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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Paul Artem Braginetz and the Poetry of Portable Typewriter Design

The 10th anniversary of the death, at the age of 82, of mid-1950s Underwood portable typewriter designer Paul Artem Braginetz has just passed. So it is timely to revisit his wonderful design work, and in particular to consider whether his retirement-age poetry - with its themes of natural beauty - provide an insight into his thinking on portable typewriter design.

7 comments:

Richard P said...

Cheers to Mr. Braginetz. You're right, his tyewriter designs (I'm not sure about his verse) are beautiful from any angle.

Michael Clemens said...

Bob, I keep thinking you've somehow snuck into my home. I have that exact chocolate-colored model. It's stunningly beautiful for a practical machine. I recently had the surprise pleasure of walking through a classic car show: these Underwoods remind me very much of the same-era automobile styles of the time. Bulbous fenders and chrome and two-tone paint.

TonysVision said...

I do love those curves and colors. And I'm only slightly surprised that your statement of the Underwood De Luxe Quiet Tab being the most lovely of typers has not ignited a firestorm of alternative viewpoints, Typoshperians being in the main the sort of folk I have come to find them - gentle, kind, helpful, and respecting of other's viewpoints. But it does give me a bit of an inward chuckle to imagine the effect of a similar statement on a photography blog or forum, where I've seen such controversies end with many stomping off in a digital huff.

Steve Snow said...

In relation to this post not igniting a firestorm of alternative viewpoints: The thing with typewriters is that there's just so damn many awesomely, elegantly and beautifully designed machines, that I think it's hard to have one design that you're stuck on as your absolute favourite and will defend against all others.

Donna Braginetz said...

What a lovely tribute to have stumbled across! I love these machines. Although I never learned to type, myself, I was fascinated by the old typewriter my parents had, and spent many happy hours striking the keys as though I knew what I was doing.

By the way, I'm fairly certain my family is not related to Paul Artem Braginetz... but one never knows.

Donna Braginetz said...

Update: I just spoke with my dad, who grew up in New York City and was born at about the same time as Paul Artem Braginetz. Dad does know of him but didn't know that he became a designer for Underwood. He says just about all the Braginetz families in N. America were originally from the same small village in Russia. We don't know if our families are distantly related or not (there is a question about just how people acquired their last names long ago). Anyway, thank you for posting this page; it brightened my day.

Robert Messenger said...

Hi Donna. I think Paul has a son, Arty, still alive. I think he was in the military. You can find him on the web.