Monday, 30 December 2013

A dispatch from the first Canberra type-in

What follows is an unfinished dispatch from the first Canberra type-in, held yesterday, involving Mr Robert Messenger of oz.Typewriter, Mr Scott Kernaghan of The Filthy Platen, and me.

(A technicolour display of the three of us can be found at Robert’s blog, here: http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/canberra-type-in.html .)

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The first part of the dispatch was typed on an Alpina, and then after that I’m not sure. Typewriters kept appearing in front of me and I was more than happy to use them. And whether the typecast makes sense or not is none of my business: coherent thought in the heat of a type-in isn’t always achieved.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Canberra Correspondent & a better method of internet access

For a few weeks now, I’ve been the Canberra correspondent for The Global Panoramaa news website that is written by various unpaid people: mainly university students doing journalism degrees, but there are also a few people like me there.

Naturally, I write my copy on a typewriter. It gets edited with pencils, Parker pens and white-out. But when I sent this to my editor as a demonstration of how I work –

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– he was a little shocked, I think. “Woah. Do you really use a typewriter?” (He is the young fun, constantly Tweeting, iPad reading type. He was taken aback when I told him about the psychological benefits of my daily tussle with a broadsheet, trying to manage to fold the thing.) There would be no way to tell I used a typewriter if I hadn’t said so because I type it up again, which always means I find more mistakes, and file electronically. But, knowing that I took the time to write mechanically and then electronically, he asked, “Why?”

I have never been able to answer the “why?” question, leaving me open to tirades of the opposite: the “why not”. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it’s finicky. Yes, it means I rush in two minutes before deadline. Yes, it means I get inky fingers. But it gives me something to hold; something to put in a folder; something that shows that I actually worked. The WordPress interface, although very good, doesn’t give me that.

So, there I’ll be on Thursdays, diligently typing my copy, taking a pen for a walk across it, and then filing it electronically after I type it up again. This, I thought, was like those “old days” I’ve heard about – a time I’m nostalgic for, despite never having experienced it. Foreign correspondents would take to their Olivetti Lettera 32s (or any other typewriter of choice), write the next world exclusive and then get it typed again by a telex operator for transmission to the newsroom. This is what I’m doing for The Global Panorama, really, except I have the modern convenience of internet over telex.

Not many people had telex straight to the home. Perhaps this is how the internet should work. I quite like the idea of having the internet outside in a room where a computer terminal awaits. Then, you wouldn’t be tempted to spend all day on the Web inside your house. You’d have to make effort to go out there. If the room was sparse you would then be much quicker to get off and get back inside. Think of the health benefits!

I wouldn’t go to the extreme of saying that we should have to go to a Post Office to send an email – like one would have had to have done to send a telex to some newspaper that’s now a forgotten memory – but taking internet out of the homes would be something radically effective, I believe.

But I’m not going to worry about that now; perhaps I might write a longer piece about that later. My immediate thoughts are of deadlines to meet and a typewriter to use.

 

(The picture of text above became this: http://theglobalpanorama.com/australia-works-to-repair-damage-cool-tensions-with-asian-neighbours/.)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Two-Tone Green Underwood Noiseless

Very occasionally an unassuming typewriter case up the back of a shop yields something very, very special. This was one of those cases.

Amongst an assorted collection of other typewriters, this typewriter was in its case up the back of a Melbourne second hand shop, on the outskirts of the CBD. Even in the dim light once the case was opened, what was inside seemed to glow.

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However, having been bought in Melbourne, it had to be transported back to Canberra. First was the Melbourne Tram leg, then the air-port shuttle bus leg and finally the aeroplane leg. The first two stages were successful, however the third was nearly thwarted when the young fellow manning the x-ray machine at airport security decided that the ominous black case needed to be “checked out”. His supervisor appeared, an older man, who took one look at the screen and declared: “No problem, it’s a typewriter.” Typewriter Insurgency Mission: Get typewriter through airport security was successful.

