‘Tis the Season

Sold another typewriter this week, a 1966 Smith Corona Sterling. In fact, just a Silent Super with a different name on it. Smith Corona was still making the 5 series in 1966, long after they introduced series 6. I have a 1959 series 6 to prove it!  This one is a present for a youngster. Lucky kid to have a cool grandmother! I’m thrilled to see this going to a young writer.

1966 Sterling aka Silent Super

I got out my “Christmas” typewriter, a red Remington Rand (spray painted ). My grandson spotted it and immediately began to press on the keys. It’s never too early to start typing lessons.

11 month old typist

Another sign of the season is the abundance of raptors about. This eagle dove towards the lake and then we saw it fly off into a tree. When we got close, we could see it eating what it had caught. Then it wiped its beak on a branch. There were no napkins available.

eagle having lunch

you have crumbs on your cheek!

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Filed under Birds, Photography, Typewriters, Wildlife, winter

So You Want to Write a Book?

you will need one of these

47,000 words. 25 days. 50 hours. 25 cups of tea. 22 pages of plot notes. 93 pages of typewritten draft. 1 Olympia Traveller. 1 Hermes 3000. 1 Smith Corona 5 (Eaton’s deluxe). 1 sore back. 1 case of nerves. 25 beers (dinner). 10 swims. 6 walks around the lake. Countless hours of pondering the plot. All just to say you wrote a book. A book you will publish yourself and that will not become a best seller, win the Booker, the Giller, the Pulitzer, or the Nobel or a million other prizes. Even if you think it should, which is ridiculous, but so what? Why else write a g–damned book?

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Filed under Books, NaNoWriMo, Typewriters, Uncategorized, writing

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