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Saturday 28 January 2012

Purple Prose: In a Purple Haze with Purple Typewriters

I swear I did not paint this purple KMart typewriter purple. It came like this - as evidenced by the purple case (I don't recall ever being guilty of painting a case!).
No, I saw it advertised as a purple typewriter and, though I have enough Nakajima ALL Model 2000s to last me a lifetime or three, I just had to have it. If only so I could put it beside the little Remington duo-tone purple and mauve (I have seen this described as "orchid") that I bought from Charles Gu at some years ago. When is one purple typewriter ever enough?
I love the little Rem. The KMart? Well, yes, I do like the colour,a lot, and it's the only KMart typewriter that I've allowed in my collection - got to have one of everything, after all! But as for that Japanese script on the paper plate, I have no idea. If someone can read it, and it's rude, please don't tell me. Oh, all right, go on, tell me ...
What is it with purple and typewriters?  You can judge from all the artwork here using purple with typewriters that it has some wide appeal. Does the colour make for more purple prose? As much as I like the hue, I'm afraid too much of it puts me in a purple haze ...
And here's a lovely "lavender" Corona 4 from the Herman Price Collection
Is this Carl W. Sundberg-designed Remington Riviera a shade of purple, or is it, as described, "hot pink"? Whatever it is, its colour helped it sell for a ridiculous $172.50 on Australian eBay a few weeks ago (and NOT to me, I hasten to add):
Here is the same model looking a little more purpley, but still called "hot pink":
Looking at it, I know exactly how this lady feels:
That's right, give me one of these any day:


shordzi said...

Help help I see purple all around! Got the same "Riviera" - I like it!

Bill M said...

Very nice. Royalty. Looking at the Remington I guess the choice for purple goes way back to a much earlier time than I would have thought. Purple typewriters with a purple ribbon would make the perfect typewriter for Barney the purple dinosaur.

deek said...

Partial translation, using my limited Japanese and my kanji dictionary. There are basically three words or phrase on the paper table, separated by the symbol that kind of resembles an "at" sign (the 7th and 13th characters).

The third word is easy, it just says "typewriter".

The first word is potentially a model name, it roughly translates to very/extreme 21...I could be wrong on the 21, but there is definitely the sense of very/extreme.

The second phrase has components of "small" and "color" in there. I couldn't make out the other symbol (the 11th one). It might be referring to it as light purple, but that is just my best guess.

There's nothing obscene about the writing. My best guess is it is something like "Extreme 21 Light Purple Typewriter", so probably not as mysterious as you'd have liked.

Robert Messenger said...

Thanks Deek, much appreciated - and so relieved, too!
Hi Georg, do you have the yellow and black one, too? What's your assessment of the colour? I did have one but gave it to Terry Cooksley to sell in exchange for some typewriter servicing work.
Yes, Bill, I agree: it always surprised me that such colours were used on 1920s machines; other duo-tones use shades of primary colours.

Kari said...

I'm in love with your purple typewriter collection! I had no idea until recently there were so many purple varieties...<3