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There are a few little patches where the paint has rubbed off, and there is a little bit of internal rust, but neither of these slight imperfections takes away from the visual effect of this machine.

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Serial Number: 735066

Enter TYPEWRITER, stage left

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“Jasper, could I please borrow your typewriter?” asked the director of Stockholm, an original musical theatre production, the proceeds of which went to charity.

“Er, which one?” I asked. “There’s just over thirty-five to choose from.”

“Oh my god.”


I was privately pleased that a picture of the typewriter I loaned – a Smith-Corona Clipper – and phone made the paper last week. The typewriter appears less than one centimetres across on page B21, but it was still there on top of the three centimetre wide table, nonetheless.

Now before any eagle-eyed readers bombard the comments section, I know, I know: the typewriter, and the phone, are of the wrong era. I offered a Remington Portable #2 that would have been right for the times, but the weightiness of the Smith-Corona was what one the director over, I suspect. Unlike the Remington, that Smith-Corona wasn’t sliding anywhere. And the phone, too, I know suggests a time more like 1967 – but there wouldn’t be too many people paying more attention to the phones and typewriters than the performance itself.

(I’m the sort of person, I’ll admit, that takes great joy in pointing out these sorts of historical inaccuracies. I’m no fun to watch movies or television that might include typewriters in them with. I can’t withhold my remarks about the sheer level of ridiculousness of having a Nakijima ALL in 1954, as much as I try to keep quiet. But with this musical I assumed that I would be one of a handful of people in Canberra that would notice the time-period problem with the typewriter.)

I did thoroughly enjoy the production, and very much liked the choreographed inclusion of Leroy Anderson’s The Typewriter.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Two Remingtons

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Most weekday classified advertisements are court notices or are for “adult services”. Occasionally, hidden in the thin columns of tiny type is something of interest under the “FOR SALE UNDER $100” heading:

TYPEWRITER Remington 1960 Portable Travel Riter de Luxe

Late on the afternoon of the day the newspaper was published, I rang the phone number. No, no – no one else has rung. Yes, yes – it’s still available. Would you like to see it? Oh, and there’s another typewriter here, too, you might be interested in. Yes, this one’s an interesting one. A Remington Portable. Oh, yes – it’s in very nice condition. Saturday? Would that work for you? Eleven o’clock?

This was Tuesday. I waited. Wondered. Thought someone else might ring up and that it might not be available by Saturday. My fears weren’t warranted, though. I was the only one who ever called.

After a pleasant and productive meeting with an ATM on Friday evening, I went out to see the typewriters on Saturday morning. I was welcomed in and taken up a flight of stairs. In a little study two typewriters sat on a desk, one with my name on a piece of paper rolled in the platen.

There was the one which was advertised. The Remington Travel-Riter Deluxe. Pretty good nick, a few scratches in the paint. And then there was the Remington Portable #2. In a case with a bit of rust and some of that alluring, old typewriter charm.

“Now I’ve got a computer I don’t really need these,” I’m told. “The older one belonged to my mother-in-law, the newer one was mine. It’s seen many, many miles; I wrote a lot of things on it.”

Removing lots of paragraphs of purple prose and cutting to the chase, if I may, I paid a very fair price and was shown out. Both parties very pleased with the result. Downsizing older couple had got rid of two old typewriters they didn’t need; teenage typewriter collector had bought two typewriters he didn’t need but liked a lot.

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The Travel-Riter had an unfortunate case of flattened feed roller. Some fatherly assistance and shed engineering produced a suitable replacement. The only other “issue” with the machine now is the ‘d’ type slug. The soldering is a bit dodgy, meaning the alignment’s a bit out. If I find the courage one day required to put a soldering iron anywhere near the typewriter, I might fix it.

I have always fancied this era Remington just because I like the look of them. Ideally, I’d have a Remington International, an absolutely huge thing of a typewriter, but with the thought of space (and the sanity of one’s parents) in mind I have happily settled with the Travel-Riter.

