A Story of . . .
typewriters, books, collecting, writing, and author David McCullough
There's something about a typewriter (or a book about typewriters), that gets me every time. Today it was The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt. The book covers a good bit about the mechanics of a typewriter and a lot about the renewed popularity of the machine including the people and events that support it — have you heard of a type-in?
The Typewriter Revolution was new to me. I have two other books about typewriters that are worth a look. The Typewriter by Janine Vangool, is a beautiful volume loaded with vintage advertisements and photographs.
The other is Typewriter, by Tony Allan that features Richard Polt as consultant. This is a condensed volume chock full of interesting bits about the history of the machine, the typewriter in advertising, solving crimes, its impact on journalism, and today's type-in.
In addition to the books, I have a collection of typewriters (that's one of them underneath the books), and a few vintage ribbon tins. The typewriters are great fun for writing letters and addressing envelopes.
It's no coincidence that these books have all been published in the last year. Typewriters are enjoying renewed popularity. Maybe it's a reaction to so much screen time, maybe the wonder of a simple machine. Hipsters and people of all ages are in.
Author David McCullough has used the same typewriter for over 50 years to write all of his books, despite offers from friends and family to switch to a more modern writing device, the computer. He talks about his typewriter in this interview with The Paris Review.
Last spring our local library held a makers fare that featured a typewriter repair session hosted by Tom Furrier of Cambridge Typewriter. I'm hoping it will be part of this year's fair as well . . . I'm having trouble loading the ribbon on one of my machines. If you need repairs, contact Tom. He's friendly and generous in sharing his knowledge about typewriters.
Actor Tom Hanks collects typewriters and has developed an app that recreates the sound and look of typing on a typewriter (link below). Fun, but nothing beats the real thing.
Here are some links:
The Classic Typewriter Page - Richard Polt's site
The Typewriter - Janine Vangool's site about the typewriter
Typosphere all things typewriters
Hanx Writer - an app that recreates the sound and look of typing on a typewriter
The Anitkey Chop - a gallery of typewriters and people using typewriters
Cambridge Typewriter - Tom Furrier's shop and blog
Below is a page design I created that includes four of my typewriters along with two word puzzles. Post a comment with your answers . . . if you're stumped, let me know, and I'll post the answers.