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Thursday, 26 May 2011

On This Day in Typewriter History (VI)

MAY 26
On this day in 1897, Irish author Bram Stoker's Dracula was published.
Unlike most other novels of the period, typewriters frequently feature in this Gothic classic - tellingly or otherwise. Apparently Stoker drew much imagination from the typewriter - there are connections and allusions all through his writings.
I can't find any images of Stoker actually typing, but the consensus is that in the last Dracula movie an Oliver No 3 was used (something to do with matching Gary Oldman's hairdo, someone on the portable typewriter forum has suggested?).
" … I shall be prepared. I shall get my typewriter this very hour and begin transcribing" – "I have copied out the words on my typewriter, and none other need now hear your heart beat, as I did."
Abraham Stoker was born in Clontarf, Dublin, on November 8, 1847. He died in London, aged 64, on April 20, 1912.

On this day in 1945, New Yorker Joseph J.Jimenez filed a patent application for a "silent typewriter base". Sounds like a good idea! One of its objects was "to provide a base which can be adjustably connected to the drop of a typewriter desk, and which is equipped with a silencing pad on its underside, so that vibrations produced by the operation of the typewriter are not transmitted to the desk and thereby amplified, as in the case of a typewriter which is fastened directly to the desk, typewriter stand, or other support, with the usual connecting screws, or special typewriter clamps. Another object [is] that the typewriter may be shifted horizontally within a reasonable limit of movement ..."
The patent was granted on October 25, 1949.


notagain said...

You're so prolific I can't keep up to comment! I particularly liked this Dracula post. I particularly like the notion that the hair might be patterned after an Oliver - that's so like a film director's thought process. Have you seen the spoof, "Dracula - Dead and Loving It" yet? The wacky hairdo turns out to be a hat.

Rob Bowker said...

Yes Robert, you are prolific but never dull. So THAT's how to stop the typewriters sliding all over the place :-)