As the typewriter only came with one ribbon “top”, I’m also on the lookout for one required as a part of Remington’s proprietary ribbon system. If you have a spare you’re willing to part with, I’d love to hear from you. 

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The Remington Portable #2 was in great shape. Ironically, perhaps, the feed rollers on this much older machine were fine. [Insert obligatory comment here about how they don’t make things like they used to.]

It types extraordinarily well, and the only very minor issues are cosmetic. This one’s well on its way to becoming one of my favourites.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

In praise of the one sentence paragraph

After my last post in which I discussed a run in with a teacher over a one sentence paragraph used in an assignment, I schemed a little – and then I wrote this, a small ode, if you will, to the one sentence paragraph.

It appears below as it did in The Student’s Standard, 11 June 2013 (the rest of which is available here: issuu.com/thestudentsstandard/docs/the_students_standard_9).

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Monday, 1 April 2013

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Correction: It’s actually an Underwood 3. To my amateur eyes, the 5 and 3 look the same.

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Monday, 25 March 2013

High School Journalism doesn’t work

 

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: all else is public relations.”

– George Orwell

Can real journalism work in a school setting? No, it can’t – and this belief of mine was reaffirmed last week when I caused a bit of a stir with the publication of the “school” newspaper, The Student’s Standard.

The issues were printed, and I promptly when on a school camp, cutting myself off from the action. When I got back things weren’t in a good way. The school wasn’t amused, and all the issues had been collected up so that no one else would read this “defamatory” publication.

There were claims of slander, that I took someone out of context, that articles shouldn’t have been published. But then I made my counter claim: It’s a free press.

But this is the heart of the problem: any high school newspaper doesn’t really have a free press. The school, however disconnected, will always have some say it what goes to press. The editor – in this case me – is a figurehead that is still answering to higher forces. Perhaps like the “real” media, I wouldn’t know.

Perhaps this is my introduction to the real world. The real world where we may well say that “Oh, the free press is free”, but where in fact the press really is locked up.


“Comment is free,” wrote CP Scott in a Guardian editorial in 1921, “but facts are sacred.”

But, in the case of the little Student’s Standard, this is no longer the case. Anonymous publication is out, and every editorial must be run past the school. Every quote, too, must have accompanying written permission prior to publication. A student newspaper run by students is in fact controlled by adults.

The facts we printed – the ones which were faithfully checked – were considered sacred by us, but unholy by the school. Is it a fear of the truth? A fear that runs to the heart of our society? Yes, it probably is. The school doesn’t want the world to know anything bad about itself. It’s own reputation is sacred and shouldn’t be messed with – a dictum that is being forced upon me.

It is for this reason that high school journalism doesn’t work. Comment is free, and facts that are unholy are “forgotten” about.


As the editor, of course it was me who copped most of it. Now, my job, essentially, is to print public relations – stuff that the school would like the world to know about. Of course, they cover this up and say that it’s to prevent libel and lawsuits and things that I wouldn’t be able to manage, but really it’s obvious – the truth has become a scary business.

The student body is furious, too. We want to have our own voice, not one that is carefully checked and taught fine elocution and manners.


The word “journalism” will now have to be used in the lightest sense. Yes, it will be reporting – of the facts that we’re allowed to report on. And it’s because school-supported journalism is rubbish – they’ll teach us the skills and turn around and say, but no, you’re not allowed to use them.

But we aren’t deterred. We’ll be fearless – we’ll be free and open with everything. Because journalism is harsh – we’ve been told that by the school – but it’s effective in making the situation better in the long run. After all, how can you fix a problem if you refuse to believe it’s there?

 

 

N.B. The original version of this post was removed after I was kindly informed by Mr Michael Hohne that I didn’t actually mention the controversy as referred to in the original title “Journalistic Controversy”. This version, written with my brain switched on and with a new title, may actually make some more sense.

