Friday, June 28, 2013

Writers and Their Typewriters #1

Happy Typewriter Day 2013! 
On July 1, 1874, the American inventor, Christopher L. Sholes brought the first commercial typewriter to the market.


     In honor of this landmark event, I write today's Post in Courier font--a throwback to when Courier was one of the few type styles available on typewriters.
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     You need to know I - am - a - collector in addition to being a writer, bibliomaniac, gardener, student pianist, and future bee keeper (more on bees later). With my profile in mind, I share that for the last few years I've been on a mission to find a manual typewriter. I haven't the space to collect many, but owning a few to represent different eras, platens, fonts would do nicely. As if I didn't have enough to occupy my brunette-covered cranium, this mission has become more impassioned as of late, and before the year is out it will either be done with, or will have amplified itself. No. Impossible. I haven't the space, remember.
     Stay tuned to Flying Pages as I pursue this quest, and in the process learn more about the machine that led us to computer keypads and boards.
     Because Google is the wonder that it is, I've found the following to share with you. Sit back, close your eyes, and listen to the wonder of an acclaimed sound maker, Michael Winslow, translating the identified typewriters' clicks, clacks, phishes, and phoses. Below is a post by Macy Halford written for "The New Yorker" online blog.
     

History of the typewriter 

The Spanish artist Ignacio Uriarte is interested in office environments. He makes drawings with the four main Bic-pen colors (black, blue, red, green); wall art from envelopes; a piece called “A 100-page Word Document” that is a hundred-page Word document. The most astonishing thing he’s made is this twenty-one-minute film starring Michael (Man of 10,000 Sound Effects) Winslow, whom you may remember from the “Police Academy” movies. It takes us through the history of the typewriter in sound. There’s the crank and creak and “return” of early models like the 1898 Pittsburgh Visible; the soft “choosh choosh” of the 1915 Faktotum Mod. 2; the dark mechanical twang of the 1979 IBM Composer 82. It’s actually a thrilling journey, and a sad one. Machines today—they’re so characterless, aren’t they? My soft-touch keyboard hardly makes any noise at all.


Did you know that Corona(1930-40)once came in colors to rival the iMac? Hmmm, Steve Jobs––I wonder if you knew?!