I’m heartsick. This gorgeous cursive Royal belongs to someone else and I just watched her go. Damn Ebay, and damn my earlier resolve not to buy another typewriter until September.
Why do the best typewriters show up when I’m trying to be good? It would be easy to wish terrible things on the person who bought it, but instead I’m going to sling out what little gypsy abracadabra I have left and hope the new owner finds it too feminine, clunky, unrepairable. I’m scattering a Boredom Curse out, like birdshot.
I’m wafting them with Oh-Dear-I-Guess-I-Should-Just-Resell-This-On-Ebay-After-September-1st vibes.
My vibes used to be unparalleled, but I’m a little rusty now. Wish me luck.
…is you can write on almost anything. I’ve been digging through some so-so poems and surgically removing keeper lines here and there. In the middle of this, I got a package in the mail filled with all manner of clipped bits from old magazines. Add to this my house full of typewriters and there you go. Now the keepers have someplace to go and all is right in the world.
It takes so little to make me happy. I mean that.
They’re impossible to read as-is, so click on each one to make it bigger.
The other thing about a typewriter is that you can’t correct anything, so all typos are “beauty marks.”
Every secretary’s friend! And exactly like the one that got away from me.
Oh, I’ve been rummaging around a bit and find all sorts of glamorous oddities. Some gorgeous, some just plain entertaining. The first of the goodies is this Medieval Helpdesk video, and although it’s subtitled, it’s a scream.
The glamour comes from Elizabeth O’Neil Photography
and her old typewriter photos. She’s asking readers to choose a favorite. Couldn’t do it. I just wanted the typewriter.
Typewriter: Relic of Wisdom
is a little must-read. It just steels our resolve to, well, spend entirely too much money on old manual typewriters. Sometimes we have to give the whole collecting thing an elegant spin to make it all worthwhile. Tactile nirvana.
Finally, a little thing I almost missed. It’s a vintage childhood typecast
and I wish I could get my hands on all the crazy business I typed as a little girl. I doubt ANYTHING I could find would be as plot driven as this little rabbit’s daily schedule.
There. It’s Saturday and I’m in Complete Goof-off Mode. No telling what I’ll find next.
You know, there are key-choppers and there are key-choppers.
The first kind is the Opportunist who chops the keys from antique typewriters and sells them willy-nilly on Ebay for jewelry making. The jewelry is a fad, and when the fad is tossed for some new project there may be, oh, five or six usable antique or vintage machines left in the world. These kind of key-choppers make me alternately sad and angry because there are some stunning, usable typewriters out there that don’t deserve a rude beheading. Besides, there are typewriter collectors and obsessors out here who feel gut-punched every time we see “Will cut off and send only the keys. Only $5 to ship.”
The second flavor of key-chopper is the one I can’t quite hate. These are the Artist Choppers. While they hack and hew and chop along with the best of the Opportunist Fad Choppers, the end product has depth and respect for the old machines. I still ache when considering the surgical procedures necessary to produce the art, but I do find it somehow a little less sadistic. A proper burial for a wrongful death.
There are those who ride the line by creating gorgeous, wearable art. But all typewriter key jewelry is not art. Sometimes an earring is just an earring.
Is it the difference between murder and euthanasia? Have I become an arts vs. crafts snob? Am I blinded by Beautiful Things? Would my typewriter morality be intact if machines were already functionally useless? I don’t know. I’m just not as angry with the Artist Choppers, even though the end result is the same – one less typewriter.
Jeremy E Mayer
Disclaimer: No typewriters were harmed or mutilated for this post.
I’ve been NaFloScribMo-ing
this evening on my refurbed 1934/35 Underwood Noiseless. I’ve named her Zelda, because as stalwart and chunky as she is, Zelda still types a little crazy. Like Zelda Fitzgerald
I believe she’s a frustrated ballerina. Aren’t we all?
At any rate, I’m giving my fingers a break at the moment to show her off a bit and to figure out my next sentence. For before and after pictures (just like Jenny Craig!) of Zelda’s transformation, visit here
Just so you know, the writing is more purposeful on these old machines. On a laptop I can type at the speed of light and write just about anything while simultaneously editing it. The whole laptop experience borders on psychosis, over- and under-lapping the words like that. With Zelda – or any of the other typewriters littering my house – the sentences are slower, but they follow a forward-moving path. That recursive business is exhausting.
And when I’m finished, there’s all this ink on paper and a handful of completed pages to walk around with. Heaven.