N.B. (again). You can read the issue that landed it’s editor and to a lesser extent his editor’s typewriter in hot water here: http://issuu.com/thestudentsstandard/docs/the_students_standard_7

Sunday, 3 March 2013

I’m still here; I won’t go away that easily, you know

Three weeks isn’t a long time, really. Although my blog posting almost completely ceased for all of International Typewriter Appreciation Month, I was still tapping away on Olivettis, Hermes, Imperials, Brothers and Olympias. But three weeks does feel like a long time when you look back on it, even though when you were there it was speeding past and outrageous and surely illegal speed.


My gallant plan to write and edit and research and hand in a school assignment is still in the works. A descriptive essay is coming up, and I think that it is the sort of assignment that you can still do based only on books and stuff that’s in print. Other assignments can’t be converted back to the typewriter and library days that I’m searching for. Things that involve science and technical subjects and modern (last ten years, say) history just can’t be purely based on print resources. So when I can finally free myself of the totalitarian reign of the internet on current information, I’ll let you know.


My Olivetti Lettera 32 has been coming with me every Friday to school, now. It’s all for Media and Communications which looks after The Student’s Standard, the school newspaper.

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Still proudly in print, but venturing into the murky waters of digital, we aim to provide a newspaper first and the digital business second. As Editor-in-Chief – a job that requires a level head and a secret stash of liquorice all-sorts – I sadly don’t spend as much time at the Lettera 32 as I would like to, as I’m always up around answering question and helping with articles. But most of my articles start out typewritten, that’s for sure.

(The “multi-media” chaps are going to interview their editor, me, about the whole enterprise, which I’ll post here when it happens)

You’re most welcome to look at some of last year’s early Student’s Standard work – complete with errors and awfully constructed sentences – here. And, just by the way, not trying to self promote any causes at all, but we’re on Facebook here and Twitter as @thesstandard.


My Corona 3 case is coming along well. I’ll be gluing it together this week. A trip to Robert Messenger’s (who blogs at oztypewriter.blogspot.com) has yielded some old typewriter case bits which will provide the hinges and perhaps the fittings. Robert was kind enough to hand over case bits and pieces for the project. The case won’t be too useful, though – it’s going to way three tonnes – but it will look nice, at least, that’s the plan.


And so I come to the end of my first post in three weeks, a post in which I proven that I will blatantly try and the get the 100 likes on Facebook we’re desperate for by the end of next week at The Student’s Standard; a post in which I have thrown being selfless to the wind; and a post in which I have proven that the internet will have to work against me a bit harder to get me off this soap box of a blog.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Corona 3 Case on the horizon and a call for assistance

There was only one thing to think about when we were told about Woodwork projects: typewriters

School started and so with it all the subjects that I’ll be subjected to (pun not intended) this term. Woodwork is one of them, and the project is one which we get to design. The sky, and time, is our limit. Fairly quickly the idea of a typewriter case appeared, and the Corona 3 was a prime candidate for a nice new box.

Half the portability of a portable typewriter is the case, and my Corona 3 (gift of Robert Messenger, but currently not working), I think, deserves one. And so, sketches ensued:

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The case at the top is the only really important thing on the piece of paper. The typewriter with the arrow is trying to explain the idea of a folding typewriter, and the “Corona” down the bottom was just filling in time before lunch.

But this is the point where I ask for assistance from the greater Typosphere. I would be really grateful if anyone could email me photos of an original Corona 3 case, and, I’d be very thankful if anyone would take the time to make some measurements. If you would be so kind, please get in touch via email: jasper [at] grapevine [dot] net [dot] au , or leave a comment below.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

I.T.A.M. meets School Assignment, maybe

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(Presented above is an unedited typecast – not a salute to the typewriter’s lack of spell check, but to the poor merits of the typist.)

