Thursday, 12 March 2015

catching up, over a TBT.

long time, no post. i know. 

sometimes i think i'd rather not write anything if i'm not in the best of spirits, than to write in a bad frame of mind and have the negativity within me spill out here. despite having been an optimist as far as i can remember, there are times when i think im increasingly becoming a cynic about life. i dont know. i just keep telling me i need to make peace with myself. that, honestly, seems to be the most difficult part.

despite whatever may happen in life, what keeps me going is my 'fraulein maria attitude' of simply remembering my favourite things whenever i'm feeling sad. and thats where pinterest comes to play a big part. as anyone who has been on pinterest even once knows, you can be there forever and forget there exists a world outside. if you are looking for a non-prescription, non-alcoholic way to drown your sorrows, i highly recommend it.

on that note, one of my favourite things to search for is vintage stuff. pretty much anything vintage catches my fancy, so i have been toying with the idea of starting a throwback thursday series, based on vintage things that i find around the internet. (only that im not sure if i start a series, how regular it will be. as always things here are subject to so many things. lets see. at this point i dont have too much expectations for myself.)

and so here we go - i saw this pin of a set of typewriters. in addition to their beautiful charm, each one has a note to say which one was used by whom. 

i couldnt make out the models from the image, so i searched around with the caption in the pin ('typewriters and men who loved them') and found this article, i think originally written to go along with the pic. olivetti, corona, hammond - you can find out who liked what. 

out of the collection above, i liked the beautiful blue one belonging to McCarthy and also those of george orwell and steinbeck. i do not like that big red monstrosity at all. sorry. 

in my childhood, i remember my parents having a facit typewriter, and my uncle had a remington i think. if you close your eyes and take a deep breath, i bet you can catch a whiff of carbon paper and typewriter ribbon ... and the sound of the carriage return from another era.


  1. Typewriters are really fascinating. I was always reminded by the people at home not to type on a bare roller without paper. But imagine having to type really hard especially when you had a couple of carbon paper copies at the back. the impressions they left, not alone on paper, but also on your life. My twin sister could type quickly whereas I cant.

    The old model typewriters didnt come with spool reversers. After the ribbon ran out, you had to take them out, manually respool them and use them again.. and during the process messing up your fingers with the black ink. Modern typewriters came with a small lever which reversed the direction in which ribbons move and the more modern ones come with an auto reverse that senses end of ribbon and changed directions.

    Did you also notice the hunter & thompson model doesnt have a manual carriage return / line feed lever ? possibly because its an electronic one. they had the first enter buttons :)
    and also that they supported A3 sizes against the other A4 ones.

    the carriage return line feed levers also ended up producing a nice 'bell' tone and it was always fun engaging them. and getting smacked for fooling around with the type writer. :)

    modern day computers have the carriage return line feed as two separate actions than a single one. kind of an inefficient aspect to it. but they haven't changed it in the last 40 years.

    a person conversant with typewriting can easily spot an amateur's typing just by looking at the impressions made as amateurs would be inconsistent with pressure and get exposed.

    even the paragraph alignment and line spacing by a professional would stand out against an amateur. of course, computers mask all these to a great extent now.

    nothing against manual typewriters, but in the late 80s, I saw an electronic typewriter that could churn out copies after copies and they used audiotapes that recorded the first time as you typed. and the playback feature would type out exactly the same way as you did the first copy. the let down would be that any mistakes you made in the first one would remain part of every copy. but the biggest draw for me towards them was their fonts. They had a more shaper and clearer font than the manual ones.

    sticky 'shift' keys and temporary shift keys were a wonderful phenomenon of their own. you could create beautiful underlinings using the asteriks or the quotes and they'd look brilliant.. but it took the more adept ones to create a subscript or a superscript.

    Whoever found the typewriter had a lot of inspiration in my view, though typewriters were extensively used during various wars.

    1. wow, you seem to have a lot of memories with the typewriter ! i dont have much, since i was very young during the time they were in active use at home - but i distinctly remember the bell tone of the carriage return and fiddling with it to hear it ! also remember my mum typing out labels for my books, using the sticky shift keys with the asterisk and @ symbols to make borders :)
      yeah you could spot your own amateurishness with the difference in pressure obvious from one letter to the next ! - do you know that sherlock holmes says that the characteristics of each typewriter are so distinct, and no two of them are exactly alike, unless they are quite new ?
      yes the typewriter of hunter.s.thompson (not &) is electric - an ibm one. funny thing is that i have never seen an electric typewriter up close. by the time i was growing up, my folks didnt need typewriters anymore, and eventually pcs became part of the landscape - even though not everyone could afford them initially...



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