Sunday, January 18, 2015

An Old Family Friend



Post-Script: It's funny to speak of typewriters as being one's friend. My last blog article used the term 'friend' in reference to a Royal Mercury, while today's reference is as an old family friend. But really, this one's been around my family since I was a kid, and only recently - since I've become more typewriter-conscious - can I relate to its significance on a personal level.

Could I find myself using this electric more and more over the other nine manual typewriters currently in my life? No, definitely not. This is in no way a disparaging comment on the Hermes 10's merits as a well-engineered writing tool, but rather says a lot more about the unique tools that are manual typewriters; especially, in my view, well-engineered manual portables. So, while the Hermes 10 is a workhorse machine, it's also bulky and heavy, requiring a power cord, and in no way is any more quiet in operation than any of my manuals. For creating rapid written copy to the ultimate aim of paper-printed output, a manual portable is so much more convenient than either a computer/printer combo or electric typewriter.

There's also the philosophical view that manual typewriters are entirely hand-operated, which reminds me of the noted comment (by I think Henri Cartier-Bresson) about the hand being a link between the eye and the heart. You get that hand/eye/heart experience with manual typewriters, but not so much with computers, or even this very nice electric. For me, the difference is the electric/electronic mediation, fostering a dependency upon corporate/government/social infrastructure; whereas with a manual typewriter you can set a chair up on the porch of your cabin, or on the shore of the lake or ocean, far removed from any nuclear/coal/gas-fueled power outlet, and write to your heart's content. Manual typewriters are a self-contained experience, which this old family friend reminds me of, in spite of its elegant mid-20th century engineering.

Bonus Images:

The Duke City Typewriter sticker:

And the price tag, still on the machine(!):

A close up of the carrying case; there's also a Hermes dust-cover for the machine, but alas, no owner's manual.


Blogger Bill M said...

Very nice looking typewriter. It's always nice to have one that has been in the family. The Duke City Typewriter Co. lable adds a nice touch.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Oooh, we need a Hermes 10 in the TWDB. have you considered signing up and becoming a Typewriter Hunter? (:

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the electrics I have are fun for a little while, but I always end up going out on dates with my manuals. ~TH~

5:56 AM  

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