“I left all the typewriters behind”, and other tales from a trip Down the Coast

Most of the time I can’t be very informative on this virtual soap box that I have erected around me here at DHIATENSOR, but I strive to be a little entertaining. Still, most of that entertainment would come from you, dear readers, reading these words and forming the opinion that I’m an ignorant, teenaged twit. I am teenaged, but in an ongoing bout of self delusion, I would like to believe that I am not a twit. But what about being self indulgent? Yes, I’ll admit to that. And that is what this very post is – highly self indulgent.

The past week has been spent away from home. The summer school holidays here in Australia are in their twilight days – some states have already returned to the concentration camps. Well, you concentrate at school, don’t you? I have but a few days of advanced nose-picking, general idleness and stuff all responsibility left. But in these final hours of freedom – the last taste of true freedom until December this year – will be used by yours truly, the self-indulgent blogger, to describe his week searching in vain for typewriters, but instead turning up other goodies.

I’ve just got back from a week down the coast, a week of relaxed attitudes to changing socks – you don’t need to do it daily, do you? (Yes, that does prove I’m a teenager if my use of long words invokes doubt into your minds.)

On the first day I announced, gallantly and without the thought of repercussions, that I would like to do stuff. But this was very particular stuff; I wanted to visit every second hand shop and op shop and Salvos and Vinnies and book shop within an hour’s drive radius. That first day we walked around Merimbula, a nice, relaxed Australian coastal town. It was late on a Sunday afternoon, and there wasn’t much open. There is never anything open, really, in any Australian small town – coastal or not – after five in the afternoon. But a closed Salvos, a closed Vinnies, two closed book shops and a few other things were spotted that we had to go back to the next day.

The next day arrived. The day was overcast, and I didn’t get out of bed until at least ten, I’m sure. We wandered into town.

The Salvos yielded a John Marsden book for fifty of my good cents, but no typewriters, but the next stop was the second hand book shop. Having read about it online, I knew what to expect – it was going to be very good.

Scene: A book shop. An elderly gentlemen sits behind the counter and a few people are browsing. Enter Jasper. Heads straight for “o” in general fiction shelves. “O” for Orwell, George Orwell. Looks surprised, there’s an odd edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four that he hasn’t seen before. Thinks: Yes, I would like to have it. Jasper extracts old hard-bound copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four and opens it to the title page. He becomes weak at the knees. There it was. A 1949, Martin Secker &Warburg, London, Nineteen Eighty-Four first edition. Here it bloody well was. Jasper’s knees become weak. Thinks: I can’t really be holding this, this should be locked away. What’s this doing here, this can’t be! Looks, Speaks: Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum: it’s two-hundred dollars. Not a snowball’s chance, I won’t be having this one. Exit Jasper, off to find Generous Parents.

Parents turn out to be not so generous, and don’t quite share the excitement that I exhibited for having found a first edition Nineteen Eighty-Four. And no, they weren’t going to buy it. Having found two dollars in the street late in the afternoon the day before, I asked if they were interested in making a one-hundred and ninety eight dollar investment, with absolutely no promise of returns. I’m still confused why they aren’t interested. It really does puzzle me; I thought it would have been an irresistible opportunity to invest without the false, misleading promises of return on their capital.

Tuesday was then spent looking for typewriters in every little op shop that was in an hour’s driving distance. No first edition Nineteen Eighty-Fours showed up in the fifty cent chuck out bins anywhere, which was a little disheartening. But what does show up, in a small op shop with a view of the sea from the front door was a National reel-to-reel tape recorder, model RQ-152S.

It was in immaculate condition – absolutely perfect. It looks like someone bought it new, used it twice and had it in the cupboard for the next forty years. And it had the box, and it had all the paper work, the microphone, the accessories. At a charitable price, my father bought it for me. Back at the room, it turns out that this immaculate piece of kit works well, too. At least, it spins, and it gives feedback with a microphone. We didn’t have any tape to test out the actual playing function, the function that would be the most interesting to see if it worked. I still don’t know – but a post on my little group of reel-to-reel tape players will follow.

