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Friday, 27 September 2013

Such Is Life: Living With Joseph Furphy's New Franklin Typewriter

I've been a wee bit tense this week, walking on eggshells whenever in the vicinity of a most unusual house guest - a very precious old typewriter. I have had here staying with me Joseph Furphy's New Franklin typewriter, upon which Furphy wrote his great Australian novel Such Is Life in 1903. The Furphy Franklin was with me at the Australian Typewriter Museum in Canberra before going on to Furphy's home town of Shepparton in Victoria, where it will go on display from next week. The Franklin normally resides with the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA, at Tom Collins House, Swanbourne, Western Australia - Tom Collins being the pseudonym under which Furphy published his book.

The December 8, 1891, patent referred to here was issued to the Franklin's original designer, Wellington Parker Kidder, and assigned to the Tilson Manufacturing Company of Boston. This patent, No 464504, applied for in August 1889, differs significantly from this model, the "Type III" New Franklin, which was made by the Franklin Typewriter Manufacturing Company of New York. For example, only one ribbon spool is shown at the back of the machine, and on this machine there are two types of paper table.
The "Type III" Franklin was designed by machinist and Boston typewriter salesman Joseph Adie White (born Portland, Maine, September 16, 1853; died aged 82, Chicago, where he was a typewriter company branch manager, June 16, 1936). White applied for his unassigned patent in 1893 and it was granted in 1897.
I took on board the advice of Richard Polt and Scott Kernaghan and merely, as planned, gave the Franklin a very gentle clean - including clearing up this mess which was under the typewriter, on its case base.


Richard P said...

It looks beautiful. I'm sure you are a good caretaker.

Scott Kernaghan said...

That really is such a magnificent machine. Very, very nice. You must feel quite honoured.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for sounding like an ebay buyer, but does it work? If so, I'm not sure I'd be able to help myself

Ted said...

very nice cleanup job! You shouldn't be nervous, You're an expert caretaker of both historic typewriters and typewriter history! (:

Spiderwebz said...

How exciting! It looks really wonderful. You have done a great job.

TonysVision said...

I guess my mind is on the crime novel I'm reading now, but when I saw those bits that had been hiding under the machine I had to think that I hoped you had plastic-bagged and labeled them.

It does look lovely. Perhaps you might share your technique for a light, but so successful, a cleanup.