down into the forest below. They looked like manmade dykes, but otherwise appeared to be natural.

We soon encountered a series of signs indicating we were on a ‘mushroom trail’, and apparently as well, a carved stump trail. Some talented wood carver had sculpted a series of lifelike animals from tree stumps. The first was a deer, followed by a squirrel, marmot, eagle, giant rabbit, wild boar and something we could only think of as a slug, although it was standing up and seemed to have arms. We named this Sluggo the Smug Slug. Following Sluggo we came upon a snail, which we named Aaron the Arrogant Escargot, Sluggo’s best friend. Terry suggested this should be the basis of my next book.

I recorded the day in my journal, and we continued on. I knew that I was going to write about the Tour, but I had no idea that afterwards I would write a book about a slug. After I had written it, I decided to illustrate it too, so I painted many watercolor sketches spawning yet another project – three picture books for toddlers. I therefore take this opportunity to remind you of the first book in the series, which can be found here:

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