On the Wednesday I bought a copy of Orwell’s Animal Farm. I’ve already got one, but this one won’t fall apart every time you open it, which is a step up from my other copy. And then on the Thursday, I bought a Collins Gem Dictionary of Biography. I have a dictionary fetish, you must remember, dear readers, and I couldn’t leave without it – besides it was a small change bargain.

Over the week op shops were searched. There was a broken (appeared to be a missing, non-existent draw band problem) Remington Quiet-Riter going for an off-putting price; the same day I found a red, plastic Petite toy typewriter going for a price out of my budget. It did have the box, though, and was in good nick, but I would rather save my money and buy a typewriter that can be used a lot, not just occasionally and with the daintiest of fingers. And two days later, a Remington Noiseless, sans carriage return lever, for an even more off putting price than the Quiet-Riter, was discovered. Sadly, I have no pictures to offer – unlike my European counterparts. My phone was flat, the camera filled with pictures of sand, beaches, and cliffs and although I love to see pictures of typewriters in the wild, I get a bit anxious taking them myself; it’s a fear that I have to work on, yes.

I had high expectations. I thought that there would be a little typewriter case nestled in between the videos and paperbacks in every op shop and second hand joint, but that wasn’t how it was.

They say that if you imagine a two dollar coin you’ll start to see them everywhere – shoved in corners, lying in gutters – even when you’re only imagining it. I’m sorry to report that it has become the same with typewriter cases, before I even get in the shop. Just looking in from the door, I see the right spots – the spots that would house the Hermes Baby case, the spot that could have an Underwood 5 sitting upon it. But, as I get in and actually have a look around they aren’t there, I’ve made it all up. This must be the effect of dangerous levels of hope and optimism.

It is times like this where I envy the spoon collectors. Every op shop, second hand shop, antique shop, Salvos Store, has a basket of souvenir spoons. They are the ultimate collectable for someone who gets a kick of satisfaction by adding to their collection. But I don’t envy them when they’re trying to find a use for these spoons, with their plastic emblems falling off the ends, and the silver plating coming off – at least the typewriter, no matter how many you have, will always remain a lot more useful than a dainty, thin, plated spoon in a yellowing plastic display box.

The day of return dawned. It looked like it was going to have the best weather of the entire time we were there. But before we got home there was one last typewriter opportunity.

Scene: Candelo Markets, a large country field. A lot of stalls, most of them not second hand stuff; there were jams, and rugs and fresh fruit and hats and god-knows-what-else. But amongst them, surely, I thought, there would have to be a stall with a typewriter. Eventually this stall was found and the typewriter was a Nakijima ALL. I didn’t even ask about the price. So, down beat, I wandered through the other stalls – the stalls with a turtle shell, the stalls with vintage copies of Bega District News and stalls with jars upon jars of different jams. It seemed that it wasn’t to be – I wasn’t going to have a typewriter from this little holiday.

But it wasn’t all bad, I came home with some books, and a very, very nice tape recorder (post on which is following). It’s probably a good thing I didn’t see a typewriter that I had to have, or could afford to have. After all, at home you could almost say I’ve got too many already. No, not too many, just enough to fill the available space.

By the way, as far as I know the first edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four is still in the little book shop nestled between NRMA Insurance and a fabric shop, off the main street of Merimbula. It sadly didn’t relocate to my bookshelf.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Typewriter Choices, Canberra - 1958

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The Canberra Times, 26 May 1958 – page 5

In a sign that I have too much time on my hands, I looked up “typewriter” in the earliest Canberra Times issues (1926 – 1958) and came across this advertisement. It isn’t very much but it’s interesting for a resident Canberra to see what was available in the way of typewriters years before he was around to find out himself. Now, pounds shillings and pence don’t mean much to me either, so below is their prices in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation
 
Typewriter Australian Price Today American Price Today
Empire Aristocrat $922.86 $961.62
Hermes Deluxe $1087.15 $1132.81
Olivetti Lettera 22 $1160.15 $1208.88
Olivetti Studio 44 $1391.28

