Monday, February 18, 2013

Containing the Collection



Along with the Corona 4 at the top, the rest of the Keepers:
(Olympia SM9)

(Underwood Universal)

(Olivetti Lettera 22)

(Royal Mercury)


Those I'm not so sure about:
(Olivetti Underwood 21)

(Royal Futura 800)

(Remington Ten Forty)


Post-Script: Really, going through the collection today to photograph them, they really don't take up all that much space, truth be told ... provided I don't acquire any more, and provided I don't need any more closet space for anything else, ever in my whole life.

Images via Lumix G5, typecast via Olympia SM9.


Blogger Rob Bowker said...

Joe, take it from a reader, you can write. I have heard that typewriters get hired out as part of a wedding party. Guests sign in and leave a comment on a stately machine when they arrive. And poems of certain structures come out pretty well too. The type is immediate and fresh but the veneer of formality helps you read them your own way. Jam jar labels and the occasional cheque about top off my list of uses after Typing For Cash. BUT, I did recently give away a couple of machines (Adler Gabriele 25 and AEG Olympia Traveller deLuxe) which were to be pressed into service as bid writing machines by charity fundraisers. Purely as compositional aids. There's even talk of the Olympia getting as far as Nigeria. As for collecting, it is just pure greed to have more than one typewriter. But then, I think of it more as rescuing than collection. If someone discovers my stash of working typewriters sometime in the future, I reckon the worst that could happen is that they take one out and write something. And so on. Like so many preoccupations, maybe the actual subject is by the way. Maybe it isn't about typewriters at all.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Ahh, the moment when a Typewriter Hoarder decides he has "enough". You've stopped at 8 with a leeway of 3, which is quite reasonable. More reasonable than my own 28-ish with a leeway of 5 or 6-ish that could be culled from the herd, at least. I also admire the choices you've made for the keepers, very practical.

I do disagree on the idea that Typecasting is navel-gazing, however - I feel like the Typosphere is a conversation among a far-flung community of people with similar interests, delivered as a stream of mostly typewritten postcards thrown into the electronic ocean in HTML-wrapped bottles.

My own participation in that is very community-oriented; I write for the people I expect to have stop by each day. It's hardly navel-gazing to spend time crafting an attractive blog post about something that interests you when you know that the reader shares your interest.

The real wonder, I think, is that a passion for writin' iron seems to correlate to sharing many other interests. If it were just about the machines themselves, the Typosphere would only be interesting to a select few. Add in the shared interests in pens and paper and photography and mail art and the kitchen sink... Well, it's never a dull day in the Typosphere! :D

9:14 AM  
Blogger Cameron said...

My typewriter collection is currently 31. I cycle through all of them in my extensive personal correspondence, and often use several typewriters in a single letter.

It's nice to be able to switch machines depending on my writing mood. Each typewriter has its own personality.

I have worked on two different novels on various typewriters, and prefer the first draft to be expressed onto the very tactile and deliberate medium of these machines, rather than on a computer.

I don't mind transcribing the typewritten pages into an electronic document, such as in Microsoft Word, later on. The energy of revision feels all right on the computer, but I prefer the initial creative impulse to be on a typewriter.

Certainly, each typewriter owner has different needs and ways of using their machines. I consider myself to be more of a typewriter USER than collector, even though my "herd" is large.

12:35 PM  
Blogger L Casey said...

I try and use nearly all of my typewriters for one thing or another. I write a ton of letters, write as much fiction as possible, and do the occasional typecast. Generally, if I have 6 hours of free time between work and bed, four of them are spent in front of a typewriter.

I do have specific machines I prefer to use for the bulk of my writing. AKA: Olympia. My SG1 is my favorite, the SG3 is a close second (it is awesome because it has so many math symbols, but this also changes the basic layout I'm used to). I have four (previously five) SM9's, all with different typefaces, that I like to switch around as well. The other Olympias see less use than these. As for letter writing, I tend to switch between many different machines per letter (the amount depending on how long the letter is).

I have over a hundred typewriters in my house now, and I have found it time to cut it back a bit. There are those that are nice machines, but I just don't use them. I have sold a half a dozen so far, with plans on many more. I will, of course, keep the interesting older ones for display even though I don't use them.

Good luck with your decision. It is a nice, tight collection you have there, and I hope you're about to find further use for them (especially that lovely SM9...).

3:21 PM  
Blogger deek said...

My collection is holding at 14 and I could certainly cull that down to 7 without too much effort. Since I am a practicing writer, preferring to use a manual typewriter in my normal writing process, having a reliable and comfortable desktop, portable and traveller is really all I'd "need". Need is assuming at some point I would want to share my stories and I would need to get them out of my head, whether typing outlines, index cards or whole pieces.

I agree with Ted in that the typecasting is more of just a community and sharing a digital "what's up" via a scanned typewritten page feels right. I like the process, including the feel of my paper and each keystroke. Oh, and any little quirks that a manual might throw my way:) I readily admit that the Typosphere is also a group of individuals that I would find interesting sans typewriters, but since I found everyone by way of manual typewriters, I feel obligated and wanting to share my thoughts via a typewriter as much as possible.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Your typewriters all look beautiful in that light.

There's no end to what you can do with a typewriter. Currently I have one that's dedicated to keeping a log of which foods my picky cat will love, hate, or tolerate.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Joe V said...

I appreciate everyone's comments, and also the community of Typospherians, which I am honored to be a part of.

This week was the first time I'd typed in public - at The Daily Grind - (other than a cigar-store type-in that doesn't really count because all those in attendance were acquaintances). It was very fun, and I also hit it off on the right foot with a fellow patron when I introduced myself by inquiring whether the sound of my typing would be disturbing to her, and she was fine with it but thanked me for asking.

One thing I've learned from your comments is the importance of making typewriters, and typing, part of your daily life, which I intend on doing more so. Thank you for everyone's encouragement.

Richard, thanks for your kind comments about the pictures. I wasn't sure about the colors, because there's some cool tones from the afternoon shaded light mixed with warm tones from the brown stucco and courtyard patio brickwork, my poor camera didn't know what to think!

10:52 AM  

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