I like this. Firstly because he chose an Iron and Wine song (or cover of a song, by the Postal Service), and I'm a fan of Iron and Wine's goat-bearded, melancholy sound (except this self-same song was actually, weirdly, used in an M&M's commercial, making cool college kids everywhere collectively choke on their caffè macchiatos). But that aside, I like the way that this reflects a hipster-kid reappropriation of typewriter nostalgia. I think that typewriters have a sort of romantic cache with younger people who have never occasioned to use one for real, which is reassuring. Perhaps it means that typewriters have a future after all.
Monday, April 28, 2008
In keeping with the recent Canadian theme, the Royal Ontario Museum is currently presenting an exhibit called Early Typewriters, showcasing antique typewriters from the late 1800's. The display ends on June 29th of this year, so make your plans to visit now.
If Ontario is a little bit out of your way, the link above provides a video podcast by Martin Howard, a collector who owns the typewriters on display.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wow, here's a place I really need to visit. Lucky for me, I am within (arduous) driving distance of Vancouver, B.C.
The Regional Assembly of Text is a shop on Vancouver B.C.'s Main Street that is devoted to all things text- notebooks, stamps, stationary, handwritten letters, typewriters, zines, buttons, printed t-shirts, filing cabinets, and a general aesthetic of do-it-yourself print design.
Here's a video that will give you a nice preview of the inside of the store. The shop boasts a typewriter collection that customers can use on various projects, including a button-making station and a monthly letter writing club where all the accessories to create handwritten letters are made available (including refreshments). As an aside, I will mention that there is definitely a movement afoot to revive the handwritten letter, one of the assuredly lost charms of predigital times.
Look for a review of The Regional Assembly of Text later this summer. I can't wait to visit.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Strikethru has a fancy new typewriter image in the sidebar, created by artist Jesse Reklaw, who incidentally did the t-shirt design for this year's Scriptfrenzy (which by the way, I utterly failed to participate in this year). Hope some of you busted out your Smith Coronas and made a go of it.
Update: I also widened the page and added a new banner (the old one was too short). It's a little loud but it will do. Had to increase the page width-- typing narrow columnar typecasts was getting annoying. I never got to hear the carriage return bell!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Ah, it's been a long week, and yet it's only Monday. Still I've found time to haunt the abandoned warehouses and weedy back alleys of Flickr, to view a favored melancholy subject: deceased typewriters.
Here is a nice one. And another graveyard.
This one haunts me. Interesting that the author of this last photograph calls it "spiritual." This relates to a recent lovely Clickthing post about the soul inside the machine.
And finally, a return to dust. Amen.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
During a recent trip to Goodwill (I keep meaning to write a post about looking for typewriters at thrift stores, a strategy which, despite its cliched reputation as a cornucopia of rare machines, has failed to result in a single find) I came across an old booklet of vintage office forms, bundled with a small pad of typing paper. Kaching!
It was the typing paper I was really after, but in the days following my purchase, I found myself a more interested in the forms, and started using them to type up grocery lists. I can't remember the last time I filled out, or typed, a paper form. There was something very satisfying about squaring up the typebars on my SM-9 with the boxes and lines, stamped on the brittle old onionskin with faded red and black ink.
As Monda of Fresh Ribbon will tell you, ephemera is yours for the bidding on eBay, which opens up a whole new way to spend money on weird old stuff, for those of us inclined to do so (sheepishly raising own hand). If you find yourself interested in predigital paper office forms, dog-eared ticket stubs, elegant old letterhead, and other paper-based flotsam predating the 21st century, you're not alone. The Ephemera Society of America can supply you with conferences, exhibitions, news, and society memberships to help you interact with others of your nostalgic, paper-based kind.
And you thought it was just you.
- I wanted to append this post with a scan of one of my forms, but that will have to wait until another day. I have apparently misplaced them under more modern piles of ephemera including Ikea catalogs, New Yorker magazines, and Winnie the Pooh coloring book pages, all of which I expect to see at the Ephemera of America annual conference in 2059.
- Check out Marty Weil's Ephemera blog!
- Here is the largest ephemera group that I found on Flickr (but do a group search- there are many specific groups). Let me just re-state how much I love Flickr. So many social media sites are just noisy but Flickr is truly a resource.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Found this article today discussing the 1973 invention of the TV typewriter, "a machine that puts letters and numbers on an ordinary unmodified TV set," as described in Radio-Electronics magazine.
Amazingly, people are still fooling around with Frankensteinian typewriter projects 30 years later.
In other news, Duffy Moon has joined the typecasting movement that is taking the nation by storm. (Well, I think there are four of us now?) I suggest you make haste to his site to check it out. I love how each blogger's tone changes ever so slightly toward the poetic when the words are typed. Is it just me that thinks so?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Remove your hats as you enter the typewriter graveyard (photographed by Mr. Yuk, documenter of urban decay- a fascinating subject). Oh, the typemanity!
Note: I am taking a blog-sabbatical for a couple of days. See you Monday!
Monday, April 7, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I mentioned a post or two ago that Olivander has a typecast about pinhole cameras that you should check out. Somehow, I got through the U.S. public school system without ever taking part in a pinhole camera experiment. Doing so is definitely on my agenda for the summer. Olivander, if you have any tips for pinhole rubes, let us know.
No need to use something as uncool as an Oatmeal box, however. The husband pointed out this post on Gizmodo that talks about pinhole camera printouts from Corbis. I'm throwing out a challenge to Strikethru readers to print one of these out and give it a try. I'd love to eventually see some people's pinhole photographs-- particularly photographs from clueless, photography-challenged persons like Strikethru herself.
Unrelatedly, Jay of the Boston Typewriter Orchestra responded to my recent post, gently correcting my spurious claim that they are on tour (they perform in Boston) and providing a link to the BTO's typewriters on Flickr (they also added some to the Strikethru typewriter collections group! Have *you* added your typewriters yet?). Next time I am in Boston, I plan to check them out.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
OK, it's been one of those kinds of days. Can you tell by my grousing, cane-rattling tone above? Good lord. However, I was cheered by 10 Questions With Cheryl of Strikethru going live today. Thanks, BlogsWeLuv!
Back to your typewriters, everyone.