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December 03, 2009

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maxine bleiweis

The public library in Westport, CT, recently held a scavenger hunt. Teams signed up, received clues and scurried all over the library, discovering new areas. The surprise discovery was the typewriter. One of the organizers, posted in a strategic location to help any frustrated clue-seekers, heard a group of young boys say, "I wonder what this is. Do you think it's safe to touch it?" They were circled around an IBM Selectric typewriter tucked away in a corner for that occasional need. It was a rare find for them on their library hunt/archeological dig. The next time it will be an official clue!

p.s. the winners of the scavenger hunt received gift certificates from Levenger's!

Mike Henderson

I was fortunate to begin a newspaper career in New Orleans while typewriters still clattered in the newsroom. A few green eyeshades and porcelain cuspidors remained, but like typewriters, would soon be relics.
A few years later, I found a vintage Royal at a Walgreens drug store going out of business. I bought the machine, had it refurbished, and it remains a thing of beauty. It looks just like the one you're reproducing, with a few exceptions: Built into the roller is a little brass clip that holds medicine-bottle labels in place as they're typed; it has a key my computer lacks, Rx; and a custom Walgreens plaque is built into it.
Today, when I write on a computer, I make a printout and edit with pencil or pen before rewriting. I suppose there's something comforting and personal -- joining mental with tactile --- in making revisions on something you can hold in your hand.
At home, I used that typewriter for many years. I still write, but my revered old Royal is retired to a place of honor on a shelf. It has outlasted several computers and, if needed, can still answer a call to action.

Steve Leveen

Two wonderful posts! Don't we have a duty, Maxine and Mike, to keep the memory of those beloved old machines alive? Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories.

Steve

Luise

You ask, "Isn’t it nice to know that even the great ones revise?" I think that *only* the great ones revise.

Paul Lagasse

There is a small but growing number of people who blog with typrewriters! The technique is called "typecasting" and the people who practice it have been doing some very creative things with their typewriters and demonstrating that this venerable technology still has a role to play in the 21st century.

The best place to start is the list of typecasters on Richard Polt's essential reference site, the Classic Typewriter Page (http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/tw-links.html), and scroll down to "Typecasting." Enjoy!

Steve Leveen

What a delightful site for old typewriters and their history! Thanks for sharing, Paul. Steve (I'm going to Tweet it now...)

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Very interesting stories about old machines and those who used such machines this would freshen their memories and experience of using it. Still some people use it, Thanks for sharing this.
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Brian Colgate

I still have an old Smith-Corona portable, but the only thing I use if for these days is typing cheques [checks in the USA]! However, it's nice to know it's still there and working well, should I need to write something when the power goes out ...

Seo company in Lincoln

I bought the machine, had it refurbished, and it remains a thing of beauty. It looks just like the one you're reproducing, with a few exceptions: Built into the roller is a little brass clip that holds medicine-bottle labels in place as they're typed; it has a key my computer lacks, Rx; and a custom Walgreens plaque is built into it.

Tim Mundorff

I love my KMM. It really doesn't take that much more effort to work the keys. What I love about the typewriter is that it can do nothing else but take down your thoughts...and it will never hand out your credit card numbers in the background.

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