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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Zen and the Art of Typewriter Maintenance


The many kind and considerate comments from fellow Typospherians which followed my post on home typewriter exhibits - from Nick Beland, Richard Polt and Tony Mindling in particular - got me thinking about typewriter care and maintenance. (That, plus some ingratitude from guests!). While I spent a couple of days slowly recovering from my efforts in setting up the displays, I had plenty of time for solitary thought. Which in turn led to me writing this piece of inconsequential fluff. It may be the first of some or many parts, or none at all. Indulge me, if you will, while you can:










9 comments:

ZetiX said...

Very Pirsig-esque to me and I can only hope for more...

Travelling Type said...

Nice prose.

But what was it written on? It's very free of errors and has fancy accents and italics.

Scott Kernaghan said...

Well Rob, I find this incredibly well written, and very emotive. Your collection is incredible. Beautiful and incredible.

As you have clearly read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence', I would also point out a crucial element of that book that is also relevant to you, and you collection - and that is 'Quality'. The collection itself isn't the marker of that, but the completeness produced by that collection combined with the man. It allows the 'whole' person. A quality in personality and mindset, to be realised.

Bill M said...

Very good Robert. I do hope you write more. I always enjoy reading your posts, even when I get behind I revisit.

I don't know what typewriter you used, but the typeface is wonderfully clear.

lettera2013 said...

May I venture a guess? It's written - and very well written - on a Lettera 32

Richard P said...

Oh come on, typospherians, Robert used a faux-typewriter font this time. Check out those curly apostrophes and italics.

As for the content: very clever and interesting!

Miguel Chávez said...

I'd venture Olivetti Lettera too, though it could well be a 22... but that's not really the point here...

What a great phrose, Robert! I'm still amazed with your fantastic collection, and now this piece really helps us make a clearer picture of the collector. And it is a very nice chap I can see through that phrose, I have to say!

I'm setting up a little exhibit myself, using the desktops in my collection to decorate (and occupy) a closet-turned-bookcase in my studio. I really like how they look there. And I can really relate when you say that, even if some of those machines are in disrepair, that doesn't mean they are not loved. Right now I'm trying to save a bit to bring my "green Giant", my IBM model D electric, to the shop; it developed a flaw honorably, while being used, and needs some servicing. Nothing out of this world, but haven't had the means to carry it out. And the same goes for my Royal 10, my Monarch 3, mi Olivetti Linea 88 and my Lexikon...

... But I digress. I really admire your beautiful collection, and feel encouraged to see that such a pillar of the typosphere community owns (and displays!) several machines I have (and had) in my collection! You don't know it, but your photos of the "red corner" saved my red Lettera 25 from being sold. And now I'm regretting having gotten rid of the turquoise Studio 45...

... Oh, well. Hopefully this will be a brighter year. And then I could resume my collecting, inspired by your fantastic display.

Jasper Lindell said...

I couldn't stop reading. I echo the others who have commented who would like to read more.

I understand completely, also, when you said that you feel that just because a typewriter isn't working it isn't unloved or unappreciated. The idiosyncrasies and perceived imperfections of a machine is what makes them loveable.

Scott Kernaghan said...

I'm going to agree with Jasper here. The fact some machine seem never to be completely repairable, is not a reflection of the person repairing them, but - in my humble opinion - an element of the machine's personality.