$1449.71

Hermes 2000 $1391.28 $1449.71
Remington $1453.50 $1514.55

These prices are making the dollar-figures attained on eBay at the moment look very, very reasonable. But we haven’t taken into account depreciation, yet, have we? Besides, it isn’t about the money for me anyway, not now. You can’t put a price on an ingenious piece of mechanical engineering and precision construction, still working perfectly half a century or more after it was made, can you?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Corona 3 with some [recent] history

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‘I think I probably have a "spare parts" Corona 3 here that you're welcome to have and tinker with. It's not working, but I think can be made to work with some effort,’ said Robert Messenger in an email to me. And how I was I going to say no? Another project on the horizon, right after I had embarked on the Hermes 3000s? It was irresistible, the same word I used to describe the Corona 3 in that same email conversation.

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Let’s say at this point my mother wasn’t too pleased.

“What do you mean another typewriter?”

“Oh, this one’s very small, I can assure you. It’s a good one.”

“That’s what you say about all of them, Jasper.”

“But this one’s a really good one, and its small.”

So, to cut the story to its bare minimum, I got it into the house. And what do you know? My mother actually liked the look of it, which is quite a change. She recognised it, too, from Mr Messenger’s red Corona that appeared on the front page of The Canberra Times

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But it isn’t just a spare parts Corona 3, that’s for sure. It has a few connexions within the Typosphere already. Namely with Mr Robert Messenger and Mr Richard Polt and Mr Polt and his Moya 1 typewriter.

On the 14 March 2011, Mr Messenger blogged on oz.Typewriter that there was a golden opportunity to buy a piece of typewriter history. A Moya 1 had come up for sale in New Zealand for $US140, a bargain price.

Mr Messenger wrote:
”It seems a remarkable coincidence that less than three days after an Imperial Model B was sold on Australian eBay for $1575 ($US1587 at today's exchange rates), I should spot the Imperial's forerunner, a Moya 1, listed in an online auction at an equally ridiculous price - except in this case, at what strikes me as a ridiculously low price.

”And the seller's starting price (no bids had been made at the time of writing this) for a package of three typewriters - the Moya 1, a Corona 3 (which looks to be in reasonably good shape) and a Royal 10 (ditto)- is a mere $NS190. That's about $US140 at today's  exchange rates.”

From: http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/moya-1-for-sale-us140-buys-typewriter.html

Mr Polt expressed interest, and eventually won the auction. The Moya 1 was then posted to Mr Polt, while the Corona 3 was then posted to Mr Messenger as a thank-you from Mr Polt. But I haven’t been informed about the fate of the Royal 10. The Moya has been most beautifully restored by Mr Polt, and a picture of the restored machine is located here. But, as Mr Messenger is currently on a down-sizing mission, and there are a few working Corona 3s in his collection, one can assume I was given in it for a project and so it was kept within the bounds of the Typosphere.

But it was originally bought in Australia, as you can see in the label underneath the carriage below:

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We can safely say that this typewriter has been around. Bought in Australia, sold in New Zealand, sent back to Australia, and then sent across a few more suburbs.

At the moment it looks fantastic. Cosmetically it’s good, but mechanically, the carriage isn’t working. At times it slides freely from side to side, while at other times one must use the carriage release lever. A makeshift draw-band hangs in a disturbing angle out to the back and the ribbon advance/carriage advance mechanism isn’t quite shot, but it isn’t in a good way. And I’m sure eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the backspace key is missing – I still have it in a plastic bag, though. Whatever is really wrong with it, it will take a fair bit of effort in getting it to work again, but for a Corona 3, I think that it’s worth it.

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Serial number: 598784, which dates to late 1924.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Smith-Corona Christmas Present to Self

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That last typecast snippet got a bit wonky, didn’t it? That’s Microsoft Publisher’s Inset from Scanner of Camera function, for you, isn’t it?

It must be said that giving a Christmas present to the self is a little bit self-obsessed and obnoxious. But with typewriters a little exception surely can be made.