An Explanation, A Typewriter, And Cameras You Can Download

May 28, 2008 at 11:33 am (administrative business, amazing things, art, design/gadget lust) ()

So we’re suddenly on summer vacation, i.e. reunited with each other. We’ve been spending all our time and more capering in the immanent world.

My dear brother gave me a typewriter. It’s fairly new — early 1980s — but what a different experience from the computer keyboard! The sound. The violent physical jolt of the carriage, the motion of the hammers as they swing. It’s electric, but infinitely more mechanical than the one I’m typing from now, the flat grid of buttons on my MacBook. It makes noise whenever its on, even when one isn’t typing — a heaving, buzzing sound, vaguely like breathing.

The typewriter can correct mistakes; there’s the option to switch from the black ribbon to a white one. And it has a little bell that sounds at the end of a line. (These things may well be standard and unremarkable; I know almost nothing about typewriters, except that my parents used them all through college, and that I want to find an Underwood some day, because they’re beautiful.)

Unrelatedly, check out this link Emily sent me. Print your own beautiful, (allegedly) functional 35mm pinhole camera! They look amazing. I will do the project and report back.

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3 Comments

  1. Monda said,

    I just ran into your blog and sent the pinhole camera link off to a friend. What fun!

    There are a few of us who still use the old typewriters and “typecast” by scanning typed pages and uploading onto our blogs. Visit my blog and take a look at some of the old typewriters. I’ve got links to other folks who collect them, too. Several of them are pinhole camera folk as well.

    Let us know how the project works out!

  2. Emily said,

    Wow Monda, what a neat blog– I look forward to checking up on it on a regular basis!

  3. Daran said,

    The typewriter can correct mistakes; there’s the option to switch from the black ribbon to a white one. And it has a little bell that sounds at the end of a line. (These things may well be standard and unremarkable…

    Certainly the bell is standard. You’ve probably already figured out its purpose.

    Most of the typewriters we had at school were ‘manual’ (i.e., mechanical, not electric). There was no white ribbon, to correct mistakes you either used correction fluid, or correction paper (strips of paper with an opaque white plastic film on the back, which, when stuck by a typehead, transferd the plastic onto the paper.) Typing on the electric was a new experience for me. These had the white ribbon.

    The main difference between electric and manual was that the keys had much more ‘travel’, and you had to press them quite hard otherwise the letter would strike the ribbon too softly.

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