Saturday, February 25, 2012

ITAM Excuses Just In Time

Is it the end of International Typewriter Appreciation month already? Did I miss it?

No? I still have time?  Thank goodness.  Better bust out the old stable of tools…





You’ll pardon the lack of a scanner, I hope. These pages were all photographed with natural light, under a skylight. A little crude, but I rather like the gradients of light washing across them. And if I wanted perfection, I wouldn’t have bothered with the typewriters at all.

The final draft was from the Royal Safari. I did a rough copy on my Lettera 32.  Remember the days of editing by hand? I still find that this is the best way for me to polish my thoughts, and in many cases I discover I actually had more to say than I thought the first time through. My rule of thumb has always been that if I cut more than I add with each revision, it’s all right.

I’m not sure I got the balance right on this one.


(Kind of reminds me why they invented double-spacing.)

The Lettera 32 is a nimble little machine for rough drafts and getting the ideas out. It doesn’t weigh much more than the IBM keyboard.  And I’ve actually got room for it on my desk with all the other junk.  I’ve just never been entirely satisfied with the output. The type always comes out light and grainy, even with a fresh ribbon.

The Royal Safari is a bit slower. Type too fast, and the letters start to bunch up. But the typeface is just right, somewhere between pica and elite, just ornate enough and just classical enough. So if you can get into the right rhythm with it, it’ll give you a sharp final copy.

He’s the obligatory shot of my treasured M-Series.


Is that grime or patina on the corners and between the keys? Doesn’t matter—it’s history.

Speaking of history, here’s the old Mercedes we had, back in the day.


Probably the finest car we ever owned, or ever will own. It may have gotten 14 miles to the gallon, but boy, were those ever stylish miles. $2000 for a new timing chain was where we drew the line. Sold it to an eager enthusiast for what we’d paid for it years before.

She’s still running, though. I saw her in a local parking lot, with the same obsolete security sticker on the back of the rear-view mirror. I’m glad she’s in good hands.

Good machines, you take care of them, they stick around.


  1. Love this post, especially the bit about running out of things to say. So true. And indeed, typing is a lot more fun than writing!

  2. Adwoa - I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for stopping by. Your own site is fantastic, by the way, and I've been lurking (and admiring) for quite a while.

    Perhaps my Leap Year's resolution aught to be, to be a better citizen of the typosphere. More posts and more comments, to let you all know how much you mean to me!