Monthly Archives: September 2016

JP-3 Sighting

Brother JP-3, Profile 720 model

Brother JP-3, Profile 720 model

Mint condition, rare JP-3 model with parallel action carriage shift, push button ribbon selector, wide carriage and all original papers. I have nowhere to put this, but if it had been regular carriage and $20, who knows?

P.S. more photos of the paperwork. It was made in 1967, and had a rapid paper feeder!


Filed under Thrift shop finds, Typewriters

Cakes & Ale – a Tale


It was the sort of night that would have kept even Sherlock Holmes from taking to the streets in search of his arch rival. But the directors had important business to discuss, and so they made their way to the boardroom through the wild wind and sheets of cold rain. More than one umbrella was destroyed that night, and its owner subsequently drenched.

The meeting convened and discussion commenced regarding the label of the new product – Director’s Superior Ale. This was to be the greatest beer launch in the history of Courage, the foremost of British Breweries.

Simultaneously, on the other side of Mayfair in the City of London, the directors of another great British enterprise, Peek Freans, were meeting to discuss a new concept in biscuits; the boxed assortment.

Both meetings went on for hours as the directors debated furiously over the respective products. Oddly enough, each meeting eventually hung on one last issue – the colours of the packaging. At both meetings there was a complete lack of agreement among the members. Some argued for blue, some for red, some for black and white.

It was then that the biggest lightening strike in history happened, electrifying half of London in one great thunderous boom. At both meetings the directors were knocked off their chairs and sent to the floor tingling with the electrical pulse that killed one hundred unfortunate horses standing outdoors in puddles.

The directors all staggered back to their tables and after a few minutes they resumed their separate discussions. It was at this moment that it became clear to all concerned that the perfect colours would be purple, red and gold. It was promptly put to vote, and unanimous consent was reached at both tables.

The following month the new products were released. It didn’t take long before cries of corporate espionage were being shouted back and forth across the city. However, both sides eventually dropped their accusations when it became abundantly clear that the general public seemed to be buying both products at exceptionally high rates.

Before long other breweries were engaging in discussions with other biscuit manufacturers with an aim to recreating the strange synergy that occurred when one consumed Peek Freans Assorted Cremes with a bottle of Directors Superior Ale, but despite great efforts, this was never to be duplicated.

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Filed under Beer, Books and Short Stories

Typewriter Love, Italian Style



sculptural, eh?

beautiful curves

More about the machine: a close inspection reveals this is really well built, like indestructible! The mechanics of the carriage are unlike most every other typewriter; it has large dished bearings which hold a thick stainless steel bar that carries the carriage. Basically a larger and much stronger version of the Lettera 22. It feels like a 22 as well, with the precise but soft touch. Quiet, too, for a typewriter! From the small number of these that I’ve ever seen in the shops, they weren’t terribly popular, and perhaps were quite expensive. One can imagine this would have been high priced – it appears to be made with no expense spared. Even the case is different;  a truncated pyramid shape when stood upright. By the serial number the TWDB says it was made in 1961 or 1962.


carriage runs on this round rail – note the huge pinch rolls



oversized platen for this scale of machine

oversized platen for this scale of machine

elegant keys

elegant keys

large folding paddle like lever

large folding paddle like lever is easy to push

right side

right side – note the scooped lower edge! So subtle..


Filed under Thrift shop finds, Typewriters

Typing – the Next Generation

I recently attended a birthday party for a friend who turned 80. It was a multi-generational event, where ages ranged from 80 to 8. I decided to bring along a pair of typewriters and set up a station where people could type messages to the honoree. Expecting there would be plenty who were familiar with typewriters, I was confident this would be a hit. The typewriters I brought were: a Smith Corona 5 SS (branded Eaton’s Prestige) and a Brazilian Hermes Baby. I set them up, loaded the paper, put up a card explaining the idea, and waited.


type-a-greeting station

type-a-greeting station

After a while it was obvious the older crowd was less than enthused, but not so the younger crowd (or as it happened to be, the youngest person).

Youthful typerato

Youthful typist

My friend’s youngest granddaughter soon took up semi-permanent occupation of the Silent Super Station (SSS) and with instruction from a helpful aunt began to peck out line after line.

At first disheartened at the lack of interest from the adults, retrospection lightened my heavy heart. Typospherians, the uplifting news is that our beloved machines will live on via the youngest generation! We must hope this signals a resurgence that will redeem our compulsive buying, cleaning, tuning and doing whatever it is we do; putting them on shelves or writing books, poems and other nonsense. Though the typewriter may be of little interest to those for whom they were once ubiquitous it may yet prove to be a great interest to those who don’t yet even recognize them.

So I declare my mini-type-in a success. It all depends on interpretation. Several brave adults did manage to type messages, and I salute their courage.

a brave adult

a brave adult

I leave you with a fragment…

message to Grandpa

message to Grandpa

P.S. SC SS5 is highly recommended for type-in use!

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Filed under Type-in, Typewriters