Sunday, October 14, 2012

Changing of the Guard

P1010508a Typecast061 P1010512a Typecast062 Post-Script: No, my typing desk usually isn't this uncluttered, but I had to do something to make the photo a bit more appealing. As for the 2nd photo, that Remington Rem-Riter portable typing instruction booklet came in the Olivetti 21's case, when I purchased it at the thrift store that's no longer in business. Which begs the question of where the booklet came from, and which also reminds me of how I found this machine in the first place.

I might have mentioned in a previous blog entry the story of this typewriter, how I walked into a thrift store that was in a little strip mall on the corner of Lead and Yale near UNM, saw the typewriter case and inquired as to the machine's condition and history. Turns out the typewriter had been brought into the store by a man who claimed to have ridden to New Mexico in the late 1960s on a motorcycle and traded his bike for this machine, intent on establishing himself as a writer. I never did learn his name. But inside the case, along with the Rem-Riter instruction booklet was the original receipt for the typewriter, that indicated it had indeed been involved in some sort of trade-in, because the addresses of the office machine store and car lot were on the same block of Lomas Blvd., about the same location where today Brown & Smith still hangs their shingle, one of several typewriter shops still doing business in Albuquerque. Perhaps it is the same shop but with a different name. I don't know what works of literature this machine might have produced throughout the intervening years, but it's a fine enough machine for serious typing, and thus I'm going to have to get a fresh ribbon installed.

 I do notice the tops of the letters seem to be a bit light, as if the slugs aren't striking the platen exactly even. Could be an alignment issue, a platen issue or an artifact of needing a new ribbon. Old man Brown, at the typewriter shop, knows me as "the guy with all the machines that he doesn't want to pay to get fixed". In other words, I'm a tightwad with my money. Perhaps it's time to circulate some of my machines, one at at time, through his shop for service.

(Photos via Lumix G5 "Toy Camera" scene mode, slight curves adjustment in Photoshop to boost mid-tone contrast.)


Blogger Cameron said...

I enjoyed the look of your Corona 4's typeface in your recent blog posts, but I can easily understand your desire for a change!

The Olivetti-Underwood's typeface is indeed quite pleasant on the eye, and obviously on the fingers.
It has a fascinating history.

I know what you mean about expensive repairs. I am beginning to think that having some of my machines fixed would be WORTH it, however, as some of the issues (like skipping) are very annoying. Also, nearly all the platens on my typewriters need replacing. sigh...

6:18 PM  
Blogger Rob Bowker said...

I don't know if the image is based in historical fact, but your clarion call for the mitigation of November's NaNo-drought comes as a vision of the Seventh Cavalry, cresting the hill, wielding writing irons.

5:36